Glass-fronted cabinets are a popular kitchen design element, but sometimes you want the cabinets and not their contents to take center stage. Hide the clutter or simply give your kitchen a fresh look by trying one of these creative projects. Each of these economical ideas can be accomplished in a weekend--and you don't even need to remove the cabinet doors. Choose the effect that suits your kitchen decor, or be daring and take your kitchen in a new design direction.
Faux Stained or Leaded Glass
Stained- or leaded-glass cabinet fronts are ideal for kitchens with loads of natural light. The refractive quality of stained glass adds a sparkle to ordinary cabinet doors. If your kitchen lacks natural light, add visual interest by installing accent lights inside the cabinets; light will filter through the stained glass to add drama to your kitchen after dark. Faux stained- and leaded-glass kits are available online and at craft stores. This technique will look at home in a country, Tuscan or Old World-type kitchen.
Create divided windowpanes for your glass cabinets with a mullion technique. Windowpane kits consisting of vinyl molding and connectors can be purchased online. Apply the molding to the front of glass cabinet doors with adhesive or double-sided tape. The molding is durable PVC material and can be painted to match the cabinet finish. The windowpane effect is suitable for any traditional kitchen design.
Frosted Window Film
Frosted glass is a sophisticated touch for dark wood cabinets. A single panel of frosted window film applied to the inside of each glass cabinet door will completely obscure the view to the inside. Frosted films give the illusion of etching without the effort and mess. They are easy to apply and available online. Try this in a contemporary kitchen for an understated and classic effect.
Gathered Fabric Lining
A gathered fabric lining stapled to the inside of the cabinet doors can radically change the look of older glass-fronted cabinets. Coordinate the fabric with your kitchen decor. Cut the fabric slightly longer than the height of the glass panel of the door and twice as wide. Gather and staple the fabric to the cabinet along the top and bottom of the glass panel. This is a homey treatment for a cottage or country kitchen.
Handmade Paper Lining
An economical and easy way to give your cabinets a sophisticated touch starts with rice paper or handmade paper from a stationer. Cut the paper slightly larger than the glass opening, and tape it in place inside the cabinet door with low-tack, double-sided tape. The resulting shoji-like cabinet fronts are an organic addition to a contemporary or Shaker kitchen.
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