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  • Writer's pictureEric Goetting, COO, Millwork

Decisions, Decisions: Shop Series Part 3

Embarking on your custom cabinet journey.

At MN Builders, we admit we’re hardly objective when it comes to custom cabinets, mainly because we can’t think of a better way to create a space that truly reflects your unique style, needs, and personality. But before diving into your custom project, we advise all our clients to consider three important topics to help ensure that their custom cabinet journey goes smoothly.

Question 1: What’s the style of your home?

Every home has its own character, and it's essential to think about how you want your custom cabinets to complement or enhance that existing aesthetic. Is your home traditional, with classic features and a warm ambiance? In that case, stay true to that style and incorporate cabinetry that harmonizes with the overall look and feel of the house.

Or maybe you want to infuse a contemporary touch into your more traditional home for a hybrid design feel. This approach can create a unique and eye-catching visual statement, seamlessly blending the old with the new.

There's no wrong answer here, as custom cabinets allow you to zag when others zig, tailoring your design to your taste and preferences. The most satisfying experience for everyone involved in a custom project results from clients embracing the freedom to make something that truly reflects their individuality and vision.

Question 2: What comes first: form or function?

When starting your custom cabinet project, you'll need to determine your primary focus: Is it the functionality of the space or the visual presentation that matter most to you? Given that cabinets, by design, serve as storage containers, functionality is often a top priority, especially in the kitchen. If so, ask yourself, "What are the critical items I need to store in these cabinets? What features or design elements will enhance the efficiency of the space?"

For example, one of our custom cabinet clients likes to use a nine-quart pot to make meals for an entire week. This pot needs to fit on the stove and in the refrigerator and requires a prime and easily accessible location in her cabinets.

Alternatively, you might be more drawn to the aesthetics of the cabinets. In this case, consider the significant design elements you want to highlight. It could be a gleaming, high-end oven range. Or a beautiful but less durable stone slab backsplash. Sure, there may be some compromises that have to be made with functionality and storage to create this presentation, but there is no denying the power of creating an awe-inspiring focal point that enhances the overall design of a room.

The beautiful thing about custom cabinets is that form and function are never an either-or situation. Custom cabinetry allows you to strike the perfect balance, tailoring your design to create a space that truly delights.

Question 3: Who makes the call?

Decisions are a constant part of the journey in any remodeling or construction project. Custom cabinets are no exception. Identifying who will be the final decision-maker from the outset is crucial to ensuring a smooth and efficient process.

Obviously, the home- or business-owner who is paying the bills and will ultimately work and/or live in the finished space usually has the final call on any construction decision. But with so many people involved in a high-end remodel—from the general contractor and architect to the interior designer and owner representative—clear communication between all parties is essential, as is an equally clear chain of command. Establishing these decision-making responsibilities early on prevents confusion and keeps the project on track.

Remember, the best custom cabinet projects are collaborative efforts that demand open and honest communication among all stakeholders. Understanding who makes design decisions facilitates a harmonious process, resulting in a one-of-a-kind space that exceeds everyone’s expectations.

Lots of decisions = Lots of freedom.

As you embark on your custom cabinet journey, it's vital to embrace the multitude of choices that lie ahead. Each decision represents an opportunity to shape a space that is uniquely yours.

Start by considering the style of your home and how the cabinets will fit into the overall ambiance. Then, determine whether function or form reigns supreme for you, and craft a design that best aligns with your priorities. Throughout the process, trust in the power of collaboration and establish clear lines of decision-making authority that involve all relevant parties to ensure a seamless project.

With these critical decisions out of the way, you're well-prepared to get down to business, starting with selecting your cabinet fronts. We’ll dive into that topic in our next post. Stay tuned!


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