It is no secret; the most expensive rooms in the house to remodel are the kitchen and the bathroom. What happens when the budget is tight and you need to make every dollar count? As a Certified Kitchen and Bath designer I always tell my budget conscious clients to pick the materials that will give them the biggest bang for their buck!

This kitchen’s appeal is in its bold backsplash and modern hood.

Making Stock Cabinetry Look Custom
Image by Canva

The cabinetry can be the Debbie Downer of the party and eat up your entire budget. Just remember cabinetry is like buying a car, you can spend a little or a lot. To not break the bank, I recommend spending a little by purchasing stock cabinetry but, making it look like custom. This is where big box stores can be a DIYers best friend for kitchen cabinetry! Some home improvement stores have experts to help you not break the bank! While some even have certified Kitchen and Bath Designers on staff to help with your design.

Making stock cabinetry look like custom can take a professional’s help but, this is money well spent. Working with someone to develop the plan before you get started can save you time and money. In any case, the following tips can help you create a more custom cabinet appearance.

Stay Within Standard Sizes 

Stock cabinetry comes in 3-inch increments but, with a creative design and a good cabinet installer you can make it work beautifully. An example of this would be creating an island 36-inch deep as opposed to a stock 24-inch size. Base stock cabinetry comes in a 24-inch depth, so you can place a stock 12-inch deep wall cabinet, 30-inches high, backed up to it. You will need to have your cabinet installer build a toe kick for it to sit on making it the perfect height, creating a custom look with stock sizes.

Jazz It Up With Moldings 

There is so much you can do with a little bit of molding to make a custom looking impact. Step up to a two piece crown molding by using tall filler material ¾” x 4” x 96” as the cornice. The crown molding can be small and simple because the two pieces together will look large. Another great thing about this design is you can scribe the cabinetry to the ceiling, making the ceilings in the room appear taller.

Crown Detail

Keeping your cabinetry simplistic, and putting your money on materials that make the biggest “WOW FACTOR” like countertops, backsplash, decorative hardware and a kitchen hood is a great idea! 

Design by Patricia Davis Brown Designs LLC.

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About the Author: Patricia Davis Brown

Patricia, like her blog, is not a one-dimensional designer, which is evident in her accolades of 17 national design awards. Over a 38-year career in the industry, she has carved a niche in several areas of design. Licensed in interior design and certified in kitchen and bath design, she offers a full menu of design services ranging from whole house interior design, kitchen and bath design, lighting design, full remodels, commercial design and universal (ADA) design. Patricia is a sought-after speaker in the industry and has been published in many publications as seen on her interior design firm’s website, She writes for such publications as QuinStreetinc, Relaxed Remodeler, and talent offering design tips.