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Which Way Should Kitchen Cabinet Doors Open?

Cabinet door swing is an integral part of kitchen design. Most homeowners focus on tile selection and countertops, but the door swing layout can completely change the look of your kitchen. Here at O’Hanlon Kitchens, we pay close attention to details to ensure your design looks great from start to finish. Here are some tips for deciding which way cabinet doors should open.

Set up Cabinet Doors in Pairs

Most cabinet doors are set up in pairs. The doors open in opposite directions like the pages of a book. If you have a mounted microwave above your stove, the cabinets directly above the microwave would be a pair. Then the two surrounding the microwave would also act as a pair. The far left cabinet would have hinges on the left, and the far right would have hinges on the right.

This is what you’ve likely experienced in most kitchens you’ve encountered, so it should feel like second nature. If you have cabinet doors that swing the other way, something will feel off.

Think about Walking Paths for Cabinet Door Swings

Not all cabinets work in pairs, and not all pairs can abide by the general door swing rule. You also have to think about how the swing will impact walking paths around the kitchen.

Will an open cabinet door block the flow of traffic? If so, would opening it the other direction create a better flow in the kitchen? Sometimes it’s impossible to avoid blocking a path, but if you can, choose the swing pattern that makes the most functional sense.

Make the Cabinet Accessible for Its Intended Purpose

If you’re having trouble deciding which way a door should swing, think about where you’ll be standing when you use it most. Are you likely to access it from the stove? If so, which direction would make the most sense while you’re cooking? The door swing may not matter for the intended purpose, but if it does, prioritize function first.

Consider How the Door Handles Will Look Based on Door Swing

Some cabinet hardware is subtle, and some hardware is made to stand out. The swing pattern you choose will impact how your door pulls look.

This is simple to sketch out, no matter how artistic you may be. Simply draw rectangles for the cabinet doors and then put the pulls where they would go with your current door swings. If one cabinet pull looks out of place, you may consider changing the swing for that door. Prioritize the other tips above first, and then use this to fine tune your design.

Let the Pros Handle Cabinet Placement for You!

There are so many factors to consider when it comes to designing your dream kitchen. Take the stress out of the process by turning it over to the pros. The experts at O’Hanlon Kitchens have years of experience in kitchen design, cabinet placement, countertop selection, and more. We can even render a 3D plan of your kitchen to help you visualize the changes.

Contact us at 443-285-0558 to schedule your kitchen design consultation.


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