Rosewood Cabinets

Choosing The Right Design

Designing the cabinetry in your new home or remodel project can be one of the most exciting times for a homeowner but it can also be very overwhelming.


Do you go traditional with a classic face frame design or modern/contemporary with a frameless European style cabinet? Should you have crown molding? Which door style should you choose? Do you go with stained wood or painted? What color should you choose? What finish? Rustic? Satin? Gloss? At Rosewood we provide virtually limitless combinations and options from which to choose. It’s enough to drive ANYONE crazy!

But don’t worry. We have your back. Here are a few tips from our expert designers to help you choose the right style, color, and finish of your new Rosewood Cabinets.


Generally speaking, there are two basic cabinet construction styles; face frame and frameless. Each provides endless design possibilities and each has their own unique advantages. Let’s take a look at each style.


Traditionally, this type of cabinet has 1-1/2″ solid wood stiles and rails that form a frame at the face of the box. The term “stiles” refers to the horizontal frame members while “rails” refer to the vertical frame members. Face frame cabinets have long since been the standard method here in the US and are still the most popular design style.

Advantages of Face Frame Cabinets

Aside from the beautiful traditional look, the face frame adds structural strength and sturdiness to the cabinet, providing a solid structure for the door hinges and shelves. Another added benefit of face frame cabinets is that the frame is made from solid wood. Meaning they can be sanded and refinished multiple times, allowing you to simply refinish them when they become old or outdated.



Frameless cabinet design is a European style of cabinet that is gaining in popularity in the US. Frameless cabinets provide a more simple, sleek design for those who want a more contemporary look and feel.

Advantages of Frameless Cabinets


As already mentioned, frameless cabinets provide a more simplistic look but they also provide easier access to the contents of the cabinet as well as more storage space. Another added benefit of removing the face frame is that you have room for larger drawers.





Ultimately, this decision comes down to personal preference.  From a designers standpoint, you should strive to create an overall coherent design throughout your home. If your style is more traditional face frame cabinets are probably your best option. If, on the other hand, your style is more modern perhaps the sleek, contemporary look of frameless cabinets will appeal to you.


Door style and overlay are probably the two most important factors when deciding the design of your new cabinets. This is what defines your cabinets and what they say about you and your home. Here at Rosewood, we offer over 50 door styles and multiple overlay options from which to choose. While this ensures that we have the absolute right fit for you the sheer number of possibilities can be overwhelming. So let’s narrow it down a bit.

First, let’s start by asking a few key questions:

  1. Face frame or frameless?
  2. What is my style?
  3. What is the room layout and size?
  4. Color and Finish?

Question #1: Face Frame or Frameless?

Since frameless has fewer overlay options we’ll start there. Frameless cabinets are almost always going to be full-overlay. While flush inset is an option this is generally not recommended as the frameless design is susceptible to minor variances in squareness. This can lead to uneven reveals after installation.

Since most people who choose frameless cabinets are looking for a simple modern look with sleek lines the most common choice of door style is a  flat slab or flat panel.

Face Frame cabinets a little more versatile than their frameless counterpart. To narrow the field we’ll move on to question 2.

Question #2: What is my style?

Is your style Traditional or Contemporary? Rustic Country or City Modern? Is the home a farmhouse? A log cabin? A craftsman, A southern colonial? etc. Do you like simple, minimalist design or grand opulent designs with lots of details? All of these questions factor in when choosing a door style. Once you have answered these questions a great way to narrow down your options is to do a simple google images search. For example, if your style is traditional rustic simple google traditional rustic cabinets then choose the images option to get design inspiration.

Question #3: Room layout and size?

This is a factor that many people do not consider when choosing design options for their cabinetry but a factor that can play a huge role. If the room is large and open this may not be a big concern; however, if the room is smaller and/or narrow and closed off the door style you choose can have a major impact of the success of the design.  For instance, a narrow “shotgun” style kitchen can appear smaller and more confined with this raised panel doors and overlays where flat panel or slab doors can open a room, especially if they are flush inlay. Another factor to consider with smallish rooms is color, which brings us to the next question:

Question #4: Color and Finish? 

Color can also play a large role in how open and spacious the room feels. As a general rule of thumb the smaller the room the lighter the cabinets should be. Dark colors usually tend to make a room seem smaller and more confined. While this may not matter as much on large, open rooms it should be considered when designing cabinets for smaller spaces. Another option, particularly with traditional design, is to mix light and dark. A common combination is having light colored uppers with dark lowers. This provides contrast and can really break a room up. Don’t be afraid to play with color options. Remember there is no right or wrong only personal preference.

Finishing touches

So, you’ve picked your cabinets, decided on a door style, and have chosen your overlay. You are in the home stretch! It’s now time to add the finishing touch. Do you want stained wood or paint? Wait, doesn’t that seem a little limited and boring? Especially after all the hard work that had gone into designing your new cabinets! We couldn’t agree more. This is what sets Rosewood apart from our competition. Finishing cabinets is an art form and we have some of the best artists in the business! If you’re interested in seeing what our finishers are capable of please visit our Color and Finish section.


Choosing your new cabinets can be an overwhelming but very rewarding task. Hopefully, we helped clear the path and made the process a little easier. But ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and individual style.  As with all forms of art, rules were made to be broken. Don’t be afraid to take risks and play with design.  If you’re interested in seeing what Rosewood Industries, Inc can do for you please feel free to contact our friendly customer service department today!

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