The Big Box Kitchen Series: These Cabinets are Awesome

I owe you guys lots of updates on the flip – it’s been chugging along behind the scenes and I’ve been meaning to fill you in as we go along (I’ve shared a few updates on Instagram), but I’ve been slacking.

So much has happened!  I planned on doing one giant “catching you up” post but there’s just too much – so let’s check out the cabinets first.  I guess that warrants a “Big Box Kitchen Series” tagline.

big box kitchen series

If you’re new to the series, the Big Box Kitchen Series shares every step of our experience using Home Depot semi-custom cabinetry in our 6th flip. Click here and here to check out the first two installments.

You may recall that the last time you saw the flip we had sheetrock, wood floors, and tile in the bathrooms – click here to see that.  Then, after much anticipation, the cabinets were delivered!!!!!!!!!  (And you can catch a glimpse below of how the much-debated fireplace surround turned out.  More on that in another post.)

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It was exciting to see the cabinets looking all gorgeous and finished right out of the box.  That is a definite perk compared to custom cabinetry (like we’ve used in the past), which is typically delivered unfinished and then painted or stained on site.

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Hello, giant pantry.

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We opted for flat trim at the top of the cabinets instead of crown molding – it was the clean, modern look we wanted and it was also a little bit cheaper.  You can see it being installed below.  The installer did a great job scribing the trim so that it followed the line of the ceiling exactly (as you know, most ceilings aren’t perfectly flat).

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You can’t really see it in this photo, but there was a slight gap between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling above the refrigerator box – we bought a few pieces of screen molding, had them painted to match the cabinets (thanks, Martha, for selling matching paint!) and installed to hide the gap.  To keep things looking even, we had it installed around the tops of all of the cabinets.

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I don’t think I have any photos of the screen molding at this stage, so I’ll just have to post some for you later.  Can you handle the anticipation???  Ha.  Also, you can see in the photo below how the toe kick is installed separately, and how the insides of all the cabinets (including the fridge box) have a birch-looking finish.


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That’s a lot better than how the kitchen used to look from this angle, don’t you think?  To support my claim, here’s a “before” photo:

It's Great To Be Home - "Before" Photos of Our 6th Flip

Click here for more scary “before” photos – oh, and here’s a comparison of the before/after layouts:


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A few of you expressed an interest on a more detailed discussion of how we came up with the changes to the kitchen layout, so I’ll do a more in-depth post about that later!

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This is the only shot that I have of the handles installed on the cabinets – we went for horizontal pulls all over, and I’m really happy with how they turned out.  Love!  (Please ignore the missing handle above the fridge, that has since been remedied.)

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And here’s the guest bathroom, in a slightly lighter shade of gray:

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We chose stained cabinets for the master bathroom, and the vanity turned out really great.

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So how do I like the cabinets now that they’ve been installed?  In short, I love them.


– The finish on each and every cabinet is completely flawless – no drips or rough spots or any of the weird things that you can have with cabinets that are finished onsite.

– Every drawer and cabinet is soft-close (something I don’t think we’ve ever had before), and all of the drawer glides work so smoothly.

– Each set of cabinets comes with a sort of paint pen to touch up the cabinets (in case you scuff them in the future).

– It’s super easy to add extra trim (like we did) or other custom add-ons to the cabinets with the “painted” finish because Home Depot sells the Martha paint line with the corresponding paint colors (so no color-match guesses).

– The installer did a killer job, and was good at troubleshooting along the way with us.

– The interiors of the cabinets can be customized down the road with roll-out trays, lazy susans, etc.

– If you have any extra trim, etc. that hasn’t been cut down you can return it for a refund.


– If something is missing or damaged once you open the box, you have to wait another few weeks for a replacement to arrive.  This didn’t exactly happen to us, because we opted to buy screen molding on the day of the install when it turned out that there was a gap above the cabinets rather than ordering trim through Home Depot and waiting for it to get here.

– The inside of the cabinets are the birch-looking finish, which is quite nice, but I wish it matched the exterior of the cabinets.  This really only matters to me because we sell our flips without refrigerators, so that birch finish is kind of glaring, but it wouldn’t matter at all once a fridge is installed.

– When you pay for Home Depot’s installer to install the cabinets, it’s a one-shot deal.  We have since noticed a little issue with the trim on the side of the fridge box, and I’m not sure they’ll come back out to fix it.  It’s on my list to check with them but I’m not hopeful.  But maybe?  [Update – I was prematurely pessimistic and I should have known better – they came out to fix it, no questions asked, and even covered the cost of the new part!]

– The colors/finishes are limited – but of course that’s to be expected.  I wish they had a different option for “white” cabinets – prefinished white cabinets tend to look very stark (and cheap) to me, and Martha’s “white” cabinets are no exception.  It would also be fun if they had some other on-trend colors besides gray.  A navy or another fun color would be awesome.

What questions do you guys have about Home Depot cabinets, or the Martha line, the process, or how we like the cabinets?  I’d be happy to do another follow up post to answer any questions that you have.  Later gators!

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  1. Deena says:

    Loving it so far, and very intrigued by the Martha Stewart cabinets, Holly from In The Fun Lane also used them and they look great as well. I get what you mean about the inside of the fridge surround, I would maybe grab some paint and paint that up (if nothing else, for my personal satisfaction at least!)

    Can’t wait to see the finished project.

    • Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

      I hadn’t thought about painting it, Deena – great idea! I’m hoping I get around to it before this baby is for sale. :)

  2. Michael says:

    First of all, it looks beautiful! I’m excited to see your end result as I’m contemplating using Martha Stewart cabinets in my remodel. A few questions I hope you don’tind me asking:

    1) Your colors are ocean floor in the kitchen and Sharkey gray in the bathroom, correct? They look beautiful in your photos. My store paired ocean floor with green paint and Sharkey gray with pink (yes pink) granite in their display. In real life, you’re not getting those same undertones, are you?

    2) Can you elaborate on the HD installers and it being a one shot deal? Does this mean once they finish the job, they will not return to fix poor workmanship or an issue that is encountered? I have heard other stories about HD installers being a pain to work with and now your comment has me even more worried.

    Thank you for sharing,

  3. Alexis says:

    Oh I love this! I am also getting a Martha kitchen from HD – looks like the same one you picked for this kitchen. The demo should start in about 2 weeks. I’m so nervous! I love that you are ahead of me so I can see what it’s going to look like. I’m super curious to see what flooring and countertops you picked. I had a really hard time choosing. Thanks!

  4. Ann says:

    This looks fabulous. I thought the light birch interiors a bit glaring, also, and when I read about the fridge opening my first thought was “paint it.” Either in a matching gray like the cabinets, or a slightly lighter gray, or a black. Then if the new owner’s fridge is slightly small, it won’t matter so much.

    I would hate to think HD would not stand behind their installation; look forward to clarification on that point.

    I admire the work you do on your flips; generally I think I’d like to move into each of them.

  5. Max Sebring says:

    Wow! Great job! I like the cabinets but unfortunately, Martha Stewarts cabinets are hard to find in my country. Anyway, I learned so much from this project. Thanks a lot! :-)

  6. Mike Thompson says:

    The house is looking incredible, Liz! Wow! Thanks for the update. The color of the cabinets is awesome, and the mantel choice is spot on. It really compliments the door casing.

  7. Liz - It's Great To Be Home says:

    Hey guys! I’m planning a post later this week to answer your questions about the cabinets, so keep them coming! :)

  8. Suzie says:

    LOVE the cabinets! Great choice!! I agree, if you have time, maybe paint the fridge area same color as cabinet exteriors. Thanks so much for sharing:)
    PS: You are so cute….love the pics in your last post….even better than your pic on the blog by the tree. You look totally different than that pic!

  9. Emily Brown says:

    Cabinets are amazing and really appealing. I like simple colors in my kitchen, waiting for more pics from you.