When it comes to choosing the look and feel to your new kitchen it can feel like there’s a hundred and one decisions to make. From choosing the appliances and colour, right down to the intricate detailing of the taps, door handles, and tiling.

But one of the major decisions you may well have overlooked is the style of cabinets you want.

Alongside your appliances, cabinets take up a large amount of space and get a lot of use – so it’s important you choose the right fit for your kitchen.

To help you decide what suits your lifestyle and home best, we’re going to take a closer look at two very different cabinet styles: in-frame and overlay.


In-frame cabinet doors are set flush within a solid frame, rather than in front of the unit, giving a full view of the cabinet frame when the doors are closed.

They can be built to give the appearance of individual cabinets with legs that go down to the floor or without legs, to look like floating cabinets, for a more modern look.

Every door and drawer needs to fit into the frame space with only 1/8 of an inch between the frame. This additional craftsmanship requires a lot of skill and precision and, as such, will typically cost 15-30% more than its overlay counterpart.

This traditional style of cabinetry is synonymous with the Shaker Kitchen style and works well in older homes to emulate the kitchen styling of its time.

Traditionally, the hinges on inset cabinets would have been incorporated as part of the design, however, you can now choose to have these hidden from view.

At Jamie Knight, we can even take the doors of your in-frame cabinets away to re-spray them, prolonging the life of your kitchen.

The only downside to this cabinet style is that, due to the door sitting within the frame, you will get slightly less storage space – a small price to pay for such high-quality craftsmanship.

The Old Barn in-frame cabinets with flush doors – as dog owners, our customer wanted flush doors which are generally easier to wipe down

Shaker style in-frame cabinets with recessed panel


Overlay cabinet doors and drawers are mounted onto the cabinet frame to completely cover the cabinet face. This gives a similar high-end appearance to inset doors but is less costly overall.

This newer style of cabinet making can often look more contemporary; although it will work just as well within a traditional, transitional, or country kitchen.

The hinges on overlay doors are concealed inside the cabinet adding to the sleek, modern look and feel.

As the doors are mounted onto, rather than inside, the cabinet frame you will generally gain more storage space for larger kitchen items and dining sets.

Whitehorn Cottage overlay cabinets with a light pelmet housing recessed lighting

Full overlay kitchen cabinets with decorative door knobs and open storage

As you can see, there are different ways to achieve both in-frame and overlay cabinets. There is no right or wrong design, only different looks and budgets.

Still need help finding the right cabinet style for your kitchen? Speak to one of our team today  to book your free design consultation and quote.


Date: 09/05/2019 | Author: