Custom Cabinetry: Everything You Need to Know Before Your Renovation

custom cabinetry in a home office

Who isn’t dreaming about The Home Edit-worthy cabinets? These organizing pros are quite the hype right now and we understand why! The secret to their success? Besides organizing containers and following the ROYGBIV colour scheme, it’s the use of custom cabinetry that makes everything work seamlessly! It’s much easier for homeowners to stay organized if their cabinetry is intelligently built for each room’s specific needs. 

Custom cabinetry works well in multiple rooms, from kitchens to bathrooms to laundry rooms and more. Cabinets provide you with a reliable form of storage that can seamlessly blend into the look and feel you’re trying to create in a room. With so many styles and price ranges available to you, there’s no reason to settle when it comes to custom cabinetry.

Here’s how a new set of custom cabinets can help brighten your living space.

Custom cabinetry for the kitchen

When you think of household cabinets, you generally think of the kitchen. Since you spend most of your time preparing and eating meals with your family in this room, it makes sense to have the cabinets complement the relaxing ambiance you’d like to achieve.

Kitchen cabinets and pantries typically store a wide range of items – dishes, glassware, dry ingredients like spices and condiments, smaller appliances and equipment like coffee makers, microwaves, and cookbooks. Some even store their kids’ school supplies, so mom or dad can help with homework while they cook. This is why it’s important to take inventory of your needs and wants before getting custom cabinets.

Kitchen Cabinet Styles

Once you’ve settled and on your wants and needs, it’s time to think about the type of cabinets you should get. Choose a kitchen cabinet style that fits in with the general look of your house. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • The traditional style, which tends to withstand the test of time, is characterized by neutral tones, glass panes, and decorative molding.
  • The contemporary look features straight lines, minimalist designs, flat fronts, and matte finishes rather than glossy ones. Contemporary cabinets usually don’t come with handles or knobs.  The doors and cupboards are large, rather than having many smaller ones. This is often the type of cabinet system you see in magazines.
  • The modern design differs from contemporary design, though the two do share some characteristics. Kitchen cabinets in modern kitchens have simple, smooth lines to create a warm and inviting ambiance with the mix of cabinet colours used.

Other styles exist too, from flashy to rustic. Check out our kitchen cabinet styles article to see what look works best for your next kitchen renovation.


Because kitchen cabinets are used so often, you want to choose materials that can withstand bumps and scratches.

  • Wood. This option is a solid long-term choice that has a timeless look to it. Whether you pick pine, maple, oak, or something more exotic, you can expect a natural and durable cabinet system.
  • Melamine. Melamine is a mixture of paper, resin, and wood. This option is the cheapest one and is also easy to maintain. While it can emulate the appearance of wood, it’s also rather fragile and prone to scratching. You can mitigate the damage with a polyester film.  Ask your contractor for the best ways to protect and maintain these cabinets.
  • Lacquered cabinets. This option uses a pine fibre and lacquer to create a reflective (most often white) modern appearance. Lacquered cabinets are easy to clean and maintain and typically last a long time.  You must be prepared to clean more often, as these cabinets attract fingerprints more easily.

Kitchens are not the only place in the house that can benefit from custom cabinetry. Bathrooms also deserve attention when it comes to integrating cabinetry.

Bathroom Cabinets

Given the number of items that can be found in a bathroom, it can quickly become unorganized. That’s why custom cabinetry is a great way to have a home for every item and keep things in place. Whether you have a small bathroom or a rather large one, there is always a way to optimize the space you have with well-designed cabinets.

Before getting your cabinets designed, take inventory of what you have. Bathroom cabinets typically serve as storage for medicines, toiletries, soaps, toothpaste, extra towels, and maintenance tools. Next, think of how often you will be using each item. Are some for seasonal use, whereas others are for daily use?

Bathroom Cabinet Designs

There is more than one way to design a bathroom. The choice depends on the look and feel you’re aiming for.

  • Flat design is stylishly simple. It uses a combination of wood and laminate materials to produce a modern and contemporary look that’s also affordable to install.
  • Shaker is one of the most popular styles nowadays. It uses clean and simple straight lines and matches well with any other style you have in your house, from traditional to contemporary. Shaker cabinets can be described as “utilitarian.”
  • A classic look features elements such as bun feet, raised panels, and dark cherry wood for a relaxing, old-fashioned appearance.
  • Some homeowners aim for a weathered style, composed of brushed metal counters and large mirrors. Intentionally weathered cabinets here work as a unique way to express eclectic or shabby chic styles.

There are many more options available to you for your next bathroom renovation. No matter what you go with, remember to have the custom cabinets match.


Bathroom cabinets may be exposed to hot or humid conditions throughout the day, so choose materials that can withstand daily use.

  • Solid wood. Wood is still a popular option for many homeowners, but it might not be the best choice for bathrooms since it expands and contracts in humid conditions and can crack as a result. Installation can be expensive too.
  • Plywood. Some bathrooms use plywood or a wood veneer over a layered sheet. It has good strength and is cheap to use, but it still might be prone to water damage.
  • Thermoplastic. This option emulates the look of wood at a low price and offers a wide array of designs. However, it can be difficult to repair.
  • Stainless steel. This choice is commonly used in contemporary or industrial styling. Cabinets made with steel are resistant to cracks, stains, and mold but are susceptible to dents and smudges.

The material of your bathroom cabinets defines the durability and lifespan, so think about your choice wisely when you plan your bathroom renovations.

Laundry Rooms

Another space to consider for custom cabinetry is the laundry room. Cabinets here can store extra clothing, detergent, fabric softener, and laundry baskets. They serve as long-term storage solutions.

By getting custom cabinets built for your laundry room, you can plan out a folding station, a dedicated space to let clothes dry, open shelving for daily use items, and more!

Laundry Room Cabinet Styles

No matter what type of cabinet you’re designing, consider these styles for the laundry room:

  • Modern style, as mentioned above, is what you see in magazines. Features like floor-to-ceiling cabinets and pull-out laundry baskets are staples of the modern laundry room look.
  • A contrasting look uses rich dark colors combined with lighter ones. For instance, a white washing machine and dryer might pair well with dark wood cabinets.
  • Pastel or cottage styling uses pastel colors like light blue and green to promote a sweet and charming “ocean-side” appearance.

Laundry rooms are mainly utility rooms, but you can still customize yours to suit a certain style preference. Find some great accessories for your laundry room from some unique local shops.


During renovations, think about the materials you will choose for the laundry room cabinets. You may want to steer clear of materials that don’t react well to moisture and heat.

  • Laminate or wooden veneers. These options are not recommended for laundry rooms because they don’t last long in humid environments.
  • Medium-density fiberboard (MDF). MDF is a common choice for laundry room cabinets. It’s a composite material of wood fibers and resin pressed into a sheet. MDF works well in hot and humid environments, and recycled variants can even be eco-friendly.
  • Granite/marble. If your renovations include a countertop for folding and sorting laundry, marble or granite may be a better choice than wood or fiberglass.

Offices Spaces

Now that working from home is becoming more commonplace, it’s worth investing in some quality bookshelves, desks, and custom cabinets. Office spaces with well thought out storage are a must. Custom cabinets in this space allow you to truly make your office beautiful and stylish, as well as functional.

Are you the type that needs a stand-up desk? Do you like a big desk? Do you store a lot of documents? We all work differently. That’s why planning out how you’ll make your space work for you is time well spent.

Styles of Office Space Cabinets

If you ever video chat with co-workers, managers, or clients, the style you choose for your office furniture shows how you handle business.

  • Mid-century style. The 2007 TV drama Mad Men shows off this style of office furniture quite well. Cabinets in this design come from the early 1900s and exemplify “natural” looks with functional shapes.
  • Transitional. This style blends aspects of the modern and the traditional styles for a timeless appearance reminiscent of old law firms. The beige and tan colors here offer a universal look that works well for most businesses.
  • Modern style. This option works best for the majority of companies today, especially those in the tech industry. Professionals in this field want to seem “up to date” with current trends, and that preference reflects itself in the clean appearance and cool color palette of the modern office.
  • Eclectic look. This isn’t an easy look to pull off if you don’t have an eye for design! Given that this style combines elements with a strong presence and a lot of detail, it’s rather easy to go overboard.

You’re going to be spending significant time in your home office making your living. That’s why the materials you use in your cabinets matter here.


Outside of the occasional coffee spill, office cabinets shouldn’t be subject to excessive heat or moisture. You will want to choose a material that’s durable against scratches and wear and tear. For these reasons, consider:

  • Wood veneer. Do you prefer to work in an eco-friendly office? Wood veneer is much more recyclable than other options like hardwood. It also looks distinctively professional to clients and coworkers.
  • Laminate. Laminate materials work best for office cabinets since they are easy to clean and maintain. Your workflow might not give you a lot of time for constant cleaning, so use laminate for the cabinets that only need dusting every few days.
  • Glass. Have a taste for something fancy? Glass tables and desks are popular as part of a modern approach to office design. Because it’s transparent, glass gives the illusion that an office is more spacious than it actually is.

Home Theaters

An entertainment center in your own house is a luxury worth investing in. Want to make your home theater setup as beautiful as possible? Custom cabinetry is perfect for hiding cables and electronics. Furthermore, it can be built in a way that camouflages your television and makes the entire room look chic and sophisticated!

Home Theater Cabinets

Home theater cabinets typically must hold the weight of a large television on top and have enough space for all the media players, game consoles, and other electrical equipment. But when it comes to design, it’s really up to you.

  • Contemporary. This style is often the best choice for a home theater, as large televisions usually lend themselves well to a modernized approach. Glossy finishes and metallic textures are the norms here.
  • Natural wood. This option may work as well if it fits in with the rest of your home’s interior design. Wood is typically used with other noble materials, however, it can get rather costly.
  • Neutral colors. This design theme is ideal for home theaters, as bright neon colors can easily distract you from what’s on the screen.


You have a lot of flexibility when choosing cabinet materials here. Home theaters don’t see a lot of wear and tear damage or high moisture and heat. Choose whatever looks appealing to you.

  • Glass. This material plays a heavy role in many entertainment centers. A glass coffee table looks delightfully modern in front of the television. Tinted glass often covers the equipment below the TV, hiding cable clutter while still giving you a peek inside in case you want to check the status of indicator lights.
  • Wood. Wood works incredibly well with entertainment centers. It’s rigid, dense, and easy to clean. Most important, it is resonant and minimizes sound distortion, helping your speakers sound much more vibrant.
  • Metals. Options like steel give off a modern look and typically pair well with new equipment and televisions.

Storage Rooms

We all have a room that doubles as a storage/catch-all room, whether it be in the basement, the garage, or anywhere else. Wouldn’t it be great if it were all well organized?

Large floor-to-ceiling cabinets are perfect for these kinds of spaces. Since we typically store sports equipment, seasonal clothing, and all other home articles, these big cabinets allow for a lot of flexibility!

Storage Room Cabinet Styles

The aesthetic of a storage room isn’t all that important for many homeowners. That’s why simple and functional is the priority here rather than style and detail.

  • Contemporary. This look is popular for modern storage rooms. The focus on minimalism, matte finishes, and flat cabinets make organizing your belongings easier.
  • Slab. These cabinets look similar, featuring basic flat surfaces. Low-maintenance and easy to clean, ask about slab cabinets for your storage spaces.
  • Glass fronts. This may be an option if you want to show off what you’re storing or you want easy access to anything in the room. You can use glass cabinets for fine china, books, or even vases.


Low maintenance and practicality are key for storage rooms, so your choice of materials should reflect that. Resilience against excessive humidity or scratching isn’t as vital as with other rooms in the house, but should be considered if your storage room is in the basement.

  • Melamine. Often used for kitchen cabinets, this mixture of resin and wood also lends itself well to storage thanks to its inexpensiveness and ease of maintenance.
  • Plywood. Wood is durable and fit for long-term storage, though you want to be careful not to scratch it while moving belongings around.

Looking for Built-in Custom Cabinetry? RenoAssistance Can Help

Whether you need custom cabinets as part of a kitchen renovation or want a basement renovation for extra home storage, connect with one of our custom cabinet makers to get the job the right way.

Get in touch with our team at RenoAssistance today for your next renovation project. We’ll walk you through every step of the way, provide you with competitive quotes from our network of Verified Contractors, and tie it all together with our turnkey service.

Are you ready to get started with your next big renovation project? Call us or fill out our form today to receive up to three free quotes.

Marilena Tricarico has been a key figure in the interior design world for over 15 years. Her expertise and designs have been featured on the hit TV show Décore ta Vie for 10 years. Today, she shares her knowledge of the renovation industry with RenoAssistance as a video content producer and host.