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Benefits of Custom Cabinets Versus Pre-Built Cabinets


Is it time to get new cabinets in your kitchen or bathroom? You may just want a new look and feel to your home. Or you may be selling your home soon. Upgrading cabinets is a great way to increase your home’s resale value. Whether it’s time to upgrade your home for yourself, or if you’re just planning on selling, there are benefits to investing in custom cabinets as opposed to pre-built cabinets. Not all cabinets are created equal. Well prefabricated cabinets are often the cheaper option, you get what you pay for. And if you want high quality, you’re going to need to pay a little extra for it. But the benefits outweigh the drawbacks when it comes to investing in custom cabinets. 

When you have your cabinets custom built, you can add your own style and flare into them. the cabinet maker will likely strive to give you exactly what you want. Cabinets built individually are completely customizable to look like whatever you want them to look like. You can determine the layout, area, and finish. You can match the rest of your home perfectly by choosing custom cabinets. With prefabricated cabinetry, you are limited as to what style, color, and type of cabinet you can choose from. You may not be able to find what you’re looking for. Custom cabinets may also be easier if you have a kitchen or bathroom with strange or difficult angles. It may just make more sense to go this route.

Custom built cabinets are off in a high quality and highly desirable when a home is on the market. They’re stylish and can be made to look modern, retro, rustic, or any other way that you decide to specify. You have your choice of materials as well. Some types of wood are better for making kitchen cabinets than others. Some are more durable, and others look better. Some are both durable and look good. When you work with a cabinet maker, you can bring your own set of specifications to the table and even possibly assist in designing the perfect cabinets for your home. If you choose high quality materials, it is likely that the quality of craftsmanship will be quite high. Some cabinets even last long enough to be passed down from one generation to the next.

When deciding upon the finish for your custom cabinets, take into consideration the rest of your interior design. Do you want something more versatile, or something that better matches what you’ve got now? Whether you are upgrading just because of normal wear and tear, or if you are looking to sell your home and want to increase its value before you do so, consider hiring a custom cabinet maker to create the cabinets for your home. a good furniture maker will be able to work with your vision. They can be attention grabbing or more subtle. Ultimately, you get to choose what your finished cabinets will look like.

Design Trends in Custom Bathroom Cabinets


Renovating a bathroom is a great investment both in money and time. A newly remodeled bathroom can increase the resale value of your home. If you are thinking of redoing your bathroom, you need to make sure that you set a budget and find the designer who is right for you. Then jump into the fun part-picking theme and deciding between all the new trends! So what is new in custom bathroom cabinetry? There always seems to be something moving and shaking in this area of the home and today it is no different. So join us as we take a closer look at some of these design trends in custom bathroom cabinets!

Custom Kitchen Cabinets Set Your Home Apart From The Competition


A minor kitchen remodel is one of the top things you can do to increase your home’s value and set you apart from the competition. It is also one of the projects that will deliver a higher return than others. Your kitchen cabinets are almost like the face of your kitchen, and when you customize them, it’s just like giving that space a face lift. When a person walks into a kitchen, the eyes are often drawn to the cabinets first, since they sit at eye level.  What do your current cabinets say to your visitors?

Why Custom Cabinets are Better Than Lowes/Home Depot Cabinets


When you are on the hunt for cabinets for your home, it can start to get overwhelming with the number of places you can buy them from. What is the difference between them? Are some better than others? Based off of those questions, we have broken down the exactly why someone might want to choose custom cabinets over prefabricated cabinets from big box stores.

Pre-Fabricated Cabinets at Lowes & Home Depot

Pre-fabricated cabinets are most often bought at home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes. Like you would think, these cabinets come fully formed and ready to install right away. With no customization, there is a certainty that someone else’s cabinets will look just like yours. There is no option for individualization, as these types of cabinets are mass produced for Lowes and Home Depots all over the country.

There tends to be a variety of options to choose from in terms of style, however. Rather than being able to pick a specific style, decorative features, finishes, and overall layout, pre-fabricated cabinets require homeowners to choose a typical cookie-cutter style. Many pre-fabricated cabinets are made with low-quality wood materials as well, making them have a shorter lifespan than a custom set. Hardware can be cheap and not quite match the rest of the cabinets. Pre-fabricated cabinets are unable to fluctuate in dimensions to fit odd sizes in kitchens as well. For those with uniquely sized kitchens or that are wanting to use them for laundry rooms or behind bars will probably find that there are awkward leftover gaps from the rigid dimensions of the pre-fabricated cabinets.

Custom Cabinets Made by Sweetwood

Custom cabinets, on the other hand, are exactly that: Able to be individualized to your specific home and tastes. While this is a more costly option, it more than pays for itself in the fact that you have almost no limitations on what your cabinets can look like. A cabinet company in Boise like Sweetwood is able to provide one of a kind features centered around a design that is created by the homeowners themselves. On the same hand, we can also install the cabinets so that you do not have to worry about the tricky process.

Because you know that your custom cabinets are made to order with quality materials, they will often last a lifetime! For those that have a unique cabinet situation (putting in a downstairs bar or those with uncommon kitchen dimensions), going with custom cabinets is often the only way to go. Additionally, homeowners have an unlimited design option to add whatever they would like into their kitchen cabinets – lazy Susan’s, bookshelves, or even a doorway to downstairs (trust us, we have seen it all!). Instead of working with the pre-fabricated designs to decorate the rest of your kitchen, you can use a custom design to accentuate every aspect of the space. As you can tell, custom cabinets are often much more visually rewarding than pre-fabricated cabinets.

When to Use Custom Cabinets

There are a lot of different situations in which someone might need to purchase custom cabinets. Most often, we see custom cabinets being used for kitchen remodels, when the homeowner is able to finally get a chance to put their spin on their home. This gives them the freedom to incorporate everything they have ever wanted into their kitchen layout and offers a lot of flexibility in the remodeling design. This also goes when homeowners decide to build a downstairs bar or even an upstairs fully loaded laundry room. Having custom cabinets allows for more of a unique look to the space, while also being able to match the other cabinets in your home.

New construction companies that are interested in setting their homes apart from typical new constructions will sometimes offer custom cabinetry. This visual standout often appeals to home buyers and can be the difference between skipping on a home and sending in an offer. Many homeowners worry that if they wait to remodel their bathrooms or kitchens down the road, that they won’t be able to match the rest of the cabinetry in the home. Those using custom cabinetry, however, need not worry! Utilizing custom cabinetry allows you to wait until you are in a good spot to start remodeling a specific part of the house because cabinetmakers can easily create cabinets that complement the rest of the home.

Hiring Sweetwood for Custom Cabinetry

When you are looking to hire a cabinetmaker, you want to ensure the woodworking projects they complete are top quality. To find a great cabinet company in Boise, first look to those that have used one around you! People that have firsthand experience with a custom cabinet company will be able to tell you who they loved working with and who they would recommend for your special project. Once you have found a couple businesses, make sure that they have all the right licenses to be in business, as well as can provide testimonials and examples of the work they have done in the past.

Not only will seeing these examples prove great workmanship but might also give you some ideas on what you will want for your custom cabinet order! Here at Sweetwood, we work closely with our clients to ensure they are getting the highest quality workmanship along with the best customer service. Through the design phase, we will work alongside your budget to help you shape exactly what you would like to see in your custom cabinets. Our team of experts can even help if you are unsure of what you want! As a local, family-owned business, we take pride in being able to provide quality craftsmanship to those in our community to help them express themselves within their homes. When it is time to remodel your kitchen, build a downstairs bar, or revamp your laundry room, give us a call to

Reclaimed Wood Has Claimed Cabinetry Too


Reclaimed wood is the hottest trend in interior design at the moment. You see it used in hardwood floors, kitchen islands, countertops, bathrooms, and much more. It’s also being used in cabinets. So, what is reclaimed wood? Reclaimed wood is wood that has previously been used for some other purpose and is reclaimed for a new use. That could mean something as simple as wooden cabinets used in one house being sold to be used in a different house. However, the implication is often that the wood has been used for some significantly different purpose and that the wood has been weathered. Barnwood is often considered the ideal kind of reclaimed wood.


What is Barnwood?

 As the name suggests, barnwood is wood that was used in barns. The wood is often unfinished wood used on the exterior of the barn. The exposure to the elements has caused the wood to develop a rich patina that is difficult to replicate. Oftentimes, the ends are cracked and splintered, the wood has old nail holes, and the color is uneven. All of these weathered characteristics just add to the look of the wood.


How Is It Used?

 Any type of reclaimed wood is basically used the same way as any new hardwood would be used. A company will source reclaimed wood from several different sources. They’ll then piece together the planks of wood to form cabinet doors. They’ll sand the cabinets smooth, stain them, and finish them. If you buy reclaimed wooden cabinets from a company, you can expect that they’ll be the same quality as their new wood cabinets.

You can also find reclaimed wooden cabinets yourself if you know where to look. If you’re going to do the work yourself, it’s advisable to find old cabinet doors that you can restore. An old cabinet door that has been used in a house or business for decades will pick up many of the same characteristics as barnwood or other types of distressed wood.


Restoring Old Cabinets

 If you choose to buy old cabinet door and restore them, you want to make them sound but you don’t want to overdo it. If you completely restore the cabinets, they’ll look brand new. That’s a great way to save money but not the look you’re going for. Sand away rough spots but don’t fill in old nail holes and don’t sand away scratches.

A good, light-colored stain will enrich the natural color. Then you can finish them and install them.

Oak Cabinets Are Back in Style


From the early 1970s into the 1990s, oak cabinets were a mainstay in most middle-class homes. If you had wooden cabinets, you likely had oak cabinets. And if you had cabinets, you likely had wooden cabinets. They were ubiquitous. Eventually, oak fell out of favor and was replaced with engineered wood, maple, and MDF. Those different types of cabinetry still remain popular but oak is making a significant comeback. There’s a few reasons for the return of oak, but the biggest reasons are versatility, timelessness, and durability.



 In the United States, oak is typically available in white oak or red oak. White oak tends to be somewhat lighter in color than red oak. It’s also a little bit harder. Red oak is pinkish in tint and slightly brighter than white oak. The versatility comes into play because both types of wood are very attractive. If you wanted, you could just install bare oak cabinets in your house. They’d look great and likely match whatever other decor you have in your kitchen.

You could also ceruse, fume, stain, or paint the oak. Cerusing refers to a medieval technique for applying a lead-based pigment to wood that makes it look somewhat washed out. It’s a look similar to whitewashing. These days, cerusing refers to the look and not to actually using a lead-based pigment. Fumed oak is oak that’s been exposed to ammonia to deepen the color and enrich the grain. Stain is available in just about every color, but white oak tends to take a stain better than red oak. Finally, you could just paint the oak to get it whatever color you would like. That’s a wide range of options for customizing the look of your cabinets.



 White oak and red oak are not the hardest woods available in the United States. However, they are fairly hard hardwoods and readily available. You can’t easily scratch or dent oak cabinets. In the course of regular day to day use, your cabinets likely won’t face anything that would severely endanger the wood. The biggest danger will likely come from moisture. That could be moisture rising up from pots of boiling water or moisture from wet dishes. Putting down some cabinet mats or finishing the cabinets with a waterproof finish would mitigate that danger. Oak cabinets could easily last you for decades with a little bit of maintenance.


For these reasons, oak cabinets have experienced a resurgence in homes across the country.

Matte Black Is a Hot Cabinet Color


In 2019 and beyond, one cabinet color has been more popular than perhaps any other. Black has been rising in popularity steadily for years, and more specifically, matte black. When cabinets are painted or finished with a wood finish, the homeowner has to choose a gloss. Gloss reflects the most light, creating the shiniest appearance. Semigloss is a step down, and satin is another step down. Matte is the flattest finish. It reflects the least amount of light and, in many ways, looks the most natural. There are several reasons that matte black is trending. Some reasons are aesthetic and some are practical.

Practical Reasons

 From the standpoint of practicality, matte black is a very easy to maintain color. Oftentimes, dirt and oil are readily apparent on cabinets because the dirt and oil obscures the light reflecting off the surface of the wood. Oil is particularly problematic for kitchen cabinets that are over the stovetop. Matte does not reflect much light anyway. Therefore, dirt and oil will not show up as easily. Furthermore, dark black will hide most oil and dirt.

Homeowners who don’t want to have to work to maintain their cabinets every few days should consider matte black. It’s especially useful if your cabinets do not have pulls; the dirt and oil from fingertips will eventually show up as dark smudges after repeated use.

Lastly, it is very easy to touch-up matte black cabinets. With glossy finishes, the gloss tends to fade over time. So, when you reapply some paint or stain to cover up nicks and scratches, the new finish will be noticeably glossier. In contrast, a new application of a matte finish won’t stand out as much.

Aesthetic Reasons

 In addition to the practical maintenance reasons, matte black is popular because it looks great. Matte cabinets don’t stand out very much, which makes them easy to pair. They can be paired with white walls to create good contrasting colors. Additionally, many cabinets are made of some kind of stone. Most stones are black, gray, white, or some combination of the three. That could look very good against the cabinetry.

Black cabinets have been trending for years and, unlike many recent trends, they promise to remain popular for years. You can paint your cabinets with a matte black paint to finish them in one step. Alternately, you can stain them with a wood stain and then finish them with a matte polyurethane.

How to Restore Old Cabinets in Five Steps


If you are looking for a way to renovate your kitchens, you’ll likely focus on the cabinets at some point. The cabinets are a focal point of the kitchen and some of the most used elements of your kitchen. Replacing them could change the entire look of the kitchen; however, that can be expensive. Another option would be to restore them. Restoring them involves fixing damage and changing the colors. This Is most easily done with solid wooden cabinets.


Step I: Decide On A Vision

 The first thing you need to do is decide how you would like the finished cabinets to look. That will guide what you’ll need to buy to make your restoration happen.


Step II: Buy Your Supplies

 Once you’ve decided how you would like your cabinets to look, you need to buy supplies to make that a reality. You need to buy paint stripper if your cabinets have been sealed with polyurethane and/or been painted. You’ll need sandpaper ranging from coarse grit to fine grit. You’ll need paintbrushes, drop cloths, and painters’ tape. Finally, you need the paint you’re going to use. Alternately, you’ll need the wood stain and the wood finish that you’re going to use.


Step III: Strip the Cabinets

 Once you’ve got the cabinets off the wall, you need to strip the old paint or stain from the cabinets. If it’s paint, follow the directions on the paint stripper. If it’s stain, you might have to sand off the top layer of wood to get to wood below the stain. Once you’ve got it down to the bare wood, you’re ready to sand.


Step IV: Sand the Cabinets

 If your cabinets have sustained damage such as scratches, chips, or cracks, you need to fix those. To fix the shallow scratches, just sand them away with a medium grit sandpaper. To fix deeper scratches, chips, and cracks, you’ll need to use some wood filler. Wood filler is a putty that hardens when it is applied. Make sure the type you choose is sandable. Fill in all the chips, cracks,and scratches. Then, sand them with a medium grit sandpaper. Follow that up with a fine sandpaper until the cabinets are smooth.


Step V: Paint or Stain the Cabinets

 Lastly, you’re ready to paint or stain the cabinets. If you’re painting the cabinets, use two or three thin coats of paint. If you’re staining them, follow the directions on the stain to get even coats and rich color. Finish them with a coat of polyurethane.

Once they’re dry, reinstall your like-new cabinets.

Cabinets & Mud Rooms


Mudrooms may not get as much attention as the kitchen but they are ground zero for messes and deserve a lot more praise than they get. When remodeling or building a mudroom there are a lot of different ways to make the space beautiful and highly functional.

First, consider the flooring. Tile, luxury vinyl or another hard surface and water resistant flooring is the ideal option. If you have wood flooring or even carpet in this space it will likely get dirty and wear quickly because of all the muddy boots, wet umbrellas and other items that get left in this space.

The mudroom needs to have a place to hang bags and coats and ideally a place to sit. People often add a bench with cubbies for members of their family to put items like hats, gloves, and scarves and behind the bench they add hooks. These hooks are great for storing coats and backpacks. Ideally you will want each member of your household to have their own hook.

Every mudroom needs a utility sink. A utility sink is the perfect place to wash muddy shoes, rinse your hands after coming in from gardening and can hold wet swimsuits until you are ready to wash them.

Mudrooms have started to become a combination area that stores all your “leaving the house” items but also includes the laundry space. These areas can be combined to give you a larger space and add a  lot of storage. The laundry room can have built in washer and dryers, hampers, storage for supplies and even an air drying and ironing areas.

Mudrooms are the ideal area to put your pets crates. This area is normally where you enter and exit the house so they will be able to go outside quickly after being let out of their crates to use the bathroom and you can stash toys and leashes for walks. Some homeowners like to add an airtight dog food drawer into their cabinet build to keep food free of pests and keep the room looking clutter free. If your mud room has enough space you may even want to consider a dog washing area.

If your family is active in sports you may want to consider adding cabinet space to store sporting equipment. Sporting equipment seems to never have an ideal place to go but the mudroom can be a perfect solution for stashing big gym bags, balls, bats, and other equipment.

The mudroom may quickly become the hub of your home and adding an “organization station” is a great ideal. Add a calendar, bulletin board and even a mail holder to keep your family organized.

Finally, add a full length mirror to the back of the door so you can make sure you are put together before you jet out the door.

A custom mudroom may seem like an unnecessary expense but when you think about all that a mudroom does and stores you will quickly realize it is the control center of your home. Custom cabinets are a great way to make the most out of your mudroom space.

Should You Consider Softwood Cabinets?


There are two basic kinds of wood: hardwood and softwood. Hardwood is wood that comes mostly from broad leafed tree species. These are trees that typically lose their leaves over the weekend. They are species such as oak, hickory, cherry, birch, and so on. Softwoods are typically evergreens. They usually have needles and cones instead of leaves. Hardwoods in general are harder and denser than softwoods, but that’s not absolutely the case. There are some very hard softwoods, such as yew.

If you’re looking for cabinets, you’ll see some that are made of cedar or pine. Should you consider softwood cabinets? Possibly.


Cedar and Pine

 Cedar and pine are two of the most common softwoods in use for furniture and cabinetry. They are very common in utilitarian installations such as cabins and workshops. If you are deciding on kitchen cabinets for a kitchen in a cabin, softwoods might be appropriate. If you’re choosing cabinets for a workshop, a tool shed, or a ski lodge, they could evoke the proper look as well. Also, if you are building a kitchen around those themes, softwood could be the proper wood.

Softwood was used for cabins and lodges mostly because softwoods are readily available. They typically grow faster and more abundantly than hardwoods; if you’re in snowy environments, most of the trees will be softwoods.

So, if those are the reasons to choose softwood cabinets, why doesn’t everyone opt for them?


Why Not?

 Softwood is not the preferred building material for most indoor applications because of the density of the wood. Softwoods are usually not as hard and dense as hardwoods; in fact, most people can dent pine with just their fingernails. So, if you are building some shelves for your walls, that might be fine. However, the cabinet doors will get banged up over time. They’ll eventually start to take on scratches and dents from their use. Furthermore, the density of the wood means that it will absorb heat and moisture more than hardwoods. If not accounted for, your cabinets could warp and discolor.

To account for that, softwoods need to be stained and sealed or painted. Stain will keep them from discoloring somewhat. A waterproof seal, such as polyurethane, will keep it from absorbing moisture. It will also protect the cabinets from scratches and dents. The polyurethane will likely be harder than the wood itself. Paint will not protect from scratches quite as well, but it does the work of coloring and sealing.

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