Cabinet Couture: Unveiling the Secrets of Kitchen Cabinet Styles and Finishes

Good food and a warm kitchen are what make a house a home. It’s no surprise we spend so much time designing our kitchens to perfection. But that doesn’t make it easier. Designing or remodelling a kitchen can be overwhelming, to say to the least. From cabinets, countertops, colours, and finishes, there are so many things to consider. 

Choosing the right cabinet style and finish is especially important as they set the tone for your kitchen’s overall style and aesthetic. There are a variety of cabinet styles and finishes that you can choose from. Whether you need a Shaker cabinet or a modern cabinet, a traditional style cabinet or a breadboard cabinet, it all depends on a lot of factors. 

But no need to worry; we have made this easy for you. This article will act as a complete guide to help you choose the right cabinet style and finish for your kitchen. It discusses everything from different cabinet styles to cabinet finishes. Read on to learn more about cabinets and find the perfect cabinet to design your dream kitchen. 

Understanding Cabinet Styles

The following are some of the most common cabinet styles used today. 

1. Traditional Cabinets

traditional cabnet

The timeless traditional cabinets add great warmth and character to your kitchen with their warm colour palette, wood tones and traditional design. They are also called raised panel cabinets as they feature raised panels instead of flat centre panels on a Shaker-style cabinet. 

Traditional cabinets are the perfect choice if you have a “transitional style” kitchen. With their intricate curved details, arches, and other embellishments like decorative legs and corbels, traditional-style cabinets give your kitchen a unique, formal aesthetic. For a more dramatic look, you can use glaze and antique finishes that add to the traditional cabinet’s visual appeal for a more dramatic look. 

2. Modern Style Cabinets

modern style cabinets

If you are a fan of mid-century modern furniture with bold angles and curves, you’ll love modern-style cabinets with sleek and angular designs. They come with simplistic doors and frames that perfectly complement their curved design. 

The best thing about modern-style cabinets is their versatility, as they combine various materials like wood, laminate, glass, and metal for a unique look. A popular style is to use frosted glass to add a unique touch to your modern-style cabinets. 

With their flat panels, minimalist hardware, and simplistic look, modern-style cabinets are perfect for making your kitchen more open and spacious. 

3. Shaker Style Cabinets

shaker style cabinets

Originated in the 18th century by the Christian sect, Shakers, shaker-style cabinets continue to be a popular choice for modern kitchen designs. With their simple, classic lines, flat panels, and functional aesthetic, they are a great fit no matter whether your kitchen’s design is traditional, transitional, or modern. 

Shaker-style cabinets offer simple, utilitarian designs and a sturdy build. They use high-quality local American woods like cherry, maple, hickory, and oak. The innate simplicity of their designs allows you to customise them to your liking. You can customise the edge detailing, paint, cabinet pulls, and rail design. While these cabinets are often left with a natural wood finish, you can also paint them white or grey, which are both popular options for a modern kitchen design. 

4. Beadboard Cabinets

beadboard cabinets

If you have a vintage, rustic, or retro design kitchen and want a cabinet that gives a “modern farmhouse” aesthetic, look into beadboard cabinets. As the name suggests, these cabinets are made from the traditional Beadboard material that was used on walls. 

With vertical panels and uniform beads, Beadboard cabinet doors come in an overlay design instead of modern flat front doors, making these cabinets more cost-friendly. These cabinets are also a great option if you are looking for a DIY kitchen cabinet option, as they are easy to make and have no complicated joints. 

4. Glass-front Cabinets

glass front cabinets

Instagram is full of pretty pictures of modern, stylish kitchens, and the one thing that’s common in all of them is a glass-front cabinet. These cabinets are great for adding more natural light and brightness to your kitchen, that makes it look larger. They are also great for showing off your pretty dishes, glasses, and decorations. 

That said, glass-front cabinets are not everyone’s cup of tea since your cabinets are always on display with these. But there’s a way around that too. If you want the bright, natural aesthetic of glass front cabinets but don’t want your messy cabinets to be on display all the time, you can use mirrored cabinets. They give the same effect while hiding any mess. 

5. Craftsman Style Cabinets

craftman style cabinets

Craftsman-style cabinets offer a simple, classic design with straight lines, sturdy construction, and minimal ornamentation, perfect for a minimalist look. They are characterised by a strong, functional build made of heavy natural woods like quarter-sawn oak. These cabinets share a lot with Shaker-style cabinets but have a vertical stile in the centre of the door, creating two flat panels per door. 

Craftsman-style cabinets originated in the 19th century in England as a part of the Arts and Crafts movement. To create an authentic cabinet-style cabinet, you need to hire a professional craftsman, making Craftsman-style cabinets pricier than other styles. Craftsman-style cabinets come in three designs, including modern, traditional, and vintage. 

Exploring Cabinet Finishes

Now that you know all the different types of cabinets, it’s time to explore more about cabinet finishes. Whether you are buying new cabinets or renewing your existing cabinets for a budget-friendly kitchen remodel, it is important to understand cabinet finishes. 

The finishing on your cabinets makes a lot of difference in their overall look. The following are the details of the three most commonly used cabinet finishes: painted, stained, and glazed.

1. Painted Finishes

Painted finishes are a great way to give your kitchen a completely new look without spending too much. One of the best things about painted finishes is their versatility. You can customise your cabinets and choose from various colours, giving you many more options than other finishes.

Painted finishes work best for kitchen remodels. They allow you to easily match your cabinets to the rest of the kitchen instead of designing your kitchen around your cabinets. Painting your cabinets also allows you to hide away all chips and imperfections to give your cabinets a flat, smooth look. You can choose from various types of paints, including matte, semi-gloss, satin, and enamel. 

2. Stained Finishes

If you love a natural, rustic-style kitchen and have wood cabinets or are looking to get some, stained finishes are perfect for you. Stained finishes not only enhance the colour of your wood but also protect the natural wood grain from everyday use. You can easily finish your cabinets with the stain as a DIY, making it a very affordable option for a kitchen remodel. 

What makes stained finishes better than paint is that stain soaks deep into your cabinets. That’s why the stain moves with your cabinets’ natural shape, swelling and shrinking. Unlike paints that can crack or peel over time, stains are more durable and easy to maintain. The only drawback for stained finishes is the limited choices of colours. 

3. Glazed Finishes

Glazed finishes are another great option, especially for cabinets with intricate hand-carved designs and profile edges. Whether or not you have a painted or stained finish, glazed finishes add a rustic touch to your cabinets. Different parts of the cabinet soak the glaze differently, adding more depth and complexity to your cabinet design. 

Applying a glaze finish is easy. All you have to do is apply a layer of the glaze over the cabinet and then wipe it away. In this way, the glaze settles in your cabinet’s intricate lines, bevels, and details, leaving a thin shiny layer on top. 

There are a variety of glaze colours available, including colours ranging from dark blue and light beige to grey and white. For a more unique touch, you can also use accent glaze that is only applied to the parts you want to highlight. 

Choosing the Right Cabinet Style and Finish for Your Kitchen

Too many choices often make it impossible for us to decide on one thing. This is especially true when it comes to designing or remodelling your kitchen. Choosing a cabinet style and finish is hard when you have so many options. Should you go for a Shaker cabinet with a painted finish or a Craftsman-style cabinet with a stained finish? 

There are pros and cons to both of them. The perfect cabinet is the one that is perfect for your unique style. The following tips will help you choose the right cabinet style and finish for your kitchen. 

Tip # 01: Assess Your Kitchen’s Style

The first thing you need to do to choose the right cabinet style is to assess your kitchen’s overall style and aesthetic. What do you want your kitchen to look and feel like? Do you want to give it a modern aesthetic or a rustic look? 

Do you want cabinets with a glass front, or do you prefer fully closed cabinets? What type and colour of cabinets will match your countertops? These are the questions you need to ask yourself. 

Tip # 02: Consider Durability and Maintenance

The next thing you need to consider is the durability and maintenance of your cabinets. Every cabinet material and style is different and unique. Wood cabinets are great for a rustic touch but chip easily. Glass Front cabinets give your kitchen a unique, trending look but can be less durable and difficult to clean. 

Painted finishes can peel or crack, but glazed finishes can be too glossy. There are pros and cons to each of them. You have to choose the material you think will be the most suitable for your kitchen and how much time you can spend cleaning and maintaining them. 

Tip # 03: Factor In Your Budget

Last, but one of the most important considerations, is the budget. Whether you are designing a new kitchen for the first time or just remodelling your old one makes a lot of difference. If you are doing a kitchen, remodel on a budget, factoring in your budget is even more important. 

As different style cabinets are made from different materials and each finish is different, their cost can vary greatly. Choose the cabinet style and finish that matches your budget.

Final Words

Designing a new kitchen or remodelling an old one comes with a lot of decisions. From countertops to cabinets, you have a lot of choices to make. Kitchen cabinets come in a variety of different styles and finishes. From traditional and modern to beadboard and Shaker cabinets, each style is different and unique. 

The same goes for cabinet finishes. Each of the three finishes, paint, stain, and glaze, gives a unique look to your cabinets. With so many choices, it can get overwhelming for you to decide on one cabinet style. 

But here’s an easier way to do it. Decide on your desired aesthetic and style and choose a cabinet that fits that image. Remember to consider factors like durability, maintenance, and your budget before you make any decision. 

With a little effort and time, you will be able to find the best cabinets for your kitchen. If things get too complicated, you can always seek help from a kitchen remodelling expert and make an informed decision. 

Cheers to your stunning future kitchen!

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