Cabinet & Countertop Inspirations

When it's time to choose the perfect cabinets for your kitchen, one of the decisions you will have to make is whether to choose painted or stained cabinets. Maybe that decision is one you have already made, and you know exactly which you will choose.  Perhaps you are still debating which option suits you best. If so, this information will hopefully make your choice a little clearer.

First, it is important to understand that there is no right or wrong choice. Both painted and stained cabinets are excellent options and provide you with years of satisfaction. It really comes down to personal preference and what you are looking for in your kitchen.

Painted cabinets will have a smooth and uniform finish with no variations in their appearance.  Because the paint adheres to the cabinet's surface, only the color of the paint will be noticeable. In contrast, stain is much thinner than paint. This allows it to be absorbed into the wood, showcasing the wood grain and other unique features of your cabinet's particular wood species.

Paint works well on cabinets made with wood or MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard). Once painted, it can actually be difficult to differentiate between the two materials. If you go with stain, keep in mind that it can only be used with natural wood cabinets.

Even in the most careful of environments, inevitable nicks and scratches occur. Touching up a stained cabinet is relatively easy thanks to the wide variety of touch-up markers available. Painted cabinets can be a little more difficult to touch-up due to the fact that the paint is generally sprayed on, not brushed. This is what gives painted cabinets their smooth appearance, but it is hard to recreate that look when trying to repair nicks or scratches with a paint brush.

The last factor to consider, and perhaps for some the most important, is the cost. Painted cabinets are typically 15% more expensive than stained cabinets, so there is an upcharge for the clean, sleek look of paint.

Making the choice between painted and stained cabinets does not have to be difficult if you know your preferences and the look you want to create. If you make your decision based on this information and your personal style, you will achieve the space you desire. 


We recently completed a kitchen and master bathroom remodel in conjunction with Glenn Gareis at GMG Architects, Tom Vriesman of Design Studio Vriesman, and Randy Green of Green Trade Contracting. The clients purchased a home in Indianapolis' Meridian - Kessler neighborhood and made substantial updates to the home's layout and finishes throughout the home.

Overall, the homeowners' objective was to open up the layout of the living areas, update the look and functionality of the kitchen, and create a more spacious master bathroom with additional linen storage.

Working through the project details, specific appliances, and cabinet accessories, Linley, our kitchen designer worked through the design process to create a final design to best fit the clients' wishes. To help our clients' visualize the end result, our designers create elevations using 3-D design software. The final elevations shown below are all computerized renderings.






Out of several cabinet lines we offer, the homeowner chose a line to best balance price and quality. They selected a white painted finish and a clean Shaker door style. Square chrome pulls were used throughout the kitchen to give a nice, clean transitional look. Countertops were a complementary colored granite. The homeowners also chose to incorporate a number of cabinet accessories, including a cutlery divider, double waste basket pullout, baking tray dividers, and rollout shelves.

The final result was a stunning success. After all the dust and coordination of construction was complete, we took these pictures of the finished space.



Decorative columns were placed on both sides of the sink to create a more balanced feel to the space.

Our designer stacked the crown molding and took it up to the ceiling to make the room feel bigger and to support the clean, fresh lines of the modern, Shaker style.



The wall oven cabinet includes a lift up door over the ovens for convenient storage.

Note the under cabinet molding used to provide a nice, finishing touch and allow the wiring/lights to remain unseen.

Built-in cutlery organizer keep utensils from scattering throughout the drawer.

Double waste basket pullout ... one for trash, one for recycle materials.

Tray dividers to keep cookie sheets and baking pans neat and orderly.

Deep rollout trays to help organize storage and ease access to items at the back of the cabinet.

Our staff can bring this same level of design and functionality to spaces in your home.  Give us a call to talk about getting started on updating your spaces.

Given the limited number of times a person completes a kitchen remodel, it is difficult to understand and budget for these projects.  Here are ten steps to help you manage spending for a kitchen remodel.

  1. Establish a budget and keep it.  
    • At the beginning of the project, determine how much you can afford to spend.
    • Consider how long you plan to remain in your house. If you plan to move within five years, only spend what you can expect to recover when you sell the house.  If you will remain in the house for more than five years, be willing to do a remodel that will make your family most comfortable.
    • Understand the home values in your neighborhood. Don’t over-improve.
  2. Understand the break-down of costs.  A general rule of thumb is:
    • ​Cabinets: 35%
    • Labor: 20%
    • Appliances: 20%
    • Fixtures: 5%
    • Fittings/Other: 20%
  3. Plan for the unexpected. There are surprises in almost every remodeling project … for example, finding out-of-date wiring behind drywall. A rule of thumb is to set 20% aside to handle contingencies and surprises.
  4. Prioritize your desires. Write down your priorities so if unexpected costs hit your budget, you can stay focused on getting the most important items on your list. When setting your priorities, don’t forget to consider important goodies like crown molding or a fancy faucet. These are an important part of a project’s overall look and functionality.
  5. How will you pay for the project? There are a variety of means to pay for a kitchen remodel. These include cash, refinancing your home, or a home equity loan.  Understand the pros/cons of each option to ensure choosing the one that best fits your situation.
  6. Should I stay or should I go? Living in a home that is being remodeled can be stressful. Make a conscious decision on whether to stay in the home or live somewhere else during the renovation. It may be a good time to get take a vacation to avoid some of the remodeling stress. If you stay, consider setting up a temporary kitchen in another room in the house.
  7. Reservations. With the kitchen being out of the commission, you will likely eat out more than typical. Plan for this in the remodeling budget.
  8. Track your budget. Create a spreadsheet, or whatever works best for you, to track your budget and actual expenses. This will help you quickly see if there are any overruns starting to happen, allowing you to manage it.
  9. Sweat equity. You may want to consider doing some of the work yourself.  This may help reduce the cost of the overall project.  However, if you take on some of the work, you will need to hit schedule deadlines.
  10. Avoid scope creep. Over the course of the project, you may be tempted to add “extras”. Adding options in the middle of the project is a great way to overspend your budget. Don’t be rigid, but be willing to say “no” if it does not fit with your key priorities and budget.

Feel free to contact us for help in planning your remodel and achieving your project's objectives.


"I am in love with my new kitchen and The KitchenWright played a huge part in that. I had specific ideas and they educated me and made it happen. They knew what I wanted and seamlessly made decisions based on that. I've had other contractors try to pass things by on me, thinking I wouldn't know the difference, but in this case they anticipated issues and fixed them before they were permanent. They were a delight to work with. My kitchen even made the Facebook page! Thanks for making this a great experience!"
-Gretchen C.

"Thanks so much for your help and input! We love our “refreshed” kitchen now. I really enjoyed working with you and have already given your card to a friend!"
-Arden E.

"They did a fabulous job. They were real professionals, it was the type of job that I could leave them alone and not worry about my house."
-Ed R.