Today’s kitchen cabinets are more functional than ever before; they are no longer just a box with shelves inside, but can be custom made to suit your needs in particular, or may come with a number of convenient features that make food prep and storage much easier. Before you start shopping for cabinets or work with a cabinetmaker to have something custom made, note a few of those features to consider.

Interior lighting

There’s no need to turn on an overhead light or struggle to see what’s in the back of a cabinet when you can easily add LED lights. These don’t emit much if any heat, and they offer a soft glow that is perfect for cabinetry. You can find LED lights that work like a refrigerator light, coming on whenever a door is opened, and they may be installed overhead or in a rope along the back of the cabinet.

Pull-out tables

A cabinet can easily double your work space or offer a place for eating with a pull-out table. This is a sturdy board that slides under the benchtop when not in use.

Shallow drawers

Your drawers in a kitchen cabinet may be wasting space if they’re very deep, as you may not need all that depth for cutlery. Shallow drawers allow you more storage, as you can fit two shallow drawers in the same space as one drawer of standard depth. This gives you more space for flatware and many cooking utensils while still keeping them organized.

Hook and shelves inside the doors

The inside of your cabinet doors is often wasted space, but trying to add hooks and shelves to these doors yourself can just damage them. You can instead opt for cabinets with hooks for utensils and small shelves for items like envelopes of seasoning or spices. This maximizes your kitchen storage space while also helping you stay organized.

Specialized shelving

Are you a wine buff? Then choose cabinets with slots for wine bottles. Are you very eco-conscious? Look for cabinets with rollout drawers that hold recycling bins. If you use a lot of vegetables like onions and potatoes in your cooking, choose cabinets with bins that have fronts that fold down; you can store the vegetables there and have quick access to them without taking up space on the benchtop. A built-in shelf that holds a television with space for a power cord in the back can mean staying entertained while cooking. Consider your specialized needs for your kitchen and have these built into your cabinets.