Kitchen Cabinet Ideas

Kitchen cabinet ideas to update the hub of your home

The design experts reveal what's trending in cabinetry.
Photography: Ema Peter

Choosing the right kitchen cabinets is essential to achieving your dream kitchen. The built-in elements and your choice of kitchen cupboard colours will help create a space that makes your heart sing. “By customising your kitchen with joinery, you ultimately end up with a personalised, bespoke space that suits your day-to-day living requirements,” offers interior designer Alexandra Mason of Studio AEM

country kitchen with cream cabinetry
Glass-front cabinetry makes a lovely kitchen feature that’s also the ideal place to store glassware. (Credit: Photography: Ema Peter)

Talia Levine, one half of interior design studio Smith + Levine, agrees that kitchen cabinets should be designed with both the look and how they function in mind. “As kitchens are so integral to how we live and are such heavily utilised spaces, they should be designed as a living space, not just a functional space,” she says. Our insights into the latest kitchen cupboard styles will help you get the most from the heart of your home.

white kitchen with black hardware and wooden floors
Introduce a wooden ladder to your kitchen design to enable access to practical floor-to-ceiling cupboards. (Credit: Photography: Nicki Dobrzynski / Styling: Kerrie-Ann Jones )

White kitchens with a unique twist

The ubiquitous white kitchen has been overshadowed by unique spaces that embrace individual preferences and lifestyles. “Materiality and detailing is a really strong theme in kitchens at the moment. We are seeing a lot more dynamic stone being used, as well as interesting colour,” says Alexandra. Unexpected hues and open shelves displaying treasured collections – such as cookbooks or ceramics – allow the homeowner’s personality to shine through. Joinery designed to look like furniture adds to the character of a home. As Louise Smith, the other half of Smith + Levine, explains: “A kitchen island that looks like a bespoke furniture piece assists in integrating the kitchen with the adjacent furnished living spaces, providing a holistic design.”

white kitchen with marble bench and backsplash
A marble shelf runs along a splashback made of the same stone and provides a spot to store eye-catching kitchenware, giving this cooking zone by Laura Butler-Madden a seamless, considered look. (Credit: Photography: Chris Snook / Courtesy of @the_pink_house_project)

Customisation around appliances

Integrated and concealed appliances give kitchens a less-cluttered feel. Alexandra notes a trend towards appliance cupboards hidden behind pocket doors – the perfect spot for a coffee station or breakfast bar – and Talia reports an increase in custom range hoods. The level of integration depends on the desired overall look and feel. “Full integration of appliances often suits a contemporary aesthetic,” explains Alexandra. “Whereas traditional kitchens often suit exposed fixtures and fittings.” Unsightly electrical outlets can be tucked away in cupboards, drawers or under benches. “Unless, of course, they come in a beautiful brass or copper plate, or one of the stunning flush fixtures from Zetr,” shares Alexandra.

Wooden kitchen cabinetry with coffee station
Measure your appliances before your joinery is designed to ensure the depth and height of shelves accommodate everything. (Credit: Photography: Shannon McGrath)

Next-level storage solutions

With the right combination of cabinets and drawers, every nook and niche can be utilised for kitchen storage. “It’s very important to understand how clients live in order to design a tailored product that suits the end user,” Alexandra offers. Cabinetry that stretches to the ceiling maximises the storage potential, while drawers positioned beneath the bench and in the island ensure everything is visible and easily accessible. Keen cooks will appreciate conveniently positioned pull-out cutting boards, drawer dividers for storing baking trays and tiered racks for spices and oils. As for the tricky corner cupboards that are often underutilised, their functionality can be increased with internal hardware. “Carousels are a great option, as is the Magic Corner range,” Alexandra suggests.

“Oak is always popular as it coordinates with many colours and finishes. its natural grain adds texture and a level of quality to the kitchen.”

Talia Levine, interior designer
Wooden kitchen cabinetry with marble bench and range hood
Break up a bank of cupboards and add visual interest with open shelves that create an opportunity to display plants, books and decor. (Credit: Photography: Brigid Arnott)

Multipurpose designs

No longer just a spot to cook or pour a wine, kitchens are expected to operate as multipurpose hubs. “Many clients ask for integrated desk nooks and extra storage, but with everything concealed behind doors,” Louise explains. “Breakfast nooks or banquettes for informal meals, and as secondary spaces for reading or even working, are also popular considerations that extend the area’s functionality.” The needs of our furry friends are also being met with stylish, space-saving solutions, such as built-in pet beds and pull-out feeding stations.

pale grey cabinetry with study nook
Carry the same finishes and fixture styles throughout the kitchen and adjacent spaces to ensure you create a cohesive and harmonious look. (Credit: Photography: Maree Homer)

It’s all about texture

Like a piece of beautiful jewellery completing an outfit, door details can elevate the overall design. “Bespoke-joinery pulls and decorative hardware is a great way to enhance joinery and give it a furniture-like look,” shares Talia. For a sleek, modern finish, handleless styles and touch-to-open mechanisms are the way to go. “It reduces the visual clutter, especially when there are several doors and drawers and the hardware is difficult to align,” Louise adds. Kitchen cupboards with clear glass panels allow you to show off beautiful crockery, while fluted glass and metallic mesh inserts add interesting texture.

kitchen cabinetry with fluted door details
Add interest to joinery with textured details. (Credit: Photography: Patrick Butler-Madden)

“The finishes and materials used in kitchens should be functional, serviceable and beautiful.”

Talia Levine, interior designer
white kitchen cabinetry with wooden floors
Custom cabinetry can hide masses of storage and large appliances, such as fridges, giving a kitchen a calm, decluttered look. And don’t forget drawers – they provide easy-to-access storage, avoiding clutter. (Credit: Photography: Sue Stubbs)

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