THE BLOG
01/21/2015 05:34 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

11 Kitchen Cabinet and Storage Tips From Design Experts

While kitchen cabinet and storage design may not be as exciting as choosing seating or lighting, this is one of the most important areas to consider when designing a kitchen. From construction to hardware to layout, 11 design experts give their advice on what to do, and avoid, when designing a kitchen's cabinets and storage.

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TIP: "An island is enormously practical--it defines the layout of the kitchen and is very social. In a large kitchen like this one, it's very effective to use two complementary worktop surfaces to break up the area. We used oak for the island and more practical black granite for the sink. I also love using contrasting colours for cabinets, in this case, Neptune Smoke on the island and Lily on the rest of the cabinets. - Emma Sims Hilditch, Sims Hilditch

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The Oxford Wall Light, Soane Britain (price upon request) // No. 1084 Knob, Nanz (price upon request) // Holophane Pendant, Remains Lighting ($2,400)

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TIP: "When short on space, ensure that everything has a place, rather than trying to ensure that everything is in its place. In this 44 square foot kitchen, we mounted our client's copper pot collection at the ideal height for everyday use and chose a wall where it would give the most impact. We also hid the dishwasher, refigerator and freezer behind door panels to limit the amount of appliance exposure." - Martin Young, Martin Young Design

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Form Bowl Set, Suite New York ($195) // Lobmeyr Copper Pendant Lamp "1516," Kneen & Co. (price upon request) // Osani Mirror, Insidherland (price upon request)

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TIP: "Make a stockpile list of everything you need to store in your kitchen, from serving ware and cutlery to gadgets and small appliances, and consider how stocked you like to keep your pantry. Your kitchen design should account for storage of all these components." - Virginia Toledo & Jessica Geller, id810 Design Group

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TIP: "Many kitchens are open to the main living space, so try to design cabinets that create a seamless transition. The water-like, reflective quality of the white lacquer shaker cabinets and Caesar stone slab counters helps to create a cohesive feel with the other spaces in this coastal Key West cottage." - Blair Gordon, Blair Gordon Design

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Wave Glass Honeycomb Light Fixture, Tim Clarke Interior Design ($1,950) // The Barnett Bar/Counter Stool, Studio Van Den Akker (from $2,630) // Cornucopia from Belgin Bozsahin, via Decorex storefront ($3,300)

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TIP: "Remember that colors magnify when applied over a larger surface area and can change throughout the day depending on the natural light. A slightly vanilla white may look quite yellow in the afternoon. Get a large color sample sheet, or an actual door sample, and observe how it looks at different times of the day. If you still love it after a week, it's a winner!"- Young Huh, Young Huh Interiors

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TIP:"If you are planning to stay in the home long-term, I recommend either full custom cabinetry or very high-end semi-custom cabinets so that you get exactly what you want. If it's for a shorter time period, a functional layout with clean and simple color and hardware, such as white and oil rubbed bronze, is easy for resale. " - Gretchen Kubiak, Black & Poole

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The Petra Stool, Thomas Hayes Studio ($1,200) // Large Bell Glass Italian Light, Obsolete ($1,400) // Gia Vase - Small, Avram Rusu Studio ($750)

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TIP: "I look at kitchen cabinets as pieces of furniture that also happen to be highly functional. For the serious cook, workhorse cabinets and open shelving are perfect when appliances and function need to take center stage. For entertainers, beautiful finishes and crafted details make the kitchen a comfortable, social space. For families, the kitchen should be warm and not too fussy with multi-purpose storage and finishes that are easy to clean." - Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson, TerraCotta Properties

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TIP: "Generally, I don't recommend mixing and matching finishes in the kitchen--if your appliances are brushed satin, select hardware in the same finish. Cabinet hardware should complement the kitchen design, not distract from it. For the cabinets of this modern home, I selected elongated horizontal hardware to echo the rectangular shape of the room and used metal trim to provide an architectural grid and match the appliances, including the hood. " - Tineke Triggs, Artistic Designs for Living

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TIP: "Be creative with your kitchen storage. In this kitchen, I used antique Chinese cabinets for the island. By using an antique piece of furniture, you can add interest to an otherwise common space."- Rozalynn Woods, Rozalynn Woods Interior Design

2015-01-21-product_05.jpg Chinese Influenced Chest, Bernadette Schaeffler Collection ($8,438) // 1.109 Chest, ChestKind (price upon request) // 1.126 Chest, ChestKind (price upon request)

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TIP: "I like deep tone paint colors, which provide more character than a standard white scheme. Incorporating fine, handcrafted details also elevates a modest design to something quite unique. In this butler's pantry, we raised the wood crescents on the cabinet doors so that the detail would be visible when painted, and the effect of the paint draping over the crescent would add impact to the space." - Keith Morgan, Bespoke

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TIP: "I recommend choosing extra deep cabinets to hold applicances of all sizes; large or odd sized dishes; and pots and pans. I like to utilize every inch of available space, so I often place slim drawers at the base of cabinets and island to hold serving trays and linens. I love to add a personal touch and replace hardware with really unique antique pulls and knobs!" - Julia Buckingham, Buckingham Interiors + Design