Martha Stewart says that the Traditional style of cabinetry was inspired by the golden age of Europe, and is the most formal cabinetry style, often embellished with ornately carved details. The doors often have raised panels, sometimes featuring an arched design. Traditional cabinets are often found in rich color stained woods or painted woods or composites, but might also be treated with an antiquing and/or glazing effect.

Country or Farmhouse 

Martha Stewart says Country and Farmhouse cabinets are essentially the same thing, and both styles are a more casual version of traditional cabinetry. There is often an introduction of more relaxed materials, such as beadboard, shiplap, tin metal, reclaimed wood, and sometimes glass doors or open shelving to enhance that charming feel. Country or farmhouse cabinets are almost always painted, and the most popular color is white, but other hues such as yellow, red, charcoal gray, and black are becoming more popular, too. There might be some mixing and matching of colors and cabinet styles throughout the space, but the overall color concept is driven by casual comfort.


Martha Stewart says that Shaker is the most stylistically versatile cabinet design. Thanks to its simple frame and panel structure, these cabinets blend in with either a traditional or a contemporary look. The style originates from the Shaker religious group that fled to the American colonies in the 1780s; the group became known for their simple, utilitarian, and smart design, including the famous peg rail.

Shaker cabinets are made from a five-piece door, which comprises a four-piece frame with a flat panel in the center. These cabinets are traditionally made from high-quality American wood, but it's now fairly common to see them painted in pretty much any color under the sun. For a more modern look, some homeowners will paint the upper cabinets one color, then use a different paint or wood stain for the lowers.


Contemporary cabinetry is usually a transitional style utilizing some aspects of Traditional cabinetry with Modern cabinetry, typically leaning more towards the Modern style. Less ornate than Traditional, but not as sleek as Modern.


Martha Stewart says that Modern cabinetry is the least detailed of all the styles. Doors are usually flat panels with a full overlay and little to no molding or trim, which creates an unfussy, clean look. Naturally stained wood with very little grain, such as maple, is very common for this style of cabinetry. If painted, the most popular colors range from deep blues to black, white, and gray, but almost anything would work. Bright yellow or orange can easily be at home in a modern kitchen, and cabinets might also utilize high-gloss or flat Acrylic doors, drawer fronts and moldings for an ultra-sleek effect.