Kitchen cabinets are all pretty much the same. You have a box with a door. The thing that distinguishes one from the other is the door style, and there you have a whole lot of options.

This is a good thing if you want to avoid a cookie cutter kitchen when designing or remodeling it. However, it does make it a lot harder to make the right choice.

Kitchen cabinets are functional, providing essential storage in a room that needs it badly. However, they also take up a lot of visual space, so the design is just as important as the quality of the cabinets themselves. That boils down to choosing the door style that best matches or complements your chosen theme or design. Here are brief descriptions of six popular door styles for kitchen cabinets to help you make the right choice.

Flat door style

flat-panel cabinets
Flat kitchen cabinets are exactly what the name describes: flat. The door is a solid piece of wood, wood-based material, or metal. It is the preferred door style for modern and minimalist kitchens. When closed, flat kitchen cabinets present a seamless look provided there is no hardware on the surface.

In most cases, this is the case, although some homeowners attach edge pulls or use cutouts to provide some type of hand hold to protect the doors themselves from wear. It is uncluttered and sophisticated because of its simplicity, especially if you choose a matte finish.
Flat door styles can also work with transitional kitchens and some traditional designs. This will largely depend on the finish, color, and hardware attached. Flat cabinets covered in laminates are available, and is a good choice if you have a small budget because it tends to be more affordable than solid wood and metal cabinets.

Shaker door style

Shaker-style cabinets
The Shaker door style continues to be a popular choice with many kitchen owners and designers because it is extremely versatile. Made from five panels of wood that form the frame and center of the door, it has a simple and functional look that most people recognize as a classic. It is unlikely that it will ever look outdated, so it will last for a very long time.
You can find Shaker-style doors in all species of wood and finishes, from polished to distressed, and it will still look like it belongs. The type of finish, hardware, and veneer of the cabinet will determine how well it will go with a kitchen design. As a rule of thumb, stained Shaker style cabinets with ornate hardware go with traditional kitchens, while veneered or painted cabinets with simple hardware go with modern kitchens.

Glass front door style

Glass front cabinets tend to be more popular in larger kitchens because they are more expensive than other types of cabinet door styles. However, they do more for a small kitchen because the lack of a solid looking front it creates visual space and depth that make them seem larger.
Glass front door styles range from the simple, solid glass cabinet in a frame to the intricately decorated mullioned types. The frame is usually wood, while the mullions may be wood or metal. The glass may also be clear or frosted. You have many options when it comes to glass front doors, and the ones you choose is a direct reflection of your lifestyle.

The problem with glass front door is it exposes the contents even when closed, so you have to make sure the contents are neat and clean. You can choose frosted glass to make this less of a problem, but you can still see the silhouette of the contents. On the other hand, this makes it the best choice if you want to display your treasures without making a song and dance about it.
Some homeowners compromise by having some cabinets with glass fronts, and others with solid fronts. In most cases, glass front doors look best on the wall or upper cabinets.

Cathedral door style

cathedral door style
Another popular door style is the cathedral door, which is a raised panel type of door that features a single upper or double top and bottom arch. Primarily suited for traditional kitchens, it has an elegant look, but the intricate chiseling does not play well with the sleek lines of modern kitchens.

You can find cathedral door styles in all species of wood, and the arch design is particularly attractive combined with a glass front. That said, the many nooks and crannies of this style may present some issues with maintenance.

Louvered door style

louvered cabinets
You may have some louvers for your windows or dressers in other parts of your home, and you choose them to let the air flow easily with the doors closed. Louvered cabinet door styles have the same effect on the contents of your kitchen cabinets. This is particularly useful for cabinets that contain plates, glasses, and cutlery. It also works for your pantry cabinets, as it prevents the air from going stale.

In terms of design, louvered door styles benefit smaller kitchens because the horizontal arrangement of the slats creates the illusion of width. It is also an attractive style, especially for traditional kitchens. Louvered cabinet doors are a little more expensive than solid front doors, and harder to keep clean. However, if budget and maintenance is not an issue with you, it is an interesting option you should consider for your home.

Bead board door style

beadboard cabinets
The bead board door is primarily for country, cottage or rustic kitchens. Of course, the technology is not the same as back in the day, but the look is still stripping of wood bound by a wood frame, the most prominent feature the seams created by that binding.
Some people find the style charming, and it does have a distinctive effect on the overall design of the kitchen. While that does limit the use of this style, some designers are tweaking it to give it a more modern and transitional look by eliminating the frame.
The issue with the bead board door is the visible seams, which makes it harder to keep clean. However, judicious use of clear coating can eliminate the physical grooves and still keep the look, making it easier to maintain.


Any of these popular door styles may be the right one for your kitchen, but it depends on your overall kitchen design ad lifestyle. To help you make the rights decision, consult with an experienced and reputable kitchen remodeling contractor such as Mimosa Kitchen and Bath. We sell only the best products from the top manufacturers and suppliers in the country.

We guarantee the quality of our products, and you can see it for yourself in our showrooms in Ellicott City, Maryland.

When you contact us for your planned remodel, the first thing we will do is give you a free design consultation and quote, so you are already ahead without spending a dime. We can promise the best customer service, expert fabrication and installation, and speedy execution of any project so that you stay on budget and the project stays on deadline. You will never get that from big box stores.