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kitchen cabinet materials

Sleek, classic, and organic, are just some ways one would describe Semihandnade’s Impression line, especially the ever popular Tahoe door. Tahoe’s textured melamine surface offers the look of real wood, but with better color and consistency, less maintenance, and is available at a lower cost. Plus, Tahoe works well in a myriad of spaces, from laundry and mud rooms to kitchens and bathrooms, complementing an array of design aesthetics. We sat down with five designers to learn why Tahoe is their go-to cabinet.


Cabinet Pros

Design and Photography by Rennai Hoefer

The slab-style door consists of a melamine topcoat, which protects a particleboard core, and is available for Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta. So what are some of the pros of this kind of door? Melamine kitchen cabinets are ideal for because they are heat-, stain-resistant, and moisture-resistant, are easy to clean, can be produced in multiple colors and styles, and are much more cost-effective than a solid wood door.


Tahoe Modern

Design by Megan Bristol; Photography by Aubrey McCready

For designer Megan Bristol, Tahoe doors were the perfect choice for a Northern California getaway.

“They didn’t want to feel like they lived in a cabin in the woods,” she says. “They basically wanted a modern mountain home with touches of their San Francisco aesthetic — not their grandparents’ log cabin.” The gut renovation included resurfacing walls and hardwood floors, new cabinets, and paint, as well as stripping the 1980s popcorn ceiling. 

Bristol made up for storage with build-ins, an appliance garage, and a drying rack. “We went with Semihandmade Impression fronts in Tahoe for the built-ins, and SSS Quartline fronts in white and black for the lower cabinetry and island,” she says. 


Diamond in the Rough

Design and Photography by Katie Woodman

Interior decorator Katie Woodman had a challenge ahead of her when she purchased a 1975 Colorado split-level. A “diamond in the rough,” she and her husband, Joseph, put their DIY skills to good use to see past its floral carpeting, antiquated fixtures, and dark cabinetry. 

To brighten up the space, they created an entirely new layout, put in a massive 9-by-5 quartz island, and balanced her love of white kitchens with wood so it felt “modernn but with warmth and texture,” she says. Woodman looked to Semihandmade and opted for the White Supermatte Quarterline fronts on the kitchen’s perimeter and Tahoe Impression fronts on the island, range hood, and trim.


In the Heart of Texas

Design by JS Dwelllings; Photography by Lauren Logan Photography

While Semihandmade is most often seen in residential spaces, Jackie Streusand of JS Dwellings, used Tahoe fronts for stylish storage for Austin-based Fortress Shoes

“Tahoe looks great. It’s warm yet still really bright, and it’s the best color for the space,” she says. The fronts and bases were assembled on site, and Fortress staff made an afternoon of it, seeing who could assemble the quickest “Once you do one box, you could do a million. It’s simple. Then, our contractor cut the side panels to fit.”

The sleek cabinetry pairs well with the pops of color, metal, and organic materials in the storefront. 


A Place For All

Design and Photography by Jessica D'Itri Marés

Though most view the kitchen as the heart of the home, actress Julianna Guill believes it’s her family’s open, airy, and newly renovated bathroom that takes those honors.  

The 1949 ranch-style home had original charm, but a palette and function that didn’t measure up. Thus, she called on designer Jessica D’Itri Marés to update the well-loved space with enoughs storage for the young family. A double vanity with Tahoe fronts, plus a built-in cabinet and shelving, provide easily accessible storage. They also went for for a bright blend of earth tones, which incudes blue-green Zellige tile, sealed terracotta floors, and brass fixtures. It isn’t too matchy-matchy and goes together effortlessly, says D’Itri Marés. 


We don’t believe that renovations should be daunting. The key is to arm yourself with the right knowledge, people, and products to achieve your goals. It also helps to ask the right questions: How much does it cost to renovate a kitchen? How do I find the right general contractor in my area? Where do I even start if I’ve never remodeled before? This is where we come in. Through hard-to-believe before and afters, first-person renovation accounts, and step-by-step DIY projects, we demystify every aspect of remodeling and give you a ton of full-house, bathroom, and kitchen renovation ideas. Semihandmade was built on a strong make-it-yourself spirit and we’re carrying that legacy beyond DIY kitchen cabinets (though we’ll certainly touch on those too) by bringing you a ton of weekend projects for novices (have you ever tried making your own planter?) and experts (try your hand at a full-wall media center). What do people really mean when they say a house has “good bones”? Before and after projects show first-hand what’s possible in a transformative remodel. How do you make the most of a narrow galley? Should you swap your upper cabinets for floating shelves? What would it look like if you opened up your small kitchen? Renovation ideas abound in our spotlighted projects. A lot goes into a kitchen renovation, but it’s usually hard to tell from a beautiful “after” shot. Our monthly series “Island Hopping” is about getting a behind-the-scenes account of what the process is like through honest conversations—you know, the kind that typically take place around a kitchen island. We’ll chat with designers, homeowners, and architects about their projects, hoping to peel back the curtain on picture-perfect spaces.