New Cabinets: questions your cabinet dealer should be asking you

When purchasing new cabinets there are a few important questions your cabinet dealer should be asking you. These questions can help you, as a customer, get the best best service and quality available; and that the cabinet dealer/maker really knows what they are doing.

1. What is your Budget?

This is a hard question for many homeowners to answer. It can be challenging to determine how much of your budget should be allocated for your kitchen cabinets. First, you should use your homes value to determine your remodel budget, typically 8%-15% of the value of your home, and then determine how your budget should be allocated. A 2010 NKBA Survey breaks down kitchen remodeling costs as follows:

Design fees: 4% 
Installation: 17%
Appliances & Ventilation: 14%
Cabinetry & Hardware: 29%
Countertops: 10%
Lighting: 5% Flooring: 7%
Doors & Windows: 4%
Walls & Ceilings: 5%
Faucets & Plumbing: 4%
Other: 1%

2. Are you planning on changing your existing floor plan?
Your dealer should have detailed measurements of the existing space, including ceiling heights, electrical outlets, gas lines, water lines, etc. They should know whether you are working within an existing footprint or if you plan to make changes to floors and walls. They should especially be asking what were the biggest flaws with your existing kitchen. Which leads into the next question…

3. What is your lifestyle like?

How do you specifically use your space? Do you cook a lot? How tall are you/your spouse? How long are you going to be in the home? What is your age (designing for aging in place)? Details like these are very important when designing an efficient kitchen. Its important to think about what wasn’t working, and why you are wanting to change it; and what did really work for you.

4. What is your design style?  What is your current furniture/decor like?
After these questioned are answer, then can you define the look of everything. This is the fun part! You definitely want your kitchen to look nice, but it must also be functional.

5. What are the details of the space, including plumbing, appliances, etc?

Now its times to hash out all the minute details like verifying appliance and plumbing fixture specifications, moldings, etc.

History Lesson: Elsie De Wolfe "America’s First Decorator"

“Known as “America’s first decorator,” De Wolfe boasted a lifestyle as glamorous as her decor. Born in New York City in 1865, her history reads not just as one wild romance and adventure novel, but several different ones. In her youth, she was educated in Scotland and was presented at court to Queen Victoria, but soon after returned to the U.S. and became a professional actress. By around 1887 she shared a “Boston marriage” (a term for two single women living together, attributed to Henry James’s The Bostonians) with successful literary agent Elisabeth “Bessie” Marbury. And later in life, she even gained the title of Lady when she married British diplomat Sir Charles Mendl, at the age of 61.


But early on in De Wolfe’s life, it was her onstage style and wardrobe—couture ensembles from Paris—that caught people’s eyes more than her acting chops. She successfully restyled the house on Irving Place that she shared with Marbury, eschewing the stuffy Victorian decorating approach of her day by decluttering, simplifying, and warming up its gloomy and too-busy interiors. That led to a commission to decorate the Colony Club—the city’s first elite social club exclusively for women—which could list members with surnames like Whitney, Morgan, Harriman, and Astor. De Wolfe blazed a trail as she became the most popular decorator of her time, handing out business cards emblazoned with her signature wolf and nosegay motif.

De Wolfe went on to decorate a home she and Marbury bought in Versailles for social gatherings, and took on vast redecorating projects for clients including Condé Nast, the Fricks, and the Hewitts. Her pioneering anti-Victorian style of brighter, airier, and more streamlined and refined rooms than the era dictated is still celebrated today.”  Source