lisa wi and Caspian 101 Cliq/Barker

eam44September 4, 2012

I was wondering how your cabinet installations are going (or went)? Lisa, you were about to receive your Linen and Tea Leaf 6Square cabinets from Cliqstudios, and Caspian, you were installing your Barker cabs the last I heard. Can you tell me a little more about your experience from start to finish, and show pics if possible? Caspian, how did you decide to finish your cabs?

I'm still trying to decide where to get my cabs. Thanks. E

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Hi! I can't remember what I had posted before, but apparently I was told an incorrect shipping date for my cabinets not once, but twice. I called again today and was told they had just left on the truck (my last information was that they were supposed to leave last Thursday or Friday). Since I'm about 6 hours away from them (Cliq is in MN), the rep said she would do everything she could to get them delivered to me this Thursday. So - hopefully I'll have photos of them all installed by Friday afternoon or Monday. We have granite templating scheduled for Tuesday next week.
As far as the experience, I can't even remember how I came across Cliq Studios, I think via Houzz. I was looking for decent, budget, shaker style painted cabinets and had a quote from HD's Martha Stewart line for around $7k. After finding Cliq I contacted them and asked to have a design done. I emailed a copy of my room dimensions and information and I had an initial phone conversation with the designer I was assigned. I sent her inspiration photos, photos of the current space, and some photos of our home so she could get a feel for our style. That was back in April. She worked with me making multiple revisions for the next few weeks. There were probably several days turn-around between each revision. She had some great suggestions including moving the stove to the opposite wall - something I hadn't thought of at all, but it was a wonderful suggestion. We got to the point where I had most of what I wanted and with their 20% sale (which goes on and off all the time I've noticed) we were just over $5k. After talking with a contractor we decided to move forward. I had my designer make a few final changes before placing the order July 31. Apparently the typical turnaround is 2 weeks plus shipping, but the tea leaf takes longer which my designer forgot (the first incorrect date). It sometimes feels like I'm waiting longer than I'd like for a response, especially with all the shipping confusion, but overall its been a fairly smooth process and she was wonderful during the design process and willing to try lots of different options until I felt comfortable with my final design. I'll include a couple of shots of my current space and the final design and hopefully have photos of them installed successfully within a week!

The old kitchen in all its oak glory:

The final design top-view (we recessed the refrigerator into the back of a front hall closet):

Sink wall:

Stove wall:

Hope that helps - feel free to ask more questions!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 11:09PM
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Lisa - thanks so much for the quick response and the pictures! I have spent months going over the design in several possible layouts, and I would welcome the chance to have some free layout input, which is one thing I can't get through Barker. I LOVE the layout you chose- huge improvement over your current space, and the two tone is going to be very pretty.

Please post more photos when they're in, and let me know how you feel about the quality. I too have noticed that Cliq is 15 - 20% off most of the time. Barker is on permanent sale, as far as I can see, but they've made several changes since I started looking in the spring. Among them, their paint grade cabinet used to be paint grade maple. Now it's Alder with a center MDF panel. It's probably still a great door, but you notice these kinds of things...

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 11:53PM
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Caspian? Any other Barker users?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 2:14PM
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Just saw the kitchen with Barker cabinets...
The cabinets are all up, now for the finishing and painting.

Build and install were very easy. The main problems were due to my old crooked house :-)

I am trimming out the cabinets a fair bit with crown, base, under cabinet so that will take some time to complete but the main cabinets are square, straight, solid, strong and of high quality. Hardware is top end.

Their website is excellent and ording is easy. Free shipping over a certain amount is nice too.

I went with the upgraded maple centers so no MDF. The unfinished doors are flawless. The large doors for the pantry and integrated fridge are particularly nice. Only a blow out to remove dust is needed before spraying/painting.

I have sprayed 5 drawers so far in clear lacquer - very easy provided you have the gear to spray.

I had previously planned to spray an oil based primer then a BM latex. With further research, I'm now likely to spray a tinted lacquer (sealer, build/vinyl, tinted lacquer system). This is closer to a professional style finish and given the volume of cabinets doors I need to paint, the 15 min dry time will be useful. I plan to paint some this weekend so I will post on progress.

I will post a few picks tonight.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 5:42PM
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So far so good with the Cliq Cabinets. They arrived this morning around 8:30 on two pallets plus a couple of long boxes:

Here are the uppers ready to be installed. Most of the doors look like they need a slight adjustment and there are a couple of doors that I will look at the paint a little closer later to see if I need a replacement but otherwise everything is perfect:

My 30" drawer base for pots and pans and the trash pullout:

The drawer slides seem a little tough to pull out, but it may be the slow close thing since I've never had that before?

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 3:03PM
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Caspian and Lisa - this is very exciting for me. I'm renovating vicariously through you both. I'm psyched to see images from you as things progress, as well as to hear about any problems you encounter (I hope it goes smoothly for you both).

Lisa - a recent post on Cliq complained of boxes not being square. I hope that's an exception. I love the cab colors you choose. They look better in your images than they do on the site. My guess is that once your cabs are installed the drawers might be easier to pull out. Can you tell me what extras if any you chose? Pull outs, roll out drawers for pantry, molding, etc...

Caspian - I too was planning to upgrade from MDF to a maple center. I noticed that for about $10 more on a standard 21" base cab I could get hard white maple. I know I want painted cabs but I like the idea that the cabs could be stained one day. Do you think this would be worth it?

Also, what do you think of the pricing for having the cabs finished with white conversion varnish? For the same 21" standard base, 2 coats primer and 2 coats varnish costs $85. I don't know whether I can afford it but my guess is they will give me a better finish than I will put on myself. I have painted cabinets before with paint. I don't have your equipment, and I don't know the cost of primer and conversion varnish.

Finally, did you get any roll outs or extras? I've been told it's more economical to do this aftermarket, but the Barker stuff looks great.

Thanks again to you both!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 3:33PM
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Nothing seems out of square to me. The drawer glides definitely have some adjustments so I'll have to see if I can figure that out. It seems like the slow close mechanism holds them in until I get past that part then it seems fine. I do love the slow close drawers though! The paint colors really are beautiful. Those photos were just with my iphone. When they are all installed I'll pull out the good camera to take better photos. I got small samples (the free ones) of the red (more cranberry in my opinion), tea leaf, white, and linen. Before I ordered I got the full size door samples of tea leaf and linen. That helped so much.

I opted to get my own crown moulding and paint it to match. It saved us some money, but in the end I discovered that the cove moulding they sell is pretty unique and not that easy to find. Luckily it was available from the company I ordered my peninsula legs and apron from but that was about the only source we could find. The slow close drawers are standard but I decided to get my own slow close hardware for the doors and will put it in myself. I think that will be about $150 savings. I did get the trash pull. It looks like its a rev a shelf, but it really is nice to just have it done even though that cab was pricey.

I have a walk in pantry to the right of my fridge so no pantry cabinet for me. The apron sink cabinet is actually a refrigerator cabinet that will be built up with some various accessory pieces. Should be interesting! For the most part all my lower cabs are drawers except for the 12" one next to the stove. I'm not a fan of rollouts other than in pantry cabs so the extra money for all drawers is worth it to me.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 3:46PM
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I'm lurking vicariously through EAM44's queries on these two companies, as I'm also considering Cliq and Barker (although I'm pretty sure the latter is just beyond my capabilities). Thanks for all the info and photos!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 4:31PM
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I purchased maily drawer lowers, a garbage pullout, the farm sink base, a corner cabinet (for which I purchased a Lemans peanut). I have a tall pantry that I will be picking up the Lee Valley pull out pantry for today. The Barker one is likely better quality but the LV price is much better.

You can see if there is a local company that will finish the cabinets - it is just the door/drawer fronts so not much to move. I would compare that quote to the Barker quote.

One of the reasons I went with Barker was my dislike of fibreboard/MDF. For the center inserts, MDF is fine, and is more stable. However, for an old house like mine, the finish over wood looks better than over MDF (less perfect).

Due to the old house's inherent crookedness, I needed to adjust one of the cabinets. It was pretty easy and since it was good quality plywood instead of fibre/MDF, there was no problem with the extra cycles of taking apart/back together (screws in/out/in/out, etc).

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 4:56PM
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Oh - I've got another question for you about the Barker (sorry - so many). I was considering buying them without the toe kick and applying Blum cabinet levelers/adjustable legs. Is this worth doing? Did you install your own cabs or have pros do it? I feel like either way, I'm more likely to get a good result with these. What do you think?

Welcome aboard smaloney!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 6:40PM
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I installed the cabinets myself. Some shimming to ensure everything is straight, square and level but nothing too difficult, just time consuming to get it perfect. If you know you have a very uneven floor, the legs are a good strategy but I would not over complicate things if you don't need to.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 7:58PM
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Lisa - any updates or pics?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 5:07PM
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I'm getting ready to head out camping with my son for the weekend, but we should be done (minus backsplash) next Thursday! Can you wait for the reveal thread then? All the cabinets are installed. The sink base was a bit of a pain for my contractor because we used a 9" apron sink (not the short apron) and Cliq doesn't have a special apron front sink so it had to be pieced together. It turned out nicely, but I'm sure I would have saved some money in his time if I'd have gone with the short apron and a standard sink base. I've got one door being replaced and they are also sending touch up kits for both colors. I requested the linen because there was a crack in one of the frames that we opted to install and just fix up. I requested those Weds, they shipped today and I'll have them tomorrow. We have one extra toe kick and one extra quarter round. I guess I should have checked that stuff over and done the measuring myself. Not sure how much those cost. I may come up with some decorative project in the future for them since they match the cabs though. I am completely in love with the tea leaf. I'm so glad I didn't go with all linen. It would have seemed so boring and not as warm in comparison.

As far as quality goes, my contractor thought they were good and liked that they had nice thick backs. I love the slow close drawers though the trash pullout doesn't have it. I also love that they are full overlay and there are no center stiles.

If you have other specific questions let me know, otherwise I'll post full photos, review and cost breakdown of our remodel late next week and link it here to make sure you see it! The granite is going in Weds and the plumber will be back Thursday.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 9:31PM
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Wow - you have an amazing week in front of you next week! Thanks for the update. I'm glad to hear all went well and I can't wait to see pics when it's all in.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 11:03PM
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It's done!

Here is a link that might be useful: lisa_wi reveal

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 2:23PM
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