Tastes in cabinetry styles are heading downtown. Uprooted baby boomers and the emerging Generation X market are increasing the demand for sleek, modern doors and unique glossy finishes. Both groups are making a shift toward more European styles, says Sarah Reep, ASID, CKD, CMG, Kraft-Maid's director of design. KraftMaid's Venicia line is one of the first to address that shift — at a semi-custom price point. The company sees the new line as a way to make European design accessible. There are three Venicia collections, all frameless, all with a high-gloss finish. Lustra features impossibly shiny thermofoil in several shades, including the striking Steel Gloss, which manages to surpass the look of stainless steel.

Mirra doors are made of a highly reflective acrylic material, in colors that include a stunning vibrant blue and a deep red called Chianti (shown). Natura showcases maple and cherry in both modern and more traditional door styles.

Venicia's reflective finishes bring high style to the mass market.
KraftMaid Venicia's reflective finishes bring high style to the mass market.

KraftMaid expects the line to bring new customers to the company and to remodelers, who gain the ability to get high-gloss finishes from a widely distributed manufacturer, KraftMaid's marketing manager Kim Boos says. “What we've done is take these things that used to only be available to high-end custom manufacturers and brought them to the mass population.”

It's not only European design that's influencing cabinet trends. Affection for stainless steel in the kitchen just won't die, and that has made Gary Geller, president of Lasertron, very happy. The Florida company has manufactured everything from industrial ceramics to aircraft engine parts since its start in 1979. When Geller saw steel cabinets in a high-end designer showroom, he thought his company could make a better product for less. The resulting line features seven textures, including linen, leather grain, and swirls. Custom designs are also offered. “We started from ground zero, and now it's a significant part of our business,” Geller says. All of the cabinets are made to order, and the company can make a door for any size opening. Customers can choose a brushed, charcoal, or mirror finish.

With warm colors, textures, and glass, the kitchen of the future doesn't look so futuristic … instead, it's clean, modern, and inviting.