What is Transitional when it comes to cabinet style and design?

Homeowners today are increasingly asking for clean lines and transitional style in their kitchen cabinets and other cabinets throughout the home. The appeal of transitional design lies in timelessness and it’s well-balanced blend of modern and traditional styles. Transitional is a combination of old world craftsmanship with modern simplicity.

When it comes to cabinets and cabinet doors, transitional design translates to straight, clean lines, minimal detail, natural wood, light or neutral colors (not bold or dark) square or slightly rounded edges, gender neutral design and not overly feminine or masculine. The most sought-after transitional cabinets feature warm, natural wood cabinet doors and boxes, paired with modern, metal hardware and glass inserts in some upper cabinet doors to create a light, open look.  The look is uncluttered, minimalist, and inviting. You won’t find multi-step applied moldings, ornate appliques, detailed mullions or arched panels in transitional cabinet door designs.

Top Transitional Cabinet Door Styles

The distinctive cabinet door styles shown in the photos below are great choices for a transitional kitchen design. They are among the top selling cabinet door styles for transitional cabinets.

Shaker style cabinet doors, flat panel mitered doors  and edgebanded slab cabinet doors (shown below) are often chosen for transitional cabinets.

Cope and Stick Cabinet Door C101 OE5-IE2-FP3/8 in Hard Maple, Select and 5-piece drawer frontMitered Cabinet Door M101 MW15-FP3/8 in Alder, Select and Slab drawer front with OE5 1.5 mm edgebanded door and drawer front- maple veneer

Small variation to detail on the inside edge, like a stepped detail, bevel, single bead or bullnose, and/or small bevel or bullnose on the outside edge creates interest without being ornate or traditional, and sets transitional cabinet doors apart.

IE2 Inside Edge Profile IE4 Inside Edge Profile IE9 Inside edge profile from TaylorCraft Cabinet Door Company MW6 mitered door frame 3-1/8" wide OE4 outside edge profile OE5 outside edge profile OE15 outside edge profile

A Combination Frame wide 3-1/8″ rail (rail=horizontal, top/bottom frame pieces) with a standard 2-3/8″ stile (stile=vertical – right/left frame pieces) is another way to add a unique transitional look and keep the design simple. TaylorCraft’s Combination Frame CF101 cabinet door line has several design options and can be ordered with vertical (standard) or horizontal panel grain.

Combination Frame Cabinet Door CF101 MW6-FP3/8 in Beech, Select and 5-piece drawer front with MW6-D Combination Frame Cabinet Door CF101 MW9-FP3/8 with horizontal panel grain in Walnut, Select and 5-piece drawer front with MW9-D Combination Frame Cabinet Door CF101 MW8-FP3/8 with horizontal panel grain in Cherry, Select and 5-piece drawer front with MW8-D

For a more substantial, modern look, opt for a wide stile and rail with TaylorCraft Cabinet Door Company’s C101 Wide 3-1/8″ stile and rail option shown on the rift white oak, cherry and hard maple doors below.

Cope and Stick Cabinet Door C101 Wide OE5-IE5-FP3/8 White Oak, Rift and 5-piece drawer front Cope and Stick Cabinet Door C101 Wide OE5-IE5-FP3/8 Alder, Select and 5-piece drawer frontCope and Stick Cabinet Door C101 Wide OE5-IE5-FP3/8 Hard Maple, Select and 5-piece drawer front

All of these door styles are stunning in natural wood as shown, or ordered in paint grade material and painted any color from crisp white to black.

Transitional Shaker Cabinet Door Alternatives