Cabinet is a piece of furniture which has shelves and drawers for safe keeping of valuables. In the past a carpenter was called a cabinet maker. Cabinets seem to have originated in Italy in the 16th century. In those days, cabinets used to be very small and could easily be kept on a chair or table. They had several drawers and were used to keep only jewellery, money or any other precious items. The early cabinets were exquisitely designed and had a high cost.
The cabinet boxes of early cabinets were made from particle board or plywood and only the facade was constructed of solid wood. Moreover, they were made from high VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) which was hazardous.
Modern cabinets are available in a variety of shapes and designs as per the taste and needs of the customer. Nowadays, hard or soft wood cabinets made from low VOC materials are in demand. People are renovating used cabinets or constructing cabinets from wheatboard and strawboard to ensure environmental purity. Old cabinets can be refinished at an economical price and with great designs.
There are two types of cabinets: built-in or free-standing. A built-in cabinet is generally fixed on a floor or wall. Mostly modern kitchens use built in cabinets. Free-standing cabinets as the name suggests, can be moved from one place to another according to the requirement. Cabinets can also be suspended from the ceiling. Cabinets may have a face frame or may be frameless in terms of construction style. Frameless style is also known as European or euro-style and is much in demand these days.
The main components of a cabinet are base, top and compartments. Base is required for cabinets standing on the floor and is usually done for kitchen cabinets. A cabinet must have minimum one compartment which may either be closed or open. Modern cabinets are based on two principles: comfort and efficiency. Hence a latest version of cabinets: the lazy susan has attained popularity by its unique design. It has rotating shelves which enhance their utility.