Choosing a new kitchen is an incredibly exciting project to undertake but it does come with a whole host of decisions you will need to make, and this includes choosing the perfect kitchen cabinets. We’ve put together a list of the main factors you should think about to make the decision a little easier:

  • Budget
  • Standard or bespoke
  • Positioning
  • Internal material
  • Door style
  • Drawers
  • Finish
  • Kitchen fitting



Cost is a factor in every decision you make about your kitchen units in the wider context of your entire kitchen project. Deciding on a budget at the start of the project will allow you to make realistic decisions when it comes to the materials, features and added extras of your cabinets.

Standard or bespoke

Your budget will often play a large part in whether you decide to go for an ‘off the shelf’ standard kitchen or have a bespoke one made. There is a wealth of different styles, qualities and price ranges out there when it comes to standard kitchen units so it’s easier than ever to go down this route. However, if money does allow, then a bespoke option where the units are made specifically for your kitchen and desired design can be a great investment if you plan to live with the same kitchen for many years.


In order to make the most of a kitchen space many people opt for a combination of base and wall units:

Base units

These are the units that sit against the wall closest to the floor. When choosing base units you will need to decide if you want them to open as cabinets and feature shelves, as drawers, or as a combination of the two. You can also mix and match cabinet and drawer styles throughout the kitchen to fit your needs.

Most base units will also use a plinth (also known as a kickboard or toe kick) which is the section that runs from the floor to the bottom of the unit. This keeps everything neat, tidy and easier to clean. However you can also opt for units that sit slightly raised from the floor on legs.

Wall units

These are the cabinets that sit higher up on the wall. Generally, they will feature shelves and tend to be shallower than the base units to allow you more room in your kitchen and create a more open feel.

You may also want to consider the following types of units in combination with base and wall:

  • Corner units to continue a run of cupboards around the kitchen
  • Bridging units which fill the gaps between other units where something functional like a sink means that a full unit would be cumbersome. They tend to be smaller but still provide storage.
  • Tall units that provide ample space and run from floor to ceiling (or slightly lower)
  • Open wall units/shelves

Internal Material

The material that creates the structure and insides of your cabinets (also known as the carcass) plays an extremely important role. The density of the material used will determine the lifetime of your kitchen units, so it is important to balance up cost and quality in this area. The most common types of material used for carcasses are:

  • Solid wood – although we tend to associate solid wood with quality this may not be the best material for a unit carcass as it can warp over time.
  • MDF – this material is strong, dense and moisture resistant making it ideal for a carcass.
  • Timber-faced MDF or chipboard – this option has the same great qualities as MDF but with a thin sheet of timber applied to the outsides to give it a beautiful wood finish
  • Melamine-faced chipboard – one of the most affordable options, this material is a popular it is moisture resistant and easy to clean
  • Plywood – one of the more expensive options often used in bespoke kitchens, plywood is incredibly solid and heavy


Door style

Once you’ve decided on the internal material for your cabinets you can move onto choosing a door style. This will play a big part in the final feel of your kitchen, with some options giving a more modern vibe and others a more traditional or rustic one.

  • Shaker – one of the most common styles, shaker style doors feature a frame on the outside, with the centre inset
  • Slab – simple but stylish, slab doors are an all over smooth and flat design
  • Arched and cathedral – these doors feature an ornate arched wood design
  • Beadboard – this style features rows of vertical planks with indented ridges, creating a charming farmhouse feel


Many people opt for a combination of drawers and cabinets when planning their new kitchen. It’s worth considering how you would prefer to store items in your kitchen as drawers can be a perfect solution. This should however be balanced with the size of your space as having many drawer fronts could make the room appear smaller.

One factor to consider when picking kitchen drawers is any added functionality you may want. For example, soft closures, dividers, layered pull out sections and built in lights are all options to consider.



There are a huge range of finishes to opt for whether you are looking at prefabricated or bespoke units. Some of the most popular options are:


Whilst incredibly easy to wipe down, gloss cabinets can show a multitude of sins and will need to be cleaned regularly to remove fingerprints and the like. In terms of colour, gloss cabinets have evolved to include beautiful neutral shades as well as the traditional white, black and bright colours. This type of finish is best suited to contemporary kitchen styles with slab cabinet fronts.


A matte finish works well in traditional or modern style kitchens and especially suits slab fronted cabinets. It won’t show as many marks or fingerprints as a gloss finish, but it’s worth noting that it will be more muted as it will reflect less light.


Working beautifully in both modern and traditional kitchens, a wood finish is classically stylish and does a great job of hiding unsightly smudges. You can also opt to stain or re-paint a wooden cabinet front if you want to give your kitchen a design refresh without needing to replace your units.

Kitchen fitting

Once you’ve decided on the units you want to use in your dream kitchen it’s time to have it fitted. Choosing a well recommended kitchen fitter is essential if you want to achieve a polished kitchen built to last for years to come. Abell has extensive experience building and fitting kitchens in Loughborough and beyond. Get in touch to discuss your project, or take a look at the kitchens we’ve installed for our happy customers.