Home Home Improvement Kitchen Cabinets: Classic Vs. Modern – Which One Wins?
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Kitchen Cabinets: Classic Vs. Modern – Which One Wins?

Kitchen Cabinets: Classic Vs. Modern

Kitchen cabinets are an essential component of any kitchen, serving as a storage solution for dishes, appliances, and other kitchen essentials. As time has passed, kitchen cabinets have evolved in design, material, and functionality. While some homeowners prefer the classic look of traditional kitchen cabinets, others opt for modern cabinets with sleek and contemporary designs. In this article, we will discuss the two popular cabinet styles, Classic and Modern.

Types Of Kitchen Cabinets

Classic Cabinets:

Classic kitchen cabinets are known for their timeless and traditional design that has been popular for many decades. These cabinets are typically made of solid wood, such as oak, cherry, or maple, and feature raised panel doors, decorative molding, and ornate hardware. Classic cabinets exude elegance and sophistication and are often associated with a formal or traditional style. They are available in various finishes, from natural wood to painted finishes, allowing homeowners to customize their look to match their preferences.

Classic Cabinets
Photo by Charlotte May

Modern Cabinets:

Modern kitchen cabinets are characterized by their sleek and contemporary design. These cabinets typically feature flat or slab-style doors with minimal embellishments, creating a clean and minimalist look. They are designed with ease of use in mind, featuring soft-close hinges and drawer slides that create a streamlined look and make them quieter and less likely to slam shut. Modern kitchen cabinets are popular for those who prefer a clean and contemporary design.

Modern Cabinets
Photo by Max Rahubovskiy

Comparison Of The Different Types Of Kitchen Cabinets

Both classic and modern kitchen cabinets are versatile and in high demand because they offer homeowners a range of design options. They are also available in various sizes, making them suitable for all sizes and shapes of kitchens. There are some differences between the two, such as;

The Layout:

Classic kitchen cabinets typically feature a more traditional layout with a U-shaped or L-shaped design. This layout allows plenty of storage space and work surfaces, with cabinets and drawers arranged symmetrically. Classic cabinets also often include a central island or peninsula as an additional work surface or a seating place.

On the other hand, modern kitchen cabinets often feature a more open layout with a focus on functionality and efficiency. The design often incorporates a galley-style layout with cabinets and appliances arranged in a straight line. This layout maximizes the use of space while minimizing the need for unnecessary cabinets and storage. Modern kitchen cabinets may incorporate a central island or peninsula, but the design is often more streamlined and minimalistic than classic kitchen cabinets.


Classic kitchen cabinets are usually made of solid wood or plywood, which provides a sturdy and durable construction. These cabinets are known for longevity and can last decades if properly maintained. Additionally, the traditional design of classic cabinets allows them to withstand the test of time and to change design trends. However, classic cabinets may require periodic refinishing or repainting to maintain their appearance and protect them from wear and tear.

Modern kitchen cabinets are made of engineered wood or laminates, providing lightweight and affordable construction. While these materials are not as durable as solid wood, they are designed to withstand the wear and tear of daily use. Additionally, modern cabinets often feature soft-close hinges and drawer slides, which reduces the impact of slamming and prolongs their lifespan. However, modern cabinets’ sleek and minimalistic design may not be as timeless as classic cabinets. It may need to be updated more frequently to keep up with changing design trends.


Classic kitchen cabinets tend to be designed to accommodate traditional appliances such as large, freestanding range cookers and vintage-style refrigerators. These appliances have a more ornate design that complements the traditional style of classic cabinets. Classic kitchen appliances may also include brass or bronze finishes, decorative knobs, handles, and ornate vent hoods. However, classic kitchen appliances may not offer as many high-tech features or energy-efficient options as modern appliances.

Modern kitchen cabinets are designed to accommodate sleek, high-tech appliances that prioritize efficiency and functionality. These appliances may include stainless steel refrigerators, cooktops, and ovens with high-tech features such as convection cooking, self-cleaning, and smart connectivity. Modern appliances have a minimalist design with clean lines and may include features such as touch controls, digital displays, and LED lighting. Modern appliances may also be more energy-efficient than traditional appliances, which can help homeowners save on energy costs.


So, which one wins? It depends on your preference and your kitchen’s overall style. Classic and modern kitchen cabinets have unique features, advantages, and disadvantages. Classic kitchen cabinets are known for their timeless design, durability, and ability to create a warm and cozy atmosphere in the kitchen. On the other hand, modern kitchen cabinets prioritize functionality, efficiency, and sleek design.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which style of kitchen cabinets complements the overall style of your kitchen and choose a design accordingly. 

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