lowes kraftmaid

As promised, we’re back to give you the low-down on our meeting with the Lowe’s kitchen designer. Armed with an iPhone, a notebook of jotted down ideas, paper, and pens, we set out to meet our designer and see what he had come up with for us.

The general layout was really similar to that of the IKEA Kitchen Planner design we “sketched” up. However, the kitchen designer from Lowe’s did a much better job at implementing our plan and making it completely functional rather than just pieced together. This definitely has something to do with the fact that Lowe’s has some unique sizes and shapes of cabinets that IKEA doesn’t have.

Note: When we left, he gave us print outs of the plans from different angles. When we got home, we scanned in the images (there’s an ap for that) to be able to show you guys. So please excuse the low-quality.

The first image we saw was a “birds eye” view of the kitchen — love seat, couch and all! Having all of that included was a pleasant surprise and it showed the designer’s attention to detail. In my book, that’s very cool.

1. The designer moved the stove toward the door to Ashley’s office to allow more countertop work space to the right of the stove. This makes complete sense and makes the kitchen much more functional.
2. If you recall, the IKEA kitchen design had two different sized cabinets here. It looked kind of off-kilter. Now that the stove has been moved down, we have a single good-sized cabinet as well as equal sized doors on the right side (unlike the IKEA design).
3. The designer said he gathered that Ashley is an “artsy” person so he wanted to throw in a few “curves” here and there — like these two top-hinge cabinets. These would be cool for glasses and mugs, but we’re wondering if they would get old after a while and be a tad too “faddish” as Ashley says. Personally, I’m leaning toward including them in the final design (wherever, whenever and however that may be). And just in case we decide to go the IKEA route, they also have top hinged cabinets similar to these, though a different size.
4. The range hood in the plans isn’t exactly what we want but it still gives us an idea of what it’s going to look like. We would really like a chimney-style hood, but where is the microwave going to go? We’ll get to that in a second.

1. The kitchen designer threw in some glass front cabinetry to the right of the fridge (per Ashley’s request). Read more about our thought process on that subject here.
2. There’s room for bar stools! We originally thought there wouldn’t be much room for seating in the kitchen but Gaylord (the kitchen designer) proved us wrong with his design. So we’ve officially added this to our “must have” list.
3. Like the original plan in our heads, we’ve got a counter-depth fridge with panels on each side and the cabinets above are the same depth as the fridge to give it a more built-in look.
4. In the laundry room is some extra storage to replace our existing temporary solution. Let’s take a closer look…

This is something we are thinking about doing after get the kitchen done. So while it’s not “number 1” on our to-do list, we want to go ahead and start planning it out so we’ll end up with something that’s function for our everyday. Here’s the breakdown…

1. Open shelving for cookbooks and nick-knacks. Seeing as how this plan has glass cabinetry rather than open shelving near the fridge, this little nook may appease Ashley’s need for open shelving and give her the best of both worlds.
2. Another top-hinge cabinet for dog treats or phones, chargers, etc. Ash’s dad is a certified electrician and said he can add a receptacle to the inside of the cabinet for cell phone and camera charges to make our own “charging station”.
3. The base of the top hinge cabinet is actually a countertop ledge. This would be handy to throw down keys and mail when we come in the door. Right under the ledge are two drawers. We’re thinking this would be a good place for flashlights, batteries, etc.
4. We aren’t big microwave people, so we don’t need it taking up space in the kitchen. Therefore, we decided to put it here in the utility room. Also, when is the last time you cooked something in the microwave and it didn’t smell up the entire house? That’s a pet peeve of mine.  This way, we can close the utility room door and mitigate the smell a bit.
5. On the bottom, we have a cabinet perfect for keeping Bentley’s cans of dog food, backup treats, and so on — his own little “station” if you will.

After we covered the layout and functionality details, we moved on to cabinetry style. We’ve heard great things about KraftMaid and they seemed to have a lot of options that mirrored our style while not breaking the bank. So KraftMaid it was.

Once we took a few minutes (actually, it was more like seconds) looking over the options, we decided that the Dove White finish and the square recessed panel door style (aka shaker door) was our cup of tea. The cabinet style is actually identical to what’s in our hall bathroom (though the bathroom cabinet is by Thomasville). Ashley and I think this would be a good way to “subconsciously” tie in the kitchen and baths without being too “matchy matchy,” (Ash’s most frequently used term these days).

As far as the hardware goes, it comes with the cabinets at no extra cost. Say “yay” for free!

They have a TON of options to choose from in all kinds of finishes. Though, we kind of have our heart set on the hardware we picked out when we first started the kitchen planning process. If we decided to use hardware from a different source (like Restoration Hardware) it will not change the cabinet price due to the fact it’s a standard addition. Therefore, if we decided to go with Lowe’s for our kitchen cabinets, we will pick out hardware that we think will be okay, then put it on Craigslist if we decide to replace it with something a little more unique. Another standard with KraftMaid is the soft closing drawers and doors. This isn’t a necessity for us, but it is really nice to have.

Here are some not-so-standard features that are included in our plans…

We’ve got lazy susans in each corner cabinet (upper and lower). Also, in each lower cabinet (though they aren’t as tall as the one pictured above) the shelves are pull-out for optimum storage.

Let’s talk dollars and cents. The total of the Lowe’s cabinet estimate is almost double the IKEA estimate. However, the Lowe’s estimate includes delivery, installation and of course, a kitchen designer (with 22+ years experience!) to answer any and all questions. It also includes the nifty features we mentioned. Another perk: Lowe’s is local whereas IKEA is 2 hours away.

The budget breakdown for this design… $90. If we decide to go with this plan and purchase the cabinets from Lowe’s, the fee will be waived and go towards the cabinets. Even if we don’t decide to go with Lowe’s when it’s all written in stone, we feel the $90 was well spent because we’ve gained a lot of new ideas that we may not have thought of until down the road.

For some more KraftMaid “eye candy”, check out this video of KraftMaid at the 2009 House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year:


Do you have any kitchen planning stories or tips? We’d love to hear them! Tell us about them in the comment section...

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  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    I really like the idea of putting the microwave in the laundry room. I would never of thought of that! It’s only a few steps away from the kitchen so that’s going to work out well.

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    We love our Kraft Maid cabinets! We’ve had them for about four years and they still look brand new. And the video clip… House Beautiful, Barefoot Contessa and awesome cabinets with amazing features all under three minutes.

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    I love the lowe’s design! Sometimes it pays to have the experts give you their design.

    Honestly in my dream kitchen a microwave better be front and center! I use it for everything! From defrosting veggies before cooking, thawing naan, heating up tea, melting butter for baking, cooking leftovers I couldn’t live without a good one. And none of those are smelly.. al teast to me, I’ve never had a problem. To each his own.

  • Reply
    April Moss
    March 31, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    We got our cabinets at Lowe’s too (not KraftMaid though) and we LOVED our experience with them. They are really great to work with!

    As far as the microwave, we aren’t big “microwave people” either and I think that’s a great idea! It’s so much better than taking up space in the kitchen.

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Great idea to shop around for designs! Just out of curiosity, Are you planning on having anyone else look at your kitchen like HD or another cabinet company?

  • Reply
    Dennis Bullock
    March 31, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    It looks pretty sweet guys!

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    KraftMaid is awesome and definitely worth the extra $$ in the long run. My 2 cents! haha

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ the lil house that could
    March 31, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    Hm did you guys do some sort of special designer meeting or is the $90 fee new? Mike and I have sat down with Lowe’s designers twice now, once for the kitchen in our condo and once for our current office and we were never charged anything. The first time we did go with their design and the second time we didn’t. But we still got all of the print outs and everything that you did. I wonder if it varies by store?

    • Reply
      March 31, 2011 at 1:55 pm

      Hm, I’m not sure! We first met with the designer in the store and paid the fee to have him as well as an installer come out and take a look at the space, measure, do a lead test (apparently that’s required in order for them to work on a kitchen) and thenput the design together.

      • Reply
        Rebecca @ the lil house that could
        March 31, 2011 at 2:04 pm

        Ohh maybe it’s because they came to your house and measured. We just made an appointment then gave them our own measurements. Regardless, is a really cool service and they do such a good job of letting you know what is available and what can fit where! I’d highly recommend it!

        • Reply
          March 31, 2011 at 7:34 pm

          Yep, the detail fee was for the installer coming out to do measurements + the lead test (which is an EPA requirement if your home was built before 1978). You can sit down with a kitchen designer anytime with your own measurements + an appointment.

          The design looks great! 🙂

  • Reply
    Katie @ explanation required
    March 31, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    We actually got those exact doors, although in a different finish, when we redid our kitchen in our previous home. Love, love, love Kraftmaid cabinetry. The storage pantry you showed was actually my favorite thing about our old kitchen!!

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    It’s so fun to live vicariously through you! We’re still in the early planning stages of our kitchen reno and I love your posts about your choices cuz I can relate so well! Can’t wait to read more!

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Love the layout from Lowe’s. I like the idea of their design being more flexible. While I generally like IKEA, I’m not a huge fan of the kitchens for that exact reason. Plus, I don’t want to be the one putting them together and installing them. But, I get frustrated REALLY easy… LOL

    Excited to see what y’all go with. 🙂

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    My microwave has been in the laundry room off my kitchen for six, almost seven, years now. I love having it there. We still use it quite a bit (mostly for heating water) but it is nice not having it in the middle of the kitchen taking up valuable space.

    Also, my kitchen cabinets are KraftMaid, from Lowe’s too, and I am thrilled with them. I’m a bit jealous b/c when we did our kitchen, there was no Dove White option. If you wanted white KraftMaid cabinets through Lowe’s, you had to get thermofoil. I wanted painted wood, so our cabinets are more of a cream color than white. It was that or stain. And mine did not come with knobs/pulls! I love them anyway.

    • Reply
      February 6, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      I know I’m really late with this comment/reply but I couldn’t help myself. If you are mostly heating water, I would recommend an electric tea kettle. They have been around for ages in the U.K. & only recently become available here in the states. They are inexpensive, use less energy, heat water quickly & can easily be stowed away like a toaster or mixer. Here’s a link to one, if you’re interested:

      • Reply
        February 6, 2013 at 1:59 pm

        Great idea! Thanks for the link : )

  • Reply
    Sarah M
    March 31, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    I’ve always been curious about Ikea cabinets and it seems like the perfect thing for DIYers (like you guys) but we LOVE our KraftMaid cabinets!!

  • Reply
    kitliz @ DIYdiva
    March 31, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Love the way they solved for the awkward uppers around the stove. After looking at a bunch of other options we went with the Kraftmaid cabs from Lowes as well. Here was the nice thing… if you don’t have a strict deadline you can wait for the good cabinet deals which they run a couple of times a year. When we bought ours they were giving a certain percentage off, plus premium finishes at no extra charge and a free sink base. I think we ended up spending $7k for a $10k kitchen.

    One thing I would recommend if you go with the Kraftmaid is the all plywood construction upgrade. I had it in my last kitchen as well and the cabinets are ultra durable.

    The other great suggestion I had from one reader was to check out local Amish builders, who will do custom cabinets for a great price.

  • Reply
    Melissa @ HOUSEography
    March 31, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    My only tip on design is to use as many drawers as possible and not just cabinets with pullout shelves but real drawers. I only have cabinets in places where drawers would not fit and i still wish those were drawers!!

  • Reply
    March 31, 2011 at 10:23 pm

    Our Lowes was wonderful to work with! We didn’t have a “Gaylord” though. We had a “Pete” :-). Loving 7th!

  • Reply
    Leslie @ NE Portland Bungalow
    March 31, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Love the panels along side the counter depth refrigerator! We did this, and it’s great. Really makes the appliances feel integrated, and out of the way. Here’s a short cut, if you want to take a look at ours (it’s at the end of the post):
    Can’t wait to see your finished product!

  • Reply
    April 1, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Make sure to check what the cabinets are made out of. Painted wood, Laminate, Thermafoil, etc. With each a handful of issues can come up. Make sure the warrenty covers yellowing, peeling, etc.
    That would be my only tip as a cabinet designer! I always tell my clients this informations!
    I LOVE the kitchen you have selected and I would hands down do a lowes kitchen over ikea.

  • Reply
    April 1, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    Hi! Love the design! We got shaker style cabinets for our kitchen from Kraftmaid and they are awesome.

    I am a little obsessive about these things, but when I was designing my layout, I made a big list of all the things I needed to store in my kitchen (prioritized, of course) and then tried to match up the correct kind of cabinet for it. This resulted in me getting 2 large drawer units for pots and pans (LOVE).

    I also designed in zones, so I have a baking area, a coffee & toast area, a cooking at the stove area, etc. It is working out really well. Someday I will even put actual pictures up.

    We also got the all plywood construction. My husband is picky about woodworking things. They are super fab. Good luck with your remodel!

  • Reply
    April 2, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    We were shocked that local cabinet makers could do full wood cabinets (no laminate inside) for significantly cheaper than Kraftmade and other comparable big-box-driven brands.

    The local customer service was better and they made all the fun little extras we wanted like pot drawers and special dividers, that we thought we could only get cheaply through a large brand It may not hurt to get a local cabinet shop to look at the plans you already have and give you a quote. You may be surprised.

  • Reply
    April 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    So, we did IKEA – probably about the same size as your kitchen, and it was 4K for the cabinets, sink, and inner workings (the lazy susan, the drawer dividers, sliders). Granted, I had to do the layout and planning, but, no biggie. I enjoy that stuff.

    I don’t recommend the IKEA domsjo farmhouse sink, though. It cracks easily. We have a crack in ours – it’s slowly growing. I figure I’ll have to cough up $300 in a year or two for another and replace it.

    The other thing is that the soft-closing doors are available with IKEA. We have them, They are an additional damper part that you add to the hinge. I can’t remember the cost, but it was trivial – maybe $5 per cabinet.

    • Reply
      February 1, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      The biggest problem with the Ikea cabinets is this… You have to hold on to your receipt… The cabinets that I put in my kitchen in 2006… had a 20 year warranty… the paint began cracking in year 6… of course few people hold on to their receipts beyond 7 years… finally connecting with them… life is busy, easy to put things off… I would NEVER EVER, EVER buy Ikea cabinets again given they do not stand behind their Warranty… time to contact the Federal Trade Commissioner… they can put heat on company’s that have a Warranty but do not stand behind it.

  • Reply
    Rocky B
    April 13, 2011 at 1:03 am

    I have yet to blog about our kitchen renovation ( mainly because I’m only 5 posts in :), we refinished our cabinets instead of buying new cabinets. some days I wish we woukd have ripped out the entire kitchen so I had soft close drawers and solid wood faces. Other days I am glad we saved the money. My favorite part of our new kitchen is having granite countertops. I love the depth and richness of the stone, plus the lack of grout lines is amazing for cleaning.

  • Reply
    May 4, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Hey, guys! My husband and I just recently went through the same which-kitchen-cabinets-are for-us? dilemma. We were trying to decide between Diamond cabinets and Ikea cabinets. After a lot of research (yay research!) we finally decided to go with the Ikea Adel cabinets in medium brown. We liked the look and just couldn’t pass up the price. They should be delivered in a couple weeks–we’ll let you know how it goes!

    FYI–Ikea will send a designer out to your house to meet with you and plan your design (which you may already know). You have to pay a fee–I believe it varies depending on where you live–but part of the fee is refunded if you go with their product.

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