Text by Blair Korchinski
The single element that defines a kitchen the most is the doors on the cabinetry. The design, colour, choice of materials, style of pulls, and even choice of hinges all affect the look and feel of your kitchen. If you want to update your kitchen, changing the doors on your cabinetry can be a relatively inexpensive option. If you are getting new cabinetry, your choices will likely be with you for some time, so it is important to choose carefully.
You may prefer the sleek, modern look of laminate or the more traditional look of wood. A flat surface may be more to your tastes than an embossed door; you may like bright chrome handles or pulls that are part of the door. There are a lot of options available, so making a choice can be difficult. To make the decision easier, there are some things to you should consider.
The first is the basic style of the door. A flat surface where the doors meet in the middle and the inner cabinet is not visible is easy to keep clean, although not as visually interesting as more ornate doors. A more complex door with recessed panels and embossed trim may suit your tastes better. You may also choose an open design with glass panels for some or all of your upper cabinetry. This allows you to show of fine dishes while protecting them from dirt, wear, and breakage.
Materials vary widely as well. Wood veneer and laminate doors are usually made from materials such as plywood or particleboard. As a rule, particleboard is the least durable and least expensive, while plywood costs slightly more. If you prefer an ultra-modern look, you may choose stainless steel doors or go for a sleek-looking laminate finish.
Another option is colour. Wood doors can be finished with stains of various shades. While most wooden cabinet doors are stained to bring out the natural look of the wood, painting them is also an option, especially if the trim in your kitchen is painted. Laminate finishes are also available in many colours. This allows you to match or contrast the colour to trim, countertops, or even appliances.
Something that is often overlooked is the effect that the style and colour of pulls and handles can have. Chrome and brightly coloured pulls on painted cabinetry evoke a retro feeling, for instance, but don’t usually go well with stained cabinetry. When considering pulls, it is often helpful to buy one or two of the styles and colours you are considering so you can compare them on your cupboard.
The choices you make when choosing cabinet doors will depend on your personal tastes, the style of your house, and your budget. Visiting your local home centers and cabinetry retailers will help you make a choice you will be happy with for many years.