http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2009/03/13/stock-cabinets-an-affordable-kitchen-upgrade


DanvilleSanRamon.com

- March 13, 2009

Stock cabinets an affordable kitchen upgrade

Bypassing custom, semi-custom a major cost savings

Families all across the country are tightening their purse strings and looking for ways to cut back on expenses. As a result, many are choosing to stay home and cook instead of going out to eat. This growing trend has sparked a demand for kitchens with the capability to handle high traffic and store a wide array of cooking essentials.

Connie Edwards, certified kitchen and bathroom designer and director of design for American Woodmark cabinetry, offers some useful tips and advice:

Stocking the cupboards

"One of the major steps in getting the look for less is using stock cabinets instead of custom or semi-custom," Edwards said. "These days, stock cabinetry isn't what it used to be, as there are so many ways to personalize with moldings, hardware, wood species and finishes. Best of all, by using stock cabinets, you can get a fabulous look with money to spare for upgrades or future remodeling projects."

According to Edwards, up to 50 percent of the average kitchen remodeling budget is spent on cabinets, so it's important to get the most out of your money and minimize excess spending.

A little extra goes a long way

Choosing stock cabinets means you'll be able to make your dollar go further. For instance, consider extras in your budget such as decorative crown molding to give cabinets a finished, furniture-like look. If moldings aren't your style, try personalizing cabinets with decorative accents such as corbels and overlays or glass inserts. To finish off the look, use attention-grabbing hardware to complement the overall design. Manufacturers list a variety of accessory combinations and hardware options on their websites, making it easy for customers to achieve a result that reflects their personal style.

Reorganize your options

In the past few years, stock cabinet companies have dramatically increased the cabinetry options available. Specialized organizational accessories such as base pot and pan organizers and wall china displays are among the popular stock cabinetry upgrades. Options like these can help maximize functionality and enhance the aesthetics of smaller kitchen spaces, making them an asset in increasing home value.

Old World look at a new price

A popular trend in custom cabinetry is using the arsenal of finishing options to give cabinets an old-fashioned or rubbed look. However, similar styling can be achieved by choosing a stock cabinetry line that offers glazed door styles. Colors such as coffee, mocha, chocolate and butterscotch glazing give kitchens a deeply textured look without reaching deeply into your pockets.

Separating the dollars and cents

The first thing to do is set kitchen priorities. If you can't live without that state-of-the-art refrigerator with three ice settings, go for it but realize you may have to cut back on something else. On the other hand, the money you save using stock cabinets can be used on a trendy tiled backsplash or to upgrade appliances. The key to staying on budget is realizing it's OK to invest in some higher-priced items as long as you balance them with more affordable ones.

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