It’s amazing how many difference kinds/brands/styles of kitchen cabinets there are. It’s mind boggling, You can stroll through home improvement stores, visit cabinetmakers, scroll through catalogs, and still not even scratch the surface. I went about it a different way.
I used to write for a real estate blog and consequently had to visit a lot of open houses. This allowed me to see what other people were doing with their kitchens. This helped to narrow down what I did and did not like and what was popular. Since I am not installing a kitchen for me, per se, but for the next owners of the house, I need to be a bit more conservative and traditional than I would be with a kitchen I was designing for myself.
Given the location of our home and the neighborhood it is in, I can’t do IKEA and I cannot just reface. I do have to replace and the cabinetry needs to be a good brand that looks quality. On the other hand, it needs to be affordable, as I do not have an unlimited budget.
There is also the consideration of light in the kitchen. Originally we had an enclosed porch and large tree that made the kitchen very dark. Both have been eliminated (the tree was lost in a particularly bad storm) and therefore the space is a bit brighter. Because we intend to open up part of one wall into the dining room, this will also help, but overall something dark like cherry will not work.
After deciding on a shaker style cabinet front and the color white, we consulted with our realtor who agreed with both choices. At this point we went on down to a local cabinet and tile company to place our order. (We are consciously trying to avoid big box and standard home improvement stores as much as possible.) We chose Grand Tile in San Carlos, as they were the one store nearby that carried KraftMaid cabinetry.
Neil Wu, at Grand Tile, was very helpful in explaining the finishes, which threw the first monkey wrench into our plans. Apparently it is more expensive to buy white painted cabinetry than stained. The reason being that they have to use multiple coats to get a clean finish without the grain showing. An upcharge of 15% for white painted cabinets is not in the budget. We brought home both a muslin and praline finished door in maple to see how it would look. We took votes from the family and even had our realtor stop by with her husband for their two cents. The consensus: Praline. It is a warm wood color, not too dark, but will fit in well with the house (the link does not do it justice). So the final cabinets are Kraftmaid Huntington in Praline with a flat front drawer.
There will be spice drawers, a cabinet with vertical shelves for trays and cookie sheets, pull out drawers for pots and pans, and some other nice amenities. And although we are taking out part of one wall, losing two cabinets, we are moving the kitchen door which will allow us to add 6 feet of cabinets. We have chosen a full height pantry, two lower cabinets, and two upper cabinets which will have glass fronts. There will be four feet of counter for display or serving purposes, as well. Overall, it is a much more efficient use of space.
Delivery Day: January 25, 2010