Your cabinets are the workhorses of your kitchen. They provide storage for all your most-used items and give your kitchen both structure and flow. It’s important to know all the terms used to describe the different types of kitchen cabinets. Thus, you can enter your kitchen remodel prepared and knowing what you need. To learn more about cabinet function and types available to consumers and what they can be used for, read on.  

Base Cabinet Functions

Base cabinets provide the bulk of your storage space and serve a lot of important purposes in your kitchen. They often have open shelving layouts so you can store larger items like cleaning supplies, pots, pans, and other cookware. In some cases, base cabinets may also have shelves, racks, or trays that can be pulled out for easy access to certain items like casserole dishes and baking tray. They can also offer other features like trash cans, laundry hampers, or recycling bins. Here are a few common types of base cabinets that can be useful in your kitchen:

Base Easy-Access Cabinets

These types of cabinets have a middle shelf which makes them great for stacking smaller items on two different levels. They can also have smaller shelving racks on the door of the cabinet so that all your most-used items are within easy reach.

Base Pull-Out cabinets

This cabinet function includes a pull out to keep your commonly used items close at hand. The small shelves are open but are fitted with racks so that your items don’t fall when the shelf is being pulled out.

Two-Drawer Base Cabinets

These cabinets feature two individual drawers that can house a variety of items. Because these cabinets aren’t too deep, they are perfect for storing items that you don’t want to dig around for.

Open Base Cabinets

These have open shelving with no door, making them great for storing items that you may like to show off, like a cookbook collection or smaller appliances. 

Corner Cabinets

These tricky spaces sometimes are tough to use, but adding a lazy Susan means that you can have rotating storage to make the best use of this space. 

Super Cabinets

These multi-functional base cabinets come in a wide variety of styles and include pull-out shelves or wire racks, door storage racks, and other useful features. 

Base cabinets can be put to great use on your kitchen island to keep all of your most-used cookware items and ingredients handy. They can also be used underneath window seating in your dining area or breakfast nook. Base cabinets are also perfect for hiding away unsightly items like trash cans or recycling bins. Or they can also be used simply as a storage space for anything from pots and pans, to linens, canned goods, and bottled beverages.  

Wall Cabinet Functions

Wall-mounted cabinets hang on the wall above your base cabinets and are versatile and functional. They work well for storing all the things you need to access while standing, like plates, bowls, cups, and dry ingredients. Here are some innovative uses for your wall cabinet functions:

  • Pull-down spice rack – keep all your herbs and spices organized and easy to get to with a pull-down spice rack. All your favorite spices will be right on hand when you need them the most. This can be installed near your stove or prep area so that you can reach it while cooking.
  • Appliance garage – keep your countertops free of extra clutter with an appliance garage. This is a great place for all your appliances to live when they aren’t in use.  
  • Wall easy-access storage – three shelves, plus wire racks on the inside of the door make these cabinets a great place for items of all sizes.
  • Corner wall cabinet – like corner base cabinets, installing a lazy Susan can make the best use of this sometimes awkward space.

Wall cabinets are most often used for basic storage of cookware, dishware, and dry and canned goods. If they don’t span the full height of your ceiling, you can even use the tops of wall cabinets as an extra storage area, though it can be hard to access without a stool or step ladder.

Tall Cabinet Functions

Kitchen - Kitchen cabinet function and types
Tall kitchen cabinets.

A tall cabinet functions with the full height of your kitchen, spanning floor to ceiling, and are available in sizes up to 96 inches high, making them the ideal storage solution. Here are some great uses for tall cabinets: 

  • Utility cabinet – a wide variety of design options make tall cabinets great for utility storage. Shelves, hooks, drawers, and more can make these versatile for many uses. They can store appliances, rarely used items, or stocks of things like paper towels, trash bags, and more.  
  • Oven and microwave cabinets – there are lots of different configurations for this combination, though the microwave usually sits above a double or single oven, with storage options above and/or below. This can also include a warming drawer to keep your food at the ideal temperature.
  • Tall pull-out pantry – a pullout pantry keeps all your most important ingredients at hand, with racks and shelves that pull out. This gives you easy access to items that are hiding in the back of the pantry. Pantries are great spaces to store canned goods, baking goods, cereal and other packaged foods that need to be kept in a cool, dry place. 
  • Pantry super cabinets – wire racks, shelves, door storage and more makes these super flexible cabinets all-around winners for food storage.

Because of their size, tall cabinets can be the focal point of your kitchen. Adding decorative touches like crown molding can boost their visual appeal. Because they are both deep and tall, they make an ideal storage solution for many items. 

Learn More About Cabinet Function and Type

The next piece in Pro.com’s kitchen cabinet guide is all about drawers and functional inserts. For more information about planning a kitchen remodel, contact us.

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