Barn Conversion Kitchen Part 1 - Cabinetry

Barn Conversion Kitchen Part 1 - Cabinetry

When we started our kitchen renovation in 2017 it was more of a kitchen creation than anything else - we started with a wide open room with a utility sink and drain and knew we wanted to make it into an open concept kitchen and living space.

We were really working with a blank slate but with some limitations - the large front window where the barn doors were meant we wouldn’t be able to have any upper cabinets. There is also an entry door into the kitchen that we had to work around.

Beginning of the kitchen install.


We started by sketching out a general idea of what we wanted - we knew we wanted an oversized island so we would have plenty of room to work and entertain. We took measurements of how long the wall spans were and figured we wanted our island to be roughly 12’ long and 5’ wide.

If you know Nick and me, you will know that we rarely pay full price for anything. We are bargain hunters and are always looking for value buys or deals. We do this in every aspect of our lives and our kitchen was no different. So we definitely didn’t go to a fancy kitchen design center (those places are usually working on incredibly high margins FYI) we went to good ol’ Home Depot. Yes, maybe we could’ve looked into custom cabinetry but also time was of the essence and we didn’t have six months to wait for the job to be complete.

Here’s why we chose Home Depot -

1) Most importantly they offer 24 months no interest financing. Renovating a house is super expensive and cash intensive, any opportunity to spread out the pain with no interest should be taken. This was super important to us - it allowed us to spend our cash on more immediate needs (lumber, labor, etc.) and pay our cabinets off over time.

2) They carry a wide range of cabinet qualities - there are definitely cheaper “contractor special” cabinets (MDF) but there are also nice solid wood options as well so you should be able to find something to fit your budget and quality standards.

3) They frequently have sales on their cabinets and sometimes have deeper discounts on unpopular colors and styles. Also some sales aren’t advertised so always ask the cabinet specialist if there are any sales happening.

Our spans of cabinetry were roughly 20 feet long for the wall with the window, 10 feet for the wall with our refrigerator and 12 feet for our island.

On the right will be our large kitchen window and span of cabinets, straight ahead will be the double oven.


Luckily Nick has done several kitchens before so was well versed in the cabinet design. The way we went about it was to design with the best of the best first as far as cabinet function and high end options then price it out and cut back where we felt like we could to fit into our budget. Because we had no upper cabinets we went heavy on taller drawers so we could use them for our glassware and tableware. Where we could go taller we put larger pantry cabinets to keep our food in.

Cabinet delivery took roughly one month from order date - here they are being set in place.


We went with Thomasville plywood box cabinets which is an upcharge that is worth it, we do not recommend going with MDF if it gets wet at all it will warp. We were considering going with black cabinets but eventually landed on the blue slate thinking it was a little more subtle - in retrospect we still wonder if we should have gone with black.

We installed the cabinets and framed out the island ourselves with our handyman Howard which saved significantly on labor costs.

Cabinets in place with island framed out.


For cabinet hardware we went pretty basic and stayed with stainless steel to match our appliances, we considered going brass but felt it was a little trendy for us. That being said, if there’s a place you want to try a trend, cabinet hardware is a pretty inexpensive and low risk place to do it.

All in for roughly 42 linear feet of cabinetry our total came to about $12,000 but we were able to take advantage of a 25% off select cabinetry sale which put our total at about $9,800 with tax. We financed that amount at 0% over two years for roughly $400/month - we cannot stress enough how important it was to not have to lay out that amount of cash in the middle of an extensive renovation. It’s rare for us to recommend big box stores but this is a place where it is a very worthy option.

Kitchen cabinets in place awaiting countertops.


Our next posts will cover how we chose our countertops and appliances, how much they cost and what we would have done differently.

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