Creating Your Dream Kitchen- Part 4

I hope that you all had a moment to remember and reflect on that tragic day 9 years ago this past Saturday.  Like most people, I’ll never forget where I was and who I was with when we got the news.  I pray that we shall never again know the pain and anguish of that day and that someday we can achieve world peace.

American Flag
I love my country!

Ok, now back to our kitchen.  Today I have some tips on selecting cabinetry from Justin Oliver, owner of Vision Built Custom Furniture- a craftsman in the highest sense of the word!  Here’s what he has to say about choosing cabinets:

Take a walk through any cabinet show room, and you will be confronted with an array of styles and choices, but what makes a really good cabinet?  To answer this we need to break the cabinet down into some simple parts.

1. Carcass- This is the body of the cabinet, the sides, bottom, top and shelves.

2. Door/ drawer arrangement- The parts you see from the outside.

Let’s start with the carcass. We’ll discuss 3 common options here. The one most people are familiar with is stock,  carcasses that are mass produced, and available in only a few set sizes. Stock cabinets tend to be simple in finish, not allowing for customization in any way.

 Semi-custom is similar to stock, but tends to be available in a wider array of sizes and finishes, and allows for a little more choice and customization.

Custom cabinets are built to suit, and offer infinite choices regarding size, materials and finish. Custom cabinets are normally made with the best materials, and will stand up to use much better than stock cabinets.

 The door and drawer arrangement is where things get really interesting. There are two principle styles, face frame, and euro or frameless.

drawings of face frame and frameless cabinet styles
Cabinet types

With a face frame cabinet, a frame is fixed to the carcass, and doors and drawer fronts are then hung to the frame, either inset into it, or over laid.

The other option is euro, also known as frameless.  In this instance, the doors are hung from the cabinet carcass, and the drawer fronts mounted to the drawer boxes giving a very sleek, more modern look.

As for how to pick, a lot depends on the size and space available to you, your ideas on design, and your budget. If you are not too worried about the inside of the cabinets, and can find sizes that work for you, then stock is the way to go. You can use the stock doors, or get custom doors if you cannot find something stock that you like. If you have an interesting space, or some design ideas that are not available off the shelf, then custom is the way to go.

shaker style kitchen cabinets in a pale grey paint
Traditional style custom cabinets

It is most important to find the look, style, size and quality that you like, and that fits in your budget.   Don’t be afraid to explore options. Cost effective stock cabinets can transformed into a stunning kitchen if you, or your designer, have a great idea for door and drawer fronts, and can get them custom made. You can get the custom look of very high end, unique kitchen for a fraction of the cost. -My addition-  Sometimes you can even combine stock and semi-custom or custom for a kitchen that will suit  your needs for a special size, finish or look while not blowing the budget.

Thanks for your expertise, Justin!

To see some of Justin’s work visit: and check back here to see the beautiful bathroom vanity, dresser, and night stands he created for my client! 

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