Upper Kitchen Cabinets with Glass Doors on Both Sides: Essential Guide and Design Ideas

Last updated on March 27, 2024

Dive straight into the benefits of upper kitchen cabinets with glass doors on both sides, because these innovative designs transform an ordinary kitchen into a modish, functional space.

Key takeaways:

  • Enhanced Aesthetics: Glass doors offer a sleek and modern look.
  • Display Possibilities: Showcase fine china and decorative items.
  • Increased Light Flow: Allow light to permeate, creating a brighter space.
  • Illusion of Space: Glass lends a more spacious feel to the kitchen.
  • Ease of Organization: Visible contents encourage tidiness and easy access.

What's Inside

Benefits of Upper Kitchen Cabinets With Glass Doors On Both Sides

benefits of upper kitchen cabinets with glass doors on both sides

Enhanced Aesthetics: Glass doors amplify a kitchen’s visual appeal, offering a sleek and modern look that complements various styles.

Display Possibilities: Showcasing fine china, collectibles, or decorative items adds a personal touch and can serve as a focal point in kitchen decor.

Increased Light Flow: With transparency from both sides, these cabinets allow light to permeate, creating a brighter and more open space.

Illusion of Space: Glass lends a more spacious feel to the kitchen by providing sightlines that extend beyond the cabinet’s immediate confines.

Ease of Organization: Visible contents encourage tidiness and make it simpler to locate items, saving time and hassle during meal preparation.

Versatility in Design: Such cabinets can act as a transitional element in open floor plans, harmoniously connecting the kitchen to adjacent areas.

These points underscore the multifaceted advantages that upper kitchen cabinets with glass doors on both sides offer, blending functionality with aesthetic charm.

Design Considerations for Glass Cabinets

design considerations for glass cabinets

When integrating glass door cabinetry, reflect on the overall aesthetic you aim to achieve. Opt for clear glass to showcase fine chinaware or textured glass for a more subtle hint of what’s inside. Keep in mind the frame design—traditional, transitional, or modern—which should complement your kitchen’s theme.

Consider the practicality of the double-sided glass doors. They offer a visual extension of space and ease of access but also require a consistent organization.

Balance is key; too many glass cabinets can overwhelm a kitchen. Mix in solid doors to offer visual breaks and hide less display-worthy items.

Remember, the color of the cabinet interior can impact the display. Lighter colors will highlight contents, while darker shades offer a more dramatic backdrop.

Lastly, take into account the hardware. The knobs and pulls should match the cabinet’s style and can act as jewelry for your kitchen, providing an extra touch of sophistication or charm.

Types of Glass for Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Selecting the right type of glass is as crucial as the cabinet design itself. Clear glass is timeless, offering a glimpse into your cabinetry while helping to visually open up the space. Frosted or etched glass, on the other hand, obscures the cabinet’s contents while still lightening the kitchen with a stylish, modern finish.

Textured glass adds a decorative touch, with options ranging from subtle to bold patterns that can either draw attention or provide a nuanced elegance. Stained or tinted glass is another avenue that infuses color and artistic flair, often used to complement the kitchen’s color scheme or design theme.

For a traditional approach, leaded glass with its classic appeal incorporates an artisanal vibe, especially when featuring intricate designs. Similarly, seeded glass introduces an antique feel, with its tiny bubbles and imperfections hinting at old-world charm.

Tempered glass is a smart choice for safety-conscious homeowners. It’s engineered to crumble into small, rounded pieces rather than sharp shards if broken, offering peace of mind in bustling kitchens.

Reflective on two fronts, mirrored glass not only doubles as a unique aesthetic feature but also serves to amplify light, ideal for darker kitchens needing an illusion of depth and added brightness.

When choosing glass, it’s beneficial to consider both the cabinet’s function and the overall atmosphere you’re aiming to achieve. Each variety not only dictates how your cabinets look but also how they interact with the light and space around them.

Installation Tips for Upper Cabinets With Glass Doors

Installing upper cabinets with glass doors requires precision and care to ensure longevity and safety. Begin by checking the wall for levelness; an uneven surface could lead to improperly hung cabinets or, worse, damage to the glass. Use a stud finder to securely attach the mounting hardware directly to studs, as glass doors add extra weight.

Anchor the cabinets firmly. Given the fragility of glass, use soft-close hinges to prevent slamming, which can lead to cracks or breaks. When attaching the doors, ensure the screws aren’t overly tightened as this could put unnecessary pressure on the glass.

Incorporate clear silicone bumpers on the corners of the glass to cushion the impact when closing and mitigate the risk of damage. If handling tempered glass, be mindful of the edges, as they are the most vulnerable parts. Always wear safety gloves during installation to protect your hands and the glass.

If you’re not experienced with cabinetry or glass, consider hiring a professional to avoid costly mistakes. Their expertise ensures a smooth installation and peace of mind that your glass-front cabinets are both beautiful and secure.

Maintaining Glass-Door Kitchen Cabinets

To keep your kitchen looking spick-and-span, regular upkeep of glass-door cabinets is essential. Start by dusting the glass panels with a microfiber cloth to avoid scratches. For smudges and fingerprints, a solution of equal parts vinegar and water works wonders; just spray and wipe with a soft, lint-free cloth.

Be sure to clean the door handles, as they are high-touch areas that can harbor germs. When cleaning the wood or metal parts of the cabinet, use products recommended for those materials to prevent damage. Address spills or stains promptly to prevent them from setting.

If you notice any loose hinges or handles, tighten them to prevent further wear and ensure the doors open smoothly. For a streak-free look on the glass, finish by buffing the surface with a dry cloth. Remember, caring for your cabinets not only preserves their beauty but also extends their life.

Decorating Ideas for Cabinets With Glass On Both Sides

Implementing a cohesive display within your glass-door cabinets can significantly enhance your kitchen’s visual appeal. Opt for a color scheme that matches or complements your kitchen’s palette to create a seamless look. Displaying matching dishware or a collection of items such as mason jars, cookbooks, or vintage kitchen tools can impart a charming and organized vibe.

Contrast textures by pairing smooth glassware with textured baskets or wooden bowls for added depth. To accentuate special items, position them at eye level. If you aim for a minimalistic approach, maintain an uncluttered arrangement, leaving some shelves partially empty to let each piece stand out.

Incorporate seasonal decor to bring a festive touch when appropriate. For example, you could showcase holiday-themed dishware or use the cabinetry to hold decorative elements like garlands or string lights, which add a warmth to the space.

Utilizing stackable shelf inserts can allow you to neatly pile items without risking instability or an untidy appearance. By incorporating these strategic decorating tips, you’ll ensure your glass-door cabinets are both alluring and practical.

Lighting Considerations for Glass-Doored Cabinets

Illuminating the interiors of your glass-fronted upper cabinets can transform your kitchen, highlighting your decorative items and improving visibility.

Consider LED strip lights for a continuous, even glow or puck lights for focused spots of illumination.

Ensure lights are installed towards the front to avoid casting shadows from the cabinet frames.

Opt for warm or cool light depending on whether you want a cozy ambiance or a crisp, modern vibe.

To minimize wiring visibility and for added convenience, choose lights with a touch sensor or remote control.

Finally, integrate lighting into your kitchen’s overall design by coordinating with other light fixtures and considering how it plays off the glass and cabinet contents.

Integrating Into Different Kitchen Styles

Upper cabinets with glass doors elevate the aesthetic of various kitchen themes, seamlessly blending with both contemporary and traditional designs.

For a modern kitchen, clean lines and minimalistic hardware accentuate the sleek look. Frosted or tinted glass complements a high-gloss finish, harmonizing with metal accents and stainless-steel appliances.

In a classic or farmhouse kitchen, mullion glass doors or leaded glass inserts add character. The transparency showcases fine china, creating a focal point against natural wood tones or painted cabinetry.

Transitional spaces benefit from versatility. Simple glass panes without elaborate framing support a mix of old and new, ensuring the kitchen doesn’t tilt too far into either traditional or modern aesthetics.

In eclectic kitchens, mixing glass styles gives room for personalization. Combining etched with clear glass creates intriguing patterns, catering to the uniqueness of the space.

Matching the glass door style to your kitchen’s existing motif ensures a cohesive look, while the choice of glass can either make a statement or subtly enhance the overall design.

Maximizing Storage With Glass-Front Cabinets

Strategic organization is key to maximizing storage in cabinets with glass fronts. Use stackable clear containers to neatly store items while keeping them visible.

Group similar objects, like dishes or glassware, to create a streamlined look that makes the contents appear less cluttered. Incorporating risers or shelf organizers can double the storage capacity of each shelf, allowing for easy access to plates and bowls while presenting an organized front.

Consider the use of interior cabinet lighting to enhance visibility, making items easier to find and the cabinet’s interior more attractive. For items that you might not want on display, frosted or tinted glass provides a stylish solution that conceals clutter while maintaining the aesthetic advantages of glass-front cabinets.

Privacy and Content Visibility in Glass Cabinets

Opting for upper cabinets with glass doors means your kitchenware is on display, which can be a driving factor for organization and decluttering. However, if not all of your items are display-worthy or you desire a touch of privacy, here are some points to consider:

  • Frosted or Textured Glass: These options can obscure the view while still allowing light to pass through, offering a compromise between openness and concealment.
  • Use of Window Film: Adhesive or static-cling films come in various patterns and can be applied to the glass for a customized level of privacy.
  • Strategic Arrangement: Place less attractive or private items in lower opaque cabinets, reserving the glass-fronted ones for prettier, coordinated kitchenware.
  • Inside-Cabinet Lighting: By controlling the light intensity, you can draw attention to certain items while leaving others in the shadow, helping to manage visibility.
  • Backing Material: Installing a decorative backing inside the cabinets, which could be anything from patterned wallpaper to fabric, can help to keep certain items out of direct view.

Safety Concerns With Glass Kitchen Cabinets

Ensuring the safety of glass-fronted cabinets is crucial, particularly in homes with young children or pets. Using tempered glass reduces the risk of injury, as it is designed to shatter into small, rounded pieces rather than sharp shards upon impact.

Additionally, consider the placement of your cabinets; situating them out of the reach of small children can prevent accidents. For added security, installing safety locks or latches keeps doors from easily opening. It’s also important to avoid overloading shelves with heavy items that could compromise the glass’s integrity.

Regular inspections to check for chips or cracks can help catch potential hazards before they become problems. Opting for thicker glass and sturdy hinges can enhance the overall durability and longevity of your kitchen cabinetry.

Customization Options for Glass Doors On Cabinets

Customization paves the way for personal expression in the kitchen, ensuring your space is a true reflection of your taste and lifestyle.

Frosted vs. Clear: Select frosted glass to obscure cabinet contents or clear glass to showcase dinnerware.

Etched and Stained Glass: Add an artistic touch with patterns or color tints for a unique look.

Frame Styles: Choose from sleek contemporary frames or ornate traditional designs to complement your kitchen’s aesthetic.

Hardware Selection: Pair with brass, chrome, or matte handles to create a cohesive style statement.

Glass Thickness: Opt for varying glass thicknesses for both aesthetic appeal and functional durability.

Door Swings: Decide on hinge direction for practicality in kitchen workflow, considering left, right, or even upward opening mechanisms.

Locks and Latches: Incorporate locks for added security on cabinets holding precious items or childproofing concerns.

These choices not only customize appearance but also enhance the functionality of your glass-door cabinets, making them a perfect marriage of form and function.

Cost Analysis: Prefab Versus Custom Glass Doors

Analyzing the costs between prefabricated and custom glass door options for your upper kitchen cabinets hinges on a few key considerations.

Prefab units typically offer the advantage of lower cost due to mass production. They come in standard sizes and styles, making them readily available and easy to install without significant additional expenses.

Custom designs, on the other hand, offer a tailored fit and a unique look but come with higher price tags. The customization process involves professional crafting to your specific dimensions and selected materials, which requires more labor and often higher-quality, costlier materials.

However, it’s essential to factor in the long-term value. Custom glass doors can optimize your kitchen space more efficiently and blend seamlessly with the existing aesthetic, potentially increasing your home’s resale value. They also offer the opportunity to select from a broader range of glass and frame materials, which can impact durability and maintenance costs.

Ultimately, the decision will depend on your budget, the importance of a customized look to your home, and the potential for return on investment. It’s worth obtaining quotes from both prefab suppliers and custom fabricators to fully understand the cost implications before making your choice.

How to Measure for Upper Cabinets With Glass Doors

Before embarking on the installation of your new cabinetry, accurate measurements are crucial. Ensure you have a tape measure, a level, and a notepad to jot down your numbers.

1. Height Consideration – Start by measuring from the highest point in the floor to the ceiling. This accounts for any unevenness and helps determine the maximum cabinet height. It’s essential not to overload the space between countertops and the bottom of the upper cabinets—aim for 18-20 inches of clearance.

2. Width and Wall Span – Measure the total length of the wall where cabinets will hang. If you’re replacing existing cabinets, you can measure their width and use this as a guide. For a new design, consider natural breaks in the wall, such as windows or appliances, to determine the cabinet segments.

3. Depth Awareness – Standard upper cabinet depths range from 12 to 24 inches. Any deeper and accessibility may become an issue; any shallower and storage capacity is compromised.

4. Obstructions Inspection – Record any potential hindrances such as vents, pipes, or electrical outlets. These may influence the size or configuration of the cabinets you can install.

5. Double-Check with Doors – With glass doors on both sides of the cabinet, remember to account for the swing radius in your measurements. There should be enough space for doors to open without obstructions.

6. Account for a Level Hang – Use your level to check that your measurements accommodate a perfectly horizontal hang. Uneven upper cabinets can lead to issues with door operation and aesthetic imbalances.

After assessing these dimensions, double-check your figures to ensure accuracy. Correct measurements are the cornerstone of a seamless installation and will help you enjoy your stylish and functional glass-front cabinets to their fullest.

Replacement and Repair Tips for Glass Cabinet Doors

When it comes to wear and tear, glass cabinet doors require specific attention. If you encounter a cracked pane or simply want a style update, consider these tips:

  • Measure the glass: Precise measurements are crucial to ensure a perfect fit when ordering replacement glass. Measure the opening, then subtract a small margin to allow for expansion and contraction.
  • Choose the right type of glass: Opt for tempered or safety glass to minimize risk in case of breakage. It’s stronger and will crumble into small granular chunks instead of sharp shards.
  • Sealant selection: Use a clear silicone sealant for fixing the glass into the cabinet door. It provides a secure hold while remaining inconspicuous.
  • Gentle removal: When removing the old glass, wear gloves and eye protection. Carefully score the old sealant with a utility knife, then gently push the glass out from the frame.
  • Installation: When installing new glass, apply the sealant evenly in the rabbet of the door frame before inserting the glass. Use small glass clips or silicone to hold the pane in place as the sealant dries.
  • Cosmetic fixes: For minor scratches, a glass repair kit can buff out imperfections, restoring the clarity and appearance of your cabinet doors.

Keep these tips handy, and you’ll be well-prepared to tackle any fixes with confidence and maintain the pristine look of your glass cabinet doors.


What to put in upper kitchen cabinets with glass doors?

Upper kitchen cabinets with glass doors are ideal for showcasing your favorite glassware, serving bowls, and cookbooks, with decorative items best placed on higher shelves for maximum visual impact.

What are glass cabinet doors called?

Glass cabinet doors are commonly referred to as mullion doors.

Are glass cabinet doors more expensive?

Yes, glass cabinet doors are typically more expensive due to various elements involved in their construction compared to standard kitchen cabinets.

How do you style glass fronted kitchen cabinets?

To style glass-fronted kitchen cabinets, ensure a balanced and harmonious look by arranging items in columns and using stackable items that aren’t noticeably obstructed, to maximise visibility through the cabinet doors.

What types of glass are typically used for kitchen cabinet doors?

Typically, the types of glass used for kitchen cabinet doors include textured, frosted, leaded, seeded, stained, tempered, and clear glass.

How to maintain and clean upper kitchen cabinets with glass doors?

Maintaining and cleaning upper kitchen cabinets with glass doors involves regular dusting, wiping with a damp cloth, using a glass cleaner for the doors, and polishing wooden parts with furniture polish.

Are there any sound insulation properties with glass cabinet doors in the kitchen?

Glass cabinet doors in the kitchen do not have sound insulation properties.

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