Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Add flair with decorative cabinet accents

by Karl Fendelander
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

The finishing touches on a cabinet refacing project can be the most important part -- definitely not the time in the project to lose steam picking things out and answering questions. Decorative accents that match the theme of your new cabinetry can help give shape, definition and a classy flair to your kitchen. Here's a breakdown of finishing elements you might want to add:

  • Pilasters: Sometimes also called fillers, pilasters are thin, usually flattened, columnar accents built into or onto the face of the cabinet. They can mimic other columns, posts or furniture legs in a kitchen design. Often, these are used to set off doors or cooking areas.
  • Onlays and appliques: Like pilasters, but more ornamental, onlays and appliques can be used to top pilasters, break up large empty spaces, accent corners and generally make things flashier. These thin carvings can be anything from lions' heads and fleur de lys to swirling filigree and rosettes.
  • Molding: Like elaborate trim, molding is used to cover the transition between surfaces (for example, from the wall to the ceiling) or for decorative purposes. They can be used to top off your cabinets or smooth the transition from cabinets to ceiling, giving the room a rounder appearance. Different shapes of molding have different shadowing, adding accent, texture and definition to parts of your kitchen.
  • Valences: Need to bridge a gap, but you don't want the cabinets to stop? A valence covers the space between cabinets that would otherwise be broken up by a window or range hood, concealing what's behind.
  • Cabinet feet: By adding feet to your cabinets in front of the kickplate, you can make them appear more like free-standing furniture. Bulging, convex cabinets work particularly well for this look. Use a darker kickplate to make these mini faux legs stand out.
  • Corbels and bar brackets: Like decorative shelving brackets, corbels and bar brackets can be as functional as they are beautiful. They support and/or smooth the transition to anything that might stick out further than what's below. Use them to help support a breakfast bar or accent a countertop that pushes out past the cabinets underneath.

Finishing touches like these are typically available to match most cabinetry. Talk to your contractor about adding them to your new kitchen.

About the Author
Karl Fendelander cut his teeth on web writing in the late nineties and has been plugged in to the newest technology and tuned in to the latest trends ever since. With an eye for design and an ear for language, Karl has created content and managed digital media for startups and established companies alike. When he unplugs, Karl can be found biking about town and hiking and climbing throughout the West.

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