Make it Personal with Mullion and Glass Doors

July 29, 2015No comments

Glass-door cabinets are an excellent way to personalize your kitchen design. The question is, where and how to use glass to best project your style and complement your space?

kitchen with white glass door cabinets in buffet and black shaker cabinets in island
Design by Sammi Lindemann

A furniture feature like the buffet in the kitchen above is a great way to segue from kitchen to dining and living areas. In this design I combined open and mullion glass doors for a more formal, traditional look.

pro range and hood in peninsula built of white shaker cabinets with glass doors

Peninsula cabinets with glass doors front and back allow light to flow freely across the kitchen and dining areas. Displayed dishes and artwork will have a lighter-than-air feeling. One caution – glass located next to a range hood might require frequent cleaning.

An excellent use of glass doors is to create a display case for a special collection of art, dishware, antiques or other personal treasures. When a customer requests glass in a kitchen design, I ask, “What are you going to put in the cabinet?” If the cabinet is going to be used for general storage, frosted or textured glass inserts will still provide a light feel but not require meticulous organization.

kitchen window with open cabinets on either side featuring metal grid inserts

I love to create a light and bright expanse by positioning open cabinets on either side of a window. In the kitchen above, metal door inserts enhance the farmhouse style.

shallow buffet built of white shaker cabinets with textured glass doors and sash pulls

A built-in buffet, hutch or bar is a natural place to feature glass doors. They also help create a furniture effect on cabinets that connect the kitchen to a living or dining space.

kitchen island built of white mission style cabinets with glass mullion doors and open shelvesInserts on base cabinets or an island should be tempered glass, which breaks into small rounded pieces. For a family with small children (or large, vigorous dogs) I might suggest instead open shelves trimmed to achieve the desired furniture look.

oak glass door cabinets with mullion doors in mission style

Mullions, the wooden bars separating glass panes, enhance traditional and Mission styles.

Once you have decided where and how to use the open-frame or mullion cabinets, you will purchase the glass from a local glass shop or online retailer. An almost unlimited selection will include clear, textured, frosted, stained, leaded and colored glass. Inserts don’t have to be glass – create a farmhouse or industrial chic effect with metal, or a country schoolhouse feeling with a cabinet done in chalkboard.

Black Mission style cabinets with mullion doors and glass inserts

Talk to your designer about finishing touches. Will you highlight cabinet contents with special lighting? You can aim ceiling-mounted spots at the glass doors, or light the cabinet from within. If you install interior cabinet lights, consider using glass shelves so the light flows throughout. How will you finish the cabinet interior? Options include a beadboard or smooth surface, finished to match the cabinet exterior or in an accent color.

Do you have any questions or suggestions? Leave a comment below – we look forward to hearing from you.

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