1. Lindsay
    April 30, 2018 @ 11:50 am

    Your timing is spectacular. We just made the walk through Stuffville (IKEA) yesterday. We were looking forward to this activity for some reason, but all I got out of it was a headache. On to the big box stores, where our last set of cabinets came from. Thank you for helping to keep this fun/miserable exercise lighthearted.


  2. Ann
    April 30, 2018 @ 11:51 am

    The choices are mind-boggling. I want to be you and not. I really wouldn’t want to try and choose between them all! Good luck. I know it will be FANTABULOUS the end.


  3. Allie
    April 30, 2018 @ 11:56 am

    I think my brain is made out of magpies too – I’ve been told that by friends while we peruse consignment stores. Shiny > better.
    Do you know what color you are doing? That dove gray is lovely.
    Have a nice Monday!


  4. Memory
    April 30, 2018 @ 11:59 am

    Oh, now. Love my Amish carpenter. But working with him did involve three trips, two hour each. Still, he is an artist. Full inset solid cherry cabs for less than $5k. (!) But if you can’t even. . .
    Just a thought: I studied the Rev-a-Shelf website till my eyes bled, assembled specs for inserts, then shopped the web & bought them at significant discount. Your Paul could install these things w/KitchenMaid cabinet fronts in a heartbeat, thereby saving $$$. I was told all the manufacturers use Rev-a-Shelf and I can attest, they are super solid and wonderful (pull out pantry shelves, narrow steel pegboard insert, trash).
    Pull-outs and drawers: efficiency heaven!
    PS: contractor installing Giant Fancy China Cabinet (lions rampant!) tomorrow. She is called Victoria. And she will be magnificent. Thanks for Permission!!


  5. Emily
    April 30, 2018 @ 12:01 pm

    I LOVE that your kitchen renovatoin feels like it is taking as long as mine. It makes me feel like I’m normal that I’m into the “years” of kitchen renovation category. I’m currently stuck on a back spash. The glass one that I fell in love with has varying tones and after seeing some rooms online, some of the tones are too different. I want every single piece to be the same tone. Apparenlty, that’s too much to ask.

    Then, I fell in love with a basket weave glass tile. The tiles are actually beveled up and down in pretty little rows. I realized that I will hate how this high/low effect will end at the outlets, corners, and window.

    This, this is why – three years later – I still don’t have a backsplash installed.

    I can’t help but also feel you on the crown!

    I’m fairly certain that I could have eaten out for 10 years with the money we’ve invested into our kitchen so far. I’d be okay not having one.


    • Kay
      April 30, 2018 @ 12:11 pm

      A designer suggested beveled subway tile for my kitchen, where I have two walls of tile, and all I could think about was dust/grease collecting on all those edges. I chose plain subway tile and have never regretted it.


  6. Margo
    April 30, 2018 @ 12:04 pm

    I panicked because I thought you were not going house the piano turned into the most beautiful island in the world. But I’m hoping it’s just not in the drawings because you already have it. please please say that’s true.


  7. Kay
    April 30, 2018 @ 12:05 pm

    Completely sensible decision. I too would have preferred inset doors but didn’t want to spend the money. If we wanted cabinets that properly fit our kitchen, we had no choice but to go custom—you have a lot more flexibility in your layout than we did. We don’t have a pantry, and I hate the way most refrigerators look in a kitchen, so we got pull-out pantry cabinets to install on either side of the counter depth fridge, with cabinets above, so there is a symmetrical section of cabs surrounding the refrigerator and it’s not an eyesore. We do have a lot of cabinets, but I have a lot of stuff, especially for entertaining and baking. A minimalist kitchen, however attractive, would not have worked. And in 2012, when I was planning the remodel, the fashion for no uppers at all was in the future.

    The really important thing is to plan a kitchen in such a way that five years down the road you will have no regrets. The way you think things through, you’ll probably still love your kitchen in 20 years.


  8. Tommye Morrison
    April 30, 2018 @ 12:08 pm

    Did you remember to include a sliding unit/door beside the sink for a hidden garbage can/recycle bin? I didn’t and I have regretted it for 12 years.


  9. Abby Bean
    April 30, 2018 @ 12:17 pm

    I live in a relatively old house (1926) with relatively high ceilings (~9′). I was able to do long vertical upper cabinets with glass-front horizontals at the top through Home Depot; it’s terrific. Good luck!


  10. Diane Schneider
    April 30, 2018 @ 12:22 pm

    Everyone may freak out further at this idea, but: I just bought an ENTIRE KITCHEN of just-the-right-granite and cabinets for $1,000 on–where else in the world??–craigslist, and am re-installing some of it in a little Cape Cod flip house kitchen. What amazed me was the quantity of luxury cabinets some people are discarding as part of their re-do… some even including high-end appliances like a Wolf range. It meant some refitting for my Paul-avatar, but it has worked out great so far…. & turned out my seller had other kitchen items that I needed–one-stop shopping, yay! I just assume the craigslist Queen Herself probably reviewed the craigslist options FIRST before turning to IKEA, big box, etc. BUT your plan will turn out to be utterly gorgeous, and I bow to all of the creativity that’s going into it!! THANKS for all of your wonderful and good-hearted posts… love them all.


  11. ChristaG
    April 30, 2018 @ 12:33 pm

    Lol! I tell people all the time to remember that cabinets are just boxes, with nice fronts. (They remind me of the “false front” stores in towns in the 1800’s from the Laura Ingalls Wilder books!).
    If you have space left for a little crazy, you can take your Kraftmaid quote to Menards and get an apples to apples quote for Medallion cabinets. I have them, my clients have them (one had a Kraftmaid quote for $23,000 and Medallion came in at $13,000!). They really make a beautiful cabinet (dovetail and all) for a better price point. You can check them out online too. (Kraftmaid is great, a solid choice, sometimes they have great sales, I only suggest Medallion as cost saver).

    Did you know that cabinet manufacturers have online specification pdf’s of every cabinet, size, option, etc? I don’t trust that the cabinet sales people aren’t holding out on me 😂. Here is Kraftmaid’s for Lowe’s if anyone is interested. https://s3.amazonaws.com/KMInfo/ProductInformation/2017/2017_KraftMaid_Lowes_Spec_WEB_9-18.pdf
    *spec catalogs are for late night neurotic behavior whilst the husband is asleep.
    Oh! And you can buy LOWE’S COUPONS on eBay for a few dollars if you can’t find one. I have done it, they work.


    • Marianne in Mo.
      April 30, 2018 @ 2:27 pm

      YES to the Lowes coupons! My husband buys them all the time!!!! And Menards did a layout for us when we were getting ready to build our house. Our builder insisted we use their cabinet contacts ( which were about the same price) so we took our Menards layout with us and had them use it for their cabinet line. I would have preferred buying from Menards after the salesman went through the layour and spent over an hour with us, but we ended up with nice cabinets in the exact color I wanted. We too went through all options on cabinets as far as custom, etc., ours are considered “semi-custom” as I would assume Victorias’ are. Bravo on remembering the drawers – they are life changing!!! As are self-closing hinges, which most companies now do as standard, and not add-ons!


  12. Finola Flatley
    April 30, 2018 @ 12:36 pm

    I too dreamed of inset cabinets after years of drooling at pictures of Christopher Peacock cabinetry in home magazines. When the time came for the big remodel my talented kitchen designer let me know that unless my house maintained the perfect humidity level (and to be honest I never found our what that was) the doors in inset cabinets could expand and contract leaving me with sticking doors or uneven gaps. Living in New England with the possibility of hourly climate changes I opted for regular doors and have been quite happy.


  13. Morgan
    April 30, 2018 @ 12:40 pm

    I understand hating trim that almost-but-doesnt-match. And that the upper cabinets have been nixed. But PURPOSEFULLY contrasting molding (i.e. white against some darker color) is my solution to the cant-match-it struggles.


  14. Emily
    April 30, 2018 @ 12:47 pm

    I’m not sure if you’ve committed- commited, but have you looked into Barker cabinets? You can order any size and design you want, you install and assemble, and if you want to save more money you can paint/or stain them yourself. They’re well made, extremely customizable, and affordable. We’ve been really happy with their products.


    • Jennifer
      April 30, 2018 @ 8:40 pm

      Agree with the Barker cabinets! My daughter ordered them and I helped her assemble and put the finish on them. They are well made and for the most part a great fit. She did her whole kitchen as well as an adjoining pantry and baking center. They look fabulous and she is very pleased.


  15. JeanFB
    April 30, 2018 @ 1:04 pm

    Your posts make my day. You are such a talented writer/blogger/comedienne/designer/collector/animal lover/everything-I-Like-er…. So happy for you that the kitchen is coming along, so thoughtfully, carefully, beautifully. Love your posts. Thank you. and… Thanks again!


  16. Lynne Hoover
    April 30, 2018 @ 1:42 pm

    We went with Kitchen Maid. We love them. I think they worked out so well because we drew out several plans on paper before going to the store. Guy on computer at Lowe’s translated this into a real floor plan. The only problem with their computer program was, it could not comprehend our large, 1885 kitchen window!


  17. Jen
    April 30, 2018 @ 1:43 pm

    Did you check out cabinetjoint.com? They are a customized RTA, based near Lancaster? I was looking at their products to create an island to coordinate with my antique French furniture cabinets. They have many styles to mix and match for doors, drawers, trim etc. Tall base cabinets didn’t have an up charge, I imagine wall cabinets would be the same. You can customize the depth too. They are worth looking into, even if it’s just for the uppers. Various finishes, or unfinished for a discount.


  18. Chad
    April 30, 2018 @ 1:58 pm

    The pullout shelves behind doors in my parents’ kitchen are smaller than the drawers in the same cabinets.

    And their contractor told them that if they went with regular mass market cabinets, the upgrades that are worth it are all plywood construction and full extension drawers. (But they didn’t. Because my mom had already bought wallpaper and the only cabinets that looked good with it were custom.)


  19. Sean Reifschneider
    April 30, 2018 @ 2:17 pm

    Be careful of getting your countertops from Home Depot. We nearly pulled the trigger on that, which would have left us with a 2 foot seam right in the middle of our workspace. A friend had just had the Home Depot experience and was very unhappy with the seams.

    I ended up talking to a few custom counter folks, and the price was very similar to home depot, I think the quartz grade was one lower than Depot (MSS vs Silestone). One of the guys said that the fabricators Home Depot uses can only do rectangles, which is why the giant seam in the middle of the workspace. He, by contrast, hand cuts the stone and put the seam in the middle of the apron front sink where I had hoped it would be. Total visible seam in the kitchen: about an inch.

    For cabinets we ended up going with CliqStudio, and we’re relatively happy. There are paint problems largely due to them using a light primer under a darker paint, so any scratches or misses in panels really shows. I think we paid $9k, and I will say they used first rate accessories in it (Susan, blind Susan, slides). I’m custom building our pantry (the deal I made with my wife was to buy most, but let me build the pantry), and I’m going to spend almost a grand just on drawer slides, the same that are in the Cliq cabinets.


  20. Jeannie
    April 30, 2018 @ 2:22 pm

    Is this your new GFT?


  21. Sharon roderick
    April 30, 2018 @ 2:29 pm

    If you want custom, don’t give up! Home Depot quoted me 12,000 for Martha Stewart cabinets with no upgrades. I found Greeson Custom Cabinets in my small North Carolina city. They crafted GORGEOUS Victorian style cabinets for me (solid mahogany and mahogany plywood cabinets, full inset doors, feet, they used reproduction and old hardware, milled custom trim, reproduced pictures I gave them of actual Victorian pieces….the works!) tore out my old kitchen, beautifully dealt with all the quirks involved with an 1890’s house ( not to mention mine!!) and installed the new for less then 12,000. And my kitchen is literally (not trying to brag here) twice as big as yours And they utilize email, and provide working plans with elevations so you really have a sense of what you’re getting. They even happily tolerated me hanging out in their shop looking at 100’s of woods and finishes until I found the one (THE ONE!!!) combination that matched the picture in my mind. I get complements all the time, and they have just gotten better with age. I am so glad that I stuck it out and got exactly what I wanted within my budget. I think (Paul don’t hate me) that you should too.


    • Mendy
      April 30, 2018 @ 6:10 pm

      Eek! Greeson services my area! I was considering having mine refinished but sounds like I could get new for a reasonable price. I don’t care for mine 🙁


  22. RobynB
    April 30, 2018 @ 3:01 pm

    We went with KraftMaid thru Home Depot and are very happy with them. We upgraded a lot – solid wood and higher end lazy susan in corner and lots of unusual shapes and the fanciest matching crown molding to edge everything and matching beadboard for the backsplash and island ends… We did all drawers for the lowers and would never do anything else. The only cabinets on the lowers are the corner lazy susan and 3 (yes, 3) of the counter-height 9″ wide cabinet with a single vertical divider inside. Hubby added a horizontal divider (making the cabinet interior 4 equal sections) and they are perfect for cookie sheets, baking dishes and pans, lids, etc. They perfectly edge or finish an area where we needed a buffer and they are SO USEFUL!!! We have open walls above except a cabinet above the refrigerator and a corner cabinet in the, yes, corner. Hubby built a custom open dish rack that we painted to match the cabinets and beadboard and that’s on one side wall. Our kitchen is very unusual, we have a wood-fired oven that opens into one wall and a huge island, it’s a custom gourmet kitchen, and the KraftMaid cabinets are lovely in it, very furniture-finish looking.


  23. Laura
    April 30, 2018 @ 3:12 pm

    My compulsion here would be to cheat with the windows…raise the one on the right so that the bottom is flush with the other opening in that wall – continue the cabinets at counter height underneath (three drawer numbers like you have flanking the stove. Then end the row of cabinets with a full height 2′ deep pantry, as little as 18″ in width. I’d paste a amateur sketch but I’m unable.


  24. Lora
    April 30, 2018 @ 3:25 pm

    I don’t want to give you another rabbit hole to fall down but have you considered IKEA cabinet boxes with semihandmade.com doors?


    • Lora
      April 30, 2018 @ 3:26 pm

      Sorry, the website is actually semihandmadedoors.com.


  25. Jayme
    April 30, 2018 @ 3:45 pm

    I just can’t do Amish anything anymore. My trip through Shipshewana broke my heart. I know what a puppy mill looks like, even from the highway. I regret how much I love their pretzels and mustard. I can’t in good faith even buy those anymore.


    • Barb
      May 1, 2018 @ 7:26 am

      I’m with you on that Jayme. The puppy mill problem and the way they use up their horses then ship them to auction where they end up slaughtered for meat has really changed the way I feel about Amish products and supporting Amish businesses.


  26. Elida Kauffman
    April 30, 2018 @ 4:00 pm

    Have you decided what you are going to use for counter-top material and also if you will have a back-splash?
    I have the same problem that I don’t like kitchens. I do like your blog.


  27. DaisyMae
    April 30, 2018 @ 5:57 pm

    You write so well, missy!

    Anyway, you probably don’t want to know that (a) it is possible to make inset drawers and fronts for Ikea boxes, and they look fabby, and (b) there are lots of companies now who will custom-make fronts in pretty much any material, colour and style for Ikea cabinetry (standard fronts, not expensive inset ones, like Plain English, DeVol et al). The latest to the game, and so far my favourite (I can say this because our Ikea cabinets have fronts from them and I LOVE them) are The Swedish Door Company, here in Canada’s snow-swept sometimes sunny capital city, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Lovely to deal with, lovely quality, lovely price point.


  28. DaisyMae
    April 30, 2018 @ 5:59 pm

    PS – not sure, but you may have forgotten to include a fridge in your kitchen layout?


  29. Shirley
    April 30, 2018 @ 6:18 pm

    I have felt your pain at the entirely unreasonable cost of cabinets, but here’s a thought. Once you’ve got the boxes, the doors, fronts etc. can always be changed. Also still think you should go with the mob and get lots of drawers! Deep pot drawers are the bee’s knees! Keep thinking about your corner – if you go diagonal you can access all that lovely cube-age for bulk storage. Saw a great spot for the micro in your drawings – set into cabinet and facing the bench, therefor invisible at first glance. (I still secretly am hoping that the right sideboard comes along on Craigslist to marry your piano and mirror to create that elusive perfect unfitted kitchen) Carry on, brave renovator!


  30. Kevin
    April 30, 2018 @ 10:07 pm

    Custom varies a whole lot… We got quotes from 3 different cabinet makers, an the price for our kitchen varied everywhere from a rediculous $45k (from a guy with absolutely AMAZING craftsmanship) to $9k (From the guy we went with who normally makes furniture, has a just a single employee, and we were very happy with).

    To give it more perspective, we also got quotes from several factory cabinet places, and those quotes varied from as high as $38k (custom, high quality, but still factory made) to $17k from Lowe’s, to $12k from an outlet that the cabinets seemed flimsy and we couldn’t get the layout we wanted.

    The hardest part of going the true, craftsman-made, custom route affordably is finding the right cabinet maker. The frequently don’t do a great job of advertising.


  31. Sherry S
    April 30, 2018 @ 10:52 pm

    I just have to say I LOVE your posts!!!! Even tho I am more of a “oh whatever” kind of person.


  32. Zeel Kitchen Designs
    April 30, 2018 @ 11:23 pm

    My idea here would be to cheat with the windows. Raise the one on the right so that the bottom is flush with the other opening in that wall – continue the cabinets at counter height underneath (three drawer numbers like you have flanking the stove. Then end the row of cabinets with a full height 2′ deep pantry, as little as 18″ in width. I’d paste a amateur sketch but I’m unable.


  33. Stacy Storey
    May 1, 2018 @ 4:42 am

    Just discovered your blog- wonderful! If you haven’t pulled the trigger on the cabinets yet, you need to check Green Demolition, . Their brick and mortar location is in New Jersey, not far from Philadelphia but they list all their kitchens online including measurements for all the pieces in the original layouts, conditions and any exceptions not included. They buy all those Christopher Peacock style kitchen out of the mega millions mansions that someone just buys and decides must be redone for the sake of saying they had it all redone. We bought our kitchen cabinets from them (with classic inset cabinets, perfect hardware, glass fronted upper cabinets, granite counters and some appliances included) last month. The kitchen was much bigger than we need but had my dream island. Ended up with enough extras to make built in library cabinetry with bookcase added on top and a bathroom vanity. Whatever parts not needed, sell on Craigslist. Ours was about an $80,000 worth of materials, offered for $12,500, they accepted an offer of $10,000. Arrived in wonderful condition, and they was after they arranged 3rd party wrapping and shipping to Texas for me. (Which was additional). I have enough beveled edge granite to now pave a super highway. Many others listed are far less than that. It is the giant fancy of kitchen dreams. (and I admit I was holding my breath until it was all unloaded and realized it was perfection- is there any better feeling?). With shipping I still came in $2,500 under non inset cabinet quotes for the same space. Private message me if you would like to see photos on the one I received. Inventory is updated all the time.


    • Stacy Storey
      May 1, 2018 @ 5:15 am

      Look at the Crown Point Royal Ivory Custom one followed by the Boston Café au Lait. Either set would have ample pieces to configure in your space. Try an offer 20% less. Sell off the components/appliances you don’t need /want and you’d be under your Home Depot cabinet bid. The other advantage is they are built for tall spaces (and people, like you two). Would look amazing with your island and you have the advantage of reusing something beautiful instead of feeding the consumer beast.


  34. April
    May 1, 2018 @ 3:08 pm

    VEB: You are the Bargain Queen we all admire. How could you not find custom cabinets for less than Kraft Maid???? We’ve had a small local cabinetmaker come in under the cost of big box alternatives such as Kraft Maid. TWICE!! These craftsmen are out there. Even here in Seattle where the cost of everything has become out-of-this-world. Don’t give up so easily!

    Also, slide-outs behind doors (as in open the door, then slide them out, not open the door and discover it really is a drawer) are not great if you are even a tad bit less than absolutely precise and deliberate in all of your movements. I know, because my mother had them. They worked for her, and never showed a scratch from her less-than-coordinated moves. That’s because she never made any moves like that. I, on the other hand, even when showing supreme care and attention, left large gashes and gouges on her doors when I tried to pull out a slider before the door was fully open, or close a drawer before the slider was completely back in place. Even though the damning results of all my misdeeds were hidden unless the doors were open, I felt glaring condemnation for my lack of care whenever I witnessed those tragic signs of cabinet abuse. Please don’t do it. Nobody needs that kind of stress when it can be avoided. Not that you or the magnificent Paul would ever do something uncoordinated when working in the kitchen, but a friend of family member might. Save those relationships by avoiding sliders-behind-doors!


  35. Barb Benfante
    May 1, 2018 @ 7:20 pm

    We had custom cabinets done by a local cabinet maker whose prices were competitive with Home Depot (or he would go out of business)! And yes, it is true that DRAWERS are the best thing…for one reason: the back of the drawer comes to you and you never have to get on your knees to reach that stupid thing at the very back…


  36. Bernie
    May 2, 2018 @ 3:22 pm

    *Kraftmaid too. But from an Independent Kitchen Store because they offered the style door I wanted that the big box stores didnt. Some of the trim (very simple) on a few of the doors had glue that had eeked from behind it. The Kraftmaid rep came to our house, went through every box of cabinets, and sent replacement doors. It’s nice to know they stand behind their product. (This was in 2004).
    *I’m also on the drawer or pullouts bandwagon
    *We did a single garbage pullout, and a double recycle one. Best decision ever!
    * Some of our neighbors did custom and got beautiful cabinets and spent less than us!
    *A custom cabinet builder moved in NEXT DOOR last year (13 years too late for us). I wouldnt be looking for a deal, but all the photos of his work are gorgeous, and well, if you had to live next door to a job…..
    *99% of Florida homes have marble window sills in EVERY window….our kitchen one has granite to match the counters. The End


  37. Joy in Alabama
    May 2, 2018 @ 3:56 pm

    Why did you decide not to do IKEA? We love in a 60+ yo parsonage and the church is about to redo the kitchen with a small budget. We like IKEA cabinets better than Lowe’s but now I’m getting cold feet since you are The Queen of Research.


    • Bernie
      May 3, 2018 @ 8:58 am

      Joy….Friends have done 2 Ikea kitchens, and are very happy with the results. Putting the cabinets together can be a real pain though.


  38. Paola44
    May 16, 2018 @ 6:16 am

    Can‘t understand why the cabinets should be white. Black lower cabinets, glossy or not, would match the piano island an look much less kitchen-like.


  39. Sandy
    June 8, 2018 @ 9:25 pm

    Lucky you! Your kitchen is gigantic – compared to our 7ft x 8 ft galley. No typo. Seven feet by eight feet – GALLEY. I’m pretty sure my parents had a camper with a bigger kitchen! I’m on my second and I swear LAST kitchen ‘reno’. Did updates 18 yrs ago. The original 1950’s cabinets – rock sold. I can’t bear to demo them out just to install new, so-so or $$$$$. We are painting. Changing appliances. Marble back splash/subway style. Graduating from formica to butcher block or marble. Making the pantry bigger? Longer counter? Encroaching into our “addition” room. New sink without the split. Maybe flooring? ALL white. Maybe a little SW 6688? My color of the week 😉


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