Bespoke Kitchens & Design

What Are In-Frame Kitchens?  Things You Should Know

In-Frame Kitchens (called inset kitchens in the US) is a type of kitchen design where the door of the cabinet is inset within a wooden frame, and the frame is fixed onto the front face of the kitchen carcass. 
The frame provides strength to the front of a cabinet and is also considered a visual feature. In-Frame Kitchens borrow from traditional cabinet furniture construction and conjures up images of traditional craftsmanship and long-term durability. Doors are traditionally hung on exposed butt hinges.

History of In-Frame Kitchens

For centuries, all cabinet furniture items were made using the in-frame method where a door of a cabinet is perfectly fitted within a wooden carcass. The concept of a custom fitted kitchen with in-frame kitchen cabinets only became popular in the early 1900’s.

Having a visible frame or face frame had been a feature of the original kitchen cabinet design. But with the advances in high-pressure laminate technology post World War II, manufacturers were able to cut costs greatly by introducing frameless kitchens.

This innovation along with endless design possibilities quickly rendered in-frame kitchens cupboards old-fashioned and suitable only to traditional shaker or country style kitchens.

But in recent years, with a global move back to durability and longevity, in-frame kitchen carcasses with custom-fitted doors have become a prominent feature in kitchen design trends again because of the fine craftsmanship of the units and detail that accompany the installation.

The Difference Between Frameless and Framed Kitchen Cabinets

Frameless kitchen cabinets consist of a plywood, particleboard or chipboard carcass. The edge of the carcass is laminated with edge banding concealing the edge of the cabinet. The doors are fitted directly to the carcass of the cabinet.As there is no frame, they cost less and take much less time to build. Because of the reduced amount of wood necessary, this style of kitchen cabinet quickly became very popular for its affordability.

Framed kitchen cabinets have a frame fitted to the carcass first, after which the cabinet door is fitted to the frame The doors can either be fitted inside the frame (inset or in-frame kitchen cabinets) or sit on top of the face of the frame, with the frame being partially or completely concealed.

Our Traditional Cabinetry Techniques

All of our drawers boxes are made in the traditional way in solid Tulip with proper dovetail joints. This means they will last for years. Thanks to the way we make our drawers and the quality of our soft close drawer runners, our drawers have a massive 40kg weight capacity.

Our doors are made in the traditional way with 5 separate pieces, (2x stiles, 2 x rails, 1 x panel) which are then put together with morticed and tenoned joints. 

Our Framed cabinets have a separate solid Tulipwood front frame that is screwed and glued under pressure to ensure it is square. The frame is then screwed and glued to the carcass with hidden screws so there are no screw marks visible.