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Pros & Cons of Trendy Design

Just like in any aspect of interior design, the incorporation of trendy elements in cabinetry has become a captivating consideration. Embracing new design not only gives your space a fresh, modern allure, but also allows expression of your individual taste. However, as with any trend, the allure of the moment may have some downfalls.


At Sullivan's, we love it when clients take their cabinetry design to the next level and make it their own. Bold colors are definitely that! After making cabinetry for over 40 years, we've seen everything - reds, oranges, pinks and even purple cabinetry.

PROS: Go big or go home! We applaud the choice of bold color that sets your design apart.

CONS: It's something you see every day in your home so you need to like it...alot! If you get tired of it, repainting your cabinetry can get pricey.

OUR ADVICE: If you're not sure, go bold in a smaller area like a laundry room or powder bath and with wallpaper instead of your cabinetry color. It's a place to show your style, but not commit too much!


A trending design on Pinterest, a step stool in the kitchen can be handy, but is it necessary? These come as pull-out stools or pull-out drawers.

PROS: Very handy and helpful for those that are vertically challenged.

CONS: If these items are built into your cabinetry, their usefulness is limited to a small space. Installing multiple step stools is not very feasible as it takes up precious cabinetry storage. For block drawers, drawer guides are not meant to handle weight and will wear down over time and can even cause damage to the face frame of the cabinet.

Left: A pull-out step stool (Hideaway Solutions); Right: A pull-out drawer (Goodall Custom Cabinets)

OUR ADVICE: If you're considering a step stool insert built into your cabinetry, just aim for one or two in strategic areas OR consider a small cabinet designated for the sole purpose of your own step stool.

Designated cabinets for your step stool. Left: Joan Gilbert Designs; Right: Marcarelli Design


Paper towels are a necessity in every kitchen, of course, but should they be incorporated into your cabinetry?

PROS: A handy and out of sight place for your papertowels.

CONS: The very nature of grabbing for a paper towel means something needs drying or wiping, which means moisture can easily collect in these areas. As we all know, water/grime and wood do NOT mix and can hurt your cabinetry over time.

Left: A trash pull-out cabinet with builtin paper towels, too (Master Cabinetry); Center: Out in the open, but in a tight space under the counter (Houzz); Right: Multipurpose shelf with paper towels on top. (Ana White)

OUR ADVICE: Install a waterproof surface around the holder OR make sure your people are meticulous about wiping it down.


We all love our fur babies and believe they deserve the best! We're seeing homeowners more and more install toe-kick bowls in their cabinetry and or a nook with a faucet and bowls.

PROS: With a toe-kick, you can control when your pet eats and tuck it away as you need to. For a nook, it's a designated area for your pet and easy access for the water bowl.

CONS: Again, moisture and cabinetry don't mix. Unless you have a waterproof barrier, plan to have a problem soon.

Left: A nook with water source (; Right: Toe-kick pet bowls

OUR ADVICE: Install tile or marble around your pet bowls/faucet.

Nooks with tile and marble. Left: Collins Interiors; Right: Home Bunch


Similar to a step stool insert, these are designated areas for your cutting board built into your cabinetry.

PROS: It looks neat and no more hunting down your cutting board.

CONS: Inserting an item like a cutting board repeatedly into your cabinetry is inevitably going to cause dings unless you have absolute perfect aim each time. Also, it needs to be 100% moisture free before you even think about inserting it into a small wooden area.

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While trendy design items can be tempting, you need to consider their necessity in the long run. Try imagining your home five/ten years from now. Does this design element hold up over time? Is it still a necessity? Does it fit your style? Cabinetry is a big investment in your home. We recommend careful consideration when planning and designing all its layout and features so that you love it for years to come!


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