It is so much easier to share progress when I have cool pictures. I seem to be at points in all projects where there is no visible change so I’ll have to use my words. I might resort to puppy pictures again. I can always count on them to entertain.
I have finally purchased the kitchen cabinets! The new floor will be a floating floor so the kitchen cabinets need to sit on the subfloor (for stability) and thus they need to be installed first.
Because this was a surprise kitchen reno (you can read about the tragedy here if you are just joining the party), I didn’t have any money set aside for it. The insurance company was very fair but because they were only covering what was damaged, it left some gaps in restoring the kitchen. For example, rebuilding the boxes for 35-year-old cabinets that were kind of crummy to begin with. When they pulled the cabinets off the wall, they had “demo” written across the back.
The previous homeowner (we are all coming to love him, aren’t we?) also took some of the cabinets out but never replaced the facing so there were a couple spots where the particle board box showed through.
Also, I’ll point out the soffit above the cabinets in the picture above. I’m getting rid of those so the new cabinets will be longer and hang higher. that is something that makes this tall drink of water very happy. I think our last homeowner, I’m still thinking of him as Chuck, removed a bank of cabinets that hung above the peninsula. That was a really popular kitchen configuration for ranch-style homes in the 70s. I know that is what my childhood home had and they were kind of annoying to look under when you wanted to look into the family room. I think Chuck did the right thing getting rid of those.
I went with an Ikea kitchen. The new kitchen will actually look a lot like the old kitchen in color. I just realized that as I looked at the above picture. I really wanted a white kitchen. Clean, sparkly, so pretty to use as a backdrop for pops of color. I actually kind of had my heart set on it but when I went to the store, I looked hard at the style of cabinet I wanted in what they called white; it was actually cream. Cream is fine but I don’t think my kitchen space can pull it off. There is an atrocious porch roof that blocks out most of the light in the kitchen/family room area making the light very gray. I don’t think it will look the way I intend.
On top of that, when I looked at the available counters for the white cabinets, I didn’t like any of them. They had the same muddy tone that the cream had that would look lovely in a well-lit kitchen but won’t work in my kitchen.
I looked at the wood finish again. I immediately found the most gorgeous light counter to go with it so I pulled the trigger on the wood finish. This is not a fashionable design decision but in the end, I think it will be the right one for the space. It makes the floor a bit of a challenge because I’m not keen on wood floors AND wood cabinets.
(When I was looking for an image of my counter, I found this one of the style of cabinet I selected in the color I rejected. It also has my handles and my counters. It is beautiful and now I’m awash in doubt.)
This decision to go with an Ikea kitchen is a bit “controversial.” My contractor cringed when I mentioned I was looking at Ikea for cabinets so I did a bunch of research. I used to be a furniture buyer so I know something about furniture quality. I looked at the cabinets carefully myself. They are a better quality particle board than what was taken out of my kitchen and about equal to what would go back in. There are actually some finish details I think are much nicer than some of the standard kitchen cabinetry. All the reviews I found online were very positive. In fact, I did not find a single negative interview. I’m not naive enough to think they have 100% satisfaction but I was overwhelmingly finding the positive reviews and not negative.
I also think that for my modest little house in my modest little neighborhood, it just makes sense. I’ve made my dollar stretch further too. For the same price that would have only rebuilt the bottom cabinets and gotten me a laminate counter top, I am replacing both top and bottom cabinets, getting more cabinets, a quartz counter, new farm sink and new sink faucet. The peninsula will be pushed out a few inches getting me a wee bit more room.
The cabinets have a 25 year warranty and working with the planners was a very positive experience. I wanted a transparent process and make the decisions about details. I didn’t want to replace the cabinets with the same configuration.
So I pulled the trigger on the Ikea kitchen. I can save a little money by assembling them myself. I LOVE assembling Ikea furniture. I’m not even being sarcastic. It is a very zen to me so I’m looking forward to a few evenings of putting those together and listening to some podcasts to pass the time. I’ll probably attempt hanging them myself. I think it is a little beyond what I can do but someone pointed out that if I find it isn’t something I can do I can just call in the installers like I would have done in the first place. I really like it when I verify what I can’t do rather than wring my hands and worry that I can’t. I generally find that I can do a whole lot more than I imagined.