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When I was working with my designer/contractor on my kitchen redesign project last winter, I came to see all the ways kitchen cabinets can be more than plain wooden boxes. For the previous 15 years, I’d been living with cabinets that were just that – 65-year-old wooden boxes that been assembled onto the wall.

Shopping for Enclosures? Don’t Forget the Accessories

Chuck Ross
When I was working with my designer/contractor on my kitchen redesign project last winter, I came to see all the ways kitchen cabinets can be more than plain wooden boxes. For the previous 15 years, I’d been living with cabinets that were just that – 65-year-old wooden boxes that been assembled onto the wall. They didn’t even have backs to them, so when I had repainted the kitchen, I also had to take everything out of the cabinets to make sure the walls inside the units matched the rest of the room.

A world of options awaited me once I visited the cabinet company for the renovation. First off – soft-close doors and drawers essentially close themselves with just a gentle push. Then there was the ability to add a solid-wood lazy Susan to a corner unit, instead of having to fit it in as an aftermarket add-on. Plus, all kinds of pull-out pantry options, including a super-skinny pair installed either side of the range that are just wide enough for spices on one side and oils and vinegars on the other.

Industrial shop floors generally aren’t as fun for me as new kitchen plans, but equipment planners for these spaces now have almost as many ways to customize their enclosures as today’s kitchen cabinet buyers. Here are a few of the ways specifiers can modify standard enclosures to better meet specific application needs:

  • Door options. Flush swing handles provide both security and a cleaner-lined appearance, with provisions available for keyed locking or padlocks. For wide-open cabinet access, 180-degree hinge kits can allow door openings up to 260 degrees on single-bay cabinets. Data pockets mounted inside cabinet doors provide easily accessible storage for wiring diagrams and other documents. And windowed doors allow users to observe a cabinet’s interior conditions without opening the door first.
  • Interior accessories. Numerous options are available for storing and accessing computer equipment within cabinets. These include fold-up shelves for laptops, pullout shelves for keyboards and mice and shelving systems designed for printers.
  • Safety and convenience choices. Data interface ports allow programming access to devices inside a cabinet without having to open the door. And internally mounted LED or fluorescent lighting makes seeing what’s going on inside cabinets easier, with either integrated on/off switches or automatic motion-sensor operation.
Photo courtesy of nVent|Hoffman
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