Kitchen Cabinet Styles: Which is Best For You?

white kitchen with shaker door

When the time comes to tackle your kitchen renovation, it is important to consider the space’s kitchen cabinets. These are often the focal point of the room. Most people get caught up in kitchen cabinet materials and finishes, as well as their costs, and forget that there are different cabinet styles to choose from. Shaker-style cabinets, flat cabinets, cupboards with glass doors… the possibilities are endless!

Pick a cabinet style that will match with the rest of the house

The first thing to consider is the style of your home. Is it a more traditional home, with a lot of molding and cornices? Is it a heritage house with exposed beams and wainscoting? Choosing a style in keeping with the rest of your home is essential for a uniform look. We have broken down the most common interior design styles below, so that you can choose the perfect cabinets for you.

Classic or traditional cabinets

Classic kitchen style

The style of cabinets, and kitchen, that ages best is undoubtedly a classic design. Chosen in neutral tones, these cabinets are timeless! Classic kitchens are quite detailed, so naturally, the cabinets are as well. A classic kitchen can combine glass paned cabinet fronts, with more ornate ones with traditional molding. Traditional kitchens are characterized by an abundance of details, which form a coherent whole.

Preferred cabinet styles:

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

classic kitchen style cabinet door

Contemporary cabinets worthy of architectural magazines

contemporary kitchen with plane cabinets

What is contemporary design? Often confused with modern design, contemporary is a very refined style, where straight lines and minimalism reign supreme. Contemporary design is highly present in architectural homes and buildings. If you want to go towards this design, choose a style of cabinets with flat fronts without pulls or knobs. Matte finishes are currently on trend, while gloss finishes are not, as our article on kitchen trends indicates. As this style is intended to be minimalist, opt for fewer, large cupboards rather than a multitude of small separate cabinets. If you love open storage, then contemporary design will not be for your kitchen!

Preferred cabinet style:

  • Cabinet door and drawers with flat front

    contemporary kitchen doors

Ancestral style cupboards in harmony with your heritage home home

patrimonial kitchen with shaker cabinets

For ancestral or heritage homes, consider paying special attention to your design choice, to pay homage to the history of your house. For example, the original kitchen likely had wood cabinets, so using this material would help keep the design cohesive throughout your home. Wood cabinets are more expensive, but are very resistant and can easily be repainted or stained over time. As for the style, opt for shaker cabinets, shaker cabinets with plank interior, or all plank cabinets (wainscoting style).

Preferred cabinet styles:

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

ancestral house cabinet door

A modern but warm cabinet style

modern kitchen with wood cabinets

Modern design is similar to contemporary, as it borrows elements from it. However, it is distinguished by clean and seamless lines, like that of flat cabinet fronts. To achieve a warmer and more inviting feel, choose a mix of materials. Contemporary/architectural design is often criticized for being too cold and not inviting enough. Modern style is a good compromise. To achieve this look, choose flat cabinets, or cabinets with a small molding that frames the door. Vary the materials and if you like, opt for some open storage, as long as it is not cluttered. Select minimalist handles to keep the design cohesive.

Preferred cabinet styles:

  • Doors with flat front
  • Flat doors with simple molding

modern kitchen cabinets in differents color

A flashy cabinet style for a chic, eclectic interior

ecclectic chic kitchen with gold accents

Eclectic chic design is characterized by its mixture of materials, textures and shapes to create a look worthy of home magazines! Described as “maximalism”, this style is abundant with detail and rich, glamorous materials. Oversized chandeliers and antique chairs are commonplace, but kitchen cabinets can also find their eclectic flair. For example, opt for cupboards with flat fronts, with a bold metallic paint, like gold. Almost all styles of cabinets lend themselves to this design style. You can choose light or dark colors, but avoid wood. The challenge is to create a coherent design that makes sense. The assistance of an interior designer is therefore strongly suggested!

Preferred cabinet styles:

  • Doors with flat front
  • Shaker cupboards
  • Cabinets with textured front (fluted)

ecclectic chic house

Rustic cabinets for a cabin style kitchen

rustic cabin like kitchen

Rustic design is of course characterized by the warmth of wood and  is often found in homes in wooded areas, or cabins. To achieve this style, choose flat wood cabinets, or a cabinet front with a raised panel. The goal is to reflect the outdoors as much as possible, to imbue and harmonize with nature.

Preferred cabinet styles:

  • Flat door panel
  • Door with raised panel

rustic kitchen cabinet

Farmhouse style cabinets for a warm interior

farmhouse kitchen style with wood and white cabinet

What is farmhouse design? This one is a bit the evolution of country style homes. Farmhouse often uses recycled furniture and old wood to create an inviting atmosphere. Unlike country style kitchens marked by figurines or rooster wallpaper, the farmhouse design is a little more sophisticated. It is warm, objects are on display, but the space is not crowded. The color palette of the cabinets is often light. For the style of cabinet, opt shaker or plank cabinets.

Preferred cabinet styles:

  • Shaker style cabinet
  • Plank cabinet

farmhouse cabinet style – Copie

What is the difference between an inset, overlay or partial overlay cabinet?

Besides the visual differences between these types of cabinets, there are also differences in the installation. See the difference between the three types and find out which one is right for you.

Inset kitchen cabinets

inset kitchen cabinet

As the name suggests, the cabinet door is completely recessed in the box of this type. This allows for a high-end and upscale look. Completely recessed doors can be made with all styles of cabinets, whether more traditional or modern. This is not a budget-friendly option, as inset kitchen cabinets are the most expensive type.

Overlay kitchen cabinets

fulloverlay cabinet door

This type of installation is the most common. The doors of this type of cabinet meet the front of the box. There is little to no space between a 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 is popular in older homes, or in cabinets found in big box stores. The door is placed on the box, without completely covering it. At a glance, this option can be a little less appealing because the hinges and box are more visible than in the case of overlay cabinets. However, since it requires more basic hardware, it is the least expensive option.

Plan your kitchen renovation with the right support

Knowing all the options out there may help you, but can easily mix you up! There are many professionals that can help you choose the style of cabinets, the right materials, the layout of the cabinets, etc. Many of our Kitchen Renovation Contractors have access to showrooms and specialized designers to help you with your project. Additionally, with RenoAssistance, an Advisor is assigned to your project and will be with you from start to finish.

Choosing the right Contractor for your kitchen renovation

Not only do we recommend contractors who have gone through our meticulous verification process, but your dedicated advisor will make sure that the contractors we present to you suit your budget and style. We will present you with up to 3 Verified Contractors, so that you have various options to choose from, at the most competitive price!

A Renovation Guarantee for more peace of mind, free of charge

For Quebec residents, we also offer a no-cost Renovation Guarantee which protects your deposit, the completion of work and the repair of latent defects. This way, you can have your dream kitchen with total peace of mind! Visit our page and learn more about our Renovation Guarantee.

Call us or fill out our form online to get quotes from the best kitchen contractors near you. Our service is at no cost, no obligation to you!

Get up to 3 quotes!