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1740-1860


Popular in England during the reigns of the four King Georges, this house style was built in the United States in the 1700s and 1800s. Its appealing classic lines have made it a favorite in the suburbs.

General description:

  • Two to three stories

  • Large and formal

  • Rectangular and symmetrical with classic lines and ornamentation

  • Hip roof

  • Gabled center entrance

  • Two chimneys, one at each end


Exterior features to consider in kitchen design:

  • Brick with corner quoins of stone; clapboard and shingle facing is less common

  • Double-hung windows without shutters

  • Center entrance typically with Greek columns and sidelights

  • Palladian-style windows often found either over the front door or at each end


Recommended kitchen design elements:

PL-G-Art-Deco-raised

Cabinet Doors

  • Type: Lipped or full overlay

  • Style: Raised curved panel

  • Finish: Stain or paint

  • Wood: Cherry, maple, or oak

Countertops

  • Laminate

  • Soapstone

  • Granite

Flooring

  • Linoleum

  • Ceramic

  • Wood

Architectural Details

  • Simple crown molding

  • Dado board

  • Chair rail

 

 

 

 

 


 



 

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More in this category:« Dutch ColonialFederal »

1830-1880

 

Usually built after 1860 in rural America, most Gothic Revival homes were influenced by the popular European styles of the day.


General description:

  • Two stories

  • Irregular shape

  • Gothic arched windows given even greater height by steeply pitched roof


Exterior features to consider in kitchen design:

  • Elaborate exterior trim adding structural significance to design

  • Wood, stone, or brick, with sometimes a mix of all three to add a multicolor effect


Recommended kitchen design elements:

PL-G-Art-Deco-beadboard

Cabinet Doors

  • Type: Inset

  • Style: Beaded square panel

  • Finish: Stain or paint

  • Wood: Cherry, maple, or oak

Countertops

  • Laminate

  • Soapstone

  • Granite

Flooring

  • Linoleum

  • Ceramic

  • Wood

Architectural Details

  • Crown moulding with dentil, egg & dart

  • Chair rail

 

 

 

 


 



 

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More in this category:« Queen AnneItalianate »

Inserts Provide a Great Design Option for Cabinets

Dark and Light Wood Cabinets

Contrasting wood types and glass inserts give this kitchen visual interest

A kitchen loaded with base and wall cabinets can look like a storage room or feel dark and heavy. Inserts such as glass, metal or chicken wire present a great design option to add visual interest, especially on stock cabinets that might otherwise lack unique touches. Glass will also reflect light, brightening your kitchen and making it appear larger.

Clear glass can showcase fine china or collectibles, but also reveals fingerprints and clutter. Luckily, inserts come in a variety of textures and patterns that make the glass translucent or opaque rather than transparent. Options include:

  • Beveled: polished angle-ground glass with prismatic characteristics

  • Bubbled: air bubbles sprinkled in the glass to enhance the illusion of age

  • Camed: strips (or "cames") of lead, brass, or copper lie between the glass

  • Colored: tinted glass

  • Etched: a design is carved into glass using hydrofluoric acid

  • Frosted: glass blown with fine sand under high pressure for an opaque look

  • Leaded: a popular type of camed glass

  • Mullion: thin strips of wood separate panes of glass

  • Ribbed: vertical, horizontal, or diagonal lines

 

Some manufacturers also offer the option of sandwiching materials such as rice paper or fabric between the layers of glass.

Install halogen lights inside the cabinets for an additional glow or to highlight the contents. Use glass shelves to allow the light to shine all the way through. Or consider a colored interior; for example, a hunter green interior against a white cabinet can emphasize a country motif. You can also decorate the interior with stenciled patterns, faux finishes or wallpaper.

 

 

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1830-1880

 

Reminiscent of the Italian villa, this style was popular in England in the early 1800s and in America in the late 1800s.

General description:

  • Two stories

  • Irregular shape

  • Different window designs at each floor level

  • Wide frieze and brackets supporting large cornice


Exterior features to consider in kitchen design:

  • Multiple chimneys, bays, overhangs, and window styles

  • Gracious entry with balcony above

 

Recommended kitchen design elements:

PL-G-Art-Deco-raised_1_

Cabinet Doors

  • Type: Lipped or full overlay

  • Style: Raised square panel

  • Finish: Stain or paint

  • Wood: Cherry, maple, or oak

Countertops

  • Laminate

  • Soapstone

  • Granite

Flooring

  • Linoleum

  • Ceramic

  • Wood

Architectural Details

  • Crown moulding with dentil, egg & dart

  • Chair rail

 

 


 



 

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More in this category:« Gothic RevivalCraftsman »

Wood Remains the Top Choice for Cabinets

Warm wood kitchen cabinets with quartz counters and stainless steel appliances.

Maple or cherry wood dominate U.S. preferences in kitchen cabinets.

Kitchen cabinets can be made from a wide range of materials, including wood, laminate, stainless steel, thermofoil, melamine, lacquer and acrylic. Wood reigns supreme in the United States, though, with wood doors accounting for about 91 percent of sales in 2007, according to Kitchen & Bath Business magazine's most recent industry survey. Themofoil came in at 4 percent, with melamine at 1.6 percent, and laminate and lacquer each over 1 percent.

The study also showed maple as the most popular wood choice, followed in order by cherry, red or white oak, and hickory.

Each option has its merits. At first glance, wood offers natural beauty and a more traditional, country or rustic look, while manmade materials have an endless range of colors and a more modern style. With a little imagination, though, almost any material can work in any kitchen style. In fact, kitchen designers today often use more than one material in cabinet designs, or use the same material but in two different finishes or colors.

So choose your material not just by style, but by cost, durability, available door styles and finishes, and just plain old personal preference.

 

 

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More in this category:Woods »

Questions to Ask Yourself When Selecting Cabinets

Kitchen Workspace with Cabinets and Drawers

You can print out the questionnaire and refer to it as you read through the site and while visiting a designer's showroom.

 

pdf PDF Version

 

  1. Do my current cabinets provide enough storage? Do I need more cabinetry, or do I need more organization accessories?

  2. Who will be using the kitchen? Do their needs differ by age, height or other factors?

  3. What activities besides cooking and eating take place in the kitchen? Do I need a desk area, recycling area, or cabinets to conceal a washer and dryer or TV?

  4. Is easy maintenance a must? Which material is least likely to show fingerpaints and scratches?

  5. What features do I need with my new cabinets and which could I live without or add later?

  6. What is the architectural style of my home? Is it distinctive enough that I want the kitchen to reflect it?

  7. What kind of overall style do I want to create in the kitchen? Contemporary? Traditional? Country?

  8. Depending on the overall style, do I want a wood door or would another material better create the right look?

  9. What type and style of door will help to create the look and style I want?

  10. If choosing wood, what kind of grain appeals to me? What finishes will create the look and style I want?

  11. Do I want my cabinets to include display space, such as open shelving or glass-front doors?

  12. Do I need wall cabinets for storage or do I prefer to keep wall space open for windows or decorative items?

  13. Do I need moldings and trim to create the look I want? Do I want to dust them?

 

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1740-1860


Popular in America during the 1800s, this house style is also known as a Classic Colonial style. The addition of columns makes the home look like a Greek temple.


General description:

  • Two to three stories

  • Large and formal

  • Rectangular and symmetrical with classic lines and ornamentation

  • Flat roof, balustrade, and belvedere

  • One or more chimneys extending through the roof

 

Exterior features to consider in kitchen design:

  • Brick or clapboard

  • Double-hung windows with shutters and small glass panes

  • Center entrance typically with columns and sidelights


Recommended kitchen design elements:

PL-G-Art-Deco-raised

Cabinet Doors

  • Type: Lipped or full overlay

  • Style: Raised curved panel

  • Finish: Stain or paint

  • Wood: Cherry, maple, or oak

Countertops

  • Laminate

  • Soapstone

  • Granite

Flooring

  • Linoleum

  • Ceramic

  • Wood

Architectural Details

  • Simple crown moulding

  • Dado board

  • Chair rail

 

 

 


 



 

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More in this category:« FederalEastlake »

An Overview of Wood Veneers

Wood veneer is made from peeling strips of wood off a tree like you pull paper towels off a roll. As a result, it's much thinner than solid wood and is typically applied to plywood or particleboard to give it strength. It has two main advantages over solid wood: it can cost less and its grain can be more consistent. It also is less affected by humidity and temperature than solid wood.

You can stain wood veneer to match a solid wood door and use it on the side panels. Make sure both the veneer and the door are made from the same wood species.

Wood veneer also makes an attractive option for cabinet interiors visible through glass doors.

 

 

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More in this category:« Exotic WoodsLaminate »

Common Wood Finishes

 

Natural Wood
Natural wood doesn't mean you're purchasing cabinets that are entirely in the nude. To protect the wood from dirt and grease and maintain the look of unfinished wood, a transparent topcoat must be added.

Stain
A stain adds color to the wood without masking the beauty of the wood grain. Manufacturers use all different names for stain colors. One company's "amber" may not look anything like another's with the same name. Think in terms of tone. Choose the wood you prefer and then decide whether a stain with a light, medium, or dark tone will best achieve the effect you're after.

A stain isn't technically a "finish"; there are more steps to come once it has been applied. A finishing coat is applied over the stain to protect it. Typically, a stain will be coated with a catalytic-conversion varnish to give it durability and sheen-whether matte or high-gloss or anything in-between. When it's baked on, the varnish catalyzes into a hard, protective finish. You don't want to top the stain with oil, lacquer, or wax because those substances won't hold up and will yellow over time. Glazes can be used as an overcoat to achieve certain effects, such as an antique look.

Glaze
Glaze can be used by itself or applied over a base stain or paint and then wiped off by hand. The glaze settles in the cabinet door's corners, edges, and open grain areas, defining its details and lending an overall patina. Glazes can be tinted any color. A hand-rubbed white glaze against light woods is a quick way to impart an aged feel.

Paint
With paint you certainly have an endless palette of colors to choose from. You can also achieve a range of special effects. Paint can look smooth and glossy or it can be sanded, rubbed off, or dented with rocks to look distressed. But you should be aware up front that hairline cracks will appear at the joints of solid wood doors as the wood expands and contracts. You can avoid cracking if you apply paint to MDF, a solid material that doesn't move with humidity changes.

Polyester
It isn't that big of a leap to cabinets from cars, the surface on which this finish has been commonly applied. The same durability and quality needed on the road is also appreciated in the kitchen. There, polyester can be found on appliances as well as modern-style cabinets, in a glossy or matte finish. It fills the pores of the door more fully than paint, giving it a solid look and feel.

The technique might involve more than 20 steps of sanding and finishing. There's even a step where a special topcoat is applied in a dust-free room. The finish goes through numerous oven curings and hand sandings with extremely fine abrasives. Special glazes and polishes applied at the end help achieve the final, mirror-like sheen.

Perhaps not surprisingly, all that elbow grease makes this one of the more expensive finish choices.

 

 

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More in this category:Specialty Finishes »

An Overview of Cabinet Box Construction

You might be surprised to learn that solid wood rarely forms the cabinet box. It's more often used in face frames and doors than in the larger side panel parts. That's because it tends to warp-a special concern in the kitchen where the moisture level changes frequently. But in the doors, using multiple strips of lumber in a variety of sizes can reduce the warp factor. A "floating" panel might also be used. The panel floats because instead of being glued to the doorframe, its edges sit between wooden grooves, allowing the wood to move more freely with changes in the kitchen's humidity.

Box materials typically contain wood chips, other wood by-products, and synthetic additives to make them especially strong and warp resistant. Your options include:




All have solid reputations for durability and screw-holding power, particularly plywood. Medium-density fiberboard has gained a following for its ability to be formed into door and drawer heads and other decorative features. Furniture-grade flakeboard offers a stronger alternative than particleboard, which you'll pay the least for.

Often the door and box will be constructed of different materials. A cabinet door might be solid maple and the cabinet box plywood covered with a maple veneer. The same finish would be applied to both, unifying the look. Or you may decide you want different tones on the door and the sides to add contrast.

You'll want to make sure you know if the finish you like requires a certain base material, and you'll want to check out examples of your manufacturer's work. Beware of staples! Staples will pull apart. You want cabinets with thick panels that have been corner blocked and glued or fastened with screws.

 

 

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More in this category:« Cabinet ConstructionDrawers »