Skirted Cabinets: How To Use Them And Love Them

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skirted kitchen cabinet sink

Eclectic Family Room by Toronto Interior Designers & Decorators gypsy girl

Skirted cabinets are often fixtures in country kitchens and retro spaces. But, see what you can do with skirted cabinets in all kinds of decor styles.


In every home I’ve ever lived in, cabinets have always come with doors. Creaky or silent, with or without knobs, still, there is no way around the typical, ordinary kitchen cabinet with doors.

But, as the world of decor always amazes and surprises me, there’s also this thing showing up right now on a lot of design blogs and magazines: the skirted cabinet.

Tropical Laundry Room by Newport Beach Interior Designers & Decorators Wendi Young Design

I find skirted cabinets an interesting curiosity when it comes to home decor. They can look amateurish and “least-complicated last resort” but can also give a kitchen or bathroom a touch of je ne sais quoi that really changes the feel of the whole place. Let’s have a look at some trends and ideas for using skirted cabinets.

Shabby-chic and eclectic

The first impression of skirted cabinets, to me, is one of shabby-chic and eclectic. Changing your cabinet doors for a fabric skirt requires some creativity and comfort with risk–after all, everyone’s gonna ask you what happened to your doors.

But hey, if that’s what you’re going for, go ahead: skirted cabinets can make your kitchen look more creative and personal than with anonymous cabinet doors.

Skirts along the bottom of your kitchen also gives it a sense of shabbiness–that maybe your cabinet doors were damaged or somehow missing, and a skirt was the logical and practical thing to do. Skirts are also great for hiding ugly plumbing in farmhouse or craftsman-style kitchens, which tend to have fewer closed cabinets in general.

Craftsman Kitchen by Grand Rapids Architects & Building Designers Image Design LLC

In the end, whatever style you’re trying to achieve in your eclectic or shabby-chic kitchen, a skirted cabinet or two can add just a little more of that twee feeling you’re looking for.

Modern and contemporary

But skirted cabinets can also be used in spaces that are more modern–surprising, I know! However, I did find several instances of beautiful skirted cabinets that match the contemporary style of a kitchen or laundry room.

It’s all about choosing the right fabric.

Eclectic Kitchen by Vancouver Interior Designers & Decorators The Cross Interior Design

Use a single-color fabric to contrast with other colors in the room. You can certainly use a skirt to complement your chosen color palette–and you get the added benefit of being able to change it on the cheap. (Even a beginning sewist can learn how to make these easily.) Use this in modern spaces where bright colors are welcome.

You can also use understated fabrics with geometrical prints to complement more minimalistic spaces.

Traditional Laundry Room

A simple striped fabric that uses the colors of your decor can make a great complement to the room. It won’t call attention to itself too much, and it’ll still be a practical way to hide ugly plumbing or keep kitchen implements out of sight. Think of it as a nice shirt under a more visible blazer.

Add some pizzaz to a rental

Skirted cabinets reach they full potential as both practical and beautiful in rental units.

Traditional Bathroom by Fort Worth Media & Bloggers It’s a Wannabe Decorator’s Life

If you’re an owner, fabrics are way easier to care for than doors, and the replacement costs (should anything happen to the fabric) are way lower than having to replace cabinet doors.

If you’re a renter, it’s easy to change the fabric that comes with your unit to something that suits your tastes. When you leave, you can simply put back the original skirt. No damage, and you get to at least make a choice or two about the look of your apartment.

Skirted cabinets: would you dare?

Now, skirted cabinets aren’t for everyone. They are “heavier” than doors and can easily distract from the rest of a decor. But they can also add a touch of needed color and personality in an otherwise drab room.

What do you think? Do you prefer good old doors, or would you dare to skirt a cabinet or two? Let me know in the comments!

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