House & Home

Fabulous, Functional Cabinet and Drawer Design

Posted November 29, 2014

Today's kitchens are more fabulous-looking and functional than ever. And well they should be, since they're the room where families spend a large number of their waking at-home hours. New trends in kitchen cabinetry, reflecting current usage patterns, emphasize organization, universal access, and an outstandingly attractive appearance. Here are some of the latest cabinet and drawer designs.


The cluttered countertops of yesteryear are as out of date as dress-for-success shoulder pads. In the 21st century's fast-paced lifestyle, organization is key, and kitchen cabinet fashions duly reflect this mindset. Think ingenious features that are tucked out of sight but can be accessed in a jiffy, such as an up-to-date appliance garage with lift-up pocket door. Specialized drawers may also be a part of your efficient kitchen design, with dedicated breadboxes, dish storage spaces, and cutlery trays. A pullout trash can and recycling bin combo, attractively camouflaged with a cabinet front, and a slide-out broom cupboard will make your kitchen floor space equally clean and clear.

Custom cabinet installation is wonderful when your budget allows. If funds are more limited, though, you'll find stock cabinetry with the look of built-ins, created as necessary to accommodate extra-wide or apron-front sinks, microwaves, or double ovens complete with warming drawer.

Be sure to optimize every square inch of precious kitchen space. Have base cabinets with doors or drawers installed in your kitchen island and use ingenious toekick drawers to stow flattish items like serving platters or cookie sheets. Don't forget to mount a tablet holder on the wall so that you can follow online recipes with ease.

Universal access

Another popular movement in home building and decor is universal access. The latest in kitchen design ensures that cabinets and drawers may be near-effortlessly opened and closed by everyone, including those with limited mobility or strength. Upper cabinets may be installed with sturdy pull-down shelves, so that it's a simple matter to reach canned goods and other items. Extra strong full-extension drawers on glides are also easy to maneuver. (An added benefit is that you can conveniently get at everything that is stored in the drawer.)

Depending on their height, rollout cabinets are ideal for spices, bottles of oil and wine, or cleaning products. (Be sure that the latter are inaccessible by children and pets.) Lazy Susans have long been known for their functionality in what would otherwise be dead space -- a corner cupboard. Now they come in a choice of traditional disc-mounted, or even more accessible pullout, style.

Slow-close drawers are another handy new invention. Just give them a gentle push to get started and they will continue to close on their own … slowly, so that they don't nip children's tiny fingers or the older generation's arthritic hands.

Attractive Appearance

A third newfangled notion is the concept of kitchen cabinetry which has the feel of fine furniture. Give a bright and airy impression via fashionable and elegant open shelving, which serves to visually expand small spaces. (Install shelves with slides for a practical note -- they'll be easier to access, as well as to clean.) Glass door cabinets reflect light to break up the sameness of a long wall of cabinetry.

Display racks will add ambience to your kitchen as they show off your treasured collections, which can be anything from Great-Grandmama's fine china or your favorite thrift store finds.

Laura Firszt writes for

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