I found this excellent article about cabinets and countertops on Home Advisor.
The Perfect Match: Choosing the Right Cabinets and Countertops/ Home Advisor
Options. While normally a good thing, they can be incredibly overwhelming when you’re trying to pick out your kitchen cabinets and countertops. Depending on the taxonomy, you’ve got no fewer than eight types of countertop materials and a similar number of cabinet styles to choose from, resulting in at least 64 potential pairings. And that’s without factoring in color!
So, how can you make the decision a little more manageable? The easiest way to whittle down your options is by establishing and sticking to your budget. Once you’ve done that, you’ll want to identify the design style you want to achieve. From there, it’s all about selecting the material that works best with each aesthetic.
Less Is More: The Contemporary Kitchen
When designing a contemporary kitchen the thing to remember is that it’s all about simplicity. You’ll want to consider shaker cabinets for their sleek lines, multiple color options, and ability to pair well with nearly any type of hardware. Flat cabinets are also a nice option as they afford a simple, yet sophisticated look. If your budget allows, custom cabinets are a choice that will ensure you get the look you’re going for. As far as countertops are concerned, look at solid surface, concrete, stainless steel, or glass.
Anything Goes:The Eclectic Kitchen
Built by combining elements from different time periods and different origins, eclectic design creates a unified look by fusing these styles. Which is to say, anything goes. When choosing cabinets, consider distressed, beadboard, inset, or shaker style. Either work well with tile, butcher block, or laminate countertops. While eclectic can be harder to design, when done right it results in a wonderfully unique look.
Celebrating Structure: The Modern Kitchen
Not to be confused with contemporary design style, modern design refers to the style popularized from the 1920s through the 1950s. Most refer to the style as mid-century modern. If this is the look you’re after, you’ll want cabinets and countertops that create a sleek and simple look with strong lines. Consider flat cabinets with minimal hardware and laminate or solid surface countertops.
Keeping it Classy: The Traditional Kitchen
There’s nothing trendy about a traditional kitchen. Classy and always in style, the traditional kitchen is all about celebrating craftsmanship and attention to detail. When looking at cabinets, focus your attention on shaker, inset, distressed, thermofoil, or, if your budget allows, custom. Either option will look great when paired with granite, solid surface, marble, butcher block, or soapstone countertops.
The Best of Both Styles: The Transitional Kitchen
For many of us, it can be hard to decide exactly what style we like best. If you’re stuck between contemporary and traditional, transitional design is the style that would work best. Not surprisingly, transitional design is the go-to style for many homeowners as it offers the best of both traditional and contemporary design. Pair shaker cabinets with granite, quartz, laminate, or butcher block and you’ll create a space that’s clean and inviting.
Getting the Look That Works For You
At the end of the day, the best kitchen design is the design that works best for your tastes, your lifestyle, and your budget. And while it can feel like a daunting task, enlisting the help of a kitchen designer and a reputable kitchen contractor is one of the easiest ways to ensure that the kitchen you’ve always dreamed of is the kitchen that you get to enjoy.