From a Million-Dollar Home to Yours!

How the Spence family updated their kitchen with this gorgeous set of gently-used, high-end knotty alder cabinets.

Pandi Spence has remodeled four kitchens (and counting!) using recycled cabinets.

The Longmont-based interior designer knows a thing or two about taking an idea and turning it into a real-life, functioning kitchen that you love.

So when one of her clients was searching for quality, sustainable cabinets for their home renovation, she dug in and found a second-hand set that worked perfectly for the project.

That was just the beginning. Since then, Pandi has designed two more home-entertainment areas using recycled cabinets.

While helping her clients, she just so happened to be on the look-out for cabinets that would revitalize her own kitchen too. Finally, a set of gently-used knotty alder cabinets caught her eye. And, as they say, the rest is history.

Pandi and her husband Larame recycled the knotty alder cabinets, appliances, and counters from a $1.7 million home in Colorado. They loved the cabinets’ rustic-meets-elegant look, but they also purchased them with their kitchen layout in mind.

“We have really low ceilings, so I knew these would work wonderfully because they had 30-inch tall uppers. Additionally, I needed enough cabinets to re-do our bathroom, and this set had that as well,” Pandi said.

Both Pandi and Larame have quite a bit of DIY experience behind them, as they’ve been taking on renovation projects at their home for the past 20 years. As a designer, Pandi can plan the layout for a space and be super hands-on in the remodeling process, having installed fixtures, dry-walled, run electricity, plumbed, and engineered flooring, to name a few.

She said, “I had my design for the kitchen and how I would use the cabinets completely planned, but it was summertime when we purchased everything, so we had quite a few outdoor projects that we were working on finishing first.”

Instead of gutting their entire kitchen and doing everything at once, the couple put their cabinets in storage and installed them a little at a time. They started with one section of the room, and when that was complete, they went on to another. Pandi said this allowed them to still have a functioning kitchen at all times. Plus, it made the project seem much less overwhelming.

As with most used cabinets, their set needed a few minor repairs.

Pandi purchased stain in a similar color and went over all the pieces, covering up any knicks and scratches and making everything look clean and new again.

They also had to replace some old drawer slides and repair some cabinet tops. In the future, they hope to swap their hinges for a soft-close option.

The Spence’s set came with granite, but they ended up going with butcher block countertops that they stained black instead. Pandi said they are saving their granite, though, in case they can use it in their DIY outdoor kitchen. Another bonus with their cabinets was all the pieces of crown molding.

“We used those to frame out the cabinets, wrap some corners, and build baseboards,” Pandi said.

To extend their island, the Spences took some of the 30-inch taller uppers, flipped them upside down, and added a four-inch toe kick to build more base cabinets. Then, they used some of the extra glass doors from their set as decor to complete the island’s look.

We are so thankful to Pandi for sharing her insight with us on working with used cabinets!

The main takeaway here for us is that when buying used, knowing how the cabinets you like will fit together in your space is key to a successful project.

If you are looking for someone to help you design your kitchen layout and make sure you get the best cabinet set for your needs, contact Pandi at!

She can create 2-D and 3-D drawings that will help you visualize and plan your kitchen, so you can purchase your used cabinets feeling confident they will work beautifully in your home and knowing you have an expert in home design and function at your back!

Ready to shop the high-quality second-hand kitchen cabinet sets we have in stock right now? Click here!