When it comes to decorating your abode, we firmly believe that the kitchen should take precedence. As the heart (and stomach!) of your home, the cook space is the one room that all of your guests will visit at some point during their stay. But before you jump ahead to selecting colors or weighing the pros and cons of open shelving, it's important to think about the different types of kitchen cabinets.
Make no mistake, your cabinetry is not a one-style-fits-all situation — there is a whole host of different looks to choose from. And it's amazing how the slightest bevel, recessed panel, or molding can transform a space and influence the rest of your kitchen design. Keep in mind that while cabinet style is key, you'll also need to think about purpose and practicality, too. For example, how much room do you need for food storage? Do you love to entertain? In that case, you'll need bonus cabinets for stashing away serving pieces and extra silverware.
Also, think about how to set up your cabinets to maximize efficiency. Plan your built-ins according to the workstations around your kitchen — for instance, cutting boards and sharp knives should be kept in cabinets that coincide with where you cut food. Also, if you know that you'll never say no to a cool kitchen gadget, plan for extra cabinet space to store them, thus preventing clutter on the counters.
To help you determine the type of cabinet that will suit you best, we're diving into 10 classic styles — and showing you exactly how each one can be a bonafide design moment.
This timeless kitchen cabinet style better known as raised panel is similar to Shaker kitchen cabinetry (more on that style later) in that they both feature a four-sided frame with a panel in the middle. The difference here is that the middle panel is raised as opposed to being flat. We love the way that Becki Owens gave the traditional look a modern twist by painting the lower cabinets blue while keeping the upper cabinets white. Paired with gleaming brass hardware, a vintage kilim runner, and a dash of greenery, this cook space is definitely heating things up. If you're aiming for a current feel mixed with timeless accents in your kitchen, this is the style for you.
According to Fixr.com, installing raised panel cabinets can run around $5,392 in a 10-foot by 10-foot kitchen.
2. Mission or Craftsman
Bring the arts and crafts movement to your home with mission style, or craftsman, kitchen cabinets. All the rage in the late 18th century and early 19th century, this style was a stance against machine production. If you want to achieve the same look in your own home, opt for small details that offer a handcrafted feel. From the base cabinets with solid wood doors and bold borders to the sophisticated black upper cabinets with glass door fronts, this kitchen from New Old ticks all the boxes — all the while looking oh-so-cozy.
Currently, online at Home Depot, craftsman style cabinets can cost anywhere from $41 for a decorative end panel to $600.52 for an assembled base kitchen cabinet. This, of course, does not take into account any labor costs if you're hiring a pro to handle the installation.
It's no wonder that Shaker cabinets are one of the most in-demand styles around. Comprised of four pieces of wood and a recessed center panel, this beloved option can withstand the test of time if that's a top priority for you. A lot — and we mean a lot — of people have opted for Shaker cabinets, so you might want to give yours a personal touch. Spice up your space by painting your cabinets in two different colors, as Shea from Studio McGee did in this Calabasas home.
HomeAdvisor reports that Shaker cabinets cost between $100 and $1,200 per linear foot.
If you're torn between flat panel and craftsman, consider beadboard cabinets a happy medium. This style adds a rustic, yet contemporary, edge to any kitchen, as proven here by deVOL. And bonus, beadboard cabinets look just as good au naturale as they do painted in a dramatic hue.
The website Improvement Center says that while the cost of beadboard cabinets depends on material and size, maple wall beadboard cabinets can cost between $100 to $475 per cabinet, while the base cabinets run from $145 to $800 per cabinet.
As this kitchen design from IXTRA proves, louvered cabinet doors can be equal parts pretty and practical. Not only does this look add extra texture to your space, but the strategically placed slots will allow air to circulate through your cabinets so they'll never get stuffy. Take notes from this neutral design and up the wow factor by pairing louvered doors with simple, flat panel cabinets.
According to Kitchen Remodeler, louvered cabinets typically cost about $70 to $90 for a set of cabinet doors.
Want to show off your beautiful bowls, wine glasses, and serving trays? We have the perfect kitchen cabinet idea for you: Opt for upper cabinets with glass doors, as seen in this all-white cook space by Chango & Co. Not only is it an incredibly versatile look, but it's also an elegant way to display your fancy culinary accoutrements. Just make sure you always have a really good glass cleaner on hand.
Cabinets with glass doors naturally cost a little more than their solid wood counterparts. Inch Calculator shares that you can anticipate paying between $150 to $300 per glass-front door.
7. Flat Panel or Slab
Craving something simple? Slab or flat panel kitchen cabinets are ideal for modern-minded design enthusiasts. Oftentimes, they're free of ornate details and carvings and made out of cost-effective materials. But just because these cabinet fronts are simple doesn't mean they have to be boring. Kick things up a notch with a little color and sleek hardware. Let Cantilever Interiors show you how it's done with the help of this culinary design complete with tall cabinets and a pantry closet for a modern-meets-practical touch.
If you head over to Lowe's, flat panel kitchen cabinetry is currently priced anywhere from $24 (for an engineered wood door base) to $1,144 (for a door and drawer pantry stock cabinet).
Of course, you don't necessarily need to follow the traditional kitchen layout with both upper and lower kitchen cabinets. Swap the uppers for open shelving, instead ... we hear it's all the rage. Plus, it will encourage you to keep your wares in tip-top condition. Or, get the same look by doing a fraction of the work and just remove the doors from your upper cabinets á la this bright cook space by Emily Henderson.
The cost of open shelving can vary quite a bit and will depend upon how many shelves you install and the types of brackets you choose, if you need them. To provide an example, on Amazon, open kitchen shelves are priced from $5.59 for a single floating wall shelf to $7,129.66 for a freestanding set of heavy-duty metal shelves.
9. Leaded Glass
Cabinet doors with leaded glass can be quite striking — showcasing pretty designs made using lead oxide — and nod back to a bygone era. If you're striving for a vintage-inspired look in your kitchen, that goes beyond standard glass-front doors, this aesthetic is ideal for you. Jesse and Sam of Scout & Nimble went with just a touch of leaded glass to punctuate the cabinets in this airy space.
If you're paying attention to your bottom line, keep in mind that leaded glass inserts tend to be fairly expensive. Many homeowners opt for actual vintage panels, creating semi-custom cabinets. For example, on eBay, leaded glass cabinet doors are currently priced at $60 for a small pair that need repair to a larger pair in impeccable condition for $2,800.
10. Arched or Cathedral
Inspired by Gothic cathedral designs, arched or cathedral cabinets have a raised or Shaker style panel that displays a curved shape at the top. These cabinets bring a traditional look to the kitchen, but lend additional visual interest through their curved detailing, as proven in this cook space belonging to Cassie of hi Sugarplum!.
For these cabinets, you can anticipate similar pricing to raised panel or Shaker cabinets, depending on the number of cabinets you desire and the material you choose.
Durable Finishes and Materials for Kitchen Cabinets
Since you've lovingly chosen the preferred cabinet style for your kitchen, you'll want to keep your built-ins looking their best for years to come, right? That means you should consider some of the most durable finishes around to ensure high-quality cabinetry.
A "finish" for a kitchen cabinet means the sheen or shine that's applied to the exterior, acting as an additional protective layer. A satin finish, providing more of a matte look, is known for its longevity and durability. A semi-gloss finish tends to evade scratches, heat, and water extremely well. Last, but certainly not least, a gloss finish offers more sheen and is even more durable, making it a favorite among those who want to keep their cabinets looking pristine.
Thermofoil is a kitchen cabinet material that has a thin layer of vinyl applied to it, something that improves durability. It can come in a variety of colors, providing a more durable option than traditional paint, and it's easy to clean as well. Laminate, another durable option for kitchen cabinets, is made using pressed-together paper and resin resulting in visuals that can be either sleek and streamlined or feature decorative details. Melamine is a type of laminate with a plastic coating that covers plywood or fiberboard and is known for its no-frills look.