The right cabinets are the be-all and end-all in every kitchen. Because they not only give the kitchen its shape and appearance, they also determine what your future work processes will be like. After all, nobody wants to travel unnecessary distances in the kitchen or have to carry out easily avoidable tasks again and again simply because daily activities were not thought through at the end of kitchen planning.
Your kitchen should not only look good but also be practical and make your work easier. The cabinets also provide storage space for equipment, supplies, crockery and the like. And you often need more of this storage space than you generally think. Choosing the right cabinets is, therefore, one of the most important decisions when planning your dream kitchen. To ensure that you do not lose track, we would like to introduce you to the most important cabinet types below.
Which kitchen cabinets are there? The most important dimensions and models
Kitchen cabinets are available in almost every size. Some standard widths for kitchen cabinets have been established, which are offered by the majority of kitchen cabinet manufacturers. In addition to ergonomic aspects, the widespread sizes of kitchen appliances also play a role. Stoves, dishwashers, and refrigerators are usually available in widths of 60 or 45 cm. Accordingly, the matching cabinets must also be oriented to these dimensions.
For upper and lower cabinets, you will usually find widths of 30, 40, 45, 50, 60, 80, 90, 100 and 120 cm, tall cabinets are usually 30, 40, 45, 50 or 60 cm wide. This variety enables the optimal use of the floor plan in almost every kitchen. And if your kitchen still does not fit into this grid, various kitchen cabinet manufacturers also offer kitchen furniture in intermediate sizes or special designs. In addition to the size, there are also different types of kitchen cabinets.
Base units with a wide variety of equipment form the basis of any kitchen design. The classic version stands on the floor, but you can also mount it floating a few centimeters above the floor.
The basis of every kitchen is the base unit. Base units form the foundation on which the worktop rests and define the basic shape of the kitchen. Depending on their use, different types of base units are distinguished, the names of which usually reveal the corresponding use or equipment. For example, there are cooker and sink cabinets, shelf, glass door, blind and sliding door cabinets as well as drawer and pull-out cabinets. Classic base units with “normal” doors are of course also available from all leading kitchen cabinet manufacturers.
When planning your kitchen, bear in mind that the choice of cabinet type has a decisive influence on the appearance of your kitchen. For example, while the front of a drawer cabinet is subdivided, you can integrate internal drawers in a pull-out cabinet. This makes a uniform front possible. This variant is particularly suitable for modern kitchens without handles. However, you also need one more movement to get to the contents of the drawer. So, you have to consider whether the appearance or the ergonomics are more important to you.
Tall cabinets are real space wonders and offer plenty of space. Various pull-out systems facilitate filling and removal. Apothecary pull-outs are particularly popular.
Tall cabinets are particularly suitable for creating a lot of storage space, as they make optimum use of the height of the room. They are therefore particularly common as storage cabinets, for example as apothecary cabinets. The so-called Space Tower is also gaining in popularity, where stocks are stored in individual pull-out drawers. It allows access to your stocks from the side without you having to move the whole weight, as with the apothecary cabinet. Tall cabinets are also ideal for storing bulky objects, for example as broom cabinets.
In addition, there are variants as shelf, crockery or appliance tall cabinets. In addition to pure storage, tall units are also suitable for setting special accents in your kitchen design. Glass or shelf cabinets – also as corner solutions – offer excellent possibilities in this regard. The tall cabinet is also becoming increasingly popular as furniture for kitchen appliances. This allows ovens, microwaves, and even dishwashers to be conveniently placed at working height and operated without strain on the back.
Wall units extend the storage space without the need for extra floor space. Venetian blinds and sliding doors are becoming increasingly popular as doors for wall units.
Top or wall cabinets are suspended from the wall and thus create additional space without consuming floor space. As with other kitchen cabinets, there are models of wall units as shelf or glass variants, corner solutions, and functional cabinets, for example as spice or dish drip cabinets. Venetian blinds and sliding doors are becoming increasingly popular when it comes to doors.
Wall units where the door slides gently upwards at the touch of a button are particularly convenient. Various designs such as folding flaps, swivel flaps or lift flaps allow the use of the cabinet without the danger of bumping your head against the door due to carelessness. When planning your wall units, be sure to pay attention to the mounting height. On the one hand, wall units must offer sufficient headroom – especially above work surfaces – but on the other hand, they must not be mounted too high. Because if you can only reach the top compartments with a ladder, it’s neither practical nor ergonomic.
Countertop display cabinets create the perfect setting for the presentation of your kitchen treasures. Since they are installed vertically, however, they also take up part of the work surface.
Similar to wall units, countertop units also use the room height to create additional storage space. However, they are not mounted hanging, but stand directly on the worktop and thus create even more space to store all kinds of useful things. Yet this happens at the expense of the usable workspace. It also creates niches on the work surface. However, these are often desired as a targeted design element, as they structure large, monotonous front surfaces. Countertop cabinets as shelf, glass or display cabinets are particularly popular. They bring your noble glasses or the exclusive tableware particularly well to the fore. But also, add-on cabinets with blind doors are often used. In combination with built-in sockets, they allow small appliances such as kettles or toasters to be ready for use at any time and still disappear from view with a single movement. Corner or shelf cabinets are also often used as an add-on version to make optimum use of space in the kitchen.
Here the space in the corner is used in an optimal way: LeMans cabinet with two bases that can be pulled out individually
Special features of kitchen furniture are the many different corner cabinets. Since kitchens are not only living spaces but also workplaces, particular attention is paid to ergonomics and the optimization of available storage space. And as soon as a U- or L-shaped kitchen is planned, there are corners that can be used meaningfully thanks to clever ideas. For all cabinet types described above corner solutions are also available. The most common corner base units are those in which movable bases are usually used for storage.
With so-called MagicCorner or LeMans corner base units, these storage areas come towards you when you open the cabinet door and thus allow convenient storage and retrieval. In the case of the widely used roundabout or carousel solutions, on the other hand, revolving inserts allow the entire room to be used right up to the farthest corner. They are often used to store pots and pans. Special diagonal cabinets also make it possible to realize stoves or sinks as corner solutions.
A particularly clever solution is the retractable shelf corner cabinet. In L or U kitchens, it helps to make use of the hard-to-reach space in the corner. At the push of a button, the shelves move upwards and disappear discreetly into the worktop again after use.
Special cabinets, such as an illuminated shelf for kitchen herbs, give your kitchen that special something.
Special cabinets with special functions are often used, especially in individually planned kitchens. Be it special sink cabinets with U-shaped drawers around the sink, waste cabinets with sophisticated sorting systems, niche cabinets, bread cabinets… the series could be continued for a long time to come. Whether it’s the ironing board integrated into the kitchen cabinet or a specially illuminated shelf for growing fresh herbs, nowadays there’s almost nothing in the way of your needs and above all your imagination to implement even unusual cabinet ideas.
Especially because in modern houses and apartments storage cabinets or broom cabinets are often not provided in the kitchen, special cabinets score points and ensure cleanliness. The best way to find out more is to contact your local kitchen professional. There you can find an abundance of different types of cabinets, which will create plenty of storage space even in the smallest kitchen.
This pull-out has an integrated holder for baking trays and other bulky items.
Where to put the baking trays?
There are a number of bulky items for which it is difficult to find adequate space. These include, for example, baking trays or cake tins, but also larger bottles such as for vinegar and oil. If you have to remove the baking trays and grids from the oven every time before you can put the cake or pizza in, you will quickly lose the desire to bake. Various kitchen cabinet manufacturers offer kitchen cabinets with an integrated holder for baking trays. They fit well into narrow niches that would otherwise remain unused.
If you’ve always wondered where you could hang tea towels in the kitchen to dry: Narrow pull-outs with special holders are perfectly suited for this purpose. The cloths then no longer disturb the tidy overall impression of the kitchen and are still ready when you need them.
Many special cabinets serve to create more storage space in unusual places. For example, there is a beverage crate cabinet that is installed in the kitchen base. Read here what else you can do with the kitchen base. An experienced kitchen planner will ask you exactly about your needs, cooking and shopping habits and show you possibilities how you can arrange your kitchen with the different types of kitchen cabinets meaningfully.
Opening and closing kitchen cabinets: Which types of doors and fittings are there?
In kitchens with handles on the fronts, opening and closing the cabinet doors or pull-outs is very easy, but what about the handle-free kitchen? And which alternatives to conventional cabinet doors for wall units are there so that you don’t constantly bump your head? The kitchen cabinet manufacturers have developed a wide range of different mechanisms that are suitable for different cabinet types. The choice is between grip strips, mechanical tip-on (or push-to-open) technology and electronic serv-on technology.
For wall units with or without handles, flap fittings such as those offered by Blum, for example, have proven their worth. There are different models, all of which have in common that the door swings upwards and is “out of the way”. A distinction is made between upright, fold-up, swing-up and lift-up flaps. They have either mechanical or electrical motion support. They can be opened by lightly touching them and closed again at the touch of a button. One advantage of such flap cabinets is that they are particularly easy to store and retrieve and that you always have a good overview of the contents.
Cabinets with sliding doors also offer complete headroom. Other variants are retractable doors or flaps that allow access to the cabinet contents. With this solution, you can present beautiful crockery, chic kitchen machines or fully automatic coffee machines in the kitchen, but you can also hide them again if necessary. Venetian blind cabinets are also suitable for this purpose. With their help, you will have a tidy kitchen in no time.
Lamella cabinets are particularly exclusive. The slats are often made of glass and automatically fold upwards after actuation of a sensor, allowing a view of the cabinet contents. When the cabinet is closed, all you see are narrow lateral grooves.
Even large electrical appliances such as refrigerators and dishwashers often disappear behind the fronts in the modern kitchen or even come elegantly handle-less. To open them, kitchen cabinet manufacturers have come up with a number of techniques. For example, there are dishwashers that can be opened by knocking (“Knock2Open”). With built-in refrigerators, a distinction is made between two variants: the drag or fixed door installation. For fixed door installation, the furniture door is attached directly to the appliance door. In the drag-door installation, the refrigerator and furniture door are not directly connected to each other, but with hinges and slide rails. When opened, the furniture door slides through a sliding mechanism along the rails.
In your kitchen studio, they will be happy to show you the different types of cabinets and you can try out the opening mechanisms.