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Popular Cabinet Door Styles for Your Kitchen

Don’t let your cabinet doors be an afterthought when it comes to renovating your kitchen – this is an often made design mistake. Your cabinet doors are going to be a crucial element in elevating your kitchen from the merely nice, to the spectacular. They will take up a significant portion of the area, so it will be extremely helpful to know some of the most popular cabinet door styles for your kitchen.


Your cabinet’s main function in the kitchen is to provide storage space for all your kitchen utensils, coffee mugs, wine glasses, and assorted sundries. However, this does not mean you should neglect style, as you should aim to make your cabinets as visually appealing as possible. They often run from floor to ceiling, so they will surely be one of the most visible parts of your kitchen – forget this at your own peril.


This by no means that they have to be flashy or overly trendy because subtle details can work just as well depending on the overall style of your kitchen, and, of course, your own aesthetic. Just make sure that they blend cohesively with the rest of your kitchen design, otherwise, you’re just asking for a major headache. Don’t run the risk of ruining the kitchen you’ve worked so hard on – check out some of the most popular cabinet door styles for your kitchen.


1: Shaker Cabinets

If you think you’ve seen this style of cabinet before you definitely have, as Shaker cabinets are probably the most widely used on this list of popular cabinet door styles for your kitchen. While they may not be the best looking or most elegant, they are surely the most common variety out there.


The simple five-piece flat panel brings a subtle style that doesn’t clash with much and seemingly fits in anywhere. Shaker’s simple, clean lines highlight function and utility. Shaker cabinets will always be on trend because the quiet design makes it a suitable partner with any kitchen décor – no matter how modern or traditional.


This style works well with most any budget, and classic Shaker cabinets always deliver great bang for your buck.


Photo by Artazum on Shutterstock

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2: Louvered Cabinets

Louvered cabinets are some of the most sought after in kitchens because of their ability to make the area look more spacious than it actually is. These popular cabinets are made from horizontal wood slats, and as most people with an eye for design know, horizontal lines make things look wider.


These are among the most ventilated cabinets, as their small openings allow for air to pass through easier than most cabinets, keeping your dishes and snacks both dry and cool. Never worry about smelly, mildewy cabinets again with the Louvered style. Only thing is, these cabinets are not among the cheaper options, so you’re really going to have to be willing to invest in your kitchen.


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3: Flat Cabinets

Not too much explanation is needed for flat cabinets, as well, they’re simply flat. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t stylish in all sorts of homes, and in fact, they’re among the most popular cabinet door styles for your kitchen.


They pair seamlessly with contemporary and modern styles of design, as their sleekness can make them seem like they belong aboard a spaceship. Flat cabinets skip the fancy decorations and opt for function and utility – these cabinets really cut to the chase. The clean, hard lines are also a great fit for minimalists who don’t like a ton of loud detail.


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4: Inset Cabinets

There is a reason that inset cabinets are one of the most expensive options for your kitchen: these things are beautiful! Thankfully, these are the type of cabinet doors that will never go out of style, so it may be worth your while to invest in a timeless design. Unlike most cabinet doors that hang on the outside of the frame, inset doors are intricately constructed to fit flush on the inside of the cabinet frame.


Inset cabinets require a bit more skill when being constructed and this is what makes them one of the pricier options – it takes a highly skilled hand to have the doors precisely match. Because the doors are set inside, this can potentially free up a little space, which can be a lifesaver if you’re tight on space as is.


Also, keep in mind that inset cabinets will have exposed hinges – they won’t be concealed inside like most traditional cabinets. You may have to spring for the hinges separately, and this can quickly add up over the course of your kitchen renovation.


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5: Glass Cabinets

Perhaps the classiest looking of all the popular cabinet door styles for your kitchen is glass cabinets. Glass cabinets send an immediate message of luxury, and for this reason they can be a good deal more expensive than traditional hard wood cabinets. Glass has to be fitted inside the wooden frame, and this takes an expert hand, not to mention the price of the glass – and if you’re already springing for these things, you should definitely opt for the highest quality glass.


Additionally, if you’re a bit short on space inside your kitchen, glass cabinets can bring some depth, making the area seem larger than it actually is. And, if you have a lot of fine China and other decorative hardware, it’ll be nice to show them off to all who walk through your elegant new kitchen.


There are a variety of designs you can add to the glass if you don’t want to make them completely transparent, but be aware that you’re going to have to keep your cabinets neat and clean at all times because everyone can see what’s going on in there.   


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6: Distressed Cabinets

Homeowners who love antiques and vintage stuff will go absolutely nuts over distressed cabinets, one of the more popular cabinet door styles for your kitchen in recent years. The manufacturers have a number of techniques they use to prematurely age your cabinets, but the result is a rustic look that is actually quite remarkable – if done well, of course.


The distressing will cost you a bit extra (exact price will depend on the manufacturer) but people love the nostalgia it brings. The tarnishing will only make the cabinets look old, they will still be just as highly functional as non-tarnished ones. Distressed cabinets work really well for cottages and vacation homes, especially if the home is on a peaceful lake somewhere upstate.


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7: Thermofoil Cabinets

These may not be the most luxurious option, but if you’re on a strict budget Thermofoil cabinet doors might present a better alternative. These cabinet doors are made from medium-density fiberboard wrapped in a plastic coating. While they’re being produced, heat seals them together, and the result is a pretty durable cabinet door. While they clearly aren’t the sexiest option, they are reliable, and this makes them one of the most popular cabinet door styles for your kitchen.


Obviously, the quality isn’t as high on many of the others on this list, and they certainly don’t age as well, but Thermofoil cabinets are still a viable choice. Be aware that they may fade and yellow over a long period of time because of the chemicals that went into their production.  


Photo by Andrey_Popov on Shutterstock

8: Beadboard Cabinets

More often than not, you’ll find Beadboard cabinets in cottage-style homes – but that is far from the only place they work. The cabinets are designed to look like old school Beadboard paneling, and this usually is most present in the cabinet’s center panel. Beadboard was traditionally used to decorate walls back before plaster and paint became the thing to do. Like distressed cabinets, Beadboard can make folks nostalgic for a simpler time, which is why this style is commonly employed in cabins and cottages.


The downside is, these are among the most difficult cabinets to clean, and the amount of dusting and maintenance required makes many homeowners balk. You will be cleaning these cabinets seemingly every other day, but that still hasn’t stopped them from becoming one of the most popular cabinet door styles for your kitchen.


Photo by Archi_Viz on Shutterstock

9: Raised Panel Cabinets

Another kitchen cabinet style that always seems to be in season is the raised panel. Unlike most other traditional styles (like Shaker or flat cabinets), raised panel cabinets do not recess in on each other, but instead bulge out at the center panel, causing it to rise above the base.  


Raised panel cabinets work great in a variety of homes, but the one thing they always scream in any setting is quality craftsmanship. You have plenty of options with this style, as raised panels come in a number of hardwood finishes. However, the price tag can be a bit on the high side, as this style isn’t available in any material other than hardwood.


Photo by Artazum on Shutterstock

10: Custom

If you’ve been through every style on this list and still don’t see much that tickles your fancy, why not abandon all rules and customize your kitchen cabinets? If you’re an artist or some other creative type, designing your new kitchen cabinets might be a great outlet for your creativity. This way, you can be certain that your kitchen is unique from your friends and neighbors.


Now, this doesn’t mean you have to learn woodworking and create your dream cabinets out of thin air. Instead, it might be best if you inject your personality and taste onto some of the templates already in existence – any of these popular cabinet door styles for your kitchen should be a good jumping off point. In the end, just have fun with it and try not to go too crazy, as whatever wacky or interesting custom cabinets you create will be in your life for quite some time.


Photo by Kaziyeva-Dem'yanenko Svitlana on Shutterstock

In the end, it’s all going to come down to a matter of personal taste – and, obviously, your budget. Hopefully, you’ve learned a bit more about cabinetry and woodwork, and, perhaps more importantly, you’ve settled on one of the many popular cabinet door styles for your kitchen.


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