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Ideas for Decorating Glass Cabinets in the Kitchen

Linda is a seasoned writer and home-decorating authority. She loves sharing design trends, decor ideas, and useful tips with her readers.

Glass cabinets are such a pleasing addition to any kitchen. The reflection bounces light around the room, adds a stylish appeal, visual depth and helps break up the uniformity of a boring expanse of wood cabinets. If you do have glass cabinets you might not want to show off the contents of the contents. Don't worry, you can the clutter and give your kitchen a fresh look by trying one of these creative projects.

You can easily obscure the glass fronts by decorating your kitchen items behind the doors. Each of these economical ideas can be accomplished in a weekend and you don't even need to remove the cabinet doors. Choose the effect that suits your kitchen decor or be daring and take your kitchen in a new design direction. On the other hand, you can also display your beautiful dishware and collectibles.

Faux Stained or Leaded Glass

Stained or leaded glass cabinet fronts are ideal for kitchens that add loads of reflective light and colors. The refractive quality of this artisan glass gives your ordinary cabinet doors a special sparkle. If your kitchen lacks natural light, add visual interest by installing accent lights inside the cabinets.

The shimmering light will filter through the stained glass to add drama to your kitchen after dark. Faux stained and leaded-glass kits or decorative films are available online and craft stores. This technique creates a rich look for a cottage, traditional, coastal, French country or old world charm.

Stained glass paint kits or decorative window film is a great way to spiff up your kitchen cabinets.

Stained glass paint kits or decorative window film is a great way to spiff up your kitchen cabinets.

Window Pane Effect

Create divided window panes for your glass cabinets with an easy muntin technique. A variety of window pane kits consist of vinyl molding and connectors to create divided glass cabinets in grids or diagonal designs. Apply the molding onto the front of the glass cabinet doors with adhesive or double-sided tape. Inexpensive molding is durable PVC material that can be painted to match your cabinet finish. The window pane effect is suitable for traditional kitchen styles.

Muntins can be glued directly onto the glass to create a crisscross or grid design.

Muntins can be glued directly onto the glass to create a crisscross or grid design.

Frosted Window Film

Frosted glass is a sophisticated touch against dark wood cabinets. A single panel of frosted window film applied to the inside of each glass cabinet door will completely obscure the view from the inside. Frosted films give the illusion of etching without the effort and mess. They are easy to apply and available online. Try this in a contemporary kitchen for an understated and classic effect.

Frosted film over glass helps to obscure your  disorderly kitchen cabinet contents.

Frosted film over glass helps to obscure your disorderly kitchen cabinet contents.

Gathered Fabric

Gathered fabric stapled to the inside of your cabinet doors can radically change the look of older glass front cabinets. Choose a fabric color and pattern to coordinate with your kitchen decor. Cut the fabric slightly longer than the height of the glass door panel and twice as wide. Gather and staple the fabric to the cabinet above the top and bottom of the glass panels. This is a cozy traditional treatment for a cottage or country kitchen.

Gathered fabric inside the cabinet gives the kitchen a soft appearance.

Gathered fabric inside the cabinet gives the kitchen a soft appearance.

Decorative Paper

An economical and easy way to give your cabinets a sophisticated touch starts with translucent rice paper, unryu mulberry paper or kozo handcrafted paper from a stationer. Cut the paper slightly larger than the glass opening and tape it in place inside the cabinet door with low-tack, double-sided tape. The resulting shoji-like cabinet fronts are an organic addition to contemporary or Shaker kitchen cabinets.

Delicate handcrafted rice paper creates a muted look for your kitchen.

Delicate handcrafted rice paper creates a muted look for your kitchen.

Cabinet Styling

If you prefer not to cover up your glass cabinet fronts, why not style the contents to create a lovely presentation? Start by hiding functional kitchen things like Tupperware, measuring cups and old baking dishes. Then go all out to display your favorite pieces.

Style the glass cabinets to show off your vintage ceramic collection, sparkling barware and formal china. Style your items by grouping similar colors, texture, shape and height to achieve balance and visual weight.

A selection of soft colors of vintage dinnerware collectibles give the kitchen a cheerful feel.

A selection of soft colors of vintage dinnerware collectibles give the kitchen a cheerful feel.

© 2019 Linda Chechar

Start a Conversation!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on June 08, 2019:

Liz -- A few of my cabinets are cluttered. I certainly wouldn't want to show them off. If I had a couple of glass fronts it would be nice to create a decorative display.

Liz Westwood from UK on June 08, 2019:

My first thought when you mentioned glass cabinets was horror at people being able to see my clutter. So I was relieved to read some of your ideas about creating camouflage features. Another option would be for me to declutter the cupboards.