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  • Writer's pictureMelinda Rowe BA Hons MDIA

What Your Kitchen Cupboard Doors say about You!

Updated: Jun 23, 2020

Ever wondered what your kitchen cupboard doors say about you? . . . Umm, no, I hear you say?

. . . Well that doesn't mean it is a topic that is not worthy of consideration, especially if you are currently designing your new home or embarking on a renovation.

And this is not a small question. . . keep in mind that cupboard doors (and drawers) are not only found in your kitchen, but your bathroom, en-suite, powder room, laundry, media cabinets and WIRs too.

So let’s get started!

Are you the Classic Type?

Meet the classic laminate door.

This is a straight-up a no fuss door. But it does not mean it cannot be stylish. With a flat profile/square edge, simple clean lines, it is certainly durable – wipe down with a damp sponge, and you are good to go.

*side note: Laminate is manufactured using multiple layers of thin paper, (both decorative and kraft),which is soaked in resins, then compressed with heat and pressure to form the laminate product. Laminates are available in solid colours, patterns, decorative finishes and can even 'mimic' real stone and timber, with either a flat surface finish or the timber grain actually embossed onto the surface as found on the ‘nuance’, ‘chalk’, ‘woodmatt’ and ‘ravine’ products.

Today the range of colours and patterns from solid to wood grain, from bold, to accent, to classic whites, is quite extensive and you can generally find something that keeps you within budget in a ‘natural’ or ‘matt’ finish. You can spice it up a level with a textured woodgrain (as described above) or up a few levels with a 'silk', or 'venette' finish for example. I work with both Laminex and Polytec melamine and laminate products.

Either way, if your preferred cupboard door finish is a classic laminate you are a person that is . . .

  • Budget aware.

  • Practical.

  • Design savvy if you clock that by adding a feature contrast colour you can get achieve a creative look without breaking the budget. For example you might choose to use a feature woodgrain colour for your overhead cupboards and the rear panel of your island bench, selecting a solid colour for the rest of the cabinetry, adding a depth to your design and overall colour scheme, with a factional addition to your overall budget.

  • Generally, you are fairly content to go-with-the-flow in life, select from what is on offer ie. the standard range of colours, you tend to enjoy simple practicality and function, with a little controlled spice thrown if you upgrade to the textured or a silk finish.

Pictured: Example of using a contrast colour (white and wood laminate).

Also to note: there are high gloss laminate finishes available such as ‘DiamondGloss’, 'AbsoluteGloss', ‘Createc’ or ‘Ultrglaze’ in a limited colour range for the cupboard doors that have the appearance, and some the price tag, of 2-pac. These laminates are particularly advantageous if you have your heart set on high gloss patterned or woodgrain finish, as pictured below:

. . . However if it’s a solid colour high gloss you are after, you may simply be a ‘2-pac-er’!

We’ll get to 2-pac in a mo’… So keeping in mind a laminate door/drawer will always have heat sealed laminate edge-tape as mentioned above, you can select a contrast colour if you are feeling particularly inspired. There are also some sophisticated finishes in an upgraded matt-look, (that also do not show finger marks) but in general, if it’s laminate as a no brainer for you, you are sure to find something that meets your budget and creative aspirations.

A 'sheen' or 'silk' finish is another great laminate option that gives a glossy finish without the high price tag ... it's mid-range

If you have selected a laminate there is an additional bonus round…

the top edge of the doors and drawers can receive a lil’ profile refinement, which again says a lot about you.

Adding to your desire for function, simplicity, budget consciousness, you can throw in the added dimension of profiling just the top edge of your door. The most popular of these edge profiles is the reverse bevelled edge or bevel edge, which incorporates a shadowpanel either matching in colour or as a feature or contrast …

  • This profile indicates you prefer a stylish simplicity to your space.

  • There is a sophistication to your taste, yet you remain practical as required.

  • Plus there’s an element of sass as with this selection, ‘no handles required’, offering both sleek and stylish finish to your space.

But for those who are inspired by a slightly more decorative flavour to life, they generally can’t go past a profiled or routed timber door profile, as below.

From the well known Shaker, Settler and Nostalgia Square profiles, to the classic Farmhouse, Glazed and Country stylings.

Here's where the 2-Pac options start to shine.

A 2-Pac baked on painted finish can be applied to a profiled timber door in either a satin or gloss, or something in between. If your preferred finish is laminate you can still select a profiled door, but you would have to select a 'Thermolaminated' or 'FormWrap' door to incorporate the profile (limited colour range, but seamless appearance as the name implies). To confirm, with standard laminate you see the edging tape, but with 'Thermolaminated' or 'Formwrap' and 2-pac, you do not.

A 2-Pac painted finish to your cupboard doors is next level, because it opens up a whole world of individualized colour opportunities and longevity to your selection.

If 2-pac is your thing you are one …

  • You want the freedom to select ANY paint colour, and ANY available door and edge profile without restriction.

  • You appreciate a refined/global quality within your environment.

  • You are aware of the increased price tag, but appreciate the value-add to your home investment.

  • There is no edge-tape and if a door becomes chipped or damaged, you can colour-match the paint, whereas if laminate chips you may have trouble colour matching the original batch.

If you are not into the routed profile doors but are into 2-pac then a reverse bevelled edge can be applied, as pictured below.

If 2-pac-er with a reverse bevelled edge is more your style then . . .

  • You have a desire for classic quality and functionality (of 2-pac), but prefer a sleek, refined appearance (of the beveled edge) to the more complex routed/profiled cupboard door.

  • Your desire for the clean lines from the minimalists' playbook is rewarded when incorporating the reverse bevelled edge into your design, ie. no handles required.

So a cupboard door is not just a door . . . it is a subtle reflection of you and what you value . . . and don’t get me started on your benchtop . . . the focal point of your design . . . that’s for another discussion, for now have fun with the playful glimpse through the ‘door’ to you soul . . .lol.

1st Image - Laminex website | cabinetry and benchtops:Laminex Spinifex. Tile splash back: Tiento Tiles. Handles: Linear Standard.designed by Bree Leech. Photography by Derek Swalwell.

2nd Image - Laminex website | BoardGrove Architects' Footscray Apartment. Photography by Haydn Cattach.


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