I've had a few people ask me about the cabinets I use to store my stash in. I posted this review in the picture catagory as part of the discussion about my sewing room. But thought I should make it available to all who might be curious and considering purchasing pantries for their own stashes.
The Lowes RSI/Estate Cabinet Review:
Those white cabinets are from Lowes, in the pantry section. They are RSI/Estate pantry cabs that you put together yourself. They are fairly sturdy, but not as good as true kitchen cabinets. So far, the shelves have not bowed from the weight of the fabric. But if they do, I'll replace em with 3/4" melemine cut to fit from Homers. $12 and a table saw.
The cabinets come 16" deep, and a choice of 24", 30", 36" and 48" wide. (Mine are 24" There are two cabinet types: one type has a plain white front with a white plastic handle. The others (more expensive) have the recessed panel door and a surprisingly heavy nickel handle per door. You pay more for the recessed panel cabinets. But they are worth it.
Reasons I bought the more expensive version:
1. the 24", recessed panel door cabinet has two doors. Therefore, when the doors are opened, they only take up 12" of space in front of the cabinet. The plain front, 24" wide cabinet has only one door. So that door is a full 24" wide, and takes up 24" of space (twice as much) when opened. In my small room, I only have 38" of walk through space between the front of my cabinets and the side of my cutting/sewing table. Since I bought the two door version, I can leave the door(s) open and still squeeze by/around them.
2. Also note, the inside of the flat-front cabinets are not smoothly finished off. It's pressed smooth yes, but not coated. Fabrics will drag and possibly snag on all the inside surfaces. The more expensive version of the cabinets (with recessed panel doors)... is coated on the insides and shelves, nice to glide/slide out fabrics, kits, books, etc.
3. The hardward and hinges that came with the cabinets are suprisingly good, easy to install and easy to fix/align. They're Euro. The handles on the flat fronts are plastic. I don't know if the hinges are the same. But I was very happy with the sturdy Euro hinges that came with the recessed panel fronted cabinets.
1. Particle board construction less than 3/4" thick. I wouldn't try to move them too much after assembly, especially if they have stuff in them! Only so much stress a particle board cabinet will take. DO NOT OVERTIGHTEN THE FASTENERS, SCREWS AND CAMS or they will shred the particle board. I considered gluing wood blocks into the corners to help with stability, warping, etc.; but decided that for this purpose I could get by without doing so. You may opt for doing this, especially if you move your furniture around alot, or if you are going to store really heavy items either in or on top of the cabinets.
2. Bottom sides and kick are unfinished. They will scratch your floors. I put heavy duty felt on the bottoms so I can shift them carefully on my hardwood floors. Since they are particle board, I wouldn't put them near where they might get wet... but that you'd have to watch with almost any cabinet these days.
3. Be prepared ... it will take 2 people at times to put them together and stand them up. You can do it with one, but you'll put undue stress on the cabinet. Best to lift it into place if you can.
and 4. ...the BIGGEST Con of all:
The packaging is sub-standard. I had to buy FIVE cabinets from Lowes, in order to get enough unbroken pieces to put together three whole cabinets. I then re-packed all the broken sides, scratched doors and hardware into two remaining boxes and returned them for a full refund. Every box had something broken, gouged or scratched in it. Check for uneven application of the white coating too. Sometimes the coating wasn't fully adhered or there were crushed corners on pieces - that is factory damage. Don't stress over it... just accept that they are cheap, and not packed well... plus not all fork truck drivers are careful in how they set things down! Just plan to buy one or two more cabinets and return the leftovers. (Note that they say you can call and get replacement parts for the missing or broken pieces. Well, I'd prefer not to have to wait 4 to 6 weeks for a replacement piece to arrive!).