Saving Money With European Cabinetry 02/06/20

As the interior design and construction development industries continue to grow and evolve, so too do the components involved in the latterly mentioned. Alas, it’s no surprise that as demand in the housing market here in Boston similarly continues to skyrocket, so too has the cost of doing business as a developer. With this in mind, developments in the metropolitan area are attracting a new kind of buyer. This buyer is educated, worldly, and demands a certain level of quality in their future home.


In lieu of this, cabinets are a fundamental element that go into designing a space. Whether it be the kitchen’s tall and base cabinets, or the built-ins feathered about the rest of a home, cabinets are not an added amenity but rather a paramount necessity.


So, how does a developer and/or builder provide this new kind of buyer with the quality look and feel they desire in a space? And, how do they do this without going belly up at the bank? The answer might surprise you. The answer, moreover, is simple: replace your American cabinet lines with European ones instead. Furthermore, European cabinetry is not only cost-effective but also affords developers the look and feel specific to the individuals looking to buy into their multi-unit developments.


Architecture+Kitchen Vilters, California from BLDUP on Vimeo.

A lot goes into cabinet selections: quality and style are the driving forces behind this lot. With that said, let’s break down the parameters that set European cabinetry apart from its American counterpart in both price and aesthetic.



1. Framed Cabinets vs. Frameless Cabinets

Framed cabinets are most closely associated with American Traditional cabinetry. In essence, the framed box of a cabinet hides the carcass. However, what it also adds is bulk in the design, and cost in the end price per kitchen.



Q-BOX from BLDUP on Vimeo.

Frameless cabinets provide a cleaner look and are synonymous with European design. And, in contrast to the previously mentioned, can also cut costs on a multi-unit project. Additionally, while the frame of a cabinet might be a nod to the more universal transitional taste here in America, European manufacturers construct frameless shaker-style cabinets that offer the same sense of familiarity to the American consumer.


2. Cost in Quality vs. Cost in Finish

Traditional American cabinets often cut in the quality of a cabinet’s construction during production in order to meet the budget of any garden variety project. There are obvious implications that arise when you begin to strip away at the construction of anything –, especially a cabinet’s box and carcass.


“Changing price groups does not

change the quality…”


Installation process LEICHT from BLDUP on Vimeo.

However, what stands the test of time and quality is European cabinets. In European cabinetry, manufacturers designate pricing based on the cabinet’s finish: not on the integrity of the box itself. These divisions are known as “price groups”. And, changing price groups does not change the quality of the product. Furthermore, these price groups can be categorized by lacquers, veneers, laminates, natural wood, and etc. However, as the production cost for these cabinet finishes varies across the board, the actual box and carcass remains exactly the same.



Thus, it is possible to A. mix finishes and B. remain in budget while still receiving a finished solution that is undeniably up to snuff. To recap: you can mix the finishes in a European kitchen – the price may increase a small amount depending on which finishes you decide on. But, this small price differentiation is so minimal because the actual drawers and hardware are still the same for every program. Thus, the inclusion of varying surfaces is possible because the quality is the same across the board.   



3. Specialty Finishes…

While we recognize that tradition plays an important part in several aspects of an individual’s life, some traditions tend to hold us back from that opportunity. To break tradition, we must understand and learn what it is we are blighting. We must see the good in this tradition, but also be open to an evolution in this process. Cabinet-making, here in America, is at a standstill when it comes to the tides of tradition and the potential we have to innovate within the industry.


Fenix from BLDUP on Vimeo.

However, state of the art technology paired with a deep desire to push design to its outermost limits of possibility is fertile ground for European cabinet makers. Manufacturers such as Leicht (Germany) and Arrital (Italy) produce concrete, glass, high gloss lacquer, and nanotech finishes that are affordable, sustainable, and of course – at the focus of an evolving market.


Arrital from BLDUP on Vimeo.

In addition, no detail goes unappreciated in European cabinetry. Novelties here in America such as “handle-less” design are status-quo and can offer finishes that meet both traditional and contemporary tastes and aesthetics.  This is the quintessential handleless cabinet - done right. Moreover, design details like a handle-less cabinet’s “grip rails” or “aluminum channels” are ultra-customizable, and additionally pre-cut at the factory. Consequently, less room for error on a job site lies at a cabinet’s final destination. Furthermore, installation times are reduced, and the overall process from order to install is, more or less, seamless.



Handle-less and the heroine in a Leicht Kitchen from BLDUP on Vimeo.

For more information on countertops, or to inquire about your own project visit Divine Design Center online at or inside our showroom at 2 Battery Wharf, Boston, MA 02109. Call us at (617) 443-0700.

~Madison Silvers

Contributor Bio


Mariette Barsoum and her company Divine Design Center have offered developers luxury, European cabinetry at cost-effective rates since 2004.


Subsequently, Divine Design Center, a woman, minority-owned business, has provided Boston’s multiplying developments with premium quality kitchens, wardrobes and bathrooms suitable to expanding buyer’s demands that permeate the metropolitan area.


Apart from their 8,000 square foot modern + transitional European showroom which showcases the before mentioned, Divine is heralded for their:


•         Top quality product with global name recognition

•         Value engineering

•         Developer-only pricing through exclusive partnerships with our European

         manufacturing partners

•         Detailed plans

•         Local, competent support

•         Timeliness

•         Strict adherence to budget

•         Reliable deliveries

•         High-end design services at no additional cost with Boston’s top design team

•         3D photorealistic rendering to pre-sell units

•         Financing to qualified developers


Increase the value of your units under development via Divine’s modern, European manufacturers. Garner the pre-sale of your project’s units well before completion with cabinetry that exudes seamless design and beautiful finishes. Our quality, cost-effective cabinets + Boston’s top design team emanate the best solution for your development’s needs.

Divine Design Center >>

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