Friday, November 5, 2010

The Cabinetry Bids Are In!

And after agonizing for several days, we have made our choice.  Next week we'll hand over our deposit and, with luck, our new kitchen will be installed early in the new year. It's taken so long to get to this point that we're astonished at how quickly things will move now that we've actually set the ball rolling.

Although we decided on the custom cabinetry route, we did seriously consider using IKEA cabinets, with some additional custom cabinets, especially after reading this excellent and informative post: "Why I Love IKEA Kitchens!" by Toronto interior designer Carol Reed, who offers up a wealth of design information on her blog.  Our temporary unfitted kitchen is all IKEA and we've grown to love the drawer hardware and spacious interiors. We have knocked down and set up our IKEA cabinets many times over the course of the renovation, and they are still going strong. In fact, we like them so much that we just purchased a bank of four IKEA base cabinets for our laundry/tool room.  In the end, though, it was apparent that our kitchen layout would require so much customization that IKEA would not necessarily be advantageous either economically or practically. 

Not to mention, we won't have to do nearly as much of this: 

N assembling base cabinets for the basement
So, fully custom it is. The small cabinetry company we've hired from Stratford, Ontario does beautiful work--as both their portfolio and extremely happy customers attest--and has the expertise to build and install the kitchen we've designed exactly as specified. The custom route is expensive, but possibly no moreso than the semi-custom options so widely available at the big box stores and larger kitchen cabinetry manufacturers, and we both the believe that the attention to detail will be worth it.  A kitchen is so seldom renovated that we plan to get it right this first and (we hope) only time. 

We had three very high quality bids from three small cabinetry shops. Although there was a bit of a price gap among the bids, price was not the determining factor in our decision. I believe that any of the three cabinetmakers could have built us a beautiful kitchen, and I wish we could've hired all three, but we chose the one that filled us with the most confidence because of excellent communication and amenability to our design requests. We designed the kitchen to have both face frame and frameless cabinets to get the look we want without compromising on space. Most of our base cabinets will have drawers and we believe that frameless constuction will make the best use of space. 

A detail of our bathroom vanity showing the sleek, stainless Blum tandembox and face frame construction
The cabinetmaker we have hired can build both frameless and faceframe and seems to like the idea of blending the two in the same kitchen. So the base cabinets will be frameless boxes with full overlay shaker style doors, Blum softclose hardware, and Blum's stainless tandembox drawers. Maple dovetail drawers are available for the same price or possibly a little less, but we like a little high-tech along with our tradition. The upper cabinets, and part of the island cabinets, will be faceframe with inset, glass-paneled, shaker style doors. 

A detail of our temporary IKEA cabinets showing frameless cabinet boxes and full overlay doors
--details we will duplicate on our new base cabinets
We far prefer to work directly with the builder of our cabinets than to coordinate things through a third party, which would be the case with most larger firms. The cabinetmaker will be here next week to confirm measurements and then things will begin!  It's an exciting, nervewracking time.


Rambling Renovators said...

I haven't visited in a while. So glad I'm in time to see the kitchen reno! After the peek at your bathroom cabinetry (btw, did you do ever do a recap of the finished bath?), no doubt it will look beautiful.

S and N said...

Great to have you visit! I never did get around to the bathroom recap, but I do plan to(eventually). I'll try to post more regularly as we approach the end (I can hardly believe we're almost there) of the kitchen renovation.