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Custom and Stock Kitchen Cabinetry

Everyone wants a gorgeous kitchen. Specially in Manhattan— where the kitchen has a become a focal design statement. While there are plenty of kitchen cabinet choices, not all are designed to fit your style or budget. So how do you choose between “stock” cabinets or custom kitchen cabinets when you are not sure on their differences? Here is Perry Hiiman’s advice.

New Yorkers (myself included), believe that the kitchen is the focal piece of their apartment. After all, we spend a lot of time in and around our kitchens. It is where we feed our families, and entertain our guests. Kitchen Cabinets are an essential feature to any kitchen remodeling project we do here at NYKB. Simply put, we all need a place to store our dishes, utensils, pots, and pans. While kitchen cabinets exist for a practical purpose, in NYC customers also want their cabinetry to serve as a key design feature.  In New York we do things differently, we want our kitchen cabinetry to convey our unique sense of style and sophistication.

Dont have time to read Perry Hiiman’s blog? Let one of our designers explaing the differences to you in person. Schedule a free in home consultation today! 

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The Open Kitchen Layout is a very common style in Manhattan apartments and one of the best ways to maximize your space.


With this thought in mind, many of our customers will ask me, “Perry, what are the key things to look for when purchasing cabinetry?”  After 20 years in the industry, I like to consider myself a kitchen cabinet expert. And over the years, I’ve seen countless cabinets installed throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Hamptons, Jersey City, and various locations. You name an area near Manhattan and chances are NYKB has installed cabinets there! Kitchen cabinets come in many styles, colors, shapes, sizes and finishes. They can be modern or contemporary designs. Elaborate or simple. There are an endless array of choices to fit your design goals. But before I even begin getting into these discussions with a customer, the first thing I like to do is address the difference between custom kitchen cabinets and “off-the-rack” or “stock” kitchen cabinets such as the ones they sell at Home Depot or IKEA.

Off-The-Rack Kitchen Cabinets

Over the years, the selection and quality of off-the-rack cabinets has grown substantially. They come in many shapes, styles, and colors that may fit your needs. They have even started to carry a few options like cushion close drawers, glass panels and lighting. The problem is, they are not specifically designed to your space, so there are limitations. You could find one you like, but it might not come in the right size, this is particularly true in Manhattan apartments. They also may not manufacture the color or shade you desire. Or the wood type.

Image Courtesy of Drury Designs by Sean McEvoy

Image Courtesy of www.wildzest.com

Quality is also a factor. Stock cabinetry can be extremely durable and there are many cabinet companies offering exceptional quality. The only problem is that these high-end cabinets can often cost more than a full set of custom cabinets. I have run into many customers that believe that stock cabinets are substantially cheaper than custom. However, this may not be always the case. I would advise you to make sure that you compare prices and receive quotes from several trusted locations.

If you are trying to remodel your kitchen on a very tight budget and have a standard sized kitchen, off-the-rack cabinets may be the best option for you. As your renovation expert, I am certainly happy to work with you to get the best pre-fab cabinets for your home. However I want you to make sure that a slight savings will not further complicate things further down the line.


Custom Kitchen Cabinets

Perry Hiiman prefers to work with Bauformat due to their unique and luxurios design.

As a company that prides itself in creativity and innovation, my team at NYKB loves to work with custom kitchen cabinets. This gives us the ability to create almost anything the client desires and most importantly, allows us to use every inch of the cabinet for storage purposes. Something that is crucial for our Manhattan and Brooklyn clients.

Our Bauformat Kitchen Displays are equipped with push to open and automatic cabinetry doors. Check them out in action or visit our showroom to experience it in person. This Kitchen Display is actually on sale!

Custom kitchen cabinets are manufactured to your EXACT specifications. If you want wood cabinets, my next question would be mahogany, maple, cherry, oak, or whatever other wood type you desire? If you would like something a little more modern, we can choose the latest Bauformat cabinets to match those new appliances. Want to hide your appliances? Consider it done! We can choose from an infinite number of knobs and handles to finish your cabinets off. We can even add push to open automatic cabinet systems and all sorts of add-on to finish your cabinets off in style. That’s the beauty of custom… whatever you want, you get! And this doesn’t just extend to material type. If you have an odd-shaped or small-sized kitchen (especially common in New York), custom cabinets allow us to maximize every inch of space in unique and interesting ways.

Over the years, I have worked with many custom kitchen cabinet manufacturers. As with anything, I found that some brands are more reliable. That’s why NYKB has narrowed it down to working with two unique cabinet manufacturers. We believe that Bauformat and Ultracraft provide the best value and service to our clients. Both companies are at the top of the industry. In fact, Ultracraft is so confident in their product that they offer a 100 year warranty that’s transferable even after you sell your home! Bauformat on the other hand, offers a five year warranty and is designed in Germany to your exact specifications. NYKB is the only showroom in Manhattan to offer the Bauformat line, which carries a large variety of trims and innovative designs that include glass doors, unique hinges and automatic sliding doors.


There are many other factors to take into consideration when purchasing new kitchen cabinets. If possible, I highly suggest getting a quote for stock and custom cabinetry and having a kitchen designer review the details. I want you to comprehend all of the differences involved aside from just pricing. Feel free to reach out to our kitchen cabinet specialists at  (212) 242-3500 or fill out our online form and I would be more than happy to send one of our kitchen specialists to visit your space.

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