The look of inset cabinets

kam76March 24, 2013

I noticed almost all of the kitchens I pinned or collected on Houzz have inset cabinets. I am wondering if it is possible to get close to the look of inset cabinets but using overlay doors? The cabinet maker that the builder we are using goes with stuck his nose up at inset doors and is going to charge an astronomical (i.e. not in the budget) amount to do them. I am leaning toward white shaker style.

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Full overlay doors or euro cabinets can mimic it a LITTLE, but there is no mistaking an inset door on a cabinet. Especially if you like the beaded detail that comes with the classic inset door cabinetry.

Inset doors cabinetry seems to be huge in New England as well as the high end market, but not so much so when you get out of the area. A forum I am on with other contractors and cabinet makers, some say they have never seen inset doors on cabinetry. Mostly in the midwest it seems.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 5:35PM
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You can always tell your builder you'd like to shop your cabinet design around. I imagine they have someone they like to work with but you wouldn't be the first to want cabinets from someone else. That said, you should look at some kitchens with full overlay white shaker as it does have a similar look. It will obviously be different but it's a more budget-friendly look. Also have seen some where the bottom cabinets are inset but the wall cabinets are full overlay. Maybe someone will have a photo of that. It's so hard because we like what we like and then there's the darn budget that gets in the way!

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 5:37PM
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It's only a 15% upcharge in many lines. Get another cabinet maker. Or use a national semi custom line. I have a cousin who just did a Dynasty bath vanity and it's outstanding quality.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 5:55PM
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I've done full overlay frameless bases with inset uppers on transitional jobs, never the reverse. No reason it can't be done.
Have done "look like" inset with frameless using extra pilasters. Gets pricey, I see no point there.

Inset doesn't have to be much more. In my semi custom line I've checked several projects where the differance was as little as $300 and topped out at 7% Molding, modifications and accessories cost the same inset or overlay so the differance isn't that large. Check around.
My other 2 brands - one charges for beaded but nothing for flush, the other (hi-end) all framed cabinets are the same price.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 6:33PM
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If you do go with inset doors on the uppers, make sure the depth is 13", not 12". Some of the larger dishes will be in the way of the door when it closes.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 6:55PM
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Find another cabinetmaker and get what you want. You are the customer. It just means he does not have inset experience and frankly you do not want someone who does not have inset experience doing your inset cabs for you.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 6:56PM
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I too advise you look into other cab makers. You really can't match inset. It is worth extra if you really want a period look to you kitchen but I think you would do better with a cab maker that doesn't snub his nose on the idea. I did 2 kitchens within 5 years, both with inset, different cab makers and both were less expensive and better built than most lines.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 7:14PM
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Here's an example of cabinets with full overlay shaker style doors, in case you decide to go that route; see calypsochick's finished kitchen by following the link. The cabinets she chose were made by Rutt; I'm not sure if they still make this style. But at least you could use the picture as an example to help explain what you mean when you're talking with cabinet builders. Though I agree with the other posters, if you'd prefer the look of true inset, they're not that much more expensive if you find the right cabinet maker or dealer.

Here is a link that might be useful: calypsochick's full overlay shaker style cabinets

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 10:42AM
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Wow thank you guys for all your great information. We are going with a "semi custom" builder and so I don't have a choice on cabinet maker unfortunately. I didn't think of this before I signed the contract (details details) so I didn't get it into the contract I wanted to look at other cabinet makers...because of the volume they do I am sure they get a screaming deal from these guys. I do like that look pentimento thanks for finding those shots. I think that might be my only option. I guess on the upside I won't loose any interior space!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 12:13PM
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"...because of the volume they do I am sure they get a screaming deal from these guys."
Rarely over 5%

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 12:23PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

One of my favorite GW kitchens belongs to pickle2, who used inset uppers and full overlay lowers. This thread shows her cabinets in progress--scroll down for more pics:

Here is a link that might be useful: pickle2 kitchen

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 12:31PM
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Some manufacturers make a full overlay door that is supposed to mimic inset, not saying it's awesome but a possibility depending on the style you are looking for

Here is a link that might be useful: Perth amboy by Ultracraft

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 12:41PM
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I built a custom home and my builder sent me to his favorite custom kitchen guy. When the cabinet guy's tone became condescending and everything I asked about was given the response "cha-ching", I went to Dutch Wood, asked for a quote. His quote was right under the budget that I was given. The other guy...when I left him his quote for a kitchen full of doors and not drawers was $10k over the budget allowance.

I took that quote to my builder, explained the situation, he said he would get all the paperwork together to verify DW had insurance, etc. and make them a vendor.

I'd ask your builder anyway. You never know. Maybe he could use another kitchen guy in his stable. Competition keeps the prices in line.

(oh, and I did full overlay cabinets with no frame showing. I like the look of the inset, but in reality I didn't like the look of the small space (between door and frame) that is just part of inset doors)


    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 12:47PM
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Along the lines of robbcs3, you can also get a full overlay door with a bead on the outside edge. Combined with the aforementioned extra spacers/pilasters, you get closer to the look you are achieving.

Traditional Kitchen by Wayzata Architect A. Sadowski Designs

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 12:51PM
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