Kevin Dean | Kitchen Designer | Dean Cabinetry
By Kevin Dean
A display of doors in our showroom

When you undertake a cabinetry project, you will certainly come across the decision of door style.  We’re writing this blog to empower you to make an informed selection. We will explain the different options and characteristics of each style.

Slab drawer fronts, raised panel doors with a standard bead

What is a door style?

The most visible part of cabinetry is your doors and drawers.  These cover all the openings and act as the face of your cabinetry.  These doors and drawer fronts come in many styles.

Making your door style selection is a large decision that will impact following decisions, so you should consider your preferences early on. Door style can also have a slight impact on the project budget.

Where do I start when choosing a door style?

When you are considering door style options, a great place to start is with inspiration photos.  If you find something that you are drawn to, your cabinetry provider can likely match the door style.

If you have trouble visualizing your preferred door style, stop by a cabinetry showroom.  You can schedule an appointment with us, or walk in anytime.

Where do I look for inspiration photos?

If you are searching the web for door style options, check out our searchable photo gallery.  There are many colors and styles to look through.

A well-known door supplier is Conestoga Wood Specialties.  They are industry leaders and sell all the modern styles. Conestoga supplies many of the industry’s best cabinet makers.

The Most popular styles

Different construction methods

Different materials

Some design styles

You can also use other photo databases such as Google Images and Pinterest.

What are the different style options?

Your door style will greatly affect the overall look and aesthetic of your cabinetry.  You should ask yourself some initial questions before you begin your search. This will help to refine what you’re looking for.  Ask yourself:

  • Do I like lots of details?
  • Do I like a simple style?
  • Does my home have a traditional feel?
  • Does my home have a modern feel?

Detailed vs. simple door styles

An elegant inset cabinet with a beveled inside edge (framing bead), flat panel and slab drawer fronts

A detailed door style will have more lines and edges.  Some people don’t like this because they feel dust will accumulate easier.

A simple door style will be flatter and have fewer lines and edges.  They are often easier to clean.

Traditional vs. modern door styles

A traditional style will have more details and often a raised panel in the center.  The raised panel is a more traditional look but still very common.

A modern style will be very flat.  Often without any edges, details, or paneling.  This is called a slab style.

A pronounced bead on this door style gives it a detailed yet sleek feel.

Slab vs. detailed drawer fronts

Drawer fronts are important to consider along with your door style.  They can have the same style as your doors or they can be completely flat.  People will often mix them as well, meaning that the small drawers will be slab style and the large drawers will have a profile that matches the doors.

Glass doors with mullions

A glass door with mullions can give a classy look to your cabinetry.  This allows you to see through the door and display your dishware inside.  Glass doors are mainly used in upper cabinets. When you add glass to your doors the inside of the cabinet will be finished to match.

How can door style impact my budget?

Stock and semi-custom cabinetry will have a selection of door styles to choose from.  These will be common styles that represent general market preferences. Custom cabinetry will usually allow for any door style you like.  Door style can have an impact on your budget, but usually it is not more than 5%.

When you are choosing between a stained or painted door, this can impact the price.  This is because a stained door must be made entirely of wood. Whereas a painted door can have an MDF center panel.  Contrary to common notions, MDF is actually better to use as the center panel. This is because it will not shrink, expand, or warp over time. Learn more about the difference among MDF, plywood and particle board.

Check out this simple gallery below to see some of the most common door styles :