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how to make raised panel cabinets look modern

How To Make Raised Panel Cabinets Look Modern: 5 Tips

Have you decided you love the look of raised panel cabinets and also want a modern kitchen? You might struggle with how to make raised panel cabinets look modern, but as the crafter of premium kitchen cabinets in Baltimore, MD, Current Cabinetry can help. Don’t settle for flat panels; discover how to combine these two style selections below.

1. Choose the Right Color

While raised panel kitchen cabinets initially feel traditional and classic, the right coat of paint can help you tie them into a more modern kitchen. A traditional style kitchen relies on natural earth and wood tones like brown and beige. Giving your raised panel cabinets a coat of white, grey, or black modernizes them without feeling too flashy or gaudy. These colors are also great for small kitchens, as the solid block of color creates the illusion of space in your mind.

Want to add some color? Choose something that accentuates your existing decor. Stick to one solid color to complete the contemporary look.

2. Add Modern Hardware

All cabinet doors need hardware, which can be one of the most important aspects in determining whether they look classic or modern. What type of hardware can you consider modern? You can use anything with a sleek color and clean lines to tie into a modern theme.

Matte black or brushed nickel gives a modern feel, and simple handles without flourishes or embellishments blend in without distracting from your more prominent design features.

3. Consider Other Finishes

If you’re wondering how to make raised panel cabinets look modern, consider finishing them with a different material than the classic stain or paint. Modern designs rely on finishes like melamine and laminate not only to give your cabinets an updated look but also to increase their longevity and durability. To maintain your modern look, avoid finishes that create a weathered, distressed, or antique look.

Melamine is a thin layer of plastic most often paired with particle board to increase its durability and aesthetics. It pairs well with laminate countertops, which is one of the most durable and affordable options available. However, if you damage it you’ll have to replace it completely. 

4. Create Context

While your cabinets are essential for kitchen organization, they’re also part of your overall design aesthetic. Your brain interprets everything in the context of its surroundings, so pairing your rased panel cabinets with other design features helps them look more modern.

Wall Color

Choosing the right wall color is one of the most important decisions you can make for your modern kitchen. Even if your cabinets look more classic, a modern wall helps the entire kitchen look sleek and contemporary. The most popular modern colors include shades of black and off-white, but you can choose bold colors like tiles or green and still obtain a modern effect.

Because a modern look relies on minimalism and sleek lines, prioritize blocks of solid color rather than patterns or textures.


Don’t overlook the ability of appliances to give your cabinets a more modern feel. A stainless steel fridge and stove will help your brain create an overall modern feel in your kitchen, while solid black or white appliances will create a more traditional feel.


Hanging some art and placing other decorations in your kitchen can add to the overall feel of modernity, provided you choose the right ones. For example, you should hang modern art rather than more traditional paintings, and adding the right rugs, metal sculptures, or knick-knacks can enhance the aesthetic.

5. Create the Illusion of Space

Modern looks rely on large open spaces, but if you have a smaller kitchen, you can still create the illusion of space and help the kitchen appear more modern. Raised panel cabinets already add depth and make your kitchen look bigger, but you can increase the effect by adding intentional space between cabinets.

Start Styling Your Raised Panel Cabinets Today

Now that you know how to make raised panel cabinets look modern, you can reach out to Current Cabinetry to design your perfect kitchen storage solution. Once we manufacture them, we can often deliver them to your home the next day. Whether you need help choosing between flat and raised panel doors or can’t decide what materials to craft your cabinets from, our experts can help.

We’re standing by to take your call. For free expert design help, call 410-609-7077 today. Learn more about how we can help with your needs.

Daniel Kermaier
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