For the Hunter family, cabinets were the most important part of their renovation project. Working in a medium-sized space with a decent budget, they knew that their cabinetry would have a massive impact on the way their kitchen looked and worked.
Previous Kitchen Cabinets
The Hunters renovated their kitchen on a tight budget when they first bought their Brisbane home five years ago. At that time they installed Ikea kitchen cabinets, which held up well over that time. But they had no intention of using the Ikea cabinets again - the company's system was too restricted for their needs and they wanted different styles and finishes.
"We certainly didn't have any complaints about the Ikea cabinets. But we felt like this time we'd just like to go for something a bit higher end," Joe Hunter, 38, said.
"We'd set aside enough money to go for a more customized arrangement, so we started searching through kitchen cabinet stores for the right style - we wanted cabinets with a timber finish that were modern and stylish, but not ridiculously expensive.
The Hunters did not have a massive amount of money to spend, so they decided not to go with a from-scratch custom solution. They were looking for something between the local -tradesman level cabinets, which were expensive and took a long time to build, and the modular Ikea-style cabinets, which were cheap and easy to install.
They visited some local kitchen cabinetry centres which offered close to what the needed, in terms of price and customization. But none of them had the exact types of cabinets they needed. And many of the best choices were still a little out of their price range.
But after much searching, they found exactly what they were after in semi-custom cabinets imported from Italy. These were not overly adorned, but nor were they too minimalistic. With semi-custom cabinets, the system is mostly based on standard-sized boxes, but the makers are willing to customize to some degree in order to fit the cabinets into the kitchen.
"The company went to great pains to make sure the cabinets were right, and for a pretty reasonable price. They came to the house and measured everything, including our appliances, and designed the cabinets around that. In the end it was a little more than we wanted to pay, but we were still happy with the result," Joe said.
For the Hunter family, the space between high-end and budget was perfect. And it shows how important it is to shop around.
"There were plenty of times when we thought about saying, 'near enough is good enough," Joe said.
"But after all that, we got exactly what we wanted, and I'm so glad we took the extra time."