Guide To Kitchen Cabinet Styles
Before choosing kitchen cabinets, consider which of these six styles best fits your aesthetic, budget and cleaning preferences.
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Shaker Kitchen Cabinet Style
Originated by the Shakers, a Christian sect originating in 18th century England, the classic, understated Shaker cabinet style coordinates well with most design aesthetics. It looks good with kitchen storage solutions such as open shelves and hutches, according to Dave Mason, a kitchen designer and owner of knobs.co.
Shaker style’s simple lines and flat-panel doors make the cabinets simple to clean and personalize to your style. “You can add your own style to Shaker cabinets with your paint and stain choices, or by opting for distressed wood,” Mason says. For a luxurious look and feel, add cabinet pulls in a gold or chrome finish.
Shaker-style kitchen cabinets start at $1,200 to $1,500 for a standard 10-ft. x 10-ft. kitchen.
Craftsman (Mission) Kitchen Cabinet Style
If you’re seeking a warm, organic ambiance, look no further than the rugged beauty of Craftsman-style kitchen cabinets. Craftsman is often made from medium-colored wood such as quarter-sawn oak, with tongue-and-groove joinery. It’s a slight variance on the Shaker style, featuring three vertical stiles on the door, creating two flat panels per door.
“Think Shaker, but add a vertical stile in the center of the door,” says Jay-K Lumber Kitchen Design Manager, Rachael Reczenski.
The name Craftsman is used interchangeably with Mission-style cabinets. But Reczenski says Mission will sometimes include more detail, with dentil moldings, prairie-style muntins and square peg inlays.
Mission and Craftsman cabinets would look wonderful in a beach house setting, with farmhouse décor or in an urban home, paired with linear and simplistic furniture. Bruce Hogan, a veteran cabinetmaker and founder of The Wood Joint School doesn’t recommend Mission or Craftsman cabinets for ornate-style homes. “With the simplistic design of the Craftsman or Mission cabinet style, they would be out of place in a Victorian house,” Hogan says.
Craftsman-style kitchen cabinets cost $10,000 to $14,000 for a standard kitchen, depending on the level of customization.
Flat-Front (Slab) Kitchen Cabinet Style
Flat-front kitchen cabinets, also called slab, feature single board doors without frames, panels, ornamentation or beveling. The simple, minimal design of the flat-front style cabinet fits with many décor styles, such as mid-century modern, Scandinavian, industrial, eclectic and modern farmhouse.
Flat-front cabinets have a timeless appeal, says Carlos Coronado, Lead Designer, Muretti. “You can keep flat-front cabinets forever without running the risk of them going out of style,” he says. Tired of the color? With no door frames or panels, they’re easy to repaint. Bonus: Cleanup is simple.
For an industrial look, pair flat-front cabinets with a concrete countertop or dress them up with a colorful backsplash (these are the best tile options for your kitchen backsplash).
Flat-front style kitchen cabinets in a high gloss laminate finish start at $6,000 for a standard kitchen. Coronado says the price can rise to around $60,000 for high-end metallic finishes with hardware and customization.
Beadboard Kitchen Cabinet Style
Popular in the mid-20th century in RVs and campers, today the beadboard kitchen cabinet style is making a comeback in vintage, retro and rustic kitchens.
Beadboard cabinet doors feature vertical panels with uniform beads and recessed lines. “One downside to beadboard cabinets is maintenance, because dirt and grease get trapped in the crevices,” Mason says. But, he adds, these cabinets make an easy DIY project since they don’t contain any complicated joints.
If you’re tired of Shaker cabinets and want a style with detail and texture, beadboard cabinets are a good alternative. Beadboard cabinets cost between $4,200 to $11,000 for a 10-ft. x 10-ft. kitchen.
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Handle-Free Kitchen Cabinet Style
If you’re a devout minimalist with expensive taste, you’ll love the simplicity of the handle-free kitchen cabinet style. Often associated with a modern European look, the style has led the design standard in Nordic countries for decades. Cabinets operate using groove, channel, lip or finger-pull functions, or by installing a push or tap latch system.
Handle-free kitchen cabinets pair well with various design styles, according to Anna Juola, co-founder and creative director of Puustelli USA. “It can be just as successful in contemporary high-gloss designs, mid-century modern kitchens and Nordic minimalist spaces as it is in contemporary beach homes or luxury mountain cabins,” she says.
For a relatively easy DIY approach, consider finger pulls. Molded and channel grooves require more advanced equipment and skill.
A standard kitchen in this high-end style costs around $20,000.
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Raised-Panel (Traditional) Cabinet Style
If you prefer a classic look that exudes warmth and character in your kitchen, consider the raised-panel cabinet style, AKA traditional. As the name suggests, raised-panel cabinets display raised center panels rather than the flat center panels you’ll find on Shaker-, Craftsman- and Mission-style cabinets.
“Traditional cabinets can be simple or detailed with lines and edges, making this style very adaptable,” says Reczenski. She recommends simple raised-panel cabinets to clients who want a transitional-style kitchen, which combines traditional with a contemporary (on-trend) design aesthetic.
“The raised-panel cabinet style is more versatile than one might expect,” she says. “You can add gold hardware and white countertops to be on-trend today, or pair matte black hardware with a dark countertop for a dramatic and timeless look. Or add copper hardware with a granite countertop and you’d feel at home in the mountains.”
Unlike Mission, Shaker and Craftsman, raised panel cabinets coordinate well with Victorian architectural details. Interior Designer Ashley Dowse of Punctuate Your Style says the raised-panel style also complements country cottages, bungalows and farmhouse-style homes.
The drawback? Like beadboard cabinets, the raised-panel cabinet style takes more time to clean due to its detailed lines and edges.
Raised-panel style custom cabinets run between $8,000 to $12,000 for a standard kitchen.