Semihandmade Cabinets Up the Design Ante Without the Price Tag

Semihandmade cabinet doors transform Sweeten kitchens without breaking the bank

Sweeten kitchen with Semihandmade cabinets

Homeowners have a personal style that they express through their designs. Kitchen cabinetry uses a good percentage of an overall renovation budget. So, how do you stay true to your design aesthetic without breaking the bank? One way is to opt for the look of custom cabinets without actually ordering custom. That’s where Semihandmade kitchen cabinets come in!

Semihandmade makes doors specifically for standard Ikea kitchen cabinets, bathrooms, media, and storage units. Here, we round up some top Sweeten renovations which used these doors transforming a wow-level on an affordable budget. (See if you can tell the difference!) Bonus: Semihandmade’s president, Beth Brenner, shares some tips on the different ways a kitchen can be customized.

Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering advice, support, and up to $50,000 in renovation financial protection—for free.

Duo-tone Semihandmade cabinets

(Above) Tina + Andrew’s kitchen

Tina loved her charming 1930s prewar building she grew up in. So when a two-bedroom co-op became available, she and her husband, Andrew, jumped at the chance. It needed to be renovated but that didn’t stop them. They posted their project on Sweeten and hired a general contractor to update their kitchen.

The couple needed to stay on budget, so they looked into Semihandmade cabinet doors. “We tried to be clever and save where we could,” says Tina. “Instead of custom cabinets, we went with Ikea but purchased the cabinet doors from a company that specializes in stylish and modern cabinetry for Ikea kitchen systems.”  They chose a beautiful super matte shaker cabinet in white and light gray.

Tip from Beth: Semihandmade doors are simple to screw on and off, so if down the road you want a totally different look, you can easily change out the doors instead of tearing out your kitchen all over again!


When the budget is the top priority

(Above) A Queens kitchen in a rich neutral

Like many homeowners who renovate, this couple’s biggest concern was budget. After renting for years, they had saved up to buy their own place, a two-bedroom, two-bath in Flushing. They decided updating the kitchen would be the most dramatic change. They chose a mix of neutrals and opted for Semihandmade cabinet doors with Ikea bases. This allowed the couple to get a customized look for a fraction of what fully custom cabinets cost. “The space is much more open and inviting,” says one of the homeowners. “I’ve never been one to hang out in the kitchen, but now I want to spend more time here.”

Tip from Beth: Semihandmade doors come in 45 different colors and styles, but the doors are also available unpainted so you can unleash your DIY spirit.


More storage space, coming right up!

(Above) Dan + Mike’s kitchen open shelving storage

Dan and Mike’s one-bedroom, one-bath co-op was in desperate need of a kitchen renovation. To achieve their desired aesthetic, it would require removing a wall, gutting the entire kitchen, and extending the counters and cabinetry.

Removing the wall had a major impact on the look as did taking down the upper cabinets and replacing them with open floating shelves. The shelves were sourced from a shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, that specializes in salvage pieces. For the lower cabinets, they installed Ikea cabinets with Semihandmade doors and hardware. Floating shelves can make up for storage lost in the removal of upper cabinets.

Tip from Beth: Lower shelves are perfect for easy-to-grab cooking essentials like cutting boards, spices, and cookbooks. Higher shelves tend to be more decorative. It’s the mix of objects and textures that makes floating shelves a standout in any kitchen.


Finding savings to splurge

(Above) Jennifer + Alex’s two-toned kitchen

When Jennifer and Alex Figueroa bought their beach house in East Hampton, they wanted to renovate it in order to meet their family’s needs. They have two young boys, so they wanted a space where they could run and play freely. This meant opening up the choppy layout and gutting the kitchen.

“We felt excited about this part of the project,” says Alex. “We splurged on a wine fridge, quartz countertops, and an integrated refrigerator but otherwise kept the open kitchen fairly simple.” This “fairly simple” design included their contractor customizing Ikea cabinets with walnut panel doors for a two-toned look. He also added paneling on the ceiling for a luxe look. This took the 1970s home into the new millennium.

Tip from Beth: Two-toned looks work well when complementary styles and colors are used for the upper and lower cabinets. Another popular trend right now is a pop of color for the kitchen island, paired with base cabinets that are more neutral.  


No time for custom cabinets? No problem.

(Above) Marc + Steve’s kitchen

After seven months of living in their new home, Marc and Steve decided it was time to take the plunge and renovate. “The kitchen was perhaps the most outdated room,” says Marc. The existing cabinets were grimy and the doors were falling off the hinges. They wouldn’t be able to measure for new cabinets before work began. Marc and Steve decided to use Ikea cabinets with Semihandmade doors in order to get the cabinets quicker (custom cabinets have longer lead times.)

To streamline the look of the kitchen, they chose flat-panel doors rather than the popular shaker style. They needed to order cabinets of varying sizes so this choice helped to unify the space. “Design-wise, it’s the kitchen we always wanted and I don’t think we have any regrets about the choices we made (and there were so many choices),” said Marc.

Tip from Beth: Since we make our door fronts to order, the time it takes from payment to delivery depends on the materials purchased. Currently, the average lead time is 3-6 weeks.

See even more inspiring kitchen remodels using Semihandmade!

Need help deciding on cabinets for your reno? Check out Sweeten’s guide, How to Choose Kitchen Cabinets.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.

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