Kitchen doors are subject to heat, condensation; food splashes and knocks so they need to be both durable and aesthetically pleasing. There are a number of materials used in the manufacture of kitchen cupboard doors including vinyl wrapped mdf, PVC edged doors with a chipboard core, real wood doors and acrylic.
Contrasting the door with the worktop tends to work well. Lighter shade doors will work well with darker shade worktops. Trying to get doors to a close match to worktops can work well but the choice becomes more critical and may look like the effect you were trying to create did not quite work.
In galley kitchens choosing a solid colour door and having a lighter shade of wall unit door than the base unit will help open up the room.
Vinyl wrapped doors
Vinyl wrapped doors dominate the market (for vinyl doors go to the Goscote range on this site.) They have an extensive range of matching accessories making them extremely versatile and their construction keeps them cost effective.
There are two factors that most clients consider when choosing the doors. Will they be easy to keep clean and will they help create a light airy room. It is important to consider the practical aspect of your design options. A flat surface will obviously be easier to keep clean than a patterned or grained surface. There are also more practical door colours that are more suited to modern lifestyles. These would include lighter wood grain or satin finishes. High gloss finishes will create a striking effect but will be more prone to showing scuffs, smears and scratches. Gloss doors will require more attention and may not be practical if there are young children in the house. It is not always possible to fit a pattern onto a small drawer front in which case that drawer front would be flat and if this is the case you should consider how this would look next to your other door and drawer fronts.
Real wood doors
Real wood doors tend to be a more expensive option and are often found in high end country kitchen ranges. Due to the nature of real wood these doors will have variations in the grain and shades of the wood. If you are considering real wood doors be aware that the shade will mellow over time whether a natural or sprayed finish. If in the future you need to replace a door or add on another unit there may be a noticeable variation in the shade.