Accents that add pizzazz to any design!

When I’m designing a bath, kitchen or entertainment area, one of the many facets involved is seeking out focal points. Now in most designs, we can easily define the focal point around the cooking area or island. These are wonderful to have when we’re planning, and honestly, it’s an easy way to really make our creative skills shine. But today, I want to talk about adding interest beyond the cooking area or island – and the ways you can add “oh my gosh that’s beautiful” moments that make a design a bit more special.

Enter the topic of Accent Doors. Not only do they give you a way to take your design to the next level, but there are also so many options you simply can’t run out! Below, we’re breaking it down into several categories for you as a quick reference and refresher – and a remedy to avoid analysis paralysis!

Keep it Classy

Glass is the classic accent, but there are so many varieties to expand your horizons. Clear and beveled are the most traditional options and are best for featuring what’s on the inside.

Medallion_Madison RP Cottage White with Dry Brush_Beveled Glass

Ellison Raised Panel (RP) maple White Chocolate Classic; cherry Onyx; RETOUCHED Whimsical glass dsic. and changed to clear glass
The simplicity of clear glass is always enough when paired with the intricate arches of the Eclipse mullion. Ellison cherry in Onyx stain shown above.

Medallion_Park Place FP_Sea Salt_Trinity Mullion with clear glassBeyond clear glass lies the Art Glass category- with intricated patterned zinc caming and inlaid aged and colored glass. It’s reminiscent of historic Tiffany stained glass and Gilded Age manors. At first glance, you might think Art Glass is limited in application, but I would  I would consider it not only for traditional designs but also as a dramatic contrast in Transitional designs.

Medallion_Fenwick Seagrass Sheer_Art Glass D
Some Art Glass styles nod to a specific design style, like Arts and Crafts.
Medallion_Park Place White Icing_Zinc Insert Pattern B
Art Glass style B shown above, Peppered Appaloosa wainscot finished back. (PS, this pattern looks super chic in a Carriage Black door and a contrasting Sea Salt interior!)
PLATINUM: Chelsea maple White Chocolate Classic and cherry Ginger Snap
The perfect decorative hardware, silver-toned finial hinges and Art Glass (style E) all add up to one very pretty accent cabinet.


Bridgeport and Columbia oak Walnut and White Sand Coastal
Art Glass style F shown above. Notice the pattern change as the width of the door changes. This is typical of Art Glass patterns.

Then nestled between the simplicity of clear glass and the intricacy of Art glass we have the Decorative glass category.  This group has distinct, yet subtle patterns, that add a light amount of texture and interest without becoming “too much”. Matrix, Narrow Horizontal Reeded, or Narrow Vertical Reeded are my go-to’s in many designs. Meanwhile, more defined textured glass (like Seedy, Rain, Glacier, or Water glass) deliver more of an intentional focal point of the glass.

These textured glass accents are great for adding interest to the simplicity of painted cabinets and also pairs well with distressed finishes like the Appaloosa collection to play up that antique, weathered look.
Medallion_Devonshire FP Dusk_Buckskin Appaloosa_Seedy Glass

Mirror, mirror on the wall cabinet

Mirror inserts catch the light and your eye to embellish a design. Of course, standard mirror inserts are highly versatile and can be used in design styles from traditional to contemporary. With more detailed delicate mullions or traditional door styles, a mirror insert can add luxe and glitz. In a contemporary space, with a simple door style or linear/geometric mullions, mirror accents look sleek and complement fixtures in polished metals.

Ellison Raised Panel (RP) maple White Icing Pewter Highlight; Bella quartersawn oak Shale
Medallion_Loxley FP Frappe_Chi mullion with standard mirror

On the other hand, mirror inserts like Epic, Patina, and Gunmetal have an antique and dimensional feeling. That look contrasts with cleaner contemporary designs or increases the rustic look of distressed cabinets. And it’s a great way to enhance the beauty of a bathroom!Medallion_Mission Cobblestone_Gunmetal Mirror_Collage

Medallion_Terrace Bath_Linen with Gunmetal Mirror
Gunmetal Mirror in Chi mullion, Smoke stain on oak.

Using mirror in place of glass allows you to add glam without the need for a matching interior!

Epic is subtle, mysterious, and a little iridescent, while gunmetal is smoky and edgy. Patina gives you the most antique look with flecks of silver and charcoal.

Medallion_Portico Bath_Linen with Patina Mirror
Adding a mirror accent to a linen cabinet adds beauty and sophistication and of course is quite practical!

CupDesign Tip!
For mitered door styles, adding a mirror accent in the linen door offers a great way to get a full-height dressing mirror:
Medallion_Solare Bath_Venice FP_Earl Grey_Linen with Mirror

Another way to make an impactful design statement is to combine both glass and mirror accents. In this workstation, we used patterned glass in the upper doors and a glam accent of a customized framed Epic mirror to connect the wall and base cabinetry.

Medallion_Park Place Islander_Matrix Glass_Epic Mirror

Up and coming…

Glass and mirror inserts are just the beginning. Wire mesh inserts in a variety of patterns are taking off, especially with the popularity of Farmhouse styling, but they even cross over into high-end contemporary furniture as well. Adding interesting materials to cabinet interiors—from tile to fabric to contrasting finishes—is another way to make your design stand out. Remember you can always order a door frame without a center panel and have your installer use an insert material of your choice!

Stay tuned for a post with more tips on using metal accent doors, including Brava, Catania, and Bellagio!

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