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The desired style can be created by choosing specific types of cabinetry. For example, if considering a contemporary style, a flat door without any profile is generally the preferred choice.

When planning storage

consider deep drawers for easy access to pots, pans, and crockery. Some homeowners may prefer the open shelving look – it is functional, as everything is clearly on display. When visiting a Nouvelle showroom, you will discover a range of ideas and options, but the following elements are worth keeping in mind:

Laminates and Melamine

Laminates and melamine very commonly used materials for residential joinery, are very resilient to scratching and chipping, are moisture resistant, and durable. They are made from resin impregnated decorative paper bonded onto particleboard. Commonly referred to as a laminate, it offers a quality finish on a budget and has certainly come a long way since the 1970’s. Gone are the days of flimsy paper edging. These days 1mm solid colour throughout ABS edging is used which resist knocking and peeling. There are also now a very wide variety of colours, textures, and wood grains available, in matt, satin, sheen and gloss. This allows you to create your own individual look. A popular choice is to have the overhead cabinets in a different material to the base and tall units, or for end panels and decorative shelving and other trims. Not recommended behind cooktops and sinks, and if using in a covered alfresco area, need to use a laminate that is specifically made for external use.

Polyurethane or Two-pack

This option is a painted finish. As it is a paint, it can be made in any custom colour, either in gloss or satin. By far one of the most popular finishes with our clients due to its beautiful finish, durability and flexibility of applications. Typically used for panels and doors, it is made up of a core of highly water resistant, medium density MDF. This is the best material, as it is able to be made very smooth in order for the paint (the polyurethane) to look smooth and stipple-free.
The main advantages are that design elements can be profiled and contoured into virtually any pattern, and because it is a paint, the doors, panels, etc., have smooth and continuous edges, i.e. there are no joins, as is the case for laminates. Very important to ensure a high-quality poly is used, otherwise it will diminish its longevity and resistant to scratching and chipping. Faulty fabrication may also lead to unattractive stippling, drip marks and ‘orange-peel’ effects.

Vacuum formed

Thermolaminated vinyl or vacuum-formed doors and panels are made from an MDF board, formed on the face and edges with a vinyl surface. The panels and doors can be profiled, and edges can be wrapped on all sides, giving a smooth continuous edge, as can be done with polyurethane. They are available in a range of colours, profiles and surface finish options, including a textural timber grain feel. They are non-porous and easy to clean.
Vacuum-formed doors with plain face in texture finish are priced lower to mid budget range. The matt and gloss finish with profiled face are mid to upper price range and a little more than equivalent polyurethane doors. They have 2 main disadvantages: finishes, profiles and colours are limited, and over time, and depending on weather in your area, usage, and care of the product, the vinyl has a tendency to peel off. Very expensive in large panels, so suppliers may swap in a laminate panel instead to lower costs – be aware of what you are getting. This can also apply to poly doors – so be certain to ask what type of panelling is included in your quote.


Traditionally, a classic, country-style kitchen style may use an abundance of timber cabinetry, such as Tasmanian or American oak. Solid timber cabinetry is generally expensive, so if trying to keep costs down, use timber in a couple of features, for example, a benchtop or shelving, rather than throughout.
Cabinetry in French Provincial kitchens may utilize intricate carvings, hand-painted detailing, or distressing for an antique look, though these days a painted poly finish is preferred over unpainted solid timber. Glass doors in timber cabinetry allow much-loved display items to be showcased.

Timber veneer

It is especially appealing in Mid-Century Modern kitchens, bringing the beauty and warmth of timber into space without the high cost. Here, thin slices of timber are applied to boards and sealed with clear two-pack. Then, you can choose high-gloss, semi-gloss, or matte.
Cabinetry is also made up of a variety of other items generally described as ‘hardware’, such as drawer runners, hinges and handles. Naturally, the better the quality, the longer your joinery will last. This may lead to a higher cost in the present, but less costs into the future.
It is important to know what is included in your quote, and that you see and test these items for yourself, prior to accepting. Also, important to ask is what type of other inclusions, such as bin systems, cutlery dividers and other accessories are included, and assess how well they meet your needs.
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