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The Craft: Kitchen Cabinets 

click to enlarge Cabinets by Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry, a line carried by Cabinet Designers in Kingston.
  • Cabinets by Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry, a line carried by Cabinet Designers in Kingston.

Computers and smart phones are not the only items that have advanced dramatically in recent years. Kitchen cabinets have also undergone a renaissance in both style and functionality said Mario Carpanzano, owner of Cabinet Designers, in Kingston.

“Cabinets today are about 90 percent different from cabinets from 10 or 20 years ago,” he says.

Carpanzano explains that today cabinets have under mount slides so you don’t see the mechanism that closes and opens drawers. Another standard feature is called the soft close, which prevents you from slamming drawers shut. “When you go to shut the drawer box, you cannot slam it because it stops,” he says. Other advances in the wide world of cabinetry include the finish used on the cabinet woods, which Carpanzano says is a more “durable, harder finish” that makes the cabinets easier to clean.

These advances are all among the reasons consumers decide to seek out new cabinets for their homes. Of course, the decision to buy new cabinets is just the first of many a consumer must make. After that, they have to decide what type of wood to use, what door style, and what type of finish.

Carpanzano says that the kitchen’s theme can influence which type of wood you use. “Are we doing a contemporary kitchen? Are we doing a country kitchen? Are we doing a rustic kitchen? If you’re doing a contemporary kitchen, you would not use oak. If you were doing contemporary you would use maple or cherry or a red birch,” he says. “Country kitchens often are painted. If I’m doing a log home, a rustic log home where there’s a lot of wood in the home, we suggest the painted [cabinets] because otherwise there’s just too much wood in the house.” Carpanzano adds that, in general, the wood he likes “to sell most is cherry. I think that’s a real good furniture wood.”

Price point is another thing people should consider when buying cabinets. He says that although most people do not want to say what they’re willing to spend, it can save a lot of time because “we don’t waste time showing them something they’re not going to be interested in.”

And there is a huge price range. “We can do kitchen cabinets from $4,000 to easily $20,000 and higher, depending on what level you want to go to,” Carpanzano says.

Companies like Carpanzano’s can also provide installation and or work with outside contractors or customers who want to install the cabinets themselves.

“I’ll do as little as you want me to or as much as you want me to,” he says.

Although Carpanzano says he offers environmentally friendly materials, there is not much demand for them because they are usually more expensive. “There are bamboo cabinets or recycled countertops. The problem with that is that the price is generally 20 percent higher or more than granite,” he said.

Though buying environmentally friendly materials for your new cabinets is expensive, you can often dispose of your old cabinets in an ecological way that won’t cost you any extra. Green Demolitions is a nonprofit company based in Greenwich, Connecticut, that will remove your old cabinets and sell them for charity. Depending on the shape your cabinets are in, you could also donate them to a local thrift shop, or even sell them on eBay.

Speaking of...

  • Erik Ofgang talks to the owner of Cabinet Designers in Kingston.

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