I’ve gotten a couple of emails over the years asking about our experience with Lowe’s stock cabinets - specifically the Diamond Now Arcadia White Shaker Cabinets. First and foremost, this post is not sponsored by Lowe’s (or anyone for that matter). When I was researching these cabinets for our first kitchen renovation years ago, I couldn’t find any detailed reviews for the Diamond Now Arcadia Cabinets, so if you’re in the boat I was in, I hope this helps!
To start, I’ll give you a brief overview of the cabinets. The Arcadia line is a pre-assembled, shaker-style cabinet with a soft white finish that Lowe’s keeps in stock. On the website, Lowe’s says the box is made of “furniture board” which I think is a fancier way of saying particle board (it’s not plywood). The face frames and door frames, however, are solid wood. The cabinet is a full-overlay style which means the doors and drawers cover most of the cabinet frame (you don’t see hinges or have big gaps between the doors).
We’ve now installed the Arcadia Lowe’s stock cabinets in three kitchens. First was our house in Morganton (Myrtle House), then a flip house (Avenue House) and most recently our current house in Raleigh (Denmead House). Working with them now on three separate occasions has given us plenty of opportunity to weigh the pros and cons of this line. I’ve outlined my review of these stock cabinets below.
Affordable: For each kitchen, we’ve spent between $1300 and $1800 for cabinets. I ALWAYS wait for a 20-25% off sale and then try to use a Lowe’s 10% off coupon on top of that. (You often get these in the mail when you change your mailing address).
Pre-assembled: I really like the fact that these are pre-assembled. Even the doors come attached. We’re usually working on such a tight timeline that it really saves us a ton of time to have everything ready to go. We’ve used RTA (ready to assemble) cabinets for a clients’ built-in and it took forever just to put together two cabinets. I can’t imagine how long it would take to assemble the boxes for an entire kitchen.
Modern shaker style: I think this is a very good-looking line of cabinets. In my opinion, they look more expensive than they actually are.
Quick turnaround: Since these are usually in stock, you don’t have to wait very long at all to receive them (less time if you choose to pick them up in store!). Even if it’s not in stock in your store, it usually only takes about a week to get in. This is much less time than custom cabinets which can have upwards of a 4-6 week lead time.
Lots of options: There are many different sizes of cabinets in this line. For example, the sink base can be ordered in widths of 30”, 33”, and 36”. There are tons of smaller wall cabinets to choose from to fit perfectly over any fridge you select. Even with the tiny, old kitchens we renovate, I’ve never run into a problem with there not being the right sized cabinet available.
Finished sides: some cabinet lines come with unfinished sides and you have to pay an upcharge for painted sides. The Arcadia line has finished white sides as standard.
No mullions: this is more of a personal preference, but I really like how there is not a bar in the middle of the cabinets. This is usually found in a standard overlay cabinet so that the doors have something to rest on when closed. With the Arcadia line, both doors open with no barrier so that you can access the entire box. This really comes in handy if you’re trying to store large platters or bowls.
Compatible with laminate of granite/quartz: We’ve installed both laminate and granite on top of these cabinets. As long as the bases are attached to studs in the wall, you shouldn’t have any trouble installing a stone top. With laminate, the cabinet corners have clips that allow you to easily attach the laminate counters.
Unfinished top & bottom: The bottoms, tops, and interior of these cabinets are a natural wood color, not white. Not really that noticeable, but if you have light wall paint, the wood tones can throw a pinkish hue onto them.
Particle board construction: I am not a huge fan of the particle board box material. It does not hold up well to water at all. For this reason, I would be hesitant to put this in a rental. Any small plumbing leak at the base of these would deteriorate in no time. If you do, I would install a sink mat in the cabinet to protect it from water damage.
Rough delivery: I think this depends on the Lowe’s you order from, but for our last kitchen, the cabinets arrived in pretty rough shape. Corners of the cabinet boxes had gotten smashed and there were hairline fractures and paint chips in some of the face frames. The deliveries for the first two kitchens we used these in had very few issues, however. My thought is that if you order from Lowe’s that has a LOT of deliveries, you may be more at risk for your cabinets to be in bad shape upon arrival. Just a theory. If possible, I would try to select and pick up the cabinets yourself from Lowe’s. Since they are stocked in most stores, this could be very doable, especially for a smaller kitchen.
No soft-close hinges/drawer glides: I wouldn’t really expect this in a cabinet line at this price-point, but I wanted to call it out anyway. The hinges are hidden and the drawers are on glides but neither has a soft-close feature.
Flat drawer fronts: I hesitated to put this on the “con” list because it really is more of a personal preference. For me, I prefer the look of a picture frame on the drawer fronts to match the door fronts.
Wait for a sale. I usually try to wait and order when the cabinets go 20-25% off. I feel like this happens at least once a quarter (especially around big holidays).
To save more money, order bigger, fewer cabinets. Two 12”W cabinets (24” total width) will cost $184 while one 24”W cabinet is only $118. If you’re strategic about ordering fewer, larger cabinets, your kitchen design will cost less overall.
DIY your own crown moulding. The matching Acradia crown runs $42 for a 1.75”H x 96”L stick. I prefer to buy standard crown that is $12 for a 3.625”H x 96”L piece. The matching finish sounds good in theory, but by the time you cut the crown and nail it in, you’ll need touch up paint anyway. I would bring a cabinet door in to Lowes and have them match the paint color to a quart of satin paint. Then you’ll also have paint on hand if you ever ding the finish on your cabinets. This paint also comes in handy when you’re installing quarter round. Plus, I prefer the look of a chunkier crown on top of the cabinets. I think it makes the cabinets look more high-end.
Buy the matching Arcadia toe kick strips.
If you need a filler strip in multiple areas and have a table saw, buy the wider strip and cut it into sections to save a little bit of money.
Since these are full-overlay cabinets, you have to be very cognizant of door casings and other wall mouldings. If you install a cabinet flush against the wall, but the drawer opens and intersects with a door casing, it is not going to open all of the way (we learned this the hard way). Make sure to allow clearance for everything to open since the full-overlay design doesn’t leave a lot of room for error.
If you have questions about installation, I have a blog post all about that here
Overall, I think for a starter home, flip, or DIY renovation, this is a great cabinet option. We’ve installed these in homes ranging from $115K-$300K and they really always look beautiful. In fact, Brian was working on a job once where they installed custom Lowe’s shaker cabinets (to the tune of $11K) and I honestly couldn’t tell a difference by looking at them. Plus, after living with them now for 1.5 years, they have held up very well. The biggest draw-back is definitely the rough delivery which could be avoided if you select and pick up the cabinets yourself.
Home Depot also has their own line of stock white shaker cabinets called Hampton Bay Shaker Assembled Kitchen Cabinets in Satin White. We’ve never used this line (mostly because we never have a Home Depot close to our project). They do seem to be comparable in quality and price. One minor difference that I noticed is that the shaker frame on this style cabinet is chunkier and has more prominent seams where the 90-degree angles meet. I’d love to know if anyone has used the line from Home Depot and what their thoughts are.
Also, has anyone reading ever installed Ikea cabinets? I’ve never personally installed them and wonder how they compare price and feature-wise as a budget-friendly cabinet option. I also see that Lowe’s recently added a gray collection to the Diamond Now series called Wintucket. They look really pretty and I would love to use them on a future project.
I hope this review is helpful for anyone considering the Diamond Now Arcadia Collection. Feel free to leave me any questions in the comments.