Joey Aghion

Half a Mind

by Joey Aghion

Seeking timeless white cabinets

I felt compelled to discuss our kitchen project with the designers at Home Depot, as a sort of benchmark for comparison to other options. The door style I’m most interested in is shaker-style in white. White, to visually enlarge the small kitchen as much as possible. Also, I worry that visible-grain wood doors would seem immediately dated, while the unintrusive white might continue to seem current. The clean lines of the shaker-style’s plain square frame and recessed panel are a nice compromise between the more decorative styles and the uncompromisingly modern solids.

KraftMaid’s relevant offering in this category was [at least at Home Depot] called Belair. Like most white cabinets, they’re made from a laminate material rather than solid wood. (Higher-end options of solid wood painted white do exist, but seemed unnecessarily expensive.) In Kraftmaid’s case, cabinet boxes are particleboard unless upgraded to plywood (for roughly 10-15% more). Home Depot’s approach to pricing cabinets is completely opaque, with only an approximate price per linear foot available at the start of the process. Once your kitchen undergoes an official measurement and the design is entered into their system, you can start to inspect prices for individual components. When the designs were entered and the total summed, I appeared to be spending the per-linear-foot amount quoted earlier for every 4 inches of kitchen.

Ikea’s offering in this style is the “Adel” door (pictured below). The cabinets are available in fewer variations than Home Depot’s, but we were limiting ourselves to the somewhat standard dimensions of our existing kitchen to begin with, so that wasn’t a big worry. When we loaded up our design, we were delighted to see that the total came to about 65% less than Home Depot’s. Particularly nice is how the higher-end hinges, drawer-bumpers, etc. come with the cabinets by default (not likely with HD). The savings? The cabinets are delivered flat-packed rather than as built boxes. A little DIY (or a few hundred dollars to a carpenter) for pretty significant savings.

Concerned about how their quality compared to Home Depot’s and others, I tracked down this thread.


Ikea Adel

Ikea’s Adel door style

Kraftmaid Belair

Kraftmaid’s Belair door style

Cabinet delivery

Our new kitchen cabinets, delivered as 154 separate flat-packed pieces