Selecting a Cabinet Style in 3 Easy Steps

Cabinets make up a substantial portion of your kitchen. So when you plan your remodel give careful consideration to their style as it will play a key role in setting the tone of your entire kitchen. Luckily, the choices you will make about your cabinets’ appearance can be broken down into three major components. Some of those decisions, such as choosing between stained or painted cabinets, will open up other options, but by narrowing in on these three basic style components you’ll be well on your way towards defining a look for your kitchen.

Inset vs. Overlay Cabinet Doors

Cabinet doors come in two main styles: inset and overlay. Inset doors sit flush with the cabinet face and tend to be more expensive, often appearing in custom cabinetry. On this style of door the hinges are typically exposed, and you will need knobs or pulls to open your cabinets.

Overlay doors, where the door overlaps the cabinet frame, are more commonly seen in kitchens and come in two styles: standard/traditional overlay or full overlay. Standard overlay doors leave more of the cabinet frame exposed and can be opened without any additional pulls or knobs. Because they require less hardware and are more commonly carried in home improvement stores as in-stock cabinetry, this style of cabinet door is one of the most popular, budget friendly options available. Full overlay cabinets on the other hand leave a much smaller gap, covering the frame almost entirely, usually are built to order, and need knobs or pulls to open.

Door Styles


The clean and simple lines of Shaker doors makes this style equally at home in everything from contemporary to country style kitchens.

Raised Panel

Easily the most popular style of cabinet door, raised panels are available in a huge range of possibilities. Arched panels are one common decorative variation that looks great in more traditional or country kitchens. While a simple decorative contour is often seen in contemporary kitchens, more elaborate contour profiles will add a stunning decorative element to your kitchen.


Less commonly seen but still stunning, this style of cabinet door is perfect for homes near the beach.

Flat Panel

Even more streamlined than the Shaker style door, flat panel cabinet doors give a kitchen a modern edge.


If you’re trying to capture the look of a cottage kitchen, beadboard cabinet doors are a fantastic option. They look beautiful on stained cabinets but painting them white or a pale color can only add to the cottage charm.

Finish Options

With your cabinets door style selected it is time to consider what sort of finish you prefer. Do you appreciate the subtle beauty of visible wood grain or the look of a painted cabinet? With either finish you have the option of adding glazes to enrich the appearance of your cabinets and draw attention to any decorative contours that you may have chosen.

Planning for Your New Kitchen Cabinets

Do you live in the Central California Coastal area? Our experienced team is ready to help bring your kitchen cabinet dreams to life, whether you’re starting from scratch or are looking to revamp your current cabinetry. Give us a call today to get your free estimate!