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How to Make Stock Cabinets Look Custom and Unique

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Eighty percent of homebuyers say the kitchen is one of the three most important parts of a home, and cabinets are one of the most noticeable parts of a kitchen. That makes having the right cabinets essential for both the practicality and aesthetics you want in your kitchen. Custom cabinets made from scratch can be expensive, which is why stock cabinets can be so appealing.

Stock cabinets are ready-made cabinets generally mass built, making them affordable, but generally come with a plywood construction, making them durable. Because of this, stock cabinets are a go to for many who are wanting to stay on a budget without sacrificing quality. And, with a few basic tips, you can even add in a unique and custom-made look to your kitchen!

1. Pick Your Style

Kitchen cabinets come in an array of styles. When selecting the style of stock cabinets you want, consider what most complements the space either as it is now or as you imagine it to become.

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Shaker Style Cabinets

This may be one of the most commonly chosen cabinet styles due to its durability, versatility and clean lines. Those clean lines and flat-paneled doors also make these easier to clean than other options. Shaker-style cabinets go with almost any kitchen design and go nicely with hutches and open or floating shelves.

Recessed Panel Cabinets

This style features center panels in the cabinet doors that sit lower than the raised frame surrounding them. Their squared angles and frames allow them to work with many kitchen designs. They look similar to shaker cabinets but with a shallower recess. Recessed panel cabinets look more elegant and traditional due to their more detailed construction compared with shaker cabinets, which look more modern.

interior kitchen with dark cabinets

Raised Panel Cabinets

The doors in these cabinets feature four pieces framing a contoured center panel, like a shaker cabinet door but with beveled, raised, and/or stylistically grooved center panels that are sometimes flush with the frame. These offer a slightly more ornate alternative to the previous two options.

Other types of cabinet styles include:

  • Flat panel cabinets
  • Arched and cathedral cabinets
  • V-groove or beadboard cabinets
  • Glass and mullion panel cabinets
  • Louvered cabinets
  • Open frame cabinets

2. Pick Your Color

Color has a profound impact on the mood of any room, your kitchen included. And, with cabinets taking up much of that kitchen space, the color you paint them can help define or unify the entire space. For this reason, you should pick your kitchen cabinet colors before you determine the colors of the rest of the space. For example, if you purchase stained cabinets, you might also install hardwood floors.

Kitchen size also matters when it comes to painting your kitchen cabinets. If it's a small kitchen or if the cabinets take up a lot of the room's square footage, use white or a brighter color; if it's a large kitchen, however, a darker color can help the room feel more intimate.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to mix up colors in your kitchen.  Having an accent color on your island or in another centerpoint of your kitchen is a great way to set it apart from the rest.  Many stock cabinets have alternative colors available, like blue or onyx, to compliment the rest of your kitchen.  

3. Inquire About Modifications

Many stock cabinet lines have the ability to modify their existing cabinets, giving your the best of both worlds between stock and semi custom lines.  You get the budget friendliness of stock but the added ability to modify means you can spend a little extra on the areas that need a little customization to get what you want.  The most prevalent modifications that are available are depth modifications, prep for glass, and finished interiors.  

Depth modifications allow you to increase or decrease the depth on base, wall, and tall cabinets (think pantries).  You can increase the depth on some wall cabinets to add an extra dimension.  Or perhaps you need to decrease the depth of a base cabinet to fit into a tight space.  You can have the doors prepped for glass and have the interiors finished to give your wet bar that special look.  The possibilities go on - it just depends on the modifications available to you and the depth of your imagination! 

4. Choose Your Details and Enhancements

Adding certain subtleties, such as inlays and overlays or decorative center panels and feet, can help accentuate your cabinetry's appearance and make it look more distinctive.

You can also make your cabinets stand out and look more original by enhancing them with other high-end kitchen elements. For example, adding crown molding can help increase the appearance of size, making your stock cabinets look larger and taller. Other effective enhancements for making stock cabinets look custom include:

  • Full-wall backsplash
  • Countertops
  • Stove hood
  • Floating shelves
  • Stainless-steel appliances
  • Stone and tile accents
  • Decorative fixtures providing ambient lighting

5. Select Storage Solutions

Remember, during the designing process, that the primary function of your cabinets is storage. And, nothing will make your kitchen stand out like having interiors designed to effectively and efficiently organize your kitchen in the ways that suit your kitchen usage and habits the best.

Where do you want shelves, how many, and how far apart? Do you want full organizers or just simple dividers? The goals to keep in mind as you answer questions like these are to maximize space and minimize clutter while providing a place for everything you need to store.

Some of the organizing solutions that help stock cabinets look custom include:

  • Cutlery and spice drawer inserts
  • Pots and pans organizer
  • Waste containers (or waste and recycling containers)
  • Tip-out trays in your sink base cabinet to keep sink tools like sponges hidden

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Save on Stock Cabinets and Make Them Look Custom-Made

Now that you know how to make stock cabinets look custom-made, it's time to start looking for inspiration as well as plotting out your vision. At The Wholesale Cabinet Supply Company, we carry a range of cabinets to choose from that are sure to fit your style!  Start a FREE Kitchen design with us, share your dreams, and we will do our best to make them reality!

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