Cabinetry Design

From Architect Wiki

Cabinetry is something that may often be overlooked in a design, but it is an aspect of design that can make a huge impact on a space. Well designed cabinetry can help to create a space that is functional, yet beautiful.

The world of cabinetry, and all the terms associated with cabinetry, can be a little overwhelming for newcomers. See a list of Cabinetry Terms that will help you sound like a cabinetry pro!

Cabinetry 101

Parts of a Cabinet Box

Types of Cabinets

  • Base Cabinets: Also referred to as lower cabinets, base cabinets are the foundation of your design. Base cabinets are the most sturdy of the cabinetry types so that your counter tops and appliances have a solid structure to rest on.
Kitchen Cabinetry Design


  • Wall Cabinets: Wall-mounted or upper cabinets are secured to the wall, adding extra storage and functionality to your space. In recent trends, designers have been swapping traditional upper cabinetry for open shelving for a more contemporary look.


  • Tall Cabinets: Looking for lots of storage? Tall cabinets add a lot of storage, can be used to house your appliances, and can create a dramatic look within your design.

Cabinet Construction Styles

  • Framed:


  • Frameless:


  • Inset:

Cabinet Layout Types

  • U-Shape: Designing a u-shaped kitchen provides the client with a lot of counter space for food prep. This type of layout is also very efficient when thinking about a kitchen's work triangle. Although, a u-shaped design can make the kitchen feel separate from other entertaining spaces. To make a u-shape kitchen feel more open you could make one of the "arms" of the 'U' a peninsula island.
U-shaped kitchen


  • L-Shape: The most flexible design for both large and small spaces, keeping an open design. L-Shaped kitchen designs are often paired with an island, creating ample work space while also keeping an optimal traffic flow though the space.
L-Shape Kitchen


  • Single Wall: This design is the most efficient when designing for a studio apartment or a micro-apartment. A single wall design incorporates all your appliances and plumbing fixtures into one single bank of cabinets.


  • Galley: Usually long and slender, Galley kitchens have cabinets on both long walls with two open ends. Although convenient for the work triangle, this design usually puts the kitchen as a main traffic passageway of a home.

Cabinetry Door Styles

Door Style Description Picture
Flat Panel The center panel of the door is flat, creating a more sleek, clean design. --
Raised Panel The center panel has a raised panel. This door style can be used for a more traditional or transitional look. --
Slab This door is a solid door with no frame or center panel detailing, usually seen in more contemporary or modern designs. --
Mullion Doors Decorative doors that use glass and decorative wood mullions to create designs. --
Louver Doors Center panel is made up of various widths of wood slats to create a unique, traditional look --

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