What do your cabinet design ideas feature? Do you want plenty of drawer space? Cupboards? Open shelving? This custom kitchen got them all.

What is Cabinet Design And What Are The Components?

Cabinet design ideas are incredibly varied and unique. So what does cabinet design really entail? Cabinet design can encompass everything from initial measurements to hardware selection and everything in between. It includes things like the following:

• Overall style and atmosphere

• Quality of building materials

• Layout and function

• Storage and item management

• Color coordination

• Finishing stains and wood textures

• Island design

• Cabinet door styles and profiles

• Unique architectural details

Hardware selection and layout

• Interior and insert function

• Appliance integration

• House trim and molding integration

Fully custom cabinet design includes a 100% unique design to fit your living space and is based on your aesthetic and functionality needs. Every element is literally made to order. A custom cabinet design creates a room that maximizes your space for your social and working needs. It could include something like designing a home theater built-in that will hide speakers and electronics or it could include a means to give you sufficient pantry space while making the pantry look dang sexy. Suffice it to say, cabinet design is a broad category. But don’t worry—we’re here to help guide you in the process and open your eyes to new and unique cabinet design ideas.

What do you want the built in cabinets in your front room to do for you? We love customizing cabinet design ideas to each individual homeowner and their needs.

A custom cabinet design creates a room that maximizes your space for your social and working needs.
Cabinet Paint: Boothbay Gray by Benjamin Moore
Mantel Paint: White Dove by Benjamin Moore
Floors: Plain Sawn White Oak with Light White Wash
Designer: Caitlyn Creer

What Are The Different Styles of Cabinets?

Technically, there’s an infinite amount of styles. The different varieties you’ve seen probably depends a lot on the taste you have and the limit of exposure you’ve had to other styles out there. As someone who does this for a living, I’m constantly shocked by the different looks that some designers achieve and how they can be so different than anything else I’ve seen. Here’s a shortlist of some popular styles:

Traditional (Country, Cottage, Farmhouse, English)





Let’s first start with the main cabinet element that defines many styles– the cabinet door.

Cabinet Door Styles

The widest variety of styles when it comes to cabinet design ideas comes with the choice of the cabinet door alone. While there are an extraordinary number of options in this area, we’ll highlight a few of the most common styles.

Flat Panel Cabinets 

Panel door fronts are the most common type of cabinet door. At the most basic level, they are 5-piece doors–two sides, a top and bottom, and a panel in the middle. They are typically rectangular in shape and have a thickness of ¾ ” to 1” or more. The most common panel front cabinet door is going to be flat in the middle panel portion.

Shaker Style Cabinets

Shaker style cabinets are a popular choice for kitchens today. The doors feature a simple and flat rectangular profile, usually paired with a flat center panel. These types of kitchen cabinet doors achieve a simple, but timeless look. They are commonly white but it is becoming increasingly popular to add some flair with darker colors.

Slab Style Cabinets

Slab style cabinet doors are even more simple than the Shaker style and give off a contemporary, European air. They’re also called “flat slab”. A unique appeal that this style has is that they don’t collect dust like other cabinet doors might because of their lack of detailing– something to consider as you brainstorm cabinet design ideas.

Cathedral/Arch Style Cabinets

Cathedral/Arch style cabinet doors are a much more traditional look. They typically feature an arch-like feature on each door face and can create depth of detail that the previous two styles steer clear of.

Keep in mind that these four styles of kitchen cabinet doors don’t even begin to cover all the possibilities. If you choose to go with a custom cabinet designer, you can be guided through the process and be introduced to many additional options including open cabinetry, glass inlays, mullions, metal details, beaded features, etc.

TRENDING: Our Custom Cabinetry Journey with Tan France

Purchasing Options

The first “style” of cabinet that needs to be addressed is whether your cabinets will be stock, semi-custom, or entirely custom built.

  • Stock—affordable, quick delivery/completion, what you see is what you get.

  • Semi-Custom—limited customization in terms of drawer and door sizes, cabinet depths and other details.

  • Custom- is not mass produced and every single element is created especially for your home.

Each of these categories will be progressively more unique, adaptable, and of higher quality as the list goes on, but will also require a larger investment—which many find worth it. Quality custom cabinetry carries worth that goes beyond the dollar signs. The right designer can provide cabinet design ideas that not only look impeccable but provide the highest level of functionality you could possibly imagine for your space.

Framed vs Frameless Cabinet Boxes

The next “style” of cabinets regards what some refer to as the cabinet box. The cabinet box comprises the bones of the cabinet. The biggest differentiator in this category is whether or not those cabinet boxes have frames. As the name indicates, frameless cabinet boxes are made without a face frame, thus earning the homeowner a bit more space within the cabinet because doors and drawers are attached to the front of the box itself. On the other hand, framed cabinetry provides a completely different look.

The many design ideas for this cabinet included a marble front sink extending from the countertop to really make a statement.

Cabinet Paint: Quarter Sawn White Oak with Natural Oil Finish
Cabinet Style: Reeded Drawer Fronts
Floors: Marble Hex Tile
Counter Tops: Carrera Marble
Hardware: Chrome
Cabinet Design: Christopher Scott Cabinetry & Design

Framed cabinet boxes are a perfect foundation for beautiful inset drawers and doors like on these custom bathroom cabinets.

Cabinet Paint: Blue Grey by Farrow and Ball
Floors: Marble Hex tile
Counter Tops: Quartz
Hardware: Polished Nickel
Cabinet Design: Christopher Scott Cabinetry & Design

Making a statement doesn't have to mean slathering one color over every surface in a room. A three tone cabinet design lets each color have its say while still meshing with its partner tones. In this custom kitchen, blue, white, and brown make up the beautiful triple threat palette.

This three-tone kitchen features shaker style doors (on the lower portion of the cabinetry) and flat-slab drawers along the top.
Blue Paint: Hale Navy by Benjamin Moore
White Paint: White Dove by Benjamin Moore
Floors: Quarter Sawn White Oak with dark walnut stain and a polyurethane top coat.
Counter Tops: Solid Slab Carrara Marble
Decor and Furnishings: Studio McGee
Cabinet Design: Christopher Scott Cabinetry & Design

Slab style drawer fronts anyone? This unique custom bathroom cabinet pulls off a look completely different than most bathroom vanities—that's what working with professional cabinet designers will get you.

Cabinet Finish: American Walnut with Oil and Wax Finish
Floors: Marble Hex Tile
Counter Tops: Carrera Marble
Hardware: Polished Nickel Ring Pulls
Cabinet Design: Christopher Scott Cabinetry & Design

Have you ever thought about creating a specified study nook for the kids in your home? This custom island design off the mudroom makes the perfect homework station.

Cabinet Paint: French Gray by Farrow and Ball
Floors: Stone
Counter Tops: Quartz
Hardware: Wood Knobs with Cabinet Matched Paint
Cabinet Design: Christopher Scott Cabinetry & Design

How Do I Choose Kitchen Cabinets?

Choosing kitchen cabinets might feel intimidating when you look at all the decisions there are to make as you sift through various cabinet design ideas, especially when selecting all the extras like hinges and cabinet hardware. Making the best of your floor plan and wall space are key, as well as utilizing spaces you may not think of off the bat. Consider how you want to store pots, blenders, hot pads, tupperware lids, cooking utensils and every other component you anticipate using.

These are all areas where a custom cabinet designer can make your life easier as you design your dream kitchen together. An experienced and creative cabinet designer will also be able to point out areas of improvement, unique function, as well as let you know of hiccups you may encounter with the plans you’d previously come up with. Their guidance will become invaluable as you choose your perfect kitchen cabinets.

What Is The Best Color For Kitchen Cabinets?

The best color for kitchen cabinets is going to vary by taste and space, but the ultimate answer is the one that works for you and fits your personality. That said, there is undoubtedly one most “popular” color, and that is white. White allows a space to open up and breathe. It also allows for accessorizing with a variety of other shades, particularly if you tend to decorate seasonally.

Even though white stands out as a kitchen favorite, deeper and richer colors are making personality statements in more and more kitchens as cabinet design ideas broaden. Blues and greens, even black, are great options if you’re looking to make an island stand out. Natural and stained woods are also beautiful options that come in myriad shades and offer a great look when combined with painted cabinetry.

What do your best cabinet design ideas feature? Do you want plenty of drawer space? Cupboards? Open shelving? This custom kitchen got them all.

Cabinet Paint: Boothbay Gray by Benjamin Moore
Floors: Plain Sawn White Oak with Polyurethane Finish
Counter Tops: Granite
Hardware: Unlacquered Brass
Cabinet Design: Christopher Scott Cabinetry & Design

You can see more of my design projects—kitchens, bathrooms, built-ins, and furniture—on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest. To view my collection of authentic hardware, visit Tradition Hardware.

Looking for help with your custom cabinetry and layout design? You can contact me here. 

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