Are inset kitchens more expensive? Kitchen planners explain the ins and outs

Are Inset Kitchens More Expensive?

The short answer is yes – inset kitchen cabinets, also known as 'in-frame' cabinets, are generally more expensive than their overlay counterparts. However, this is for good reason, says Elizabeth Grace, interior designer and founder of Dream Home Making

Besides their craftsmanship (and cost) what is it that actually sets inset kitchens apart?

‘In-frame kitchens are a nod to classical design, reminiscent of the elegant styles that graced homes in the early 1900s. The defining feature of an in-frame kitchen lies in its cabinet structure, where both the cabinet and the potential drawer on top are outlined,’ Alberto N. Parra, designer and showroom manager at DAX International, Kitchen and Baths explains.

‘Imagine a picture frame, with the full carcass forming the frame, the front serving as the Passepartout, and the doors or drawers acting as the picture. This unique arrangement showcases the face of the cabinet and drawer, adding a touch of sophistication and visual intrigue.’

Because of this traditional appeal, this type of cabinetry best suits classic, traditional kitchens, or country kitchens, adds Roman Smolevskiy, home reno expert, and owner of A+ Construction and Remodeling. ‘The elegant, detailed appearance of in-frame cabinets pairs well with kitchens that have a more vintage or timeless appeal,’ Roman says. ‘That said, I've also seen them being used to great effect in more modern settings when blended with contemporary elements, so long as they are balanced correctly with the surrounding room so they do not look out of place.’

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