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1880-1940

 

Dominated by Frank Lloyd Wright and inspired by Japanese design influences, the Prairie house style gave birth to the open plan where one room flows into the next.


General description:

  • Multilevel

  • Long, low roof lines

  • Repetitive rows of windows

  • Cantilevered floors and roofs


Exterior features to consider in kitchen design:

  • Unornamented design elements

  • Repeated windows

  • Linear forms

  • Integrated furnishings


Recommended kitchen design elements:

PL-G-Art-Deco-recessed

Cabinet Doors 

  • Type: Inset or full overlay

  • Style: Recessed square panel

  • Finish: Stain or paint

  • Wood: Cherry, maple, or oak

Countertops

  • Laminate

  • Soapstone

  • Granite

 Flooring

  • LinoleumSlate

  • Wood

Architectural Details

  • Wood banding at wall and ceiling intersections

  • Chair rail

 

 


 



 

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More in this category:« FoursquareArt Deco »

1830-1880

 

Designed in America by Henry Hobson Richardson in the early 1870s, this style was first created by Richard Norman Shaw in England.


General description:

  • Large, multistory, formal, and irregularly shaped

  • Multiple surface textures, materials, ornamentation, and color

  • Each is unique


Exterior features to consider in kitchen design:

  • Multiple chimneys, turrets, bays, overhangs, window styles, and color

  • Culmination of many styles in one structure


Recommended kitchen design elements:

PL-G-Art-Deco-raised_1_

Cabinet Doors

  • Type: Lipped or full overlay

  • Style: Raised square panel

  • Wood: Cherry, maple, or oak

Countertops

  • Laminate

  • Soapstone

  • Granite

Flooring

  • Linoleum

  • Slate

  • Wood

Architectural Details

  • Crown moulding

  • Chair rail

 


 



 

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More in this category:« EastlakeGothic Revival »

1830-1880

 

Charles Lock Eastlake indirectly created the look when his book Hints on Household Taste in Furniture, Upholstery and Other Details was published in the late 1800s. Designs in the book became the basis of furniture and building styles of the era.


General description:

  • Multistory

  • Similar in style to the Queen Anne, yet more restrained in overall design and ornamentation


Exterior features to consider in kitchen design:

  • Exterior trim adds 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-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

  • Slate

  • Wood

Architectural Details

  • Crown moulding

  • Chair rail

 


 



 

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More in this category:« Greek RevivalQueen Anne »

1880-1940

 

The Arts and Crafts, Prairie, and Farmhouse designs each influenced the Foursquare plan, one of the most popular home styles of the first half of the 20th century.


General description:

  • Two stories

  • Square and symmetrical

  • Four main rooms per floor

  • Full width porch across the front


Exterior features to consider in kitchen design:

  • Symmetrical shape

  • Simple ornamentation


Recommended kitchen design elements:

PL-G-Art-Deco-recessedCabinet Doors 
  • Type: Inset or full overlay

  • Style: Recessed square panel

  • Finish: Stain or paint

  • Wood: Cherry, maple, or oak 

Countertops

  • Laminate

  • Soapstone

Flooring

  • Linoleum

  • Slate

  • Wood

Architectural Details

  • Classic crown moulding
  • Dado

  • Chair rail

     

 


 



 

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More in this category:« CraftsmanPrairie »

1880-1940

 

The Craftsman-style bungalow spread from southern California at the turn of the 20th century and became a dominant plan for smaller homes.


General description:

  • One and a half stories

  • Wide overhanging roofs, brackets, and porches


Exterior features to consider in kitchen design:

  • Irregular shape

  • Simple ornamentation

  • Dormered second floor


Recommended kitchen design elements:

PL-G-Art-Deco-recessed

Cabinet Doors

  • Type: Inset or full overlay

  • Style: Recessed square panel

  • Finish: Stain or paint

  • Wood: Cherry, maple, or oak

Countertops

  • Laminate

  • Soapstone

  • Granite

Flooring

  • Linoleum

  • Wood

Architectural Details

  • Classic crown moulding

  • Dado

 

 


 



 

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More in this category:« ItalianateFoursquare »

1920-1975

 

The Moderne style differs from the earlier Art Deco with the addition of elongated windows, sharp angular walls, and a more streamlined look.


General description:

  • Multistory

  • Stepped-back features

  • Geometric and stylized details

  • Flat roof

  • Metal windows in various linear configurations


Exterior features to include in kitchen design:

  • Irregular shape

  • Geometric ornamentation

  • Both horizontal and vertical banding


Recommended kitchen design elements:

PL-G-Art-Deco-slab

Cabinet Doors

  • Type: Full overlay

  • Style: Flat slab

  • Finish: Stain or paint

  • Wood: Cherry or maple

Countertops

  • Laminate

  • Granite

Flooring

  • Linoleum

  • Wood

Architectural Details

  • Banding

 

 


 



 

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More in this category:« Art Deco

Your Options for Door Types

Wood Cabinet With Drawers

These full overlay doors hide almost all of the cabinet frame.

How the cabinet door fits over the cabinet box determines its basic type.


Full overlay doors 
have less than 1/8" between them-in effect, they fully lay over the cabinet. By definition, all frameless cabinets have full overlay doors. Manufacturers can attach full overlay doors to framed cabinets as well, however, creating a similar look. You can tell for sure whether a cabinet is framed or frameless by opening a door and checking for rails and stiles.


Partial overlay doors
conceal just some of the face frame-there is usually a ½" to 1" space between closed doors, allowing you to see much of the face frame. Because partial overlay doors are smaller than full overlay doors, they require less material, so this choice could slightly reduce your cabinetry's total cost.


Inset doors
sit within the rails and stiles and lay flush with the front edges of the cabinet box. Truly inset doors are only available with framed construction, but designers can achieve the same look using vertical pilasters on frameless cabinets. Note: wood may expand and contract because of humidity, causing rubbing between the door and stiles.


Lipped doors
are routed with a slight wooden groove to fit over the face frame.

 

 

 

 

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More in this category:« DrawersQuality »

Key Things to Look for to Ensure Quality

Close Up of Drawer Interior

Thoroughly examine construction quality before making a final decision.

A coveted name brand (and hefty price tag) might imply high quality, but to truly ensure quality, it's important to examine cabinet construction and components that often go unnoticed.


Look at:

  • Drawer construction: Dovetail drawers will provide the most strength

  • Finishing system: To properly protect the doors, your cabinet's finish should include a moisture resistant sealant, catalytic conversion varnish and baked-on coats

  • Composition of the doors

 
The Hardwood Manufacturers Association recommends asking yourself:

  • Is there evidence of cracking of wood or delamination?

  • Are corners square with no perceptible joint separation?

  • Are exposed surfaces smoothly rounded with no blemishes?

  • Do doors align when closed?

  • Are hardware and handles fastened securely and aligned properly?

  • Are all edges smooth?

  • Are screws, nails and fasteners properly concealed?

  • Do doors and drawers open smoothly and quietly?

  • Are the drawers removable?

  • Is the finish smooth with no drips and bubbles?


Industry Standards
The Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) sponsors a national testing program for cabinets to ensure they meet standards set by the American National Standards Institute. Cabinets that pass the tests — designed to simulate years of typical household use — have seals reading ANSI/KCMA A161.1. The certification program is voluntary.

When you purchase a cabinet with the KCMA seal, know that your cabinets have passed the following tests:

  • Doors are properly aligned and close without excessive binding or looseness.

  • All wood parts were dried to a moisture content of 10 percent or less at the time of fabrication.

  • Cabinets are suitable for use in kitchens and bathrooms, withstanding exposure to grease, solvents, water, detergent and steam.

  • Mounted wall cabinets were gradually loaded to 500 pounds without visible signs of failure in the cabinet or the mounting system.

  • All shelves and bottoms were loaded at 15 pounds per sq. ft. and maintained for seven days to check for joint separation and bending.

  • Drawers were loaded at 15 pounds per sq. ft. and opened and closed 25,000 times to ensure proper drawer assembly and operation.

  • To ensure tight and proper connection of doors, door-holding devices and hinges, doors are opened and closed through a full 90-degree swing 25,000 times.

  • The cabinet door has been placed in a hotbox at 120 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 percent relative humidity for 24 hours to test the finish for discoloration, blistering and film failures.

  • To ensure kitchen and bath durability, exposed surfaces were subjected to vinegar, lemon, orange and grape juices, ketchup, coffee, olive oil and 100-proof alcohol for 24 hours (and mustard for one hour). The finish did not show appreciable discoloration or stain that would not disperse with ordinary polishing.

  

 

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More in this category:« Door Types

Specialty Finishes for Wood Cabinets

There are countless ways to give even more character to your cabinets. Options include:

 

crackle finish

Crackle: cracks in paint simulate the aging of a painted surface

 

 

splatter finishSplatter: dark paint tops light or light tops dark to give a spattered look

 

 

wormholing finishWormholing: random small holes throughout the wood mimic holes left by boring worms or larvae

 

 

distressed finishDistressing: cracks, dents and nicks give the appearance of aged wood

 

 

rounded corners finishRounded corners: corners and edges are sanded before finishing for an antique look

 

 

Rub through-edges: crested areas and corners are sanded to reveal base color

Cow tails-splatter: marks are applied that resemble the comma shape of the flick of a cow's tail

Chaining:indentations are made that simulate wear and tear over time

Rasping: done with a rasp, the edges have filed scarring

 

 

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More in this category:« Cabinet Finishes

What You Need to Know About Wood Cabinets


If wood is your cabinet material of choice, there's no right or wrong answer when it comes to selecting the species. Rely on taste and cost as your main determinants.

Your choice of wood will have the most impact on the cabinet's ultimate look. If you want a light look, for example, you might start with a light wood like ash, beech, birch, elm, oak, maple or chestnut. In the mid-range, consider cherry with a natural finish. Or you can stain maple to be darker than its natural color.

For a dark kitchen, you'll want to start with a wood that has a little color to it. But don't start with a dark wood like walnut and try to lighten it. You can always darken the color of lighter woods, but it's hard to go the other way.

You can also consider clear finishes rather than stains on cherry, walnut, and other woods rich in color, such as butternut, mahogany, rosewood, and teak.

Be sure to consider your environment and cooking style; solid wood cabinets tend to be more affected by humidity and temperature than wood veneer cabinets. Weather extremes can cause warping.

Take note: Just because you're selecting a wood look doesn't mean your cabinetry is necessarily solid wood. Clarify whether your box and door are genuine wood throughout or if additives are present. "All wood" construction refers to these hardwood veneer and laminate alternatives.

In veneers, thin slices of solid hardwood bond with plywood or composite boards. While laminate surfaces appear to be wood, these cabinets adhere plastic foil or paper photographs of wood grain patterns to particleboard or medium density fiberboard. Know what you're paying for; a maple finish could refer to the photograph, not the wood.

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