Pearlworks highlights many options of cabinet design. The master craftsman of the past created so many unique designs and looks that boggle the mind. They were not contained with costs and timelines……. Their only goal was to create outrageous designs that became there signature look. Today, when you look at cabinet design all you see are plain boxes with doors on them. Where are the craftsman that created cabinetry with style and uniqueness? There are easy techniques to achieve mind blowing results quickly and at a reasonable cost. I could write a book on cabinet design. Unfortunately, my blog will lightly touch and highlight all of the basic options available today. For more detailed information contact Pearlworks for thousands of concepts.

Face Frame Ornamentation or face frame designs is something that Pearlworks has taken to a whole new level. This is the heart of the design and where most carpenters drop the ball.

If you look at cabinet design in general…..most cabinet builders use a square face frame design. The reason for this simplicity is cost and sometimes lack of creativity. Well, how about boring…. That is the word I would use or unimaginative! What I want to help carpenters and cabinet builders to know is that they have options, lots of options!

Let’s look at the options. When designing a book case for example or entertainment center, the opening of the cabinet is the heart of the project. Once you have the heart of the cabinet shape determined all the rest is what I call the fluff. Typically, the heart of the cabinet can have a flat square look, curved top, round top or sculpted top. These basic shapes cover the vast majority of all the looks most cabinet builders use. Square or flat top openings are the easiest to build. To make this shape interesting we will need to add some fluff. Looking at the photos you can see how casings along with keystones and plinth blocks can add another dimension.

Square Top
Curve Top
 Keystone Round Top Sculpted Top

But lets get crazy…..add additional detail by installing column assemblies. If it’s a book case add some details to the shelf edges. Most ¾ inch thick book shelf’s look too thin…..add some bulk with specialty moldings that have carved inserts. While you are at it, why not make the shelves curved instead of straight for a more custom look.


The next most common shapes are curved and round top openings. These shapes are easily highlighted by using curved keystones, radius corners and flex moldings with detailed carving surfaces. The next detail to address with these shapes is the spandrel areas of the radius. Flexible moldings can be used to create panel shapes that perfectly fit these areas and we also developed spandrel panels that fit into these areas for a really unique carved raised or recessed panel look.

Curved Top Curved Top Round Top Curved Keystone Curved Top

Spandrel Area Using Recessed Panel Spandrel Area Using Trim Mouldings Keystone Detail

The final and most unique looking is the sculpted opening. Sculpted openings have that “How did they do that look!” Pearlworks has developed a series of sculpted moldings that apply directly to the cabinet face frame. They come with just the profile shape or with carved details. The assembly comes from the manufacturer all put together. All you do is use the precast sculpted shape as your template….mark your faceframe and use a jig saw to cut the shape and apply the sculpted molding. The sculpted molding assemblies come in 4,5, and 6 foot. widths. You also have the option to take your 90 degree outside corners and apply a radius molding for a really custom look, as shown in photos below:


Take a look at our photo gallery and you will see many options that are best explained with photos. Pearlworks is here to answer any of your cabinetry questions for small to large projects.

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