Thursday, June 20, 2013

Kitchen Design

Designing the interior of one room is hard. Thinking about designing an entire house is completely overwhelming. Luckily, my husband and I are on the same page about pretty much everything when in comes to style. If we both walk into a cute store together, we gravitate towards the same things. The problem: we have expensive taste. Not expensive in the way that we like diamond plated lamps, in the way that we like very simple, well-made things, and things like that cost money.

Lighting has been really difficult in this way as most lights that are not super expensive, are just... not our style. For our kitchen pendants, which are going to be some of the most looked at lighting in the entire house, finding something that was our style AND in our budget was a challenge.

We ultimately went with three banded pendants from West Elm

The issue we are having now, is that we like white and gray TOO much and those two colors are completely taking over! But what I am hoping to do it pop color with accents like vases, pillows and throws. Hopefully we can make ourselves buy colorful things!

Here is what is in the kitchen so far... you can see.. a lot of WHITE! :)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Designing & Installing an Ikea Kitchen

As I mentioned before, we decided to install an Ikea kitchen mainly to save money but also because we like the look of the particular cabinets we purchased. I wanted to detail some of the process so I don't forget but also because it may help someone else.

We had our builder get a quote for a custom kitchen because we were curious about the cost. The quote came in at $17,000, which was much too high for our budget. So I had my builder send me the specifications for the cabinets he was going to build and I brought those to Ikea. I set aside the whole day- which was smart since it took me about that long.

The first hurdle was that the cabinet sizes that the custom guy had used were not the same as Ikea had available. So I had to resize things. I had the help of the Ikea kitchen person and I printed off a quote.

We knew we wanted to wait for the Ikea kitchen sale to buy our cabinets so we could get the 20% off discount. By April, the month of the kitchen sale,  there were things we knew we had to change as the measurements from the actual kitchen were slightly different than the ones on the drawing. We also, after standing in the actual house, decided we needed to make the kitchen island bigger.

With those changes in mind, I headed back to the store for another round of design. I was not smart and went on a weekend day, during the first day of the kitchen sale. It was so busy, I just had to call it quits and come back another day. :/ Round three, I went on a weekday and it took about 3 hours of working with a kitchen specialist to make sure the new changes would work. Unfortunately, the new, bigger island drove the entire kitchen price up $1,000. After 3 hours of redesign, the actual ordering and paying part took another hour.

We decided to get home delivery because our kitchen is pretty massive and the fee was only $89 I believe. The cabinets were delivered to our rental house two days later. I have never seen so many boxes- they took up almost our entire two car garage.  We did NOT check each box off from the receipt as they were brought in, which we should have done because there were missing items, discovered when installed the actual kitchen.

Our lease in our rental then ended so we moved the ENTIRE kitchen (still in 4 million boxes) into the storage unit, only to move it to the house about 4 weeks later! We have big muscles now.


My husband got started on installing on a Wednesday. He build the base cabinets first and then the uppers (not putting in drawers/shelves or fronts).  I was able to go help him on Saturday and that is when we discovered the fronts to all the uppers were missing from the order. So BACK to Ikea we went.

The next step was building a base for our island, which is NOT included. DH used a bunch of 2X4's and luckily he is a very good craftsman and was able to build us a perfect size island base to attach the island to. But it did take my husband half the day the build it.

Once we got the island built, my husband finished the drawers and fronts the whole process took him a week of installiation. We could have paid $2K to have someone install for us, but we have more time than we do money right now. The thing you don't realize is there is a lot of tweaking that must be done to the drawers and fronts to make them all even.

If I had the option to do an Ikea kitchen again, I would. I probably would have hired the people to install it for us, since it took a week to do. Our kitchen is also massive, so it may have been double the work compared to a small kitchen.