How to Choose the Right Kitchen Cabinet Style

white kitchen with shaker door

When renovating your kitchen, the cabinets are often the focal point of the room. People tend to focus on the materials, finishes, and costs of kitchen cabinets but forget about the different cabinet styles available. Shaker-style, flat, cupboards with glass doors… The possibilities are endless!

Choosing a kitchen cabinet style

Consider your home’s style before choosing your cabinetry. Is it traditional with molding and cornices? Heritage with exposed beams and wainscoting? It’s important to choose a style that matches the rest of your home for a cohesive look. We’ve listed the most common interior design styles below to help you pick the best kitchen cabinets for your home.

Classic or traditional cabinets

classic and traditional kitchen designs

Classic kitchen designs with neutral-toned cabinets age well. They’re timeless and feature unique details that draw the eye, such as glass panes and ornate molding. A traditional kitchen is characterized by muted colours with luxurious finishes to form a cohesive whole.

Preferred cabinet styles

  • Glass cupboards with decorative molding
  • Shaker cabinets
  • Ceiling-high cupboards with decorative molding

classic kitchen style cabinet door

Contemporary cabinets worthy of architectural magazines

contemporary kitchen with slab cabinets

Often confused with modern design, contemporary design refers to what’s currently on trend. It tends to favour straight lines and minimalism, and you’ll often find it in architectural homes and buildings. If you want to embrace this style, choose kitchen cabinets with flat fronts and no pulls or knobs. Go for matte over gloss as well as large cupboards over many small cupboards. 

Preferred cabinet styles

  • Flat-front or slab cabinet doors and drawers

    contemporary kitchen doors

Ancestral style cupboards in harmony with your heritage home

patrimonial kitchen with shaker cabinets

When working with ancestral or heritage homes, consider paying homage to the history of your house. For example, the original kitchen likely had wood cabinets, so using this material would help create a cohesive design. Wood cabinets tend to be more expensive, but they are very durable and can be refinished.

Preferred cabinet styles

  • Shaker style cabinets
  • Plank cabinets
  • Shaker cupboards with plank interior

ancestral house cabinet door

A modern but warm kitchen cabinet style

modern kitchen with wood cabinets

Modern design focuses on clean lines but sometimes leaves a space feeling cold or clinical. To create a more inviting atmosphere, mix and match materials. Add intentional embellishments, such as discreet molding around cabinet doors, or opt for a mix of cabinetry and styled open shelving. Use subtle, understated hardware to complete the look.

Preferred cabinet styles

  • Flat-front cabinet doors
  • Slab cabinets with simple molding

modern kitchen cabinets in differents color

A flashy cabinet style for a chic, eclectic interior

ecclectic chic kitchen with gold accents

If you’re looking to make a statement or copy a kitchen straight out of an interior design magazine, then you’re in the right place. This maximalist style goes big on materials, textures, shapes, and colours to achieve an eclectic yet cohesive look. Think slab cabinets with gold paint, shaker cabinets with bold hardware, and even fluted cabinetry. Consider hiring an interior designer to help achieve your desired look.

Preferred cabinet styles

  • Slab kitchen cabinets
  • Shaker cupboards
  • Cabinets with textured fronts (e.g., fluted)

ecclectic chic house

Rustic cabinets for a cozy kitchen

rustic cabin like kitchen

Rustic design is of course characterized by the warmth of wood and is often found in cottages and cabins. To achieve this look, choose flat wood cabinets or a cabinet front with a raised panel. The goal is to mirror the outdoors as much as possible to blend in with nature.

Preferred cabinet styles

  • Flat-front cabinets with panels
  • Door with raised panel

rustic kitchen cabinet

Farmhouse style cabinets for a warm interior

farmhouse kitchen style with wood and white cabinet

Farmhouse design is a variation of homes in the countryside. It uses recycled furniture and old wood to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere. This style strays away from the rooster figurines and harvest wallpaper and instead adopts light colour palettes and knickknacks styled in designated places.

Preferred cabinet styles

  • Shaker style cabinet
  • Plank cabinet

farmhouse cabinet style – Copie

What is the difference between inset, overlay, and partial overlay cabinets?

In addition to the visual differences, the installation process differs among these types of kitchen cabinets. Consider the distinctions and determine which type best suits your needs.

Inset kitchen cabinets

inset kitchen cabinet

This type of cabinet door is completely recessed, which means it is fully inside the cabinet box. This creates a luxurious and high-end appearance, regardless of the cabinet style. However, inset kitchen cabinets are the most expensive option.

Overlay kitchen cabinets

fulloverlay cabinet door

This type of cabinet is the most common. The cabinet doors align with the front of the box, leaving little to no space between each pair of doors. It’s a more affordable option and is just as popular as inset cabinets.

Partial overlay kitchen cabinets

partially overlay kitchen cabinets

This type of kitchen cabinet is popular in older homes and is easily found in big box stores. The door is mounted on the box but does not fully cover it. This may not look as attractive at first glance because the hinges and box are more visible compared to other options. However, it uses basic hardware and is the most affordable option.

Plan your kitchen renovation with the right support

Having too many options can be overwhelming and confusing. Let our experienced Advisors help. They’ll find you up to 3 Verified Contractors that can help you with your renovation project. These professionals can help you choose the right kitchen cabinet styles, materials, and layout to create your dream kitchen.