When it comes to one of the BIGGEST aspects of building a custom home, cabinets is often one that isn’t thought too much about at first until the initial cabinet meeting and then … suddenly you feel totally overwhelmed. Help! Selection Coordinator where are you? You pick up the phone to dial the Superintendent who doesn’t answer, he is in a meeting with another customer that just left their cabinet meeting too, you want to frantically tell him that the cabinet guys said the plumbing needs to be moved to make your island work where you want it. Oh no I hope we can do this, I have to have my island there or it will be the end of the world. You are in a real panic and feel like you can’t focus on anything for the rest of the day until you know what is going to happen. Your driving home but you don’t really even know how got home, did you actually stop at the red lights, was I even paying attention? All of this and they said it was supposed to be easy, you had this dream vision of your kitchen, all these great ideas and beautiful pictures of million dollar homes you got off the internet and all you want are a few things and nothing seemed to work with your space or everything you brought up “cost extra”, ugh, I gotta email my sales guy, this isn’t what we talked about, I am so irritated.

Guess what? From a builders and a designers perspective, no joke, this is the honest truth, all of this is in a typical day, how do we do it you ask? Lots of drinks, not really, focus on 1 thing at a time and stop listening to everyone’s ideas and do what you want to do. That is truly the best thing. Another helpful tip is read this article.


So … here is the skinny and some helpful tips on all those crazy emotions and stress out moments when it comes to cabinets.

#1 BIGGEST #1 thing to focus on with your cabinets is FUNCTION!! Believe it or not, this is WAY MORE IMPORTANT than looks. I know you have a million other decisions to make, and your head is spinning, but will that granite match my backsplash or will the pendent lights look good, what paint colors did I pick again? that was so long ago. Deep breath … you call your Selections Coordinator and he /s he says “It is all going to come together beautifully, we promise, trust us, we have done this before.” That didn’t make you feel better, you still want to pull your hair out. However, as much as hearing that didn’t help at the moment, there is so much merit to that statement.


Make sure that every room with cabinets is functional. You live in this home, every single day, using every single thing. Make sure your kitchen is functional. Put trash pull outs, drawers for useful utensils, spice cabinets, pot and pan drawers where they work for you. Make sure the flow is all feeling right to you.

**Best Tip: Get your floor plan out, stick to looking right at the kitchen, study it. Now picture yourself standing in your kitchen … ahhhh isn’t it awesome, okay back the task at hand. Your standing in your new kitchen and your cooking, make sure everything has its right place and the storage of everything you need to cook is in the right place for you to access. Write it down, draw it out whatever works for you. Now make sure these notes are given to the cabinet maker and make mention to your Selections Coordinator & Superintendent.

Do this same thing for the master bathroom, utility room, secondary bathrooms, etc., etc.
Now that Function of all the cabinets is done. Next comes the looks. This part is exciting and fun.

Your ideas and pictures give the cabinet maker a great starting point and a general idea of the look and flow of how you want your kitchen to feel. We find that the kitchen is a place of beauty in a home but is also the central point where family and friends gather at the end of the day to catch up, visit and eat. It is a really important part of the home and the feel should be cozy and comfortable but it can be a place that boasts personality.


When picking the look and feel of the cabinets it all needs to flow together well. The type of wood, make sure you are familiar with the look of certain woods. Some are grainy and show that grain through stain. Some are knotty and have rivets and knots in them, some are smooth with no grain, the type of wood drives up cost quickly so this should always be thought about prior to your 1st cabinet meeting.

The style of the cabinet doors and the look of the vent hood, corbels under the hood, placement of the glass fronts if you choose any, posts for your islands or maybe your island has corbels. Make sure these aspects match and flow well together. The cabinet maker will have examples of all of these in their showroom for you to pick through.

Now … whew … function is done, looks are done, now you can begin to focus on the other stuff like, granite, backsplash, flooring, lighting, oh yea did we tell the Superintendent we wanted to change the location of that plug, did we tell the Selections Coordinator we wanted to switch that paint color around, wait … lets ask her if that will look good, I am really not sure now that I think about it. Oh yea, I need to remember to pick up the kids from school, what about those plants that were on sale this weekend that I want to put in the flower beds, could we pick them up and have the builder store them for us?

REMEMBER … focus on one thing at a time … deep breaths … you pick up the phone and call the builder, he / she says it’s going to come together beautifully, we promise, trust us, we have done this before.