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Choosing the Right Doorstyle

If you are in the market for new cabinets, one of the most important decisions you will make is choosing your doorstyle. Selecting a door style can seem a little overwhelming, but its really not! There are basically 5 different overall types with many variations within each type. Here are the main categories starting from simplest to most decorative:


  1. Slab

  2. Shaker

  3. Recessed panel

  4. Raised panel

  5. Mullion


Here are pictures of each so you can see the difference:

The slab door style is the plainest and often used for more contemporary projects... think ultra sleek, west coast. It is the base for all other door styles. Then there is the shaker door which has a simple, clean frame on it and works in most any setting. It is by far the most popular door style today because it's super casual and budget friendly. Next there is the recessed panel door, which is similar to the shaker door, but the frame has additional molding called beading or a beaded edge. The beading can be located along the inside or the outside of the frame. The recessed panel door is sometimes finished with glazing to show off its layers making this door just a little more decorative than the shaker. Next up is a raised panel door where the center panel is actually raised. This door tends to be dressy and works well in more traditional settings. It also is often finished with glazing to show off its detailed layers. Last but not least is the mullion door which just means the frame is interchangeable with glass, mirror, wire or any design you can think of. These doors are great for showcasing fun stemware, barware and decorative dishes. The mullion style door is usually used as an accent in conjunction with your other doors and I think every kitchen should have at least a few for personality :).


As I mentioned in the beginning, within the main door styles you will find many variations of them when you are shopping for cabinets. Usually it's the beading or beaded edges that create the difference. The more decorative the door, the more finish options you will have and the more expensive the door will be. In this high end kitchen shown below, there is a brown glaze in the frame's beading to create more of a worn, rustic feel. There is also a glazing or light wash on top of the overall cabinets to further this effect. It is beautiful but just know that each layer does add up.


Design by Robin Johnson Interiors

Hope this post helps you out if you are in the market for new cabinets! Subscribe to my email list to get free professional design advice like this delivered straight to your inbox. Then join my FB group Kitchens, Bath & Mudrooms by Design to share your journey with other design savvy moms and a chance to win a weekly design challenge solved by yours truly! ;) Can't wait to see you there!



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