cabinet restoration

Is it possible to change the style of my cabinets during restoration?

Transforming the style of your cabinets during restoration can breathe new life into your kitchen or bathroom, enhancing both aesthetics and functionality. Whether you choose to reface, paint, or add new hardware, these updates offer a cost-effective way to achieve a fresh look without the expense of full replacement. Additionally, incorporating elements like under-cabinet lighting, decorative inserts, and pull-out pantries can further elevate the design and efficiency of your space. Join Top Refinish to exploring these innovative ideas, you can tailor your cabinet restoration to match your personal style while creating a more inviting and organized environment in your home.


Refacing cabinets is an effective way to achieve a fresh, modern look without the cost and hassle of complete replacement. This process involves replacing the cabinet doors and drawer fronts while keeping the existing cabinet boxes intact. Refacing offers a wide range of possibilities, from selecting new door styles and finishes to choosing different materials such as wood, laminate, or even thermofoil. By opting for refacing, homeowners can significantly alter the appearance of their kitchen or bathroom, making it look brand new.

The advantages of refacing go beyond aesthetics. It’s a more environmentally friendly option since it reduces waste compared to completely discarding old cabinets. Additionally, the process is quicker and less disruptive than a full renovation, often taking just a few days to complete. Refacing also allows for customization, enabling homeowners to select designs that match their taste and home decor, whether it’s a sleek, modern look or a classic, traditional style.

Painting or Staining

Painting or staining your cabinets is another cost-effective method to revamp their appearance. This option works particularly well if the cabinets are structurally sound but have outdated finishes. Painting allows for a complete transformation, offering endless color possibilities that can brighten up the space or create a bold, new look. Whether you prefer a crisp white, a trendy gray, or a vibrant color, painting can provide a fresh and updated feel.

Staining, on the other hand, enhances the natural beauty of wood cabinets by highlighting their grain patterns. This technique is ideal for achieving a more natural, rustic, or traditional appearance. There are various stain shades available, from light, natural tones to deep, rich hues, allowing you to select the perfect match for your home’s decor. Both painting and staining are relatively quick processes that can be done by professionals or as a DIY project, depending on your skill level and available time.

Adding New Hardware

Swapping out old handles and knobs for new, modern ones can dramatically change the overall style of your cabinets. This simple yet effective update can be done with minimal effort and expense. Hardware comes in various materials, such as brass, stainless steel, glass, and ceramic, as well as a multitude of styles, from sleek and contemporary to ornate and vintage.

Choosing the right hardware can enhance the look of your cabinets and tie together the overall design of your kitchen or bathroom. For instance, brushed nickel or stainless steel handles can provide a modern and clean look, while antique brass or bronze knobs can add a touch of vintage charm. The key is to select hardware that complements the style and finish of your cabinets, ensuring a cohesive and polished appearance.

Installing Molding or Trim

Adding decorative elements like crown molding, trim, or beadboard can give your cabinets a custom, high-end look. These additions can significantly enhance the style of your cabinets, making them stand out as a focal point in your kitchen or bathroom. Crown molding, for example, adds an elegant touch to the tops of cabinets, creating a seamless transition to the ceiling and giving the space a more finished and sophisticated look.

Trim can be used to add detail to cabinet doors and drawer fronts, making them appear more intricate and stylish. Beadboard panels can be installed on the sides or backs of cabinets to provide a charming, cottage-like aesthetic. These enhancements can be tailored to match the architectural style of your home, from traditional to contemporary, offering endless possibilities for customization.

Changing the Layout

If you’re considering a more extensive restoration, altering the layout of your cabinets can improve both functionality and style. Changing the layout might involve reconfiguring the arrangement of cabinets, adding new ones, or removing some to create more open space. This approach can address issues like awkward corners, insufficient storage, or cramped work areas, ultimately enhancing the usability of your kitchen or bathroom.

A well-thought-out layout can also improve the flow and efficiency of the space. For instance, incorporating a kitchen island with additional storage and countertop space can make meal preparation more convenient and enjoyable. Similarly, adjusting the layout in a bathroom can create a more spacious and organized environment. Consulting with a professional designer can help you achieve the optimal layout that meets your needs and aesthetic preferences.

Incorporating Glass Doors

Replacing some of your solid cabinet doors with glass doors can add a stylish and open feel to your kitchen or bathroom. Glass doors create a sense of openness and light, making the space appear larger and more inviting. They also provide an opportunity to showcase decorative items, dishware, or collectibles, adding a personal touch to the design.

There are various styles of glass doors to choose from, including clear, frosted, textured, and leaded glass. Clear glass offers a clean and modern look, while frosted or textured glass provides privacy and a softer appearance. Leaded glass doors can add a touch of elegance and traditional charm. Incorporating glass doors is an excellent way to break up the monotony of solid cabinets and introduce visual interest to the space.

Updating Interior Features

Adding features like pull-out shelves, lazy Susans, or soft-close hinges can enhance both the style and functionality of your cabinets. Pull-out shelves make it easier to access items stored in the back of cabinets, improving organization and convenience. Lazy Susans are ideal for corner cabinets, maximizing the use of space and providing easy access to items.

Soft-close hinges add a touch of luxury by ensuring that cabinet doors and drawers close gently and quietly. These features not only improve the usability of your cabinets but also contribute to a more refined and modern appearance. Updating interior features can be a straightforward process that makes a significant impact on the overall functionality and style of your cabinets.

Open Shelving

Incorporating open shelving into your cabinet restoration project is an excellent way to change the style of your kitchen or bathroom while enhancing functionality. Open shelves provide easy access to everyday items and create a more airy and spacious feel. This style is particularly popular in modern and farmhouse designs, where the focus is on simplicity and practicality.

Open shelving can be used to display attractive dishware, glassware, or decorative items, adding a personal touch to your space. It also encourages organization, as items are always visible and easily accessible. Shelves can be customized in various materials and finishes, from rustic wood to sleek metal, allowing you to match them to your existing decor or introduce a new element of style.

Under-Cabinet Lighting

Adding under-cabinet lighting is a stylish and functional upgrade that can transform the look of your cabinets. This lighting option enhances the overall ambiance of the kitchen or bathroom by illuminating countertops and workspaces, making tasks like cooking and cleaning easier. Under-cabinet lighting also highlights the beauty of your countertops and backsplash, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

There are several types of under-cabinet lighting to choose from, including LED strips, puck lights, and rope lights. LED strips are popular for their energy efficiency and versatility, offering various brightness levels and color temperatures. Puck lights provide focused, spot-like illumination, while rope lights offer a softer, more diffuse glow. Installing under-cabinet lighting can be a simple DIY project or handled by a professional cabinet installer, depending on your comfort level with electrical work.

Replacing Countertops

While not a change to the cabinets themselves, replacing countertops can dramatically affect the overall style of your kitchen or bathroom. New countertops can refresh the space and complement updated cabinets, creating a cohesive and modern look. There are numerous materials to choose from, each with its unique aesthetic and functional properties.

Granite and quartz countertops are popular for their durability and wide range of colors and patterns. Marble offers a luxurious, high-end look, though it requires more maintenance. Solid surface materials like Corian provide a seamless appearance and are available in various colors and patterns. Laminate is a budget-friendly option that can mimic the look of more expensive materials. By selecting a countertop material that matches your style and needs, you can enhance the overall look and functionality of your cabinets and kitchen or bathroom.

Upgrading to Soft-Close Features

Upgrading to soft-close features for your cabinets is a small change that makes a big impact. Soft-close hinges and drawer slides ensure that doors and drawers close gently and quietly, preventing slamming and reducing wear and tear. This upgrade adds a touch of luxury and sophistication to your cabinets, enhancing the overall user experience.

Soft-close mechanisms are easy to install and are available for both doors and drawers. They improve the longevity of your cabinets by preventing damage caused by harsh closing. This feature is particularly beneficial in households with children, as it minimizes the risk of fingers getting caught in closing doors or drawers. Soft-close upgrades are an affordable way to add value and style to your kitchen cabinets.

Adding Decorative Inserts

Incorporating decorative inserts into your cabinet doors is a creative way to change their style. Decorative inserts can be made from a variety of materials, including glass, metal, and wood. Glass inserts, for example, can range from clear to frosted to stained, each providing a unique look. Metal inserts, such as perforated aluminum or wire mesh, can add an industrial or contemporary touch. Wooden inserts with intricate carvings or patterns can introduce a rustic or traditional element.

Decorative inserts allow for personalization and can be tailored to match the overall theme of your kitchen or bathroom. They can be used to break up solid cabinet doors, creating visual interest and a custom feel. This update is relatively easy to implement and can significantly enhance the aesthetic appeal of your cabinets.

Incorporating Pull-Out Pantries

Incorporating pull-out pantries into your cabinet design can greatly enhance both style and functionality. Pull-out pantries are designed to maximize storage space and improve accessibility, making it easier to organize and retrieve items. These pantries can be customized to fit within existing cabinet spaces, providing a streamlined and efficient solution for storage needs.

Pull-out pantries come in various configurations, from narrow pull-out shelves to full-height pantry units. They can be equipped with adjustable shelves, wire baskets, or built-in drawers, allowing for versatile storage options. This feature is particularly useful in small kitchens or bathrooms, where optimizing space is crucial. By incorporating pull-out pantries, you can achieve a more organized and stylish cabinet layout.


By exploring these additional options—open shelving, under-cabinet lighting, replacing countertops, upgrading to soft-close features, adding decorative inserts, and incorporating pull-out pantries—you can effectively change the style of your cabinets during restoration. These updates not only enhance the aesthetics of your kitchen or bathroom but also improve functionality, making your space more enjoyable and efficient. Whether you opt for a simple update or a more extensive renovation, these changes can breathe new life into your cabinets, transforming your home into a more stylish and practical environment.

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