Frequently Asked Questions for Craig Allen Designs


Do the Handles, Knobs and Pulls on My New Kitchen Cabinets Have to Match?

Mixing and matching different styles of cabinet handles, knobs and pulls is a way to add visual interest to your kitchen. You can use one style of hardware for wall cabinets and another for base cabinets, and you can use a third, different style for drawers.

Some people like to use cup pulls for drawers and bar pulls for their kitchen cabinet doors.

You can even mix cabinet hardware finishes if you want a bold look. The variety of available finishes provides the freedom to mix and match.

Read more in our article about kitchen cabinet hardware.

What Are the Latest Trends in Kitchen Cabinet Hardware?

Popular kitchen cabinet hardware finishes are either gold toned, silver toned or bronze-to-black toned.

Kitchen cabinet hardware in gold tones went out of style in the 90s, but brass is back, thanks to its popularity in contemporary-styled kitchens. Today’s brass and gold tone finishes are soft and warm. Think bright brass, satin brass and antique brass.

Shiny cabinet door and drawer hardware comes in an array of silver tones. Satin chrome, polished nickel, antique pewter and stainless steel finishes are all available options.

Kitchen cabinet hardware in bronze-to-black tones, such as aged or oil-rubber bronze or matte black, are very popular because homeowners are choosing black, white or grey painted finishes for their cabinets. Hardware in the bronze-to-black range can either complement or contrast with these finish colors.

Read more in our article about kitchen cabinet hardware

What Materials Can Kitchen Countertops Be Made Of?

The number of available kitchen countertop materials today is greater and more diverse than ever.

Choices include
  • bamboo
  • butcher block
  • concrete
  • engineered stone
  • glass
  • granite
  • laminates
  • limestone
  • marble
  • metal
  • natural stone
  • paper composite
  • porcelain slabs
  • quartz
  • quartzite
  • recycled glass
  • sintered stone
  • solid surface
  • stainless steel
  • travertine
  • wood
  • zinc

Read more in our article about countertop materials

What Countertops Are Best for the Kitchen?

Choices for kitchen countertops include stone, wood, glass, quartz, concrete and laminates, to name only a few. Is any one of these the “best”? The decision comes down to what you like, the look you are going for in your new kitchen and, of course, how much you want to spend on countertops.

Read more about countertop materials, including my recommendation, in our article

What Is the Most Popular Kitchen Style?

“Shaker” as a design style is so popular that, more than 150 years after the Shakers came to the USA, it’s the one I get asked for most often. It’s the most popular, not only in New Jersey where I work, but in the entire country. Homeowners see it on HGTV, in magazines and online, and they want Shaker for their own remodeled kitchens.

Read more in our article about the most popular kitchen style

What Makes A Shaker Style Kitchen?

“Shaker” refers to a style that has become popular because it’s classic, simple and timeless. It’s extremely versatile and works with Traditional, Transitional and Contemporary designs. And it’s known for its excellent craftsmanship. The cabinets used in today’s Shaker kitchens reflect the type of furniture built by the Shakers. The most well-known feature is the 5-piece door with flat panel.

Read more in our article about what goes into a Shaker style kitchen design

What Is A Framed Cabinet Vs Unframed Cabinet?

Framed cabinets have what is called a face frame that is attached to and covers the front of the cabinet box. Cabinet doors get attached to the face frame, creating a strong, sturdy cabinet.

Frameless or unframed cabinets don’t have a face frame. The cabinet door creates the “face” of the cabinet. Some people think they’re less durable than framed cabinets because the cabinet door gets attached directly to the cabinet box. Frameless cabinets are slightly larger because of the space saved by not having a face frame.

Read more in our article about framed vs. frameless cabinets

Which is Better for Your Kitchen - Framed or Frameless Cabinets?

The choice between framed and frameless cabinetry comes down to your personal preference and the style you want. The only difference between framed and frameless cabinets is the box construction. They are two different construction methods that offer two different looks.

Read more in our article about Frames vs. Frameless cabinets

What Are the Pros And Cons Of Frameless Cabinets Vs Face-Framed Cabinets?

Pros of Face-framed Cabinets

  • Face-framed cabinets are very sturdy because the frame provides a strong area to hang the cabinet doors.
  • Face-framed cabinets provide more sizes and modification options.
  • Face-framed cabinets can accept any type of door and drawer.

Cons of Face-framed Cabinets

  • Face-framed cabinets have less interior space because of the frame.

Pros of Frameless Cabinets

  • Frameless cabinets provide slightly more storage space.
  • Frameless cabinets provide a contemporary, smooth look.
  • Frameless cabinets don’t have a center stile coming down in the middle of the two cabinet doors, providing easier access to the items inside.

Cons of Frameless Cabinets

  • Hinges may need adjusted constantly to keep the doors straight.
  • Frameless cabinets can cost more because of specialized equipment required for construction.
  • Design choices are limited to full overlay only since doors must cover the entire opening.

Read more in our article about Framed vs. Frameless cabinets