Kitchen Cabinetry Showcase

One dozen choice cabinet lines that deliver smart, beautiful and efficient solutions for mid-century modern kitchens today
Kitchen Cabinetry

The American kitchen has evolved significantly over the decades—from a small, closed-off workroom where wives whipped up bowls of Lipton Onion Soup Dip, molded salads encased in gelatin, and stirred-up pots of beef bourguignon to an open, airy showplace where families collaboratively cook up fresh veggies from their local farmer's market, gossip about the latest episode of Top Chef, and gaze at the beauty of their favorite space.

Today, the kitchen is the focal point of the home, yet it continues to change shape. The kitchen is not just a place for the immediate family, but also a space to welcome friends and take comfort in long evenings of entertaining.

With these changes come an increased demand for more space, more storage, better lighting, and more comfortable seating. The kitchen, as well as the cabinetry inside it, speaks volumes about a homeowner's taste, style preferences, and way of life.

The original Eichler kitchens, not unlike other mid-century residential kitchens, while modest and cost conscious, could in no way stand up to the demands of today's living, breathing kitchens. There is something about those small wood cabinets with sliding doors, low countertops, a swing-out kitchen tables that don't quite convincingly say, "Welcome, relax, and stay awhile."

Cabinetry is a considerable investment, and with it comes a lot of pressure to select the right type. After all, when you're opening up walls or moving a kitchen to a new location within your home that takes up additional square footage, cabinetry style and functionality make a huge impact on the overall flow and aesthetic of a home's design.

Homeowners have three broad categories of kitchen cabinets to choose from: stock, which tend to be the most affordable but offer the least variety and are often made from lower-quality materials; semicustom, which are built to order but from a more narrow set of options; and custom, which are built to specifications, usually more expensive, and require longer lead time for delivery.

Melding storage needs and style within a set budget can prove to be a harrowing task. Designers will often recommend that you purchase the best quality cabinet that you can possibly afford in a style that has an evergreen quality to it. It's much less expensive to swap out a backsplash or add new pendant lights than to rip out and replace cabinetry.

Manufacturers are doing their part in developing smart, beautiful, and efficient solutions for modern kitchens, and there is an increasing demand for modern and contemporary design.

Contemporary is the fastest-growing kitchen style, according to the NKBA 2014 'Kitchen and Bath Design Trends Survey,' with 62 percent of respondents saying it's on the upswing. More than half (56 percent) of respondents included accessible and/or universal design and easy-maintenance features in their kitchens, and demand is expected to continue. Furniture-type pieces were specified in kitchens by 56 percent of survey respondents during 2014.

Thankfully, with this increased demand for modern and contemporary, there are a lot of options available that suit the clean-lined aesthetic of MCM homes. The style, engineering, and ingenuity available today make us excited about the possibilities, and a little more confident that the kitchens we install now will last, both in form and function.

We've scoured showrooms and catalogs to find some of the best modern kitchen cabinets on today's market. From A to Z, here are our dozen recommended brand options.