7 Cabinet Styles to Choose from for Your Next Kitchen Redesign

published Oct 18, 2023
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Modern wooden open shelving above a kitchen sink and backsplash filled with jars of dried goods

Whether you’re in the process of renovating your kitchen or you’re designing a new space from scratch, knowing which cabinet option you’re going for can help you build out a cohesive design look around it. But did you know there are a number of different cabinet types to choose from? Each one can transform the look of your space, and totally change the feel of your kitchen.

Here are seven of the most common cabinet styles that are used in kitchen designs today, and what you need to know about designing around each style. 

Credit: Lauren Taylor

1. Shaker Style Cabinets 

This type of cabinet features a recessed center panel accompanied by raised edges. According to Linda Hayslett, the founder of LH.Designs, this style of cabinet is quite versatile. ”It’s a great look that can go with any design style,” she says. “This type of cabinet can be traditional, modern, contemporary, bohemian, or mod.” 

It also looks excellent with a wide range of hardware styles. “Glam it up, farm it down; it has endless possibilities,” says Jessica Dorling, the founder of Dorling Design Studio, who calls Shaker cabinets “the ultimate timeless cabinet style.” 

Nadia Watts, the founder of Nadia Watts Interior Design, says that soon, we’ll see this style change slightly. “Shaker style cabinets will continue to trend upward in the coming years, but with a bolder, brighter twist,” the designer shares, noting that we’ll witness features such as new inset construction and angled edges. 

Credit: Lauren Taylor

2. Slim Shaker Cabinets

This is a more contemporary twist on the classic Shaker style cabinet. Slim Shaker cabinets also feature an indent, but it’s accompanied by a much smaller border. Generally, traditional Shaker cabinets feature a border of 1 to 3 inches surrounding the indent, but in the case of the slim Shaker, this border measures between just 1/2 to 1/4 of an inch thick, Hayslett explains. “It’s a clean look, that gives some detail, but not too much,” she says. “It’s not too modern, if you want a little bit of character, but nothing that would be over-the-top or too audacious.”

Credit: Lauren Taylor

 3. Slab Style or Flat Panel Cabinets

Slab style cabinets, which are also known as flat panel cabinets, are even simpler and more sleek without any detailing on the surface. “Slab style cabinets lend themselves to more of a modern look,” Hayslett says. Watts appreciates that slab style cabinets are easy to clean and maintain. “Slab cabinets create a seamless look and look beautiful on large-format doors and panels,” she adds.

Consider opting for slab style panels with a wood grain finish to add some warmth to the kitchen, Dorling suggests. “People are tired of cold and sterile kitchens,” she says. “This gives you the organic warmth without overly traditional lines.” 

Credit: Aimee Ryan

4. Raised Panel Cabinets

If you like the Shaker look, but crave a bit of a twist, consider incorporating raised panel cabinets into your kitchen. “With the revival of classic heritage design, raised panel cabinetry is really having a moment to shine,” says Sarah Storms, the founder of Styled by Storms.

In this case, the inset design is elevated, as the name suggests, and therefore adds some dimension. “The extra detail of the raised panel is a nod to traditional classic millwork and tends to be more pricey due to the extra labor,” Storms explains. She suggests highlighting the cabinets’ artful detailing even further by coating them with colorful paint. 

Credit: Emily Kennedy

5. Mullion Cabinets

Mullion cabinets feature see-through, window-like doors. “They are used to show off your favorite objects of interest or fine glassware, or to add a visual break to a wall of cabinetry,” Watts explains. 

Credit: Jamie Kelter Davis

6. Frameless Cabinets

For a super-mod, minimalistic look, consider frameless cabinets, in which decorative hinges hold a single sheet of glass in place. “These dramatic, contemporary-style glass cabinets add an elegant and sophisticated touch to any kitchen,” Watts says. “They are a great option if you have a lot of pretties you want to show off.”

7. Open Shelving

Many people opt for open shelving in lieu of traditional upper cabinets. Open shelving provides many styling opportunities; some people use their shelves to store and display favorite cookbooks, mugs, cutting boards, and much more. These shelves are frequently made out of wood, but you can choose any material.