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Timeless Kitchen Design: Flat panel doors

Wondering how to create a timeless flat panel kitchen? This is a question we get a lot. On the one hand, you want your kitchen to feel current. On the other hand, you don’t want it to feel too current. The distinction between trends and simply good design is not always immediately obvious. We think about this a lot and want to share our thoughts with you.

FORM Design Team

February 24, 2021

kitchen design

Wondering how to create a timeless flat panel kitchen? This is a question we get a lot. On the one hand, you want your kitchen to feel current. On the other hand, you don’t want it to feel too current. The distinction between trends and simply good design is not always immediately obvious. We think about this a lot and want to share our thoughts with you.

At FORM, we value enduring design. We know that this is a purchase for the long term. Our aim is to help you create a kitchen that will stand the test of time. In this respect, flat panel doors have a number of benefits. 

Stylistically speaking, they are suitably neutral and have several customization options. They are also practical in use, so they won’t wear out before their time. And finally, their versatility means that they can withstand several decor iterations without the need to change the most expensive part: the cabinetry.

Suitably neutral

The beauty of a flat panel kitchen is that it is suitably neutral. As a result, it can be effortlessly adapted to different styles. It will fit into a period property just as well as into a modern apartment. If you are intrigued by modern design but feel that fully handleless is a step too far, then this could be a great option for you.

The flat panel front kitchen look is balanced and smart, but not obviously ‘of an era’. We know that there is a very real fear that many homeowners have: they don’t want their kitchen to end up looking dated in a couple of years time. They want their home to stay current and fresh. They want to be able to make easy little tweaks to it, if needed. And they also want it to appeal to buyers, in case they decide to sell the property. 

Sounds familiar? With flat panel kitchen fronts, it is easy to create a neat and streamlined canvass to decorate around. When aiming for a timeless look, understated is better than full-on. Give your kitchen the opportunity to grow with you. Over time, you will be able to dress it up or pare it down.

Timelessly practical

Timeless design is not just about the aesthetics. Practicality and functionality are at least as important, if you want to ensure the longevity of your kitchen. Depending on your space (e.g. Are there any corners to deal with? Is the circulation space limited?) you can choose either surface-mounted or integrated handles for your flat panel doors. In some cases, the best solution is a combination of both.  

The good thing about having handles is that these can be changed down the line. The swap is relatively straight-forward (as long as you stick with standard handle widths), and relatively inexpensive too. You will be surprised by how much changing small details can impact the overall design. 

For some households, cleaning and maintenance are important considerations. For example, if you cook a lot from scratch or have young children. On flat panel doors, there really is nowhere for dust or food particles to build up. Wiping the vertical surfaces down only takes a moment, making these doors wonderfully low maintenance. The handles are sturdy and made to last, so keeping these in good shape is similarly a breeze.

Keep it flexible

Versatility and flexibility can help future-proof any space, the kitchen included. For some homeowners, the best kitchen design solution is a combination of fronts. Flat panel doors can be used only on the base units, on the wall units, or just on the island (in combination with another door style elsewhere). The result is a balanced effect that does not immediately scream a specific year or era. 

A kitchen typically consists of somewhere in the region of 20 units. Choose wisely, as you will not want to change these in a hurry! However, you may want to change something else about your kitchen, over time. Hardware is the obvious and easy switch to make, but not the only one. 

Walls are easy and inexpensive to repaint. Decorative light pendants can be replaced with more current ones. You can add a softer touch to the space with a more decorative window treatment, or add accessories such as a vibrant rug to bring more life to the space. Plus, all of these are easy to reverse if and when you start considering a property sale.

Timeless design is good design. At FORM, we love good design and want to make it accessible to all. Our designers do not just focus on the here and now for our clients. Ensuring that your kitchen ages well is as much in our interest as it is in yours.

"We believe that good design improves people's lives. We focus on personalization, performance, and peace of mind."

Co-founders Danny and Tom

Danny Soos & Tom Sherman

FORM Co-Founders

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