Kitchen Designers: I'm not one and I don't even play one on TV

A rainy Friday the 13th. What wisdom do I have to impart today? Glad you asked.

I think a good designer can save you money. They can open your eyes to colors, styles and ideas that you might have never known enough to know you didn't know you might like. And when it comes to the details that are involved in a kitchen remodel, many people should take sage advice from many other people and hire a designer.

Having said that, I didn't hire one.  Saving money?  Professional drawings?  Professional design practicalities?  What fun is that? Why in the world would I want that when I can risk fucking it up royally to begin with?  I mean really.....

Before I started the journey, I had it in my mind that IKEA was the way to go.  I know a guy, who used to share my warehouse with me, Nick Ray, who owns ModerNash.  This is a great company that makes weekly trips to IKEA in Atlanta and will get you any IKEA product your little heart desires.  His price of delivery to his Trousdale warehouse is often cheaper than paying IKEA for shipping.  Plus, he offers services that are a must when it comes to IKEA furniture, bathrooms, and kitchens.  Remember, just about everything IKEA sells has to be assembled.  This isn't necessarily bad, however, you have to understand that when it comes to IKEA kitchens EVERY element and part of a cabinet is sold separately.  You really MUST call ModerNash if you are in the market for an IKEA kitchen.  Lucky for me, I knew that he could get the IKEA cabinets for me and if I could afford it, his team could assemble and even install them for me.  But, before I called Nick, I had to be sure it was the best choice for us.

Wholesale Cabinets Warehouse
One of the first cabinets stores I visited was
Wholesale Cabinets Warehouse on Eugenia, in Nashville.  As a matter of fact, they did the rendering you see up top.  The people were very polite and helpful.  I took them some crude hand drawings on graph paper of close measurements and voila!  They gave me a computer rendering that was close to the vision I had in my head.  It was very helpful to see it visually.  It helped me figure out if our idea of black cabinets on one side and white on the other would work.  Yes, it works.

Their cabinet selection was limited, but they looked nice.  However, I was not going to get the aesthetics or extras that IKEA would give me. They do delivery and assembly.  Check them out.

To do the proper due diligence on a purchase of this size, I kept shopping.  I went to Home Depot and Lowes knowing that they weren't going to have the look that I was after.  But I went anyway.  I visited Southeastern Salvage because I was in the neighborhood.  Plus, you just never know what you will find there. I found nothing even close to what I was looking for.

Builder Supply Source
After visiting a cabinet shop in Nashville today, Builder Supply Source, I saw perfectly lovely cabinets.  Their way of selling cabinets seemed simple. They have real wood cabinets, they tout no particle board and they have just a few designs from which to choose.  However, they will custom paint each one for you.  But I found that their sizes were limited to choices that wouldn't fit my kitchen and they don't have near the bells and whistles that Ikea does.  And frankly, since I want the majority of all my lower cabinets to be big drawers, I found that the bottoms of their drawers were not as sturdy as Ikea's.  Furthermore, they may not call the material in the bottom of their drawers "particle board", but I'm sorry, it isn't solid wood either.

Their choices of door styles were ok, but they would charge me extra for interior sliding drawers, full extension and soft close drawers and cabinet doors.  Sorry, but Ikea has the bells and whistles game down.  Plus IKEA offers a 25 year warranty.  So, I may be making a mistake, but you know what.....from all I researched, I don't think so.  We'll see.

The guy at Builder Supply Source was very nice and informative.  He will do a nice design of a kitchen for you at no charge.  Plus, he grew up in the same neighborhood that my husband did.  Give them a try, if you like the more custom approach.  I guess I'm just a mass production kind of gal....not that there's anything wrong with that.

So, having looked cabinets online and all over town, my final decision is going the route of the Ikea kitchen cabinets. Yes, I said IKEA.  I'm not ashamed. I ain't skeered.  I said it! Here's the bottom line about cabinets:  Many affordable cabinets are not well made.  Many unaffordable cabinets cost out the ass and STILL are not well made.  So, when all is said and done, I am buying Ikea cabinets.

Stay tuned for my final thoughts on this decision after they come in and the rest of my hair goes gray.


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