When choosing kitchen cabinets for a new home or remodeling project, we recommend that you start with cabinet type. While the colors, doors and materials will drive the kitchen's style, the type of cabinetry will determine not only the budget but also how well your space is used.
First decision: stock, semi-custom, or custom cabinets. Typically, stock cabinets offer the fewest options at the lowest prices in the shortest amount of time, with custom cabinets at the opposite end of the spectrum and semi-custom cabinets falling in the middle. Over the last decade or so, however, the style and accessory options offered by stock and semi-custom cabinet lines have expanded to the point where it's possible to achieve an attractive, personalized kitchen in any of the three choices.
Still, if you're looking to save money and to get the job going quickly, stock cabinets are your best bet. If you have a small kitchen and don't want to waste space on fillers, the greater range of sizes and storage accessories available in semi-custom might be a better fit. And if the cabinet finish or doors have to match a piece of heirloom furniture, you'll need custom cabinetry.
Second decision: framed or frameless cabinets. Looks-wise, framed or face-frame cabinetry is more traditional than frameless. Frameless cabinets have the advantage of more interior storage space, but the disadvantage of being more difficult, and therefore more expensive, to install.