The Big Box Duel

Buying cabinets – it’s quite the adventure. I have to add – especially here in the south. I’m convinced that people work at just a bit of a slower pace down here. This northern girl that sprints everywhere is still trying to adjust 😉

In the name of being thorough, we decided that we’d scope out both Home Depot and Lowe’s this time around and report back on which one was our favsies. A big box duel, if you will. Are you ready to rumbllleeee???


Since we got our cabinets for our Michigan house from Lowe’s we figured that it was a logical place to start. We weren’t bowled over by the process the first time, but things went smoothly enough and we thought that we might as well start there again. Plus, Home Depot makes you pay in advance to come out and measure, and that seemed like a bit of a hassle to us, too.

So we set up an appointment and found a few cabinet styles we liked. When we started the planning process, we were leaning toward this style (Culver), which is pretty much a traditional shaker style, with an extra inset panel. Nice.

Gray Diamond Cabinets

This is what the Culver cabinet style looks like in a full kitchen, and in white (which is what we’d be doing). Swanky, right? I’m a sucker for traditional cabinet styles, so I’ve always been partial to a nice shaker door.

Diamond Culver Cabinet

This is another, similar, door style that I had in mind as well. Just a hair different than our kitchen in our last house – thought we’d mix it up just a little since we liked how these door styles provided a bit more visual interest.

Diamond Reflections Shaker

We went through the entire planning process (laying everything out, customizations) and then we got a zing-zing-zinger. The cabinets we picked out at Lowes we’re going to cost us about $11,000. WOAH. Now, for context, our first kitchen from Lowe’s set us back just under $5,000 and this one is certainly not twice the size. Herrumpph.

Initially, we had it in our heads that we wanted to go through Lowe’s since last time we got some pretty sweet Memorial Day savings, including 10% back as a gift card to Lowe’s. Now, when you’re moving into a new pad, any bit of $$ is helpful, so that was pretty enticing. Needless to say though, once we got that big fat total from Lowe’s we decided it would be worthwhile to at least look at Home Depot. I remembered last time we were on the hunt that I really liked the Martha Stewart Line – so I decided to start there.

And wonder of wonder’s I found a cabinet door that made my heart go a pitter patter. Martha just came out with a new door style, called Wellston and it might as well be called the key to Mary’s heart – cause I love it.

Wellston Martha Stewart

What do y’all think?! I was really liking the more updated take on the shaker cabinet door. Yummy. Note, the photo above is of the cabinet in cream – we will actually be getting “Picket Fence”

Here is another, side angle shot. Classy!

Martha Stewart Wellston Cabinet

Now, unfortunately this cabinet style is so new that there really are not any examples of it online. Boo.

That being said, Holly over at Life in the Fun Lane has an awesome Martha Stewart kitchen, also in picket fence which provided a general idea of what ours would look like once installed. Truth be told, I’m officially geeking out looking at these photos 😀

Martha Stewart White Kitchen

We loved that in addition to being beautiful cabinets, that the Martha Stewart line also carries lots of nice (optional) upgrades to make your space that much more user friendly. Considering the cabin style bases we had before, we are beyond excited for sweet details like pull-out shelving and spice drawers. To optimize space, we’ll actually have a drawer like the one below, but just for spices (it’s only 3″ wide!). It was so much nicer to be able to use that 3″ for functional storage though, vs. a filler piece.

Martha Stewart Kitchen

We also decided to upgrade and get the pull-out drawers, to make our stored pots and pans that much more accessible.

Martha Stewart Cabinets

Lucky for us, the Martha Stewart line came in $2,500 less than the Lowe’s counterpart we had selected. Bam.

Added bonus, since we ordered the cabinets during a Memorial Day sale – we got an extra 10% off our total, bringing our total out of pocket cost, with tax and installation, to $7,200. Now in my book, that’s certainly nothing to bat a stick at, definitely not chump change! But since we knew we’d want to invest in some key features in our new home when we first moved in, we set aside some dough from the sale of our last house to help us pay for all of these initial renovations up front. We definitely feel like this will be money well spent!

Overall, here are the pros and cons we found for each location.


We officially ordered the cabinets last Friday, so now we just wait! It’s going to be close and truth be told, we may be kitchenless for a hot second when we first move in. At least we’ve got the grill, in a pinch! 😉 Next up, counter options!!

11 thoughts on “The Big Box Duel

  1. Ooooh Mary, they are going to be gorgeous!! We also just got a price back from a local company specializing in kitchens and the white shaker-style cabinets I picked out came to $11k as well. Yikes!!! We haven’t committed to them yet though, so I’m going to get a quote from HD now, too, thanks to this post. I’ll let you know if you’ve saved me some moola!

  2. Did you price out any custom built? Only wondering because I have heard some people say they actually came out cheaper than big-box, and some people say its more. I don’t know if that depends on the company, or the style of cabinet, or the upgrades or what. I know they would probably be more expensive through a 3rd party show room type place, but just wondering if you priced out any carpenters / contractors?

    1. Although we would have loved to look into that option, we decided not to this time around strictly due to timing. We chatted with one carpenter and the turn-around time was going to be significantly longer, so we had to rule it out in the name of having a functional kitchen when we move in 3-weeks from now! 🙂

  3. I think you meant to use “duel” (def: a situation in which two people or groups argue or compete with each other) instead of “dual” (def: denoting reference to two).

    It’s nice to see a comparison between the two. We always go to Home Depot because it’s closer although I tend to prefer Lowe’s a little more in general.

    1. All the Martha Stewart cabinets are PureStyle, which is basically an upgraded fancy laminate. It looks nothing like laminate though 😉 Since we live down in the south, where it’s very humid, they recommended this style over painted wood, which will tend to crack. The boxes are plywood, I believe. Hope that helps!

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