Your choice of cabinet doors will have a big impact on the overall design of any kitchen or bathroom design.

Shaker? Raised panel? Recessed panel?

It may feel like cabinet door styles are endless, but choosing the one that ties your overall design together is a vitally important design decision. Learning what to pay attention to and selecting the style that goes best in each home is the key to success for your kitchen or bathroom project.

Although doors come in several styles, selecting a door with the right look and feel for your design rests on only a few key factors.

To be successful designing any kitchen or bathroom, it is important to pay attention to the design of the home. Viewing the home as a whole will ensure it feels cohesive and has a natural flow. Pay attention to the colors that are or will be used in the home, the lighting selection, the decor style, and the hardware. Eclectic designs encompass a variety of periods and styles that meld through the use of color, texture, shape, and finishes. Most other designs have more distinct elements that make them stand apart.

To give you a starting point, here are just a few of the most popular cabinet door styles.


Shaker cabinet doors are the most popular style cabinet doors on the market today. With their straight, clean lines, they work well in modern kitchens yet also can work well in traditional-style homes. The simple design of these cabinets allows the backsplash, hardware, and lighting to define the style of the home. Shaker cabinets can be stained to show the wood grain, painted in any color, or even distressed to give them a real rustic look.


Classic in their style, arched cabinet doors are versatile and timeless. They are perfect for any traditional, classic, Spanish, Mediterranean, or farmhouse-style home. Arched cabinet doors tend to give any kitchen or bathroom a softer feel and lessen the boldness of a design. Arched cabinet doors look great both stained and painted and can create an elegant and dramatic feeling for any room!

Recessed Panel

Recessed paneled doors add depth and texture to any kitchen or bathroom. Recessed cabinet doors are built with a frame that is raised on top of a smooth panel. Recessed paneled cabinet doors can come either with textured edges, steep arches, or deep groves. This cabinet door design works well in traditional, farmhouse, and even modern homes when a simpler frame is chosen for the home.

Raised Panel

Raised panel cabinet doors grab attention; they tend to stand out more. Raised panel cabinet doors are a solid choice for any traditional-style home. This style of door can be found with sharp lines as well as curved lines. Raised panel doors often add a more expensive feel to the design of any kitchen or bathroom because they have a more ornate look and feel. These cabinets can be painted and stained, and they can be antiqued for a custom look.

Glass Panel

Glass panel cabinet doors are the go-to when your design demands a more open and larger feel. Glass panel cabinets feel clean and sleek. When you add lighting inside the cabinets and glass shelves, they give any kitchen or bathroom a more expensive feel. These cabinet doors are a great choice for showing off beautiful glassware and collectibles. Glass panel cabinet doors add interest and elegance to many styles of houses—French country, Mediterranean, English Tudor, traditional, and even modern.


Simple in design, slab cabinet doors are quickly becoming a favorite for those wanting a sleeker for their modern, contemporary, industrial, and transitional style homes. These doors give rooms a minimalist feel, and they look great stained or painted. Their uncomplicated style makes them easy to clean and maintain. Further, they look great without hardware, providing a super clean look. High-gloss lacquered, matte-finished, or even laminated, this style door gives you room for more creativity with the finishes that surround the cabinets.


Sophistication and ventilation describe the louvered cabinet door style. It’s a design that helps a room feel more spacious. This style conveys not only practicality but also timeless elegance. Louvered cabinet doors do demand a certain style of home (e.g., mid-century modern, contemporary, Polynesian, or Hawaiian) . They are commonly painted in mid-century modern and contemporary home styles and stained for the more tropical look of a Polynesian or Hawaiian-style home.


Set in the frame of the cabinet itself, this cabinet door style is custom, sleek, and smooth. Because the door sits inside the frame, the door must be meticulously fitted to work well within the frame. This style of cabinet door is truly top-of-the-line and superior-looking and works well in minimalist, modern, and traditional-style homes.

Beadboard or Groove

Cottage kitchen and rustic kitchen immediately conjure up visions of beadboard or V-Groove. In V-Groove-style cabinets, panel inserts are added to create detail and flair. Beadboard cabinet doors are constructed with vertical blankets that are separated by “beads,” or the ridges between the slats. Fun, unique, creative, and interesting are words that describe this cabinet door style. These doors look best when painted, and they can even be more appealing when painted in a fun color!

Your decision about what design to use for cabinet doors is a major one. Cabinet doors will use up to 30% of a typical kitchen’s budget and 20% of a bathroom’s budget. That means there’s no room for mistakes. It’s worth educating yourself about which design will reflect the home’s style best. With endless styles and types of cabinets to choose from, there will be at least a couple of styles that will work within your design.

Keep in mind that your cabinets will anchor the rest of your design ideas within the room. In a sense, the cabinets are a driving force in the overall design of the room. This is why it is so important to select a cabinet door style that is true to the style of the home. In the end, developing a kitchen or bathroom design starting with your cabinet doors will ensure your overall design makes the best statement and reflects the home’s style.

  • Michele Van der Veen

    Michele Van Der Veen, host of Good Day segments including Flip It, Decorate Like A Designer and Stage To Sell, started her career in real estate investing over 30 years ago. A published author herself, she has also been recognized and featured in international magazines for her unique approach to interior design. Acquiring a formal education from the Interior Designers Institute of California, Michele’s experience stems from building custom homes to flipping over 100 homes and working in commercial real estate development alongside her father at a young age. Not afraid to push the limit on her own designs/investments, she will often be heard reassuring her team about her decisions by saying “Don’t worry we are the comps!” For more on Michele’s work or to contact her go to

Related Posts


Submit a Comment