How to Choose a Door Design for Your Cabinets and Kitchens

Door furniture refers to any hardware attached to doors, such as hinges and latches. Additionally, it includes decorative elements like door handles and knobs as well as security features like locks or peepholes.

On fine furniture, corners are usually mortised and tenoned before being secured with a bridle joint; however, in kitchen cabinet shops dowels or biscuits may be used instead of this traditional method.

Frame and Panel

Frame-and-panel construction is one of the most popular approaches to door design, as it is attractive, versatile and long-lasting. However, to get it right requires understanding wood movement as well as applying good proportions during assembly.

Wood expands and contracts in response to changing humidity conditions, creating problems for solid-panel doors without careful design. Without proper adaptation, they could swell shut during summer’s high humidity or contract during winter’s low humidity, leaving unsightly gaps at either extreme. Frame-and-panel doors bypass this issue by housing the panel in a groove cut into either rail or stile’s inner edge – this allows it to “float” within its groove without muscle-pulling on frame joints.

Most frame-and-panel doors feature mortise and tenon joinery; this construction style can be labor intensive when mitered sticking is employed.


There is an array of hinges designed to support furniture doors on the market. Most often, they feature knuckle-and-pin assemblies to withstand both axial and radial loads for extra support, helping prevent premature wear and tear to your cabinet or door.

Forging and casting were initially used to produce hinges. With advancement of technology, mass production methods like extrusion, forming, and milling became more widely employed.

Hinges may seem small, yet they carry heavy responsibilities. To ensure maximum performance over time and to reduce any dynamic loads exerted upon them due to door loads or door weight fluctuations, hinges must be properly specified with the proper load specifications. Otherwise they risk becoming loose over time due to dynamic loads exerted upon them or door weight variations.

Surface mount hinges are an increasingly popular choice in cabinet and door applications, often used on face frame cabinets as well as inset cabinet doors. Consisting of two mounting plates joined together by a barrel, they attach one plate to the frame while the other mounts directly to the door with only the barrel being exposed – giving this style of hinge a sleek aesthetic and making for easy assembly.

Slide-In Door Systems

Furniture doors with pivot or bifolding mechanisms that open to an area perpendicular to the cabinet front provide a sleek appearance and easier accessibility, hiding away storage or workspaces when closed; when open they provide full access to furniture when required. When open they tuck neatly away into narrow parking niches for full accessibility whenever needed.

Flipper door hardware enables cabinet-level doors to open and retract into their cabinets like garage doors, eliminating the need for handles and providing convenient handling. These systems are commonly found in home offices, laundry rooms and entertainment/media centers.

Sliding solutions on furniture offer infinite opportunities for creative design and functionality. Their smooth movement and silent opening/closing make these hardware systems ideal for kitchen wall units and cabinets – including other furniture product lines like Hettich. Easy installation makes these hardware systems even more desirable! Hettich provides several innovative door systems featuring different runners that add further options.

Shaker Style

Shaker kitchen styles have long been a hallmark of farmhouse, cottage and traditional styles alike; its elegance making it a go-to style in farmhouse, cottage and traditional settings alike. Originating in self-sufficient communities of the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing (or Shakers), its strong yet sturdy construction combined with practical features makes the shaker style a timeless choice that stands the test of time.

Slim and sleek shaker door profiles pair beautifully with any hardware selection. Ornate knobs and pulls pair beautifully with their straight lines; while geometric handles may add even more elegance.

Shaker doors provide an ideal canvas for highlighting natural wood grains with stain finishes, particularly dark ones like those found in country, Hamptons or Coastal kitchens. Their broad panels also allow natural patterns of natural wood grain patterns to shine, making this style particularly stunning in country kitchens, Hamptons kitchens or coastal kitchens. Their simple shaker profile pairs well with different crown moulding and decorative trim options such as what can be found here from deVOL Kitchens.

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