Red House Remodeling Blog

June 17, 2014
Light rail finishes upper cabinets.

Best Dressed Cabinets

You’ve probably jumped in your car, running a bit late, driven off and realized that you forgot your watch and your wedding ring (or whatever it is you wear Every. Single. Day.) And just like that, you’re totally out of sorts. We accessorize ourselves with jewelry, belts, handbags, etc, all those items that give us a finished, polished look. And just like a great piece of jewelry completes an outfit, the right cabinet accessories make your kitchen (or bath) look completely put together.

If your cabinets are a bit “underdressed,” there are several ways to make basic, plain cabinets really shine.

Crown Molding – Crown molding is the trim at the top of cabinets and is probably the most common type of cabinet add-on. If you have lower ceilings, crown can be used to bridge the small gap between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling. If you have higher ceilings, the crown is purely decorative, giving your cabinets a finished look on top.

Crown and Glass Accent These Cabinets
Crown and Glass Accent These Cabinets

Light Rail – Also known as light molding, this trim is applied to the bottom of upper cabinets. Light rail was traditionally used to conceal under cabinet lighting, but most LED lighting today is so miniscule that it’s not really necessary to conceal it. We like to use light rail for trim purposes whether or not the homeowner has chosen under cabinet lighting. While crown “finishes” the top of the cabinet, light rail does the same for the bottom of the cabinet.

Light rail finishes upper cabinets.
Light Rail

End Panels – Exposed cabinet ends need some sort of finish, so choose a real wood veneer that matches the cabinets or go with a panel that matches your door style. Some manufacturers will default to a “wood look” decal on the end panels and these never really match. Never ever. If you’ve got this in your kitchen, you can often add your own veneer in the same wood as your cabinets and finish to match.

End Panels Used On an Island
End Panels Used On an Island

Furniture Feet – Many cabinet manufacturers will have options of “furniture feet” that you can add to your cabinets so that they look like freestanding furniture pieces.

Feet Give Cabinets a Custom Furniture Look
Feet Give Cabinets a Custom Furniture Look

Turned Legs – Like furniture feet, turned legs give a furniture look to cabinetry. You’ll find them popular on islands or incorporated into feature areas like the sink base.

Turned Leg Supports Island Overhang
Turned Leg Supports Island Overhang

Glass – You can create a focal point in your kitchen or bath by using glass panels in the cabinet doors. Glass panel doors are great when you’re displaying a collection or if you have very neat, very matching dishes. Obscure glass is the way to go if you like glass but don’t have display worthy table goods.

Keep in mind that these trim options aren’t just for new cabinets. Most can be added to existing cabinets as well. If you know your cabinet manufacturer, you may be able to order matching trim. If not, you can purchase the trim unfinished and stain or paint it to match your cabinets.

2 Comments

  1. Avatar
    philipgibilisco September 16, 2014

    Yes This is really good one. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. Avatar
    Robert Warren October 12, 2015

    Great point. Plain cabinets are n ice, but adding those finishing touches can make all the difference in the world. Crown molding has always been one of my favorite ways to dress up cabinets. Not only does it give your kitchen a more polished loo, but it is also great for making your ceilings look higher. Furniture feet are also great. They have a way of making cabinets looking more expensive, somehow being a separate piece of furniture . And again, lengthens them out.

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