Nov. 17 2023

Elevate Your Kitchen: Choosing the Right Cabinets Without Settling for Less

by Isabella Borrelli

If you’re considering updating cabinets in your Seattle kitchen, Innovative Home Renovations is here to help. Many older Seattle homes have compact or oddly shaped kitchens, and you might feel like splurging on fully custom cabinetry is your only option. Conversely, you might think about settling for less, forgoing the extra storage you have always dreamed of in favor of more affordable options. You’re not alone!


If you find yourself torn between sacrificing aesthetics for practicality, it’s time to end the compromise! By partnering with IHR, we will guide you through whether custom, standard or semi-custom cabinetry is right for you. While each project is unique – and we recognize yours will be too – we have compiled a list of common pros and cons to consider when selecting the perfect cabinets for your kitchen transformation.


When to Choose Custom Cabinets

Custom cabinets are fully made to order, which means you can select everything, including material, cabinet styles, unique design details, and function.


  • Continuity - Custom cabinetry can easily integrate panel-ready appliances and create a continuous, seamless look, for example, between your refrigerator and pantry cabinets.

  • Maximizing storage - In tight spaces, custom-fit cabinets can create storage where you thought storage wasn’t possible. For example, adding a custom appliance garage cabinet can be to match your specific storage needs. This can be a great option for when you want to keep your counter clear, and appliances organized.

  • Unique needs and small details - Do you have a bulky appliance? Large plates or platters? Want a larger compost bin? Custom cabinets can accommodate any unique kitchen need. Furthermore, they come with added conveniences such as soft close hinges and full extension drawers for enhanced usability.


  • Cost - Custom cabinets come with a higher price tag than your average stock or semi-custom cabinets and can often cost up to three times more.

  • Potential delays - Since custom cabinets are made to order, receiving the cabinets from the supplier takes longer, which can delay the completion of your remodeling project.

See also: Seattle Ballard Dream Transformation Kitchen and Bathroom Remodel

When Standard Cabinets Are Right for You


Standard or stock cabinets, on the other hand, are pre-built cabinets that are ready for purchase and installation.


  • Available quickly - Stock cabinets are ideal for homeowners who need cabinets quickly and don’t have much time to spend on the renovation process.


  • Lack of customization - One potential drawback to consider is the lack of customization available. While they offer style and efficiency, pre-determined sizes, wood materials, and finishes (solid colors or stains). May not perfectly fit your design-oriented vision or fully utilize the unique corners or odd shapes in your kitchen. 

See also: Seattle Maple Leaf Kitchen Remodel


Pro Tip

Decide against wasting potential space with standard stock cabinets and opt for semi-custom cabinetry to make sure every inch of your kitchen space counts.


When Semi-Custom Cabinets are the Perfect Fit


Semi-custom cabinets are pre-built cabinets that are modified to fit your kitchen’s specifications, such as material, finish, and door style. If stock cabinets don’t fit your vision, and custom cabinets are more costly than you are willing to settle for, you might find a perfect middle ground within semi-custom cabinets. In fact, most of our clients achieve the custom cabinetry look for a fraction of the custom cabinet price.


  • Flexibility - This approach allows for a blend of stock and semi-custom cabinetry, making it possible to achieve a customized feel without necessarily incurring the cost of fully customizing every cabinet. For instance, enclosing your refrigerator with semi-custom cabinet panels can significantly enhance the aesthetic appeal of the kitchen, creating a more cohesive and upscale look.
  • Availability - The delivery of semi-custom cabinets is faster than fully custom cabinets and still gives you the opportunity to showcase your unique style.


  • Not many! Though the cost is higher than with stock cabinetry.

See also: Charming Seattle Whittier Heights Kitchen Remodel

Still Haven’t Decided?

At Innovative Home Renovations, we know that finding the perfect cabinets for your dream kitchen can seem daunting. But don't worry, IHR is here to assist you. Choosing from custom, semi-custom, or stock cabinetry to fit your budget and style has never been easier with the help of our in-house interior designer. So, why wait? Get in touch with us today so we can help you get started.

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