I'm about to renovate my entire kitchen. I've heard from too many people that Ikea cabinets aren't made well. But the only other affordable cabinets I've seen are hideously ugly.
Is there a store or brand that I'm missing that is well-designed and that charges somewhere between Ikea and custom?
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Even WITHOUT a picture of your exisiting kitchen, it is finally time to get an answer on this big question. In our experience Ikea cabinets are pretty darn good for the money (like everything else at Ikea). We've installed them and had friends install them and they are good looking and work well. Compared to other choices at this price point they are among the best looking, you are aboslutely right, and if you want better quality cabinets you really have to spend a lot more money.
We have also heard people say that when doing a kitchen, Ikea cabinets are the way to go but to make sure that you mix it up and not go Ikea for the countertops, appliances and fixtures. Ikea cabinets are good building blocks to a kitchen, but then use the money you saved to buy better quality for the items get heavy use (ie. fixtures, appliances, etc.).