5 things to think about before choosing your kitchen cabinetry

From finish to functionality, here are five things to keep in mind when picking the cabinetry for your kitchen

Story by: David Renwick
Poggenpohl kitchen – designed by Lara Farmilo architecture, bathroom, cabinetry, ceiling, countertop, floor, flooring, home, interior design, kitchen, property, real estate, room, sink, tile, wood flooring, gray
Poggenpohl kitchen – designed by Lara Farmilo

The kitchen is the heart of the home for good reason. It’s the central gathering point for the family and where you prepare meals. Understandably, design and functionality are quite important – and the cabinetry you choose plays a key role.

Before you start a new kitchen build or renovation, check out our list of 5 things to consider to make sure you’re as fully informed as possible.

Buying kitchen cabinetry

In New Zealand, you’ve got three primary options when buying your kitchen cabinetry.

  • Using a custom design: If you want a kitchen designed specifically for you, then this is the way to go. The process typically involves you working with a kitchen designer to sort out the look you want, and they’ll then work with a cabinetmaker to produce the kitchen.
  • Imported kitchens: You’ve definitely heard of this option before. Imported kitchens are designed by world-renowned companies likes of Poggenpohl and Arclinea, and then imported by New Zealand designers and companies and installed in your home.
  • Kitset kitchens: One of the most affordable and ‘easy’ options is to opt for a kitset kitchen from companies like Bunnings and Mitre 10.


Poliform kitchen from Studio Italia – designed by countertop, dining room, furniture, interior design, kitchen, table, white
Poliform kitchen from Studio Italia – designed by Marketa Ramage

Map out your storage

The first item on your kitchen cabinetry to-do list should be to sort out your storage.

Take stock of your current storage situation: Which cabinets do you use most often? Where are the high traffic areas? By figuring out how you use your current kitchen, you’ll be in a better position to pick new cabinets and position them in the new space.

Pick a cabinet style

There’s no end to the options when it comes to cabinetry, with numerous styles well-suited to both traditional and contemporary kitchens.

You’ll likely come across the terms ‘custom’ and ‘semi-custom’ when researching different cabinet options. Custom cabinets are designed for you specifically as well as the kitchen space you’ve got available. Semi-custom cabinets are more limited in terms of style, but a cabinet maker or builder will be able to tailor them to fit your kitchen.

Think about the material and finish you want

With an idea of the cabinet style you’d like to use in your kitchen, it’s time to turn our attention to material and finish – and there a number of options.

Material options include solid wood, laminated boards, particle boards, manufactured boards and plywood. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but what’s most important is the finish you apply.

High gloss and matt are two of the most popular finishes today, with high gloss giving your kitchen a shiny, reflective look. Matt, on other hand, is more muted, but also more resistant to marks and scratches.

Fyfe Kitchens – designed by Kira Gray countertop, cuisine classique, home appliance, interior design, kitchen, room, gray, black
Fyfe Kitchens – designed by Kira Gray

A note on colour

It’s obviously important, but how do you approach colour when choosing cabinetry? We think you’re best to keep it simple, adding brighter or more unique elements in the form of a splashback or other unique fittings – think handles, faucets and sinks.

Speak to a designer

By in bringing someone who’s experienced with kitchen design, you’ll likely find yourself much happier with the end product. They’ll be able to choose colours that match the surrounding kitchen and work out whether a high gloss or matt finish is the best option.

Find a cabinet maker or cabinet supplier

The last thing to do is find a cabinet maker or cabinet supplier. If you’re working with a kitchen designer, then this is something they’ll likely handle, but if you have to do it, we’ve got a list of some of the most popular companies here in New Zealand:

Jul 05, 2018






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