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Appliance cabinets: give your kitchen a subtle, custom look

If you've recently walked through a high-end, model-home kitchen, you might have noticed that the appliances seem to have disappeared. The days of expensive stainless steel refrigerators and ranges sitting front and center have passed. Many homeowners and interior designers now prefer to give their kitchens a subtle, custom appearance.

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Appliance cabinets: what's available?

Most contemporary cabinet manufacturers make appliance cabinets. They are generally available in mid-range and upper-end price points. If possible, try to use the cabinet manufacturer that made the rest of your kitchen cabinets to ensure a good match in the finish. If you are installing a new kitchen, companies such as Merillat Cabinets and Yorktowne Cabinetry are good bets.

When considering appliance cabinets for your kitchen, examine the features listed below.

  • Refrigerator panels cover the front of any style of refrigerator and can also be used to cover exposed sides
  • Oven cabinets are built to contain single and double ovens, so only the front doors are exposed; they eliminate the need for constantly leaning over while cooking
  • Dishwasher panels are similar to refrigerator panels; they cover all but the controls on the front of a dishwasher
  • Cook-top cabinets are designed much the same as sink cabinets; they make the cook top flush with the countertop

Such "almost-custom" appliance cabinets are usually offered in the same wood and finish choices as traditional kitchen cabinet lines. Prices points are based on size, wood, style, manufacturer and finish of the cabinet. In many cases, alterations must be made during installation to ensure a proper fit for your kitchen. Unless you are an expert do-it-yourselfer, this type of cabinetry installation should be handled by a professional contractor.

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