Know Before You Go
We’ve talked about what makes a quality build for a cabinet box and what materials are used in cabinet building. Next up is the fun part – choosing from the different kitchen cabinet door styles. Which style is right for you? The door style you choose will set the overall design for your kitchen. Is your dream kitchen sleek contemporary, chic transitional, warm traditional? Maybe you have always wanted display space for a collection, island/urban look louvers, or a farmhouse kitchen with rustic beadboard doors. Let’s look at the types of cabinet doors you can choose to make that kitchen dream a reality.
Slab Cabinet Doors
You may be drawn to slab cabinet doors if you like kitchens with a contemporary and sleek aesthetic. Slab kitchen cabinet doors and drawers are made of a single, smooth piece of wood, plywood, or engineered wood. Sometimes called European style, slab doors are attached directly to the cabinet sides and don’t have a face frame. This construction allows for a clean and smooth design as you can see from our main photo above.
The simple cabinet front can show off statement hardware. However, you can also get a sophisticated, visually minimal look with hidden hardware. A modern-looking flat-panel cabinet door can be cost-effective too. As a bonus, slab cabinet doors have no extra carvings or details to attract dust and cooking grease and are easy to keep clean.
Recessed Panel Doors
The recessed-panel door has the most flexibility when it comes to design. It is a good choice if you aren’t drawn to modern and minimalist designs like slab doors and don’t want more detailed traditional or farmhouse styles.
The popular clean and classic Shaker cabinet door is an example of a recessed panel door. Sometimes called a five-piece door – a Shaker door is made with a flat central panel and a frame consisting of rails (horizontal pieces) and stiles (vertical pieces). Shaker-style kitchen cabinet doors can complement a wide variety of kitchen designs. They can look more modern with very thin or thick frames or more traditional with edge detailing inside the frame. Shaker-style cabinets come in a full range of pricing-primarily based on the materials chosen. Keeping the niches in the frames clear of dust can be a bit more upkeep, but this transitional style is a timeless choice.
If you gravitate towards a more formal look and want to incorporate furniture-inspired details in your space, raised-panel cabinet doors are the style to look at.
The center panel of a raised-panel door style rises to the height of the door frame. This cabinet style lends itself to the most detail in the door panel. Unlike the simple European slab door or the squared-off Shaker-style cabinet, traditional raised panel cabinetry often features arches, curved details, beadwork, or other embellishments.
Your imagination is the limit on this style, and regular maintenance is a given, but you can achieve an elegant, cozy, or artisanal look with raised panel cabinet doors.
Open Frame Glass-Front and Mullion Cabinet Doors
You have likely seen lots of designer kitchens featuring open frame/glass-fronted kitchen cabinets. An open frame cabinet door has no center panel. This modification is used when a glass insert will replace the panel. This insert can be any variety of material less than ¼” thick – including wire mesh. Open frame doors can be used as accents in a kitchen design or for all the upper cabinets. The term mullion refers to vertical and/or horizontal bars that divide an open-door frame into panes with sections that look like a window frame. The frame style of a mullion door frame will typically match the profile of the main door style.
Incorporating glass-front cabinets are an excellent way to break up a run of solid-door cabinets and display a collection of dishes, glasses, or decorative objects. They can also bring lightness and brightness into the room by reflecting a nearby window. From a practical standpoint, clear glass cabinets might be best used as a decorative accent in one or two cabinets with your everyday items behind solid doors. You can also choose frosted or mirrored glass for the insert and get the benefits of glass-front doors without having to worry if your dishes are perfectly stacked.
Specialty Cabinet Door Styles-Louvered or Beadboard
Are you looking to evoke cottage, modern farmhouse, island vacation, or urban hip in your kitchen design? Beadboard or louvered cabinet doors might be the choice for you.
Beadboard cabinets are styled after the tongue and grooved panels originally used to decorate plaster walls and can fit in a modern or traditional design. They are similar in construction to flat-front doors. Louvered cabinet doors can be great accents to add some texture to an urban design. They have also been used for practical reasons in island and vacation homes to allow air circulation.
Conclusion and Helpful Links
We hope this overview of kitchen cabinet door styles has given you some ideas of what style appeals most to you. You are welcome to come by our Palm Desert showroom to see over 200 door styles in person. We also have designer-created boards showing flooring, countertop, and backsplash styles to help you narrow down your dream kitchen look. We can check out sample doors to take with you to see how they might look in your home.
An innovative kitchen cabinetry resource, Cabinets of the Desert was formed to be highly responsive to the professional design and installation needs of discerning homeowners, architects, designers, and contractors.
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