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kitchen styles - sparrow soireesBefore you meet our three cabinet contestants, a little background on where we are in the process…

We contracted Sam’s business, Cherry Design+Build, for the design work and remodeling. Sam, thankfully, was patient as we hemmed and hawed over the decisions. As you already know, we had a big idea of knocking down two walls during the initial interview, which was reduced to removing one wall when we requested the first design, and then we decided it would be best to work within the original footprint – and he was right there with us. Once the designs were finalized, we were off to find cabinets to match the new kitchen design with visions of a completed kitchen dancing in our heads. Our contestants:

  • Ikea: We had high hopes for #1. We’d seen the commercials with the kid running into the cabinets (durability!). We had walked through the showrooms (options!). We had found one that we both liked (an analytical mind and a creative mind find a match!). Then reality started setting in. To save contractor costs, we offered to assemble the cabinet “boxes” with the added bonus of having two tykes wanting to help. I’m sorry but no garage, nay, warehouse is large enough for that scenario. And let’s be real: we had to think about the potential cost of couples therapy (if you’ve ever put together anything from Ikea with a loved one you know what I’m talking about). I think you see where this one is going.
  • Home Depot: On a whim I stopped at Home Depot and was able to get an estimate using Sam’s designs as the base idea. I was actually surprised with the options once I started looking around the store. And, as if the store was bragging, I was pleased to see the line we were considering was decently made and not overly priced. Color us surprised. The designs had to be slightly altered to make this option work along with requiring a slight assist to make a set of shelves work. Would it be worth it though to make a major lifestyle expert’s line a contender for our kitchen?
  • Canyon Creek: Last but not least, a custom cabinet-maker. We heard the timeline horror stories about waiting for cabinets to arrive. We questioned the budget since it’s so engrained in us to think anything customized is going to be outrageously pricey. “Say whaaaa… that’s going to be crazy expensive!” What we did notice though was what Sam had created in his designs was exactly what we would get from a custom cabinet-maker.

There are about a zillion other cabinet options and one could look for months on end, but we knew it was best to stop. Hauling the tykes around showrooms was far from an ideal way to spend a weekend. We were also facing a time-crunch: we had to order the cabinets during the holiday season so we were accounting for Christmas and New Years busyness and staffing crunches. When we compared the costs of the three, here’s what it came down to:

  • Uh, thanks for playing: If our kitchen had better matched in their kitchen-sizing footprints and not needed a little extra TLC, Ikea would’ve been a great option. When we compared their kitchen designs to Sam’s work, there were too many changes made. We would’ve settled for a kitchen that we wouldn’t have loved, which would’ve landed us back to tolerating the space. Ikea also wasn’t able to provide the savings we had hoped for when compared to the other two. Since we offered to put the cabinet boxes together to save contractor costs, the savings were not as obvious when we included the cost to hire a sitter to watch the boys for a day or two while we put the boxes together with no interruptions. Another drawback: a wall of shelves we wanted would’ve required Sam to create from “scratch” thus further reducing any cost savings. (Let’s not forget general sanity too ’cause I can only make a hex key work for so long.)
  • I think you’re great: while we liked the Home Depot cabinet option, the final cost was above our targeted budget and the design was slightly modified to fit their models; not as much as Ikea, but there were some changes. Also a bummer: we wanted glass in two sets of cabinet doors and the cost for adding them was unreal.
  • Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner: right within the targeted budget with no design alterations. Seriously. We were shocked at first then attempted a back-flip. The kitchen we saw on paper could be a reality. And the cabinet-maker is local to boot.

Coming up tomorrow: Scandal! Intrigue! Countertops!

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Cherry Design+Build is a partner of Sparrow Soirées. All opinions expressed are my own.