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These kitchen cabinets are not made for secrecy

The granite counter tops are installed, the knobs of the restaurant stove are just beginning to feel right, and now comes another kitchen trend: Glass-fronted kitchen cabinets, not unlike your grandmother's, are being seen in more and more new kitchens. The credit goes, at least in part, to the rise in the 1980s of the English country look and the English cabinet manufacturer Smallbone, whose prestigious kitchens can look like great-house libraries.

In the kitchen of their New York City row house, Lucia and John Chatzky installed cabinets with diamond-shaped leaded glass, designed for them by Ernest Porcelli of Art Glass Studio in Brooklyn. Porcelli said glass doors cost $45 to $250 a square foot depending on the type of glass and the intricacy of the design.

"They're open, airy and create a sense of depth in a room full of solid appliances," said Lia Troy of Manhattan.

She took the solid wooden doors of her kitchen cabinets to an unfinished furniture store, which remade them as frames for about $40 each. She installed the glass for $10 a door.

Martha Moore Crowley of Greenwich, Conn., installed small-paned cabinetry consistent with the character of her 1904 house. She called it "a bridge between the kitchen and family room."

In an apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the architect Claus F. Rademacher designed cabinet doors that feature square panes of horizontally ribbed glass.