4 Cabinet Door Panel Styles to Know for Designing Your New Kitchen

You’re designing your new kitchen and you’ve already got a lot of the basics in mind — the floor plan, the location of the appliances, the precise placement of your new island. Now it is down to the details. In particular, there is one often overlooked detail that might stop you in your tracks once you start touring showrooms featuring kitchen cabinets and that detail is cabinet door styles. What is available? And more importantly, what is best for your new kitchen? Let’s take a look!

1. Flat Kitchen Cabinets

Look around Utracraft’s gallery of cabinet door styles and one of the first things you’ll see are the Acrilux and Adriatic cabinets, both of which feature flat door panels (also sometimes called “slab doors”). Why would you want to choose flat doors? There are a couple of good reasons. First, with no nooks or crannies whatsoever, cabinets like these are easy to clean — something that cooks in busy kitchens can appreciate.

Another good reason to choose flat doors is because you love the modern look. Because cabinets like these are designed to be as featureless as possible, they work well in a variety of modern-themed kitchens: Sleek ultramodern, industrial or even mid-century modern.

2. Recessed Cabinet Doors 

Recessed cabinet doors are likely the most popular of all cabinet door styles and the reason for that is because there are many, many different kinds of recessed doors.

  • Shaker cabinets feature plain recessed doors that have a flat center panel surrounded by a simple frame.
  • Mission style cabinets are similar to Shaker, though each door will have two, three or four recessed panels instead of one.
  • Beaded cabinet doors are a takeoff on the Shaker style, with the center panel featuring bead board instead of flat wood.
  • Through the use of moldings, routed edges along the frame and other milling techniques, recessed cabinet door styles can take on any number of looks, from Victorian to Craftsman, Tudor and other design styles.

Because these kitchen cabinets have more detail than flat cabinets, they will be a bit more difficult to clean. However, these types of cabinets are always in high demand because they will fit a variety of traditional design styles.

3. Raised Cabinet Doors

Like recessed cabinet doors, raised kitchen cabinets come in any number of shapes and styles. The main difference is that instead of a central panel recessed behind a frame, the central panel is instead level with or even higher than the frame around it. Decora’s Kingston door style is an excellent example of this.

Why choose raised cabinets? As far as maintenance needs go, raised cabinets are functionally no different from recessed cabinets. However, if you are looking for a more formal style, then raised panels will give that style to you. Though raised door styles often come in square designs, they are also popular in arched “cathedral” styles. Additionally, the beadwork and routed edges on these doors is typically more ornate than on many types of recessed doors.

4. Glass Door Styles

Finally, there are glass doors. These doors are nearly always recessed in design, with glass central panels and raised frames around the edges — most often seen in Shaker or Mission styles, though Tudor, with diagonal latticed glass to match Tudor windows is also popular.custom cabinets vs stock cabinets

When it comes to choosing glass cabinets for your kitchen, the rule of thumb is to go with these types of doors if you have something inside the cabinets that you’d like to show off like fine china or beautiful rows of homemade canned goods. If you suspect that the cabinets will end up crammed full of boxes of cereal and other types of must-have kitchen clutter, then one of the other three door styles might be right for you.

If you’ve not yet picked out your cabinets, then use this guide to help you choose the right door styles. Make sure that you factor not only for the look of the cabinet but also for practicality, too.