The cabinet doors and drawers you choose for your kitchen can have a huge impact on both its aesthetic appeal and functionality. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming trying to select the best types for your space and needs. In this article, we will go over 8 of the most popular cabinet door and drawer types to consider for an exceptional, high-performing kitchen.

Shaker Style Cabinets

Shaker style cabinet doors and drawers feature a simple, clean-lined design that has remained popular for decades. The doors typically consist of a flat center panel surrounded by a frame. This straightforward style works well in both modern and traditional kitchens, adding a timeless look.

Some benefits of Shaker style cabinets include:

  • Versatile look that suits many kitchen designs
  • Clean, elegant aesthetic
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Many finish and hardware options to customize

Shaker cabinets provide a flexible base you can build upon by selecting different stains, paints, and knobs/pulls to reflect your overall kitchen vision. Their straightforward styling also means they do a good job of hiding grime and wear.

Slab Cabinets

Slab cabinetry represents another minimalist cabinet door option, but without any frame at all. As the name suggests, slab doors consist of a single flat panel made from materials like wood or MDF. The sleek, frameless look makes slab cabinets perfect for contemporary kitchens seeking a streamlined, modern aesthetic.

Benefits of slab cabinet doors include:

  • Contemporary, seamless appearance
  • Increased interior storage space since there is no center frame
  • Easier to keep clean due to lack of grooves
  • Affordable option for a modern style

The simple slab look allows your choice of hardware, countertops, and fixtures to really shine. They also lend a spacious feel by removing visual breaks. Wood slabs add warmth, while painted versions keep the look light and bright.

Glass Cabinet Doors

For an open, airy kitchen aesthetic, glass cabinet doors can be a great option. They maintain visibility of what’s inside the cabinets while also protecting contents from dust. Glass doors come in several forms:

  • Clear glass – Provides full visibility inside cabinets
  • Frosted or etched glass – Obscures contents while still allowing some light through
  • Tinted glass – Adds color while still showing some contents

Some benefits of glass cabinet doors include:

  • Light-enhancing for a brighter, expansive look
  • Allow you to showcase collectibles, dishware, or glassware
  • Glass types like frosted or tinted add privacy
  • Durable and easy to clean

Glass cabinet doors work best for upper cabinets or displays. For lower cabinets or those storing food items, a more opaque option may be preferred.

Raised Panel Cabinets

For a more traditional, ornate style, raised panel cabinet doors are a great go-to. These doors have a center panel that sits higher than the surrounding frame, adding dimension and decorative detail. The depth and shadow lines created by the raised center give the doors a premium, high-end look.

Benefits of raised panel cabinetry:

  • Classic elegance perfect for traditional kitchens
  • Available in a wide variety of wood types and finishes
  • Distressed options add even more character
  • Dent, warp, and scratch resistant

Raised panel doors require more precision to construct, so they tend to cost more than options like Shaker. But their outstanding durability and timeless beauty make them a sound long-term investment.

Arched Cabinets

Arched cabinet doors and drawers offer another way to incorporate classical style into your kitchen aesthetic. The rounded upper shape gives a soft, welcoming feel compared to straight lines and hard angles. Glass arched doors are also popular for accenting specific displays.

Benefits of arched cabinets:

  • Softer visual appeal
  • Can highlight specific areas like an hutch
  • Conveys a vintage cottage style
  • Provides contrast to straight-lined cabinets
  • Decorative options like corbels further enhance appeal

Arched cabinets tend to work best when used thoughtfully as accents. Completely arched upper cabinets or hutches can give a whimsical charm. But lower cabinets with full arched doors may look less practical.

Distressed Cabinets

For a vintage, timeworn look, distressed cabinet finishes give your kitchen a rustic farmhouse or antiqued style. Distressing mimics signs of natural wear and tear through techniques like:

  • Sanding edges or corners
  • Applying indentations, paint scrapes or worm holes
  • Adding cracks or scoring marks

Benefits of distressed cabinets:

  • Unique charm full of character
  • Looks like an antique or heirloom
  • Can complement cottage, rustic or farmhouse decors
  • Relaxed, welcoming vibe

Distressed finishes work on most cabinet door styles, from Shaker to raised panel. Keep walls, backsplashes and counters light to let the doors really shine as focal points.

Lattice Cabinets

Lattice cabinet doors feature a criss-cross pattern of wood strips, evoking garden trellises. The distinctive look offers both form and function:

  • Beautiful visual texture and dimension
  • Allows air circulation while obscuring contents
  • Filtered light passes through lattice pattern
  • Works with casual to sophisticated kitchens

Typically, only upper cabinet doors feature the lattice design, while lower doors have a simpler raised panel or slab look. Using lattice sparingly prevents it from appearing too busy.

Wavy Cabinets

For a playful, artistic look, wavy cabinet doors add lots of personality. The undulating lines and shapes create a relaxed yet visually interesting aesthetic. Materials like wood and high-gloss laminate take the sculpted forms particularly well.

Benefits of wavy cabinets:

  • Unique, artistic flair
  • Informal, fun look perfect for cottage kitchens
  • Can be mixed with straight-lined doors
  • Draws attention as an eye-catching focal point

As with arched doors, moderately incorporating wavy doors as accents can keep the look charming rather than chaotic. Avoid overly complicated wavy patterns and mix with simple Shaker or slab doors.


The options for exceptional kitchen cabinet doors and drawers are nearly endless. From minimalist to ornate, modern to farmhouse, the choices have different strengths to align with your personal style and functional needs. Carefully considering the benefits and ideal placement for each cabinet type can lead to a stellar kitchen perfectly fitted to your home and lifestyle. With creativity and thoughtfulness, you can craft a distinctive, beautiful heart of the home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most popular kitchen cabinet styles?

Some of the most popular kitchen cabinet styles today include Shaker, slab, raised panel, glass, and distressed. These styles offer clean lines, durability, versatility, and on-trend aesthetics.

What factors should I consider when choosing kitchen cabinets?

Important factors to consider are your preferred design style, kitchen layout and traffic patterns, storage needs, ease of cleaning, durability, lighting, and budget. Also think about how cabinets will coordinate with countertops, floors, appliances and other finishes.

What type of cabinets are best for small kitchens?

For small kitchens, opt for streamlined styles like Shaker or slab cabinets in light, bright colors to create an airy look. Glass upper cabinets also add lightness. Avoid ornate details and dark colors that can overwhelm a petite space.

How much do custom kitchen cabinets typically cost?

The average cost of custom cabinets is $1000-$2000 per linear foot installed. More exotic woods and ornate details raise costs. Stock and semi-custom lines cost less, from $300 per linear foot.

What are some tips for organizing kitchen cabinets?

Use drawer organizers, turntables, and pull-out shelves for easy access. Group like items together and store by frequency of use. Put everyday dishes/glasses near the dishwasher. Install under-cabinet lighting. Label upper shelves and use risers for visibility.

So in summary, carefully selecting complementary cabinet door styles that align with your overall kitchen vision can help create a functional, beautiful heart of your home to enjoy for years to come.