There are many choices one must make when designing a kitchen: what goes where, what that ‘what’ should look like, paint color, counter top material, hardware design, the list goes on and on. Perhaps the most important decision, style wise at least, is door and drawer front style. Door and drawer front styles set the tone of the kitchen. They are a starting point that, once decided, should help you make all your other decisions.
Like with everything in this business, when it comes to door and drawer front style, there are many options from which to choose. But, once you understand the basic types of door and drawer fronts you should be able to figure out what style best suits your desired look. There are four basic types of door and drawer fronts: raised panel, recessed flat panel, recessed bead board and slab. Drawer fronts come in these four styles as well as one more style named profiled.
You can mix and match the styles between the doors and the drawer fronts or you can keep them the same. Some clients choose one door style for the top or wall cabinets and another one for the bottom or base cabinets. Others use one style for the top or “A” drawer front and another style for the bottom or “B” drawer fronts. However, in order to keep the design from getting too busy if the top and bottom drawer fronts are different styles, then the ”B” drawer fronts should match style of the base doors.
Though there are exceptions to all rules and some of the most exceptional kitchens have broken these rules creatively, certain door and drawer front styles tend to go with certain design looks.Raised panel door styles are generally used in traditional kitchens. Raised panel styles are also used when trying to achieve an old world look- think Tuscan, French or English Country. Recessed flat panel doors generally show up in rustic, contemporary and transitional kitchens. The simple lines of a recessed flat panel door or drawer front appeal to minimalists and those who are generally not fans of fussy or frilly design. Slab doors are often in modern and contemporary styles.This is the most minimal door style and is usually used in a place where other aesthetic features besides door and drawer front styles, like wood choice, finish or design features, should take center stage. Recessed bead board door styles are commonly used in country, cottage, or beachy kitchens. Recessed bead board door and drawer fronts create a relaxed look that fits in well with casual decor.
When a cabinet has a face frame the door can be attached to this frame in a couple of different manners. The doors can be inset into the face frame. This is called an inset door and is perhaps the most traditional of all the options and generally the most costly. The doors can also sit on top, partially covering the frame. This is called partial overlay and is used in traditional and rustic looks. Lastly, the door can fully overlay the face frame called, you guessed it, full overlay. Full overlay is currently the most popular style. It is used in all types of designs, but most commonly in modern, contemporary or transitional looks. When a cabinet does not have a face frame and is therefore frame-less the door has no choice but to full overlay the cabinet box, resulting in a full-overlay look.
Again, take time with this decision. It will set the stylistic tone of your kitchen and, along with the finish and design, it is the most aesthetic choice you will make.