The definitive guide to kitchen cabinetry | Balnei & Colina

The definitive guide to kitchen cabinetry

The definitive guide to kitchen cabinetry

There are loads of decisions to be made when renovating a kitchen. From tiles, appliances to tapware, selecting design elements can seem overwhelming, but all form an essential part of creating an overall look for your kitchen space. 

One of the most critical design elements in a kitchen renovation project is selecting the right kitchen cabinet door style that’s in keeping with your new kitchen design scheme and layout. 

Whether your goal is a contemporary kitchen renovation, traditional kitchen renovation or anything in between, the Balnei & Colina kitchen design team can help select a kitchen door style that will help achieve the look you’re after for your kitchen space.

Your kitchen cabinet door choices can set the tone for your kitchen renovation, so what door type and style do you choose?

In this month’s B&C Home Journal, we’ve pulled together a definitive guide to kitchen cabinetry to help you better understand the kitchen door options available to help you narrow down the perfect kitchen door style for your new kitchen. Enjoy!

Robert Fonti

Director, Balnei & Colina


Image Credit: Lindye Golloway Design


Kitchen door fronts take up a substantial amount of the visual space within a kitchen renovation project, so the profile design, texture and material of your kitchen door should always support your kitchen design.

From detailed to simple, there are plenty of door styles and finishes to choose from for the perfect fit for your home aesthetic and personal style preference. 

At Balnei & Colina renovations there is a wide range of custom kitchen door styles to choose from. We have detailed some of them below:

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Flat panel kitchen cabinets best suit a contemporary or modern kitchen renovation. Flat panel kitchen door styles are more economical, easy to clean and maintain and can be fitted with or without handles for a more seamless look.


  • Easier to clean.
  • Available with or without handles.
  • More economical; however, this is dependant on the type of material selected, finish applied and whether hardware is included.


  • If not correctly executed, flat-front cabinets can look budget, but you can achieve a more high-end look with the right material and finish selection. The Balnei & Colina team of joinery specialists can help select the right finish for your next cabinetry project.


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Kitchen Renovation Sydney | Balnei & Colina


Shaker cabinetry is known for its uncomplicated, elegant style and is historically named after a religious faction called the ‘Shakers’ who were well known for crafting simple and functional furniture.

Shaker kitchen cabinets are predominately featured in Hamptons Style kitchen renovations and are traditionally made using a single piece of timber as a backing, with four smaller slats forming a border around the outer edge. 

This style of cabinetry will add subtle detail to your kitchen renovation project and fits well with both traditional and contemporary style kitchen designs. Shaker style kitchens have become more popular with renovators in the last decade because the cabinetry is adaptable to different kitchen styles and is viewed as classic. 

Shaker face frame dimensions can be customised to suit your style preference. Thickness can vary from 10mm upwards depending on the look you are after. Standard shaker doors are approx 18-20mm thick.


  • Adaptable to different kitchen design styles from contemporary to traditional
  • Easily complements other door styles from flat to V-groove
  • More economical than heritage style doors


  • Not as easy to clean as flat panel doors with dust and debris collecting in the inset area.


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Image credit: Billie Georgia Shepard Interiors


Balnei & Colina | Kitchen Renovation Sydney


Like traditional beadboard cabinets but having no border feature, v-groove, also known as tongue-and-groove, is a lovely alternative to standard shaker cabinetry and can be introduced into a kitchen design to add visual interest minus the clutter. 

The kitchen designers at Balnei & Colina often use V-groove cabinetry to complement existing kitchen joinery as a feature, e.g. on a kitchen island or custom rangehood. V-groove cabinetry is a versatile design element and adapts to a myriad of kitchen styles; from industrial style kitchen renovations to coastal kitchens, the design options are vast. 

Design Tip: Go with a bold colour for a modern look such as Dulux Domino, or for a more coastal kitchen design, try subtle colours in softer hues such as light blues and greys, e.g. Resene Stonehenge Qtr - a pale grey.


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Image credit: Emily Henderson Design

Balnei & Colina | Kitchen Renovation Sydney


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Detailed profile cabinetry is more ornate than a simple Shaker front door. Detailed profile doors are more suited to traditional or heritage style kitchen renovations, and feature either raised or recessed central panels with more intricate profiles, and is often accompanied by detailed millwork to finish the look.

Available in a vast array of profile selections, this traditional kitchen style cabinet door is often seen in Heritage homes and older Hamptons style homes; however, it is quickly becoming a contemporary option for renovators wanting a point of difference and a more unique aesthetic for their kitchen renovation projects.

Design Tip: With heavier detailing, Balnei & Colina recommend this style door for larger kitchen spaces as it can overwhelm a more compact space.

Balnei & Colina | Kitchen Renovation Sydney


Glass door cabinets are a great way to display your kitchen decor or special items that you want to place on show, like your good China, ceramics or crystal glassware. Glass cabinets create the illusion of open space within a kitchen, being visually lighter than a full front cabinet door, and can also add interest to your kitchen space.

Balnei & Colina can customise your glass doors to suit your kitchen style, e.g. full-flat glass panels for more contemporary style kitchens or colonial style beading for a traditional kitchen.

Design Tip: Add recessed lighting to the internals of your glass-front cabinets for a special touch and to help highlight the area.

Only work with expert kitchen contractors like Balnei & Colina renovations to ensure that glass panelled doors are correctly constructed with high-quality glass that is durable and safe. 


  • Glass-front cabinets allow you to easily view and access contents without having to search through multiple cabinets.
  • Glass-front cabinets reflect light and are great for small or dark rooms.
  • A great alternative to open shelving and kitchen items are more protected and less likely to gather dust and grime.
  • Glass-front doors will enable you to be creative with internal cabinetry. You can use a timber veneer for internals, for example, for a more compelling kitchen design.


  • Items in a glass cabinet are in full view, so some styling effort will be required to keep them looking chic with an occasional cleanout to keep the area tidy.
  • Cleaning glass is a two-step process. Dirt and dust can collect along the frames; glass is easily cleaned, but you will need to use a glass cleaning product.
  • Glass-front cabinetry is a little more expensive than full cabinet fronts but provide an elevated and unique design element to a kitchen and are definitely worth the extra investment.


Image Credit: Interior Design Ideas

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Image Credit: Nichol Hollis Interiors


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For those who love the idea of clear glass cabinet doors but still want to keep their kitchen decor hidden from full view, a custom mesh or grille kitchen door cabinet may be the solution. 

Mesh/Grille kitchen cabinetry can conceal contents whilst still making a space feel more open. Mesh/Grille kitchen cabinetry is comprised of woven wire mesh or perforated metal sheeting custom grilles fixed to inner door panels. They add a layer of depth and interest to your kitchen design without the heaviness or bulk of a full front panel kitchen cabinet door. 

The mesh/metal visually unites the objects behind it, providing a cohesive silhouette for kitchen cabinet contents. This custom kitchen design element can also complement other finishes in the room and comes in a variety of patterns and finishes, from a simple grid to more elaborate geometries.

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Image Credit: Becki Owens Interiors


Inset cabinets feature individual door frames; that is, the kitchen door is fitted inside the cabinet frame. Hinges can be exposed or hidden depending on the kitchen design style and client preference.

Inset kitchen cabinets are a bespoke custom joinery service and require expert fabrication and installation skills. Because of this, inset kitchen cabinets are substantially more costly than standard overlay door options. 

With so many affordable, fully overlay cabinets available, kitchen inset cabinets are less common in Australia and appear more prevalent in countries like the UK and North America. 

Inset cabinets are generally selected for their more traditional heritage look, but as the door sits within the frame, it can result in less available cupboard space.

Image credit: Brookmans UK

Image Credit: Athena Calderone Designs



  • Sit flush inside the cabinet for a more detailed, traditional look.
  • One of the more expensive kitchen door options and can reduce the amount of available storage space. 
  • Only available with handles and requires specialised hardware, which can add to the cost of your kitchen renovation. This style of door often features visible hinges.


  • The most common type of kitchen cabinet door in Australia
  • Suits any kitchen style, from traditional to modern
  • Less polarising than inset options offering classic styling options popular with many renovators and potential home buyers
  • More affordable and available in a wide variety of profiles and materials
  • Fully overlay kitchen cabinets reduce dust and dirt in the cabinet carcass.


Still unsure what style of door to pick for your upcoming kitchen renovation? Leave it to the experts at Balnei & Colina Kitchen Renovations Sydney. The full-service Balnei & Colina team will help you with every step of your kitchen renovation journey, from planning to execution. 

Simply book a kitchen design consultation with a kitchen renovation expert today on 1300 450 320 or drop us an email at  You can also send us your project details via this contact form

To stay up to date with the latest kitchen design trends, visit us at or connect with us via Facebook or Instagram.

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