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Buying Kitchen Cabinets Online? Read This First.

Today, cabinets can be purchased online at prices as much as 20% below what cabinet dealers and showrooms sell them for. Some of the online cabinet sellers even make pretty well made cabinetry. So why would saving money and buying your cabinets online not make sense?

dining room table with view of kitchen

The answer simply put, is that buying kitchen cabinets is not like buying a toaster or a pair of pants. It is the first and most important purchase that locks you into a renovation, design and construction strategy. Many thousands of dollars in choices are made after finalizing the kitchen design and purchasing the cabinets. Flooring, countertop, lighting, backsplash, appliances, sinks, fixtures, molding, even the types and locations of windows and doors determine how your kitchen functions. How much you decide to spend on these choices determines whether your money is well spent or wasted.

kitchen with bar area

When you buy cabinets online or at IKEA, Costco, or other extreme discount retailers, you are giving up having knowledgeable kitchen design help.

Having a professional measure your home, weigh design choices and help you make effective decisions is worth far more than what you might possibly save on cabinetry. Without expert design help the majority of kitchen renovations are a waste of money and poorly designed. Left to their own devices, homeowners nearly always spend more and spend it ineffectively.

L shape kitchen

The truly sad part for these homeowners and the frustrating part for good kitchen designers is that because people aren’t kitchen design professionals, they seldom realize how problematic the choices they are making are. See our funny video on this topic here.

Even worse, are the homeowners who recognize how much better their design is after working with an expert but, after getting good design help, go right back and buy cabinetry online. Homeowners who do this are essentially asking their contractors to install their kitchens blindfolded. They are giving up the important advice needed to coordinate the other materials they select.

Good designers both remain involved and are needed during the installation process and for help coordinating materials. 

During the installation process, contractors working with Main Line Kitchen Design contact us on a regular basis to confirm and confer on nuances for installing the best kitchen available.  Customers who don’t finish the design process and buy discount cabinets online end up making poor decisions that result in costly mistakes they will live with every day.  


Embarking on a $20,000 – $200,000 kitchen renovation without the help of an expert kitchen designer makes no sense.

Every kitchen we see designed by architects, contractors, interior designers, or other pseudo kitchen professionals always contain major design flaws and substantial overspending. The expert help from kitchen designers is included in the price of the cabinetry.  Opting to save a small amount by purchasing cabinets online ends up costing much more in bad decisions and substantially lower resale value.  

Still considering buying your cabinets online?  Invest 10 minutes in a call with us or any kitchen design professional first. The well designed kitchen you end up will be worth much, much more than what you think you will save buying cabinets online.  

Bon Appetit!

Paul, Julie, Ed, Chris, John, Lauren, Tom and Stacia

Main Line Kitchen Design

One Reply to “Buying Kitchen Cabinets Online? Read This First.”

  1. Levi Armstrong

    I agree with what you said that it’s important to hire an expert kitchen designer when renovating the kitchen to ensure that you purchase the right kitchen cabinets and other equipment. They would measure your home and weigh design choices that would help you save money and time. Mom wants to have her kitchen renovated soon because she believes it’s too outdated, I will share this article of yours with her later. Thanks.

  2. H. Hudson

    I designed and purchased a kitchen through IKEA about 8 years ago. I am very happy with the performance. I bought a second smaller house recently which has an ugly kitchen. This time I have been looking at other manufacturers for modern design, frameless cabinets. I have found several more expensive lines, but none that is really any better than the IKEA I bought.

    1. ITSAdmin[ Post Author ]

      We would recommend that you stopped designing your own kitchens and got help from a kitchen designer. They could help you design a more professional kitchen and advise you on what would be a good value for the style and type of cabinet that you want.

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