Kitchen Cabinet Door Styles

The design style you choose for your kitchen cabinets determines the tone and style for your entire kitchen.
Modern Chef Kitchen With Commercial-Grade Appliances

Modern Chef Kitchen With Commercial-Grade Appliances

This chef-style kitchen is laid out to maximize prep space for cooking; visually, the sense of immense space was heightened by using three different types of engineered stone for the backsplash, the countertop and the island topper. The neutral background is broken with a dash of bright orange in the light fixtures.

By: Melissa Webster

Your kitchen cabinets are the centerpiece of your space, and the style you choose is a reflection of your personality. So before considering the different kitchen cabinet door styles, you need to know what your overall personal style is.

Give Your Kitchen a Fresh Look

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Foreign Territory

Before her husband passed away, Bria Weldon didn't spend much time in the kitchen. Her husband, Michael, had always been the chef in the family. Although the couple had often talked about transforming their cramped San Rafael, Calif., kitchen, between work and raising their twins, time was always too tight.

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Roger Davies

Time for a Change

It was when Bria, an advertising exec, became a single mom to Kai and Graysen, that she knew she had to figure out a way to make the space work for her. "Once the family meals became my responsibility, I realized just how frustrating our old kitchen was."

Photo By: Courtesy of the Homeowner for HGTV Magazine

Functional and Stylish

With the help of her friend, designer Lisa Collins, she made over the old galley kitchen into a happy, open space that makes cooking a much more enjoyable experience. "I know Michael would have loved it too."

Photo By: Roger Davies

Decorative X-Column

A partial wall blocked off the kitchen from the living and dining areas, so Bria had it knocked down. She replaced it with a wooden X-brace that supports the roof, but since it's not solid, she can keep an eye on the twins while she's cooking.

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Roger Davies

Multipurpose Island

Bria and Michael had always wanted a prep space where the kids could also eat. Lisa created the island by having a durable zinc top mounted on a weathered-oak Restoration Hardware cabinet. Barstools easily scoot underneath the 3 1/2-foot-tall countertop.

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Roger Davies

Bright Red Seats

Bria was totally on board with Lisa's idea that the space be calming and neutral, but she didn't want it to be plain. So she added red metal stools from Wayfair. Since the twins love to sit and swivel, Lisa added a steel kick plate to protect the bottom of the island.

Photo By: Roger Davies


The Barn Light Electric jumbo fixtures are on dimmers: bright for cooking, soft for dining.

Photo By: Roger Davies

New Cabinets

Custom cabinets could have come into play, but IKEA Akurum cupboards with blackish-brown doors — at a fraction of the cost — were a smarter pick. They look sleek with a stainless steel backsplash, and the savings meant she could put in a white-oak-veneered floor from Tesoro Woods and buy her dream sink.

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Roger Davies

Paneled Wall

Lisa suggested adding wood siding on the back wall — it goes nicely with the vaulted, beamed ceiling that was already in the kitchen. The wood is painted pale gray with a semigloss finish (Distant Gray by Benjamin Moore) to contrast with the dark matte cabinets.

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Roger Davies

Wall Organizers

Smart space-savers: The metal mug rack and paper-towel holder are from IKEA.

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Roger Davies

Farmhouse Sink

The Pegasus Farmer Apron Front sink — from The Home Depot — was at the top of Bria's wish list, and not just for its good looks. Because it's so deep, it does a great job hiding dirty dishes. "I like to at least have the illusion of cleanliness," Bria says.

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Roger Davies

Easier Cleanup

With dishcloths at the ready in a clear tube vase, and a gooseneck faucet that pulls down, rinsing and drying dishes becomes a less burdensome process.

Photo By: Roger Davies

Some cabinet styles work better for contemporary than others. Same goes for traditional. Transitional styles can bridge them both. Do you want a few fancy accent cabinets or a more streamlined consistent look? Once you can answer these questions you'll be able to focus on the kitchen cabinet door style that is right for you.

Flat-panel cabinet doors have a center panel that is flat, with the outer edges raised. These cabinet doors are preferred for a clean, sleeker, modern look, but they work well with traditional, transitional and contemporary looks as well. Raised-panel cabinet doors have a raised center panel with a surrounding profile or contour. They look really good for traditional or transitional designs. Slab cabinet doors are most often used in contemporary designs, as they are simply a flat slab of wood—smooth with no panels, contours or accents. Accent cabinet doors are more decorative than functional and are not used on all of the cabinets. They can be made of glass doors, louver doors, mullion doors, leaded glass doors and aluminum frames, among other styles. In the right setting, accent cabinet doors can blend in easily with any design style.

Cabinet doors can be made from many different wood species and the design style you want will have to be considered when choosing what material you want your cabinet doors to be made of in order to make sure the style is compatible. A knotted pine or hickory wood is not going to work with a contemporary or modern design, especially if you are going to stain it instead of paint, but it is a beautiful choice for an outdoors-like rustic or country look. This type of wood works really well for a casual, lived-in look, too. Oak is a popular wood choice for a more traditional or transitional cabinet style. Cherry wood ages into a beautiful dark wood to give your kitchen a warm regal classic look. Another consideration for your kitchen cabinet doors is laminate or thermofoil, which come in a larger variety of colors and styles and are more versatile than wood.

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