French Kitchen Cabinets: Yay or Nay?

French Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets make a big statement in your kitchen, and “going French” isn’t for the faint of heart.

There are many options for this open feeling, from etched glass to clear, traditional white painted wood to a rich stain, and even smoky or stained glass. Some homeowners go truly bare-faced and put no doors or glass on their cabinets at all! But is that a wise move?

Traditional French kitchen cabinets are truly timeless, particularly when featuring clear glass. Keep in mind that many colored glass and etched designs might be trendy right now, but could date your kitchen in a few years. But the catch with clear glass is, most homeowners feel obligated to keep their cabinet innards clean, organized and grouped by color.

Winning at Showcasing Interior Cabinets

You might also feel the need to paint or re-paint cabinet interiors, add wallpaper or hide some necessary but not very pretty kitchen supplies. The idea of a junk cabinet goes out the window (fortunately junk drawers can stay). French cabinets with clear glass provide an excellent platform for showcasing beautiful serving collections, fine china, pretty foods in glass jars, and the like.

It may serve you well to look in your current cabinets and imagine how easy it would be to “pretty them up.” There’s no rule that you have to store only high-end, attractive, quality items in French cabinets. Grouping together bright boxes of cereal in complementary colors, canned foods or your good pots and pans can all look great behind French doors.

Shabby vs. Shabby Chic

Remember the kitchen in Friends? It had no cabinet doors whatsoever, but the look jived with the rest of the apartment, which epitomized shabby chic. The brightly painted wood of the cabinet frames, exposed brick, hanging pans, and 1950s style fridge brought the entire look together. However, doing shabby chic right (or “French country” in today’s trending lingo) takes a special touch.

A great cabinet maker will work with you to design an open, airy, shabby chic feel that works with the architecture of your home and current kitchen style. However, do keep in mind that many homeowners appreciate having opaque cabinet doors (glass or otherwise) so they don’t have to worry about keeping yet another part of their home neat and tidy 24/7.

Upgrading Your Kitchen

Another point to keep in mind is that traditional French country cabinets with glass inserts can increase a home’s value. It’s classic, high-end and appeals to many home buyers. Going a little off course with no cabinet doors might not be as appealing. If you plan to sell your home soon, you may want to think twice about baring it all.

There’s also a cost associated with glass inserts, and you will likely pay a premium for French cabinets. Talk with Swirl Woodcraft experts today to find out which option is best for your style, your home and your budget.

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