Traditional kitchens have a bad rap as dark spaces with wood flooring, wall-to-wall upper cabinets, and too much crown molding. But there are ways to make traditional kitchen cabinet doors look fresh and of-the-moment.
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Here are eight traditional kitchen cabinet door ideas that will look both timeless and modern for years to come.
1. Paint timeless Shaker cabinet doors in a soft color.
When Nora and Laura from Our Food Stories redid their country kitchen, they added Shaker cabinets from DeVol in a light mushroom color. The cabinet doors feel classic because of the recessed panels and minimal embellishment. But the soothing gray paint feels fresh.
2. Go with old-school wire mesh.
You don't see decorative wire mesh on cabinet doors every day. But once you do, you'll want them for your kitchen. Atlanta-based designer Cyndy Craig Cantley frequently uses wire mesh in her kitchen designs. The material gives traditional cooking spaces a lighter, almost Italian feel.
3. Install glass.
Glass kitchen cabinet doors function much the same way as mesh ones. They create a peekaboo effect that lets you showcase special pieces of china or drinkware. We like it when they're used on upper cabinets especially. In this Victorian home, the glass fronts were combined with bold wallpaper for some serious wow factor.
4. Give everything a bright finish.
This gorgeous, modern take on a traditional kitchen by Amber Interiors proves that Shaker doors can handle bright colors, too. We love how the green cabinets match the island. And the marble counters make the whole cooking zone look luxe.
5. Add a bit of beadboard.
Beadboard cabinet doors in a traditional or farmhouse kitchen add texture. And we love how they make styling your food prep space that much easier. This kitchen adds gleaming copper accessories and a vintage rug to pull everything together.
6. Infuse subtle touches.
The kitchen cabinet doors in this modern brownstone feel uber-traditional. But by contrasting the dark wood and heavy gold pulls with a blue kitchen island and butcher block counter, designer Katie Hackworth brought the whole area into the present day. The subtle changes have serious impact.
7. Use Mission cabinet doors to add warmth.
Like Shaker cabinets, Mission doors have clean lines, flat panels, and minimal embellishment. However, these cabinet doors usually go without paint, and the natural wood finish can make your kitchen feel warm and inviting. If you choose this look, black uppers and subway tile will add a modern twist.
8. Throw on a coat of white paint.
Brady Tolbert was faced with challenging kitchen cabinets in his Los Angeles, CA, apartment. But, like many renters, he couldn't just swap out the doors. Instead, he remedied the situation with fresh white paint and new pulls. This quick-fix can work for renters and homeowners, alike. And if you're bold, a DIY checkerboard floor like his will give you the perfect blend of traditional and chic.