How kitchen cabinets can get you your heart’s desire.

When building a home, chances are, your builder will bring in a cabinet company to provide you with a custom kitchen.  You call shots with custom cabinets.  However, did you know that there are other options in kitchen cabinets?  You don’t have to go custom.   Let’s take a closer look at other options when it comes to cabinets.

Basically there are three ways to go with kitchen cabinets…4 if we get into the DIY style…which, we will get into after discussing the standard three.

  1. As we’ve already mentioned, custom cabinets is exactly what it means.  They are custom.  You can create whatever you want and a cabinet maker will build them to your specifications.   With custom cabinets, you can choose from a variety of materials, finishes, colors, and other added details like glass in cabinet doors, even lights that turn on when a cabinet door is opened.  The possibilities are endless.



Image: Lurk Custom Cabinets


  1. Semi-Custom. These cabinets are in-between the world of custom and stock.  You still have to design your kitchen according to standard sizes and styles but they do offer some added design features that you can choose from.  Semi-custom cabinets can make you feel like you had some design input rather just buying something off a shelf from a big box store.  Some of the features you do have a say in are finishes, moldings etc.  Semi- custom cabinets are still mass produced so you may end up sacrificing some quality when compared to custom cabinets.
hgtv semi com

Image: HGTV Semi Custom Cabinets


  1. Stock cabinets are the kind you purchase at your big box home improvement stores.  Stock cabinets cost considerably less than custom or semi-custom cabinets but you are limited in sizes, finishes and other details.  Still, stock cabinets have come a long way.  They offer many more wood species, paint and stain options as well as other details.  Take for instance cabinets from Ikea.  They offer many add-ons you wouldn’t normally find in stock cabinets and probably wouldn’t fork over the additional money for such a frill.  Stock cabinets come in a minimum of 9” widths and then go up by 1” up to 48” in width.   If you know ahead of time that you are going to go with stock cabinets, it is sometimes easier to design your kitchen around the standard sizes than to try to fit them into the space later.  At that point, you may end up with wasted space and awkward corners.
hgtv stock

Image: HGTV Stock Cabinets


Finally, there is another option in cabinets.  I call it the DIY style.  This is becoming a popular trend in kitchen design today.  Upper cabinets are replaced with open shelves with bent pipe for support.   Lower cabinets are trending towards open shelves and even furniture pieces double as kitchen islands.  The DIY style is typically the least expensive but you won’t always get that ‘finished’ look as you will with custom or semi-custom cabinets.


matthew williams

Image: Matthew Williams via Oprah

apartmenttherapy shelves

Image: Apartment Therapy


During the design process of your new home, take a minute to consider what type of cabinet you will use, this can impact the space and budget.  Remember, don’t get stuck in trends or whatever your neighbor or friend is doing.  Let the space be a reflection of your unique style.

Posted in Uncategorized.