European Cabinetry Doesn’t Have to Mean “Contemporary”

Full access, frameless, or European style cabinets, are usually associated with sleek, modern style. With hallmark features like hidden hinges and full overlay doors, they certainly do lend the clean lines and no-fuss aesthetic that defines contemporary design.

But don’t rule out full access construction just because you want a more traditional look. You can easily mount a raised panel, rustic or decorative door style onto a full access box to achieve a more timeless kitchen design with added benefits.

Versatile, modular design

Full access cabinets originated in Europe where it’s common that cabinetry and appliances don’t come with a new home or apartment. People buy their own cabinetry, taking it with them when they move. Because standard kitchen sizes don’t exist across Europe, cabinet makers saw the need for a modular style of craftsmanship that could easily adapt to larger or smaller spaces.

And so “European styling” was born. Due to its versatility, it caught on in America for its minimalist appearance, but it brings functional benefits that appeal to traditional style enthusiasts, too.   

More storage

Without the faceframe, full access cabinetry gives edge-to-edge/full access to the inner cabinets, making them seem larger and more functional. There’s no front ledge or center stile blocking your reach. Drawers are larger, compared to face frame cabinets of the exact dimensions. In a typical 15-inch drawer base cabinet, for example, you’ll get 1-1/2 inches of extra width on every drawer. Multiplied across an entire kitchen, that adds up to a lot of extra storage.

Easy cleaning

With a bottom shelf that’s level with the cabinet frame, and no lips or ledges to trap gunk, full access cabinets offer easy cleaning. Dirt and debris are quickly wiped away from flat, unobstructed shelves.

Traditional with a twist
When combined with a traditional door, full access cabinetry can create an updated classic look with cleaner lines more in keeping with current trends. So, whether you want all-out contemporary or a nostalgic nod to the past, you can achieve it with full access cabinets. Check out our Caitlin collection of full access custom cabinetry or visit our gallery to see our wide selection of contemporary and traditional styles.