Glass Front Cabinets for Your Kitchen

Welcome to the 88th Metamorphosis Monday!

Happy Met Monday! How was your weekend? I’ve had out of town company all weekend so mine was busy and fun. We did a little antiquing and I came across a wonderful basket that I think will be beautiful hanging on my front door for this fall. It’s huge so it will be a challenge to fill…hope to be sharing it with you soon.

Metamorphosis Monday:

For this Met Monday, I thought I would share a little more information about one of the important parts of the kitchen renovation I completed in my kitchen around nine years ago. If you’ve ever considered changing out your cabinet doors to glass fronts, but were a little nervous about how it would look…this post may help you decide if that would be a good move. I had hoped to share a video with you but my video camera has decided to place lines across the images…sort of like you’re looking through venetian blinds. πŸ™ Not good.

When we first moved into our home eighteen years ago, this was how the kitchen looked. The house was eight years old at that time and the cabinets were strong and sturdy…but the wood looked a bit worse for the wear.

Since the cabinets were made of real wood, I decided to keep them and just have them painted to save a little on the renovation. As you can see in the pic below, the dark wood made my relatively small kitchen feel even smaller. (I had already removed the outlet covers and some of the doors on the cabinets to the left side of the kitchen before I thought to take pics.)

Here’s how the kitchen looks today. This pic is a couple of years old, so I’ve changed a few things inside the cabinets, as you’ll see below.


Kitchen Renovation with glass front cabinets




A picture taken at Christmastime…

Decorating with Wreaths on Cabinets


So, how do you know if glass front cabinets are for you? Will the items you want to store behind them look ok being visible for all the world to see? Those are the very questions that were running through my mind before I made the commitment to go for it.

Here’s how I made the decision:
1. I first removed all the doors from the cabinets where I thought I wanted to use glass. I recommend doing a couple cabinets that are together or a “bank” of cabinets if possible. I think it’s a better look when they are all together.
2. Next, I emptied out all the contents of the cabinets…stuff was everywhere!
3. I culled significantly, boxing and bagging up those extra baking dishes and items I hadn’t used in years…including all the Super Mario and Mickey Mouse glasses. I mean…you only need so many cartoon character glasses available for everyday use. πŸ™‚
4. I placed all the “stuff” I hadn’t used in forever down in the basement just in case I later changed my mind. I can tell you now, I never missed a thing. All that extra stuff ended up either in a garage sale or donated to a local thrift store.
5. Then I began playing. I knew my everyday china needed to go back into the cabinets…so the challenge was how to place it back into the cabinets where it would be easily accessible, as well as attractive for everyday viewing. With the doors off the cabinets, and the cabinets empty…I arranged and finagled and here’s what I came up with.

My Blue Willow dinner plates, salad plates, soup bowls and cereal bowls that were used every day were neatly stacked on the bottom shelf for easy access. I stood plates up along the back of the cabinet, creating a pretty back drop. I placed other serving pieces on the second shelf and rarely used cups and saucers along the top. When I get my video camera functioning properly again, I’m going to give you a nice close up of how the plates are secured along the back where they will not fall when dishes are removed for use. It’s super easy and the plates/platters along the back are also readily available if needed for meals.

The Villeroy and Boch, Melina, that I used for years as my everyday china (and still use) was “arranged” in another cabinet up over my desk area. You don’t have to put every single plate or bowl in…I didn’t below. Just arrange enough pieces to give you an idea of how it will look and fit.

Once I came up with a system that worked for the Blue Willow china, it was easy to arrange the Melina. It certainly wasn’t very pretty against the ugly dark interior of the cabinets, but I knew that would all change once the cabinets were painted inside and out.

Once I knew how it would all look, my fears were alleviated and I was set on go! I positively couldn’t wait to paint the interior with the same soft yellow paint I had used on my kitchen walls. It’s a Duron color called, Sugar Cookie.

So while the exterior of the cabinets and shelves were painted a pretty white, the back wall of the cabinets inside was painted Sugar Cookie.

Later, when I added the Copeland Spode, Tower, red and white transferware, the pale yellow backdrop I had chosen, again worked well. I placed my white china between the Blue Willow and Tower for a nice transition.

Everyday baking dishes, measuring cups, glassware, etc… are stored behind solid cabinet doors, although, they would look probably look pretty nice on display, too. I decided one whole bank of cabinets, plus the ones over the desk, were enough for the glass fronts.

So, if you’re trying to decide…glass fronts or no…just take an afternoon, remove the doors from the cabinets you’re considering for glass fronts, pull everything out, cull through removing stuff you no longer use or need and get busy playing and arranging. It’s the best way to decide if you should go for it or not.

Tip: It’s best to go through all your cabinets because if there are things you don’t want visible in the ones you are considering for glass fronts, you can make room for those items in your other cabinets that will have still have solid doors. It’s amazing how much stuff we have in our cabinets that we never even use.

You may be surprised to see how pretty your everyday china or bake ware would look on display. It’s super easy to keep things looking neat because every item has a place to live inside the cabinet. πŸ™‚ And, don’t be surprised if you find the glass fronts make your kitchen fill bigger, brighter and more open…they definitely did that in my kitchen. πŸ™‚ Yay!

Like to see more of this kitchen renovation? Click HERE for additional pics and details.

Metamorphosis Monday:
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  1. black eyed susans kitchen says

    Since I live the life of a dish woman…love beautiful dishes, I think the cabinets with the glass fronts are perfect and beautiful!

  2. Christi @ A Southern Life says

    Your cabinets are beautiful. I don't have the nerve to go with a bank of glass. That would mean I would have to get way more organized than I am now. Love the look – maybe one of these days!

  3. Karen- The Graphics Fairy says

    Your kitchen is gorgeous!! What a huge difference it made adding the glass and painting the cabinets! Your dishes are displayed so nicely too. Thanks for hosting another lovely party.

  4. Christa @ Stories of a House says

    As always, thank you for hosting your link up. I love seeing everyone's ideas πŸ™‚

  5. I've thought about doing glass in some of the cabinets, either here at home or the lake. I like the way it looks. Plus it would give me the incentive to get rid of things I don't use.

    I don't know if you heard about my vanishing Back Porch dilemma. I've tried to visit as many people as possible and others were posting the new address on their blogs. I'm at typepad now. Lots of learning to do!

    The new address is:
    I thought I had lost 3.5 years of work, but I was able to get it back…whew!

  6. Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish says

    Beautiful and great advice!! I have always been nervous about glass doors – but this may have changed my mind! Thanks for hosting too!

  7. Heidi@TheCraftMonkey says

    I LOVE the look of glass front doors, and yours is no exception! simply beautiful, especially displaying your gorgeous china! A few months ago I decided to get rid of our "every day" dishes {they were chipped & some had been broken, etc} and I decided we needed to start using our China we got when we got married. Nothing too fancy, mikasa italian countryside, but I LOVE that we are now using it instead of looking at it inside the hutch! Life's too short not to use the "good" stuff! I think that's why I always enjoy your stablescapes so much!

  8. Hi Susan! I love your kitchen. It is shaped a little like mine! I love your glass fronts and would like to try at least one! πŸ™‚
    Be a sweetie and hope you've had a great weekend.
    Shelia πŸ˜‰

  9. Thoughtfully blended hearts says

    That is a great idea to test your cabinet glass doors!!! An idea to remember for when I remodel.

  10. Judy @ In His Grip says

    I love this transformation. I have always thought that glass doors looked messy but these are to die for. Love it.

  11. Susan-This did SO much to change your kitchen!! I am just toying with the idea of painting my cabinets, but LOVE your glass fronts…I don't know if I can't stand that much pressure though :)–neat all the time! This was a great help!

  12. Handy Man, Crafty Woman says

    LOVE the painted cabinets! We painted our kitchen cabinets white and it really brightened up the room. Looks so nice.

  13. Hi Susan,
    I think your cabinets looks great opened up by the glass fronts. I've just added glass to a couple of mine kitchen cabinets, too. It makes the room seem so much bigger. I'm glad that I made the decision to do it.
    Thanks for hosting such a fun meme!
    The Tattered Tassel

  14. I love your kitchen and glass doors. I have one set of glass doors over my sink where I display some of my grandma's dishes. I wish I had put more glass doors in when we bought new cabinets, yours are wonderful!

    I think I could write a book on what not to do when remodeling a kitchen! πŸ™‚

    From Virginia

  15. Vintage Linen Treasures says

    Oh my goodness!! What a BEAUTIFUL backsplash. I know I'm supposed to be looking at your gorgeous cabinets displaying your stunning plates. Believe me, I did notice that, too. But I'm in the process of figuring out what to do with my back splash. I LOVE this!!
    BTW Your cabinets are simply amazing. I can't believe the difference between the brown "before" and the white "after". All I can say is BEAUTIFUL!
    Patricia :o)

  16. Susan,
    Your cabinets look wonderful, love the paint color and you have evrything so neat and tidy. Beautiful transformation. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Wow, you put a lot of work into your cabinets and kitchen and it REALLY shows. Absolutely beautiful!!

    ~ The Speckled Dog

  18. I really like how your whole kitchen turned out, Susan. The glass cabinets are great and your display is very pretty. Come by if oyu have a chance cause I posted pictures of Natchez in the

  19. Good information on cabinet doors. I have been thinking about doing this in a couple of areas in my own kitchen, and your idea of removing the doors and checking to see how it works is really a good one.

  20. How beautiful! I aspire to be as neat as you some day.

  21. The Polka Dot Closet says

    What a wonderful transformation, I wish I had glassware that gorgeous to show off. I also wish my cupboards were neater!LOL This the first time I have linked up, thank you so much for hosting! I posted your link at the end of my blog post. hope I did it all OK, let me know if I did not!


  22. Kristin @ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia says

    I love having glass on just a few cabinets! It makes such a difference! I love your kitchen, so pretty!

  23. Your kitchen is gorgeous!!! I can't believe the transformation! I really love the glass doors, I have a few cabinets that I left the doors off of but I need to other cabinet doors to hide my mess!! πŸ™‚
    You dishes are so pretty as well, it is nice that now everyone can enjoy them!

  24. Bringing Pretty Back says

    Susan, I have been trying what to do about the kitchen cabinets in our new little home. Open shelves… glass doors, closed doors. This is a big help!
    Thank you!
    Have a pretty day!

  25. Hi Susan,
    I love your cabinets and all your beautiful dishes. How fun to get to play and organize them all. I love the glass front doors. I have glass, too, in all my upper cabinets. But mine is reeded, just the suggestion of shapes and color shows – very mysterious! Thanks for hosting us, so glad to be back to take part this week!
    Have a good one.
    Heidi – Heart and Home
    ps I finally used the Homegoods gift card I won, it was so much fun! Thanks again.

  26. What a difference…your kitchen is beautiful!

  27. Purnima@a creative project says

    You have a amazing collection!! Its worth displaying it!! Thanks for hosting the link party!! Its a lovely initiative!!

  28. Great makeover, your kitchen is so gorgeous:)))
    Thanks for hosting.
    Greetings from Europe, Biljana

  29. I love my glass front cabinets — which I transformed like yours for mine were solid as well — and I've never regretted it. You just put your "pretties" behind those doors and then put your more mundane pieces behind the solid ones.

    And I keep those class front cabinets neat — nothing else is as neat in the kitchen — I'm always having to tidy!

  30. I love your cabinets! I'm going to paint my cabinets & I've been considering glass fronts for one area. Thanks for the tips!!

  31. Aunt Amelia's Attic says

    Beautiful… Beautiful… Beautiful…

  32. Liz - says

    I love what you did, and your logic is smart on many levels. Most of us have too much stuff in the cupboards that we don't use, so thinning out is always smart! I did the same thing when remodeling our kitchen. I only have three glass doors (narrow kitchen) but I wanted to create the feeling of a china cabinet- and it's the focal point of my galley kitchen, so I'm happy with my choice. I used a waterglass to diffuse the view just a bit so if things weren't perfect it wouldn't bother me!

  33. Sherry @ No Minimalist Here says

    I also love the glass front cabinets and they look especially nice with all your beautiful dishes on display. The glass front make the kitchen look so much larger.
    Hugs, Sherry

  34. Cass @ That Old House says

    What a very excellent way to see if you do indeed like the "naked truth" look in wall cabinets!

    And now I'm curious as to how you keep those plates standing along the back, upright. Molding on the shelf? Get that video camera working, woman! πŸ™‚

    As always, a terrific post!
    Have a lovely week — Cass

  35. My kitchen looked so much like your "before" pic – I decided to take down ALL the upper cabinets on one side of the kitchen and on the other side we completely removed the cabinets and replaced them with a stepback cupboard from 1800's. The top part is glass and I absolutely love it! Make me happy every time I walk by or reach in to grab a plate!

  36. Your kitchen is just gorgeous! It makes me miss having creamy white cabinets! I have one set that have glass fronts and I love them but yours really takes the cake! πŸ™‚

  37. Thank you for this post! We have solid drab cabinets in our kitchen, and I have been wanting to replace some of the doors with glass ones, but it was hard to find a before-and-after kind of picture to show my husband. You just solved that! Thank you!!!!!!!!!! πŸ™‚

  38. Thanks for hosting! By the way, I don't think that I've commented that I love the new blog header. It's so pretty.

  39. gnee @ Singing With Birds says

    Hello Susan,

    Your kitchen is amazing and I adore the glass and fabulously light cabinets! You have such a classy blog and I enjoy my visits here even though I can't get into decorating my table for photos…I love yours and so many others! Thanks for another great party…happy Monday!

  40. Susan, this was such a timely met Monday because I am really ready to do a cabinet makeover and am toying with both painting them (yours look fabulous) and having glass in some places.

    I will DEFINITELY take your advice.


  41. Melanie {The Tiny Tudor} says

    If I had the beautiful dish collection you have, I would definitely want ALL glass cabinets : ) The kitchen looks great!

  42. Lori @ Projects Plenty says

    Your kitchen is gorgeous. I love the lighter cabinet color and the glass. You made some really good choices!

  43. Susan, that is one of the best dishes displays/use of glass cabinet doors I have ever seen.
    I would really like to know how you secure the back display plate so it doesn't fall over.
    Our kitchen is being remodeled right this very minute! and we will have one set of glass doors over the farmhouse sink.

  44. Heaven's Walk - says

    Kathleen – what an incredible transformation! From dark and dreary to bright and happy! I love it! I would love to be able to do that to my cabinets someday….should I ever be able to convince my hubby……lol!

    Happy MM!

    xoxo laurie@heavens-walk

  45. Ashley @ Little Miss Momma says

    AMAZING transformation–and I am totally drooling over all your glorious dishes!

  46. Chari at Happy To Design says

    Hi Susan…

    I would just like to say that I think your decision to go with the glass door fronts was an excellent choice! Not only does it seem to open up the kitchen, but they also give you such a great opportunity to display that gorgeous dishware! Ohhh…and painting them the creamy white…made a world of difference! It really did brighten and lighten up your kitchen, Girlfriend!!! I would just love to do this in my small kitchen but I'm afraid that I'm going to have to replace all my cabinetry. I hope to do some glass front doors as well! Your kitchen is such an inspiration! Love this post, I think it's great help to those who may be considering glass cabinet doors! Thank you so much for sharing your fabulous kitchen with us, dear lady! Also, I sooo appreciate you and all of your efforts in providing a forum for us to share our metamorphosis' at Met Monday!

    Warmest autumn wishes, sweet friend!
    Chari @Happy To Design

  47. I love, love, love what you did with your cabinets!

  48. Fifi Flowers says

    GREAT kitchen redo!!!

  49. I wish I could do this, but my kitchen would look toooooo messy if I did this! Plus I store my dishes in hutches and my kitchen cabinets are for things that look too messy. Nice transformation you have here!

  50. Sue (Someone's Mom) says

    Your kitchen is beautiful. I love the way the glass fronts look. I've never wanted them, even though I am neat behind the doors. I've just wanted to keep things that aren't so pretty in my cabinets too. I do love the look though.

  51. I absolutely LOVE your kitchen cabs! What a way to showcase your beautiful dishes, too! Your kitchen has always been one of my favorites! Thanks so much for hosting such a fun party, and for allowing me to share a bit of my Fall decor. Take care, Becca

  52. You're blog is absolutely beautiful!
    I got a blog award & have to send it on to 15 blogs and your blog is one that I have chosen. Enjoy!

  53. Kelee Katillac says

    Glass fronts always for me! And to show off all your neat plates!

    Thank-you Susan for this party!

    love, kelee

  54. Susan,

    I love your glass front doors. You have great ideas for helping others decide whether or not to go with glass or not. I love the way you've got your collections displayed.

    Thank you for sharing with us and thank you for hosting,


  55. Good morning dear woman! All of my house guests are finally gone so I am trying to catch up with e-mails and blogs! I love your glass front cabinets and your tutorial has given me inspiration to CLEAN OUT my kitchen cabinets! I won't be doing glass fronts but they need a GOOD PURGE!!!!!!!!!!! I am in a "getting rid of stuff" mood!!!! Happens every fall:) XO, Pinky

  56. Susan: after looking at your kitchen remodel I think we are on the same page. You are just way ahead of me. I have two doors done in glass right now and am considering doing more. I'm stuck on the paint color for the cabinets. I have dark too, my house is a little over 20 years old. The cabinets are in great shape and I'm not willing to spend money to replace something that is still functional. Anyway….can you tell me what color you used for the outside of your cabinets?

    Your kitchen is just what I have in mind for my house, thanks so much for the post.

  57. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says

    It was Benjamin Moore paint…maybe from their Impervo line. It was a white white…I don't remember the name now, though. It wasn't a custom match…just a white they recommended for cabinets. Just check with BM or Sher. Wms or any of the paint stores and asked what their most durable paint is for kitchen cabinets. So many folks are painting cabinetry now…I bet they will have a definite recommendation for you. Hope that helps.

  58. Thanks for the information!

  59. I'm a newly wed, first home, learning how to be a homemaker, artist's wife. LOVE LOVE LOVE your blog, such wonderful ideas for making a house, a home, and making it beautiful. thank you!

    Sarah Howe

  60. Susan, I've been out of town and am catching up on blogs. I love your kitchen redo. The white cabinets with glass doors are so refreshing. I love light and now your kitchen has a light, airy feel. Your arrangement of your dishes are so eye catching. Love all the patterns.

    By the way, I joined blogland after the rush on the white dishes from Big Lots affectionly named Gollum dishes. I have not seen them in our Big Lots. Do you know if they are still available?

    You continue to amaze me with your ingenuity with technology and new ideas for your blog to keep us learning. Love the picture thumbnails for blog party viewing. It seems you are the first with everything.

  61. Hi Susan,
    I love so many of your ideas and ways of sprucing up rooms without the full renovation process.
    I ran across this kitchen while surfing one day a while back and thought it was very cute but I doubt I’d have the nerve to do it to my older kitchen.
    We are renovating our home room by room and the kitchen will probably be the last project we tackle so I’ve tried to brighten it up and make it as inviting as possible while i wait for the total renovation.

    I had our cabinets painted white because they were the standard old orange type oak that was all the rage when our home was built years ago but I’d like to find other ways of fixing them up while I wait.
    I love your idea of changing the top cabinets to glass doors.. it makes such a difference… I had mine done after seeing your pictures.

    Please check out what this lady did with her “French Country” inspired kitchen… like i said it defintely wouldnt be for everyone but it did make me smile.

    I hope it’s okay to post the url and do make sure to click on the images to make them full size…..

    love to hear your thoughts. πŸ™‚

    • I love it! I would feel so relaxed and at home in such a beautiful kitchen. Yeah, glass doors make such a huge difference. My kitchen felt so much more open after I did that.

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