The design style chosen for the kitchen cabinets largely decides the tone & style for your entire kitchen. Not only are cabinet doors among the most visible design elements of a kitchen, but they can also be among the costliest. From the most elaborate to the simplest, there exist many cabinet door styles to suit every home design & taste. And it is crucial to visual harmony that your kitchen cabinet door style goes well with the style of your interiors. The professional experts also endorse the fact that kitchen cabinets are the centerpiece of your kitchen space, and the style you opt for conveys a facet of your personality. So, it is very important to know exactly what your overall personal style is, prior to looking at the kitchen cabinet door styles.
Kitchen cabinet doors are a key factor whether you are getting new cabinets, totally renovating your existing kitchen cabinetry, or simply replacing a couple of cabinet doors to jazz up your kitchen. Some cabinet door styles go better for the contemporary look than others. The same is true for traditional. Transitional styles can bridge the two, offering the best of both. Once decided on whether you want some fancy accent cabinets or a more streamlined consistent look, you will be able to arrive at the most suited kitchen cabinet door styles.
Here are some of the better-known cabinet door styles to help you make a better informed choice for the kitchen based on your budget & of course, your home design style.
For the modern kitchens, the flat panel cabinet door is a popular style. Here, the center panel of the door is flat and these cabinet doors are preferred by those looking for sleek, clean designs. Flat panel cabinet doors work very well for contemporary as well as traditional, and even transitional looks. Simple yet modish, the flat-panel cabinet door does not have any expensive detailing. Its minimalist form & hard lines make it a great fit for modern & contemporary kitchen designs. A number of flat panel kitchen cabinet doors come in decorative laminate or wood. Many people go for the laminate as it tends to be more pocket-friendly and offers a larger variety of colors to choose from. Of late, white colored flat panel cabinets are becoming popular as the ageless aura of white greatly pimps up any surface.
Next among the cabinet door styles is the raised panel door where the center panel is raised with a contour/ profile. The door panel floating in the center of the frame is a raised piece of solid wood imparting additional depth & ample character. Raised panel cabinet doors work wonderfully for traditional & transitional looks as the raised panel provides an added dimension to the design of the cabinet door. Raised panels accentuate the cabinet's distinct light & shadow areas, adding aplenty to the unique properties of the wood grain & color selection.
It is important to note that not all raised panel doors are the same. One may have simple frame-work around the edges while another may boast of a stepped frame for an even greater dimension, all raised above the main surface of the cabinet door. A combination of different raised center panels & framed-type panels is also possible for kitchen cabinet doors. All these panel designs blend well with the grain, texture & color of the wood to create an aesthetically sound cabinet door.
The simple & classic Shaker style cabinet door is the most common kitchen cabinet door style these days. Usually bedecked with natural wood finishes like Oak, Maple, or Cherry, this door boasts of a clean, elegant style. A paint-ready variant is also available, though less popular. Shaker style is a 5-piece flat-panel style with a frame made from 4 pieces and a single flat center panel for the 5th piece. The outer frame is beveled at a 90 degree angle to the door panel for an enhanced shadow effect. This outer frame strengthens the perimeter of the cabinet door.
Shaker cabinetry uses simple, clean lines & focuses on practicality. Shaker-style cabinet doors gained popularity as their no-frills style goes well with just about any decor, from typically traditional to the most contemporary, with variations in wood species, stains, hardware & paint colors. This classic door style can easily fit into a variety of budgets, depending on the wood employed. If the homeowner so wishes, some manufacturers can even replace the center door panel with a more cost-effective material. Opting for a natural finish over a painted one could save upto 20 percent on the purchase.
Inset cabinet door style is the most traditional, but also the most expensive. An inset cabinet door boasts of a very clean aesthetic. The inset door gets its name because these cabinet doors are set into the cabinet frame and fit flush with the front aspect of the cabinet when closed, lending an original, historical look to your kitchen. The cabinet door is flat with the rest of the cabinet, so a knob or door pull is required to open the cabinet. Here, the hinges can be exposed or concealed. Designing & buliding the inset cabinet door requires extremely precise measurements to make sure that it rests inside the frame and opens & closes properly, even when the wood employed therein expands & contracts.
Inset cabinets are popular for their smooth & clean appearance. Apart from the cost, there are a number of things to consider when opting for inset cabinet doors. Cabinets with inset doors offer very less storage space, at times making it tricky to store large items. Moreover, the expansion of wood due to high humidity can sometimes cause some rubbing between the door & the frame, wearing it out. Nevertheless, inset cabinet door style has a timeless classic look.
Overlay doors cost 15-30% less than the inset cabinet doors and consist of 2 types—partial & full overlay. In partial overlay style, the cabinet doors are attached to the front of cabinets, slightly sticking out, with some space between the cabinet doors & drawers. Cabinets with this style of doors are the least pricey & the most common option for kitchens. The doors sit on the cabinet face, leaving a usual gap of 1-1.25 inch between the doors, letting the face frame of the cabinet to be seen. No knobs/ handles are needed with such cabinet doors because the door sides have finger space to open them. Though having a more traditional look, partial overlay cabinet doors are very popular & a good option for kitchen cabinetry, particularly when cost is decisive factor.
Full overlay is comparatively modern, but offers a cleaner look and doesn’t waste even an ounce of space. In this style, you don’t see the face frame, which is visually more appealing. Full overlay cabinet doors cover the face of the cabinet entirely, providing a flat cabinet front. They have a similar appearance to that of inset doors sans the higher cost. Since full overlay cabinet doors are not set inside the cabinet frame, they provide plenty of storage with a lot of room to store items like pots and pans. In the full overlay style, double doors come minus the stile on the face frame, that allows for a greater storage capacity & easier access to stored items. With just 1/4th of an inch space between the cabinet doors, knobs/ pulls are required to open the cabinet doors.