European Cabinets: Trends Turned Tips!

European cabinets and cabinet door trends have come across the pond to large popularity. In this post, we’ll look over the different things your clients may be hoping for in their budget; a trend article that talks about how contractors can reframe their work to add more upsells to their orders.

Every once in a while, you’ll get a client who’s an avid traveler (or wants to be). You know the one; they rave about Paris in the fall, or the paella they had in Spain. When it comes to home design, maybe they want to recreate their European villa or the apartment they vacationed in.

You know what that means: they’ve got you thinking about how they do the job on the European side of the pond. One thing travelers tend to pick up on, regardless of construction techniques, are the aesthetics of a destination and its design. They’ll talk about the pretty European streets, and how everyone’s home always seems to be open, remembering the “charm” of an ancient city. And, whether or not you’re visiting someone’s house and their “European kitchen”, it’s likely that their clean, chic furnishings also come to mind. Let’s walk through some basic European trends that have made landfall across the pond and help you please your Euro-infatuated client on their budget.

What exactly is a European-style kitchen? And what makes a European cabinet unique? Visually, this style of kitchen tends to feature solid colors or neutral, natural materials with limited ornamentation for a clean, no-nonsense look, giving your cabinet doors the chance to shine. Another feature of the European-style cabinet is an acute attention to organization. How can you take this as inspiration for your next project? Let’s take it step-by-step:

Solid, Simple, Cabinet Doors

Cabinet doors are usually the focal feature of your kitchen. But will the space be interesting enough without the mitered panels you were considering? While you may be sacrificing some of the ornamentation, you’ll find that when the space comes together, you’ll have a contemporary look that’s not only easy to clean (bonus for those with kids!), but visually clutter-free and cutting-edge.

European cabinets natural wood look

Conestoga Wood and Executive Cabinetry offer a great deal of slab designs that can help you achieve a no-nonsense kitchen with clean lines. Conestoga’s aptly named Slab Collection offers natural grains in a simple, straightforward cabinet door, as does Executive’s Bellini Collection with styles like the Omega and the Sahara for the most subtle touch of a natural grain. The Modello Collection features similar styles with more solid colors like blanco, basalto and antracita.

Slab design cabinet doors

If you’ve simply fallen for the shaker-style cabinet door style, check out Conestoga Wood’s flat panel collection. The Albany and Amesbury are hits at keeping the contemporary European style going.

Tip! If you have any problems figuring out and deciding on cabinet door finishes check out this article for a complete rundown on all of your options! 

Keep in mind the use of cabinet door and drawer hardware as well. For these solutions, you’ll want to coordinate with a designer or a sales rep who can tell you what kinds of pulls and latches can work with the cabinet set you or your client are eyeing. For these types of kitchen, you’ll want to look for something relatively sleek and concealed. Silvers are very popular in their many finishes for their modern, high-end look (whether high shine, polished look or something more subtle and brushed).

Alternative Materials

If it’s not a solid color, the natural material look is also held in high regard by the European kitchen designer. There are many ways to pull off the natural look. For you, this may mean unique countertops (think a rough hewn wooden slab countertop or even a sanded concrete option), but it’s also a great opportunity for kitchen cabinets to shine.

thermo structured surfaces

Conestoga’s Alternative Materials and Thermo Structured Surface line offers a fantastic option that ties in the natural material look you want with the solid style door that will lend you the geometric feel you’re going for. The catalogue offers a number of subtle, natural finishes that pair fantastically with hidden hardware and top of the line plumbing finishes and appliances.

Organization

European kitchen cabinets organized clean look

American kitchens tend to attract a lot of clutter. How many “stuff drawers” do your clients keep? European kitchens tend to make great use out of small spaces, so they’re designed around only the essentials. Let’s take a note from our neighbors and focus on categorizing what we have and find the perfect place for everything.

For a simple take on this, the Conestoga base full door roll-out cabinet is a great way to hide your organization behind a single set of doors (it’s all about visual clean lines, remember?). Don’t shy away from using drawers to your benefit. These can be finished off by drawer faces to match or, as with the roll-out cabinet, cabinet doors on hinges if you’re looking to limit the amount of drawer faces in your kitchen.

While kitchens “across the pond” aren’t astronomically different from the ones we see in the states, it’s worth looking deeper into what makes them successful and popular for their users. The clean, simple look works fantastically well for small kitchens, large kitchens, and any kitchens in between. Plus, who doesn’t want more organization? For an expanded list of tips for making the most out of your cabinets, remember to talk to a professional who can give you specialized options for your space.