Ikea Kitchen Reveal
Our new kitchen is finally done! I know this reveal has been a long time coming. Be prepared for a picture heavy post. 🙂
If you’ve been following me on Facebook or Instagram, you know we’ve been in the process of some major house renovations. What began as “just” replacing the tile in the house quickly became a guest bath and kitchen makeover, too. This post will cover the kitchen, and I’ll post about the bathroom later. You can check out the new floors in this post.
Just to refresh your memories, this was our kitchen when we moved in, after we painted the walls Mindful Gray –
Notice the black hole that was our counter and backsplash? We lost a lot in there, including Elvis, our cat. He sat in that corner next to the stove for three days when we first moved in, and we couldn’t figure out where the little bugger was hiding.
That glowing eye gives him away in that picture, lol! He really had a hard time adjusting to the new house. Poor little guy. Anyway, this was the other side.
Then, I painted the cabinets (and backsplash!) as a temporary fix…
We also changed the hardware.
Just painting the cabinets really freshened up the space, but soon enough, the paint on the cabinets started peeling. And the cabinets were starting to fall apart. Doors were coming apart, the sink cabinet was rotted through from water damage, etc. Contrary to what they looked like originally, they were NOT real wood, just a cheap laminate.
When the floors were being replaced, we decided that we should re-do the kitchen at the same time since the flooring only went to the cabinets (not underneath) and we were planning on making some changes to the layout, which would leave us with big chunks of unfinished floors to contend with. So, out came the kitchen. We ended up giving the entire kitchen away, including the granite, to a family that was rebuilding their house. It was really great because they brought about 8 people with them to disassemble and load the entire kitchen! Bonus!
Here’s the “naked” kitchen…
For a while, we lived with our kitchen in the living room. That was super fun. Not.
We decided to go with kitchen cabinets from Ikea, both for cost and their high consumer satisfaction ratings. We definitely couldn’t afford custom cabinetry, and the ready to install cabinets from the big box stores were basically made from the same materials (for the boxes anyway). We started the process of planning the space on Ikea’s website.
Since we have such odd angles on one side of the kitchen, it was not easy. I didn’t want to take out the existing kitchen only to put it back together the same way. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take out walls or change the footprint of the space. We did take out a pantry and add a wall oven and microwave to the other side of the kitchen and extend the cabinetry further down the wall.
We originally wanted a white kitchen, so we were planning on ordering the white shaker style cabinets from Ikea, however, since they were phasing out the old Akurum line, the sales lady said it would take a long time for the white doors to come in. So we ordered them in black. Then my husband had serious buyers remorse because he thought the black would be too dark in our house. I went back to Ikea the next day and spent 5 HOURS waiting for my turn to change the cabinets to white. And then we waited.
In the meantime, the floors were getting finished and electricity was being moved to accommodate our new oven/microwave combo and the new hood fan needed the hole in the ceiling and roof put in (it didn’t previously vent to the outside). And really, the list just went on and on for things that had to be done. The budget was shot. UGH.
And then the mountain of boxes showed up!
And we began the job of assembling…
And right away, I realized that the cabinet doors looked PINK. Not white. PINK. I kept hoping that they would look less pink when they were installed. They are the wood doors that Ikea offered, but instead of a thick white paint, it looked like they just used a white wash on them. The color of the wood bled through and looked pink.
Uhm, don’t mind the uneven handles – we decided later to have the professionals handle the handles. (see what I did there?) I could not live with pink cabinets, so we decided that we would have to have them painted white after we got everything installed. What a disappointment. Some people say that the pink doesn’t show as much in their houses, and that after it’s all installed you hardly notice it, but it was absolutely noticeable in our house.
We went ahead and installed the cabinets and called painters for estimates, and then Thanksgiving happened and we had 20 people over for Thanksgiving – with no countertops! I went to Home Depot and bought a piece of melamine, which they were kind enough to cut down to pieces we could place on top of the cabinets. And they stayed that way for a while.
We also had no sink for Thanksgiving either – so we did dishes in the utility sink in the laundry room. Lets just say that it was a very interesting day, and it make me ever so thankful for having a working sink in the kitchen when all was said and done.
As you can see, we still didn’t have the oven/microwave installed. That’s because Ikea sent us a double oven instead. We found out that they no longer offered the microwave/oven combo and would need to find it somewhere else. This would prove to take a while, but I eventually found one on clearance ($2000 instead of $3000) at Home Depot. Yay!
Okay, so let’s fast forward through the next few steps. We decided to have someone come in to do all the finish work on the cabinets – the handles, the trim, the kickplates, the crown molding, etc. We also needed someone to build us a vent hood cover and the cabinets next to the oven. We also needed the cabinets and all the woodwork painted. We got some insane quotes ($10,000! and we had supplied all the wood/handles/cabinet boxes/etc) and we were ready to give up when we found Amir from Custom Edge LLC . We called him to paint the cabinets, but it turned out that he was a professional cabinet maker previously, so he could handle all the finish work and building of the cabinets and vent hood too! He was seriously a blessing to this project.
After we had the countertops installed, we didn’t like the granite with the white cabinets, so we decided to go with black bottom cabinets and white uppers. Amir also convinced us to get wider upper cabinets to the left and right of the oven. We used the boxes from the narrower cabinets in our laundry room (we couldn’t return them) and the door fronts for the vent hood cover. You can see in the above picture that the space beside the oven was still open. Ikea didn’t make a narrow enough cabinet for the space, so Amir made two cabinets to fill the spaces.
So, off he went with our cabinet doors and drawers, and for a while we lived like this…
We could never do open shelving here – we are much too messy!
While we waited for the return of our doors, I got the ceilings in the house painted white. What an incredible difference it made to how bright it felt.
Do you see the pot lights up there? I removed them, and spray painted the insides, where they were black, white. I also replaced every single bulb with a Cree light. OMG. If you can love a light bulb, I do. I was first introduced to Cree light bulbs at the Haven Conference last year and loved the one I used to replace the standard bulb I had next to my bed. When we started this project, I contacted them to see if they could supply some of the flood lights for the kitchen and they were super awesome to send me a few, and I went and purchased the rest. First of all, they light automatically all the way. You don’t have to wait for them to get to their full brightness over a few minutes. They are a cleaner bright too. And they will last forever… or about 22 years. Seriously, I love them.
Okay, so back to the cabinets. Amir brought the doors back and started to install them. The black lowers were perfect. LOVED them. They were incredibly smooth and gorgeous. And I was blown away by his custom vent hood cover. It made the kitchen.
The white uppers… well, they still looked pink. He had put a few coats of primer and then paint, and they still looked pinkish to me. I talked to my husband, who at this point, loved the black on the lowers and, in all honesty, just wanted the kitchen to be done. I said we should just go with black all the way. He agreed. Amir was absolutely a doll about taking them back and repainting them black. He is my fricking hero for putting up with us. He brought them back a few weeks later and they were stunning. In the meantime, I painted the insides of the glass front cabinets black and had mirrors custom cut for the back of them.
I am in love with our counter tops. I love the movement throughout the stone.
I love the motion activated Moen faucet!!
And the big double bowls of the stainless steel (insulated!) sink make clean up a breeze!
One of my favorite little changes is adding this button for the disposal. No more worrying about flipping it on (from under the sink) with wet hands. It’s air activated, so you can push it on and off with wet hands. The insulation in the sink keeps the noise level of the disposal to a minimum too.
I’ve always had enameled cast iron sinks in our houses. And they have always ended up chipped and scratched. This one is from Moen. (you can find it here)One of the reasons I went with a stainless steel sink this time is because you can’t mess it up. And it doesn’t stain. So, a “deep” cleaning with an S.O.S. pad makes it shine like new. Now, that being said… This sink has 90 degree angles, and cleaning the corners is a bit of a pain compared to the soft curves of most sinks. Not the end of the world, but I wanted to mention it. They do have the same double bowl with curved edges, if you are considering it.
Next to the kitchen, we have our breakfast area. I finally put up some curtains, but I don’t know if I love them…
I am not the best “stager” or a good indoor photographer, so I hope you can see just how amazing this kitchen is even though the pictures aren’t perfect and it’s not perfectly staged. We are so happy with the finished project, especially the “finished” part of it. LOL! If I ever get the chance to take better, more staged pics, I’ll add them to the post. 🙂
If you have any specific questions on the details, leave them below, and I’ll cover them in a future post.