Cabinet Styles

Susanne Clemenz | Improvement Center Columnist | December 14, 2011

Choosing cabinet styles is seldom without constraints. After all, cabinets are attached rather firmly to your walls. All else--bar stools, breakfast nook and dining furniture--are more easily changed than your cabinets. However, certain events and situations make refacing cabinets or buying new cabinets timely.

Time to choose new cabinets

  1. Newly built home: With a new home, style choices may be wide open. If you're keeping existing furniture, use it as a key for choosing your new cabinets. Or match cabinet and architectural styles.
  2. Existing home, older cabinets: Have children? Country style exudes a homey atmosphere. Enjoying an empty nest or career years? Contemporary, Euro-style, Craftsman or Shaker's simple lines may appeal.
  3. Selling a home: An outdated kitchen can be a deal-breaker. Spending up to 15 percent of a home's expected sale price on kitchen remodeling can bring roughly a 65 to 80 percent or more return on investment. Choose a flexible style like a medium-toned traditional that works with many furniture styles.

Popular cabinet styles

  1. Craftsman and Shaker: Both styles have flat door frames with squared edges and flat recessed center panels. Drawer panels may be framed or a simple flat slab. Shaker style is often cherry wood, Craftsman style is often oak. Shaker doors have round wooden knobs. Drawers may have knobs or horizontal wood cupped pulls. Craftsman hardware is black wrought iron.
  2. Country/Provincial:Country cabinets are ornamented with various moldings, raised panels, flutings, corbels, turned columns and curving wood skirts. They may be natural or knotted wood, or painted cream, ivory, blue or other colors. This generally holds true for both French Provincial and American country cabinet styles.
  3. Traditional: Traditional cabinets have a refined look and that varies greatly. Crown moldings and door and drawer frames with moldings and raised panels are typical. Upper doors may have ornamental glass inserts. They may be light, medium or dark woods, or painted ivory or subdued colors.
  4. Modern, contemporary: These styles feature unadorned square-edged slab style doors that let the wood grains, solid colors, or stainless steel finishes accentuate geometric lines. Hardware, if present, is sleek brushed metal. Stainless steel, glossy stone or solid colored countertops contrast with cabinetry.
  5. Euro-style: Usually white or light-toned unadorned wood slab doors. Door grips are sleek, often tubular metal, or slender door-width horizontal bands of wood.

Learning about styles and cabinet prices is as easy as filling out the form on this page, which can connect you with local contractors and showrooms. Let your cabinets reflect your lifestyle.