Glass Doors for Kitchen Cabinets: Yay or Nay?

The human brain is a funny thing with how it interprets visual information. Have you ever seen the optical illusion where it either looks like a vase or two humans talking? Or the old woman versus the young lady? Don’t even get me started on the blue and black vs. white and gold dress debate from back in 2015.

Glass Doors for Kitchen Cabinets: Yay or Nay?

(Pixabay / shadowfirearts)

The thing is, our eyes perceive things differently according to the lighting and space. This holds true in our kitchens as well. Even the smallest kitchen can appear larger than it is with enough bright lighting and clear glass. Glass cabinetry doors give the illusion that the kitchen space goes on further than it actually does. Under the right conditions, and with a high degree of organization, this can give the kitchen a larger, more inviting feel than it would have with solid wood cabinet doors.

Like all decorating decisions, glass-front cabinets have pros and cons that you will need to consider before choosing them for your space. Consider the following as you make your choice:


  • The illusion of space: Like we discussed above, having glass cabinetry makes a kitchen feel bigger and more open than it is.
  • Customization: You can customize many different elements of a glass-front cabinet to make your kitchen fresh and unique. Some homeowners decide to paint the interior of their glass-front cabinets an accent color to make them pop. Others keep the interior cabinets the same color but choose a specialty glass to add interest. And the choices go on: frosted glass can add a little more privacy while letting in light, textured glass can add some pizzazz, and tinted glass can bring a kitchen’s many elements together. The possibilities are endless!
  • Showcase your dishes: You might have inherited some vintage dishes from a relative, picked up a few pieces of eclectic dishware from your world travels, or just bought some pretty plates from the store. If you have beautiful glassware that you would like to show-off, glass-front cabinets let you do that in a simple, yet elegant, way.
  • Cleanliness: If you are deciding between open shelving and glass-front cabinets, the glass doors will keep your items cleaner than open shelving would. Both concepts create the illusion of space, but those glass doors will keep the dust and common kitchen grime at bay.


  • Extra cleaning: Glass naturally shows more fingerprints than wood, and if the glass-front cabinets are in high-traffic areas, you might have to spend a little more time keeping them smudge-free.
  • Exposed clutter: With glass-front cabinets, you have to be on your A-game to keep things from getting messy. Some styles of glass are more forgiving than others (frosted vs. clear glass), but either way, you need to take some time to minimize your collectibles so that your kitchen doesn’t feel like the walls are closing in.
  • Fragility: It’s a fact of life that glass is fragile, so you need to consider who uses those cabinets and how they use them. If your household members tend to slam cabinet doors or not be careful when pulling things out or putting them away, glass-front doors might not be a good fit for you.

The nice thing about designing with glass-front cabinets is that you can add as many or as few as you want. The insides of some cabinets are better left unseen due to their varying content, but others are prime candidates for being shown off. Even adding a couple of glass-front cabinets in your kitchen can add some serious appeal and expand the space significantly.