How to find your kitchen cabinet style

Mar 10, 2022

If you're planning to remodel your kitchen, here's how to find inspiration and start narrowing down your options.

When most homeowners start remodeling their kitchens, they spend countless hours collecting inspiring kitchen photos. But that doesn't necessarily help people figure out what they want, and can even cause confusion. The hardest part of the process is learning to narrow down the options and focus on what you want your dream kitchen to look like.

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Gather inspiration

Collect images. You may not see it at first, but a pattern will appear. You may find that you may need to add a whole bunch of kitchen inspiration pictures to your future farmhouse or weekend getaway idea booklet, but don't skip them just because they're not relevant to the project, save them for later.

Don't edit it yourself. Don't drive yourself crazy by trying to edit as you collect from the start. I really believe in saving first and then editing. Editing yourself while gathering inspiration can be challenging and stifle creativity.

Browse kitchen photos for inspiration and ideas

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Organize (but only if you want). Your photo categories can be disorganized, even a little confusing. If you want to organize your photos in your creative book, you're one step ahead of us, but for those who don't, don't worry. Have time to go back to your photos and tag them later.

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Start looking for professionals. This might be a good time to start following the professionals responsible for the designs you love and find design professionals you might want to interview for. For some homeowners, the right thing to do is to hire a professional and let him or her help you through this inspiration-gathering phase. Some homeowners even leave it entirely to the designer, whose job is to listen, interpret, and gather inspiration for the client and bring it back for approval.

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Categorize photos

Once you have a decent amount of inspiration images at your disposal, review them and group them into loose categories. You can sort by style: maybe you seem to be torn between retro and modern. Or maybe you find you have a bunch of kitchen images with dark wood floors. You can create a collection entirely dedicated to island or kitchen bench seating. Consider creating an idea book about lighting, one for wallpaper and any other details you want to pick out. Now don't think about why you like something, as long as you like it or don't.

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Edit your choice

Review your idea book to see if you still react emotionally to the images in it. If it's been a while since you've started collecting inspiration and you've looked at hundreds of spaces, your tastes may change without you realizing it. A ruthless editor can help clarify things. You'll look at a room and say "why the hell am I saving that photo?" If you don't remember and it doesn't speak to you anymore, drop it. See how easy it is?

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Consciously collect images

Now that you've randomly collected, sorted, and edited, go back to view all your saved photos and view images for specific items. For example, look only for glass front cabinets, industrial hoods, or island lights, not the overall image. You might not like all the features of the room, but one element might be just what you want.
When working with clients—often more than once on a project—I take inspirational images and say, "Don't look at wall color or cabinet style. Just look at the hood." Or "Look at the crown molding around the beams and the hood." way of transition" or something very specific like that. Take notes below the photo with your favorite elements and edit your photo again.

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What is your kitchen style? What features always catch your eye?

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