This is probably as close to a reveal as I’m going to get. I envy other blogs that stage beautiful pictures of their finished spaces but I worked hard all weekend on projects and only quick took pictures this morning before I ran out the door to work. My kitchen is already a working kitchen which I think is a very good sign indeed.
This is my kitchen about a year ago. Cute, very dated, not always very handy with the dark inner cabinets. To get into the corner cabinets on the floor I’d have to get down on my hands and knees and pretty much crawl in the cabinet myself (sometimes with a flashlight). To get into the upper shelves of the top corner cabinet I needed a step stool (and I’m 6′ tall).
A previous owner got rid of the cabinets above the refrigerator at some point (and never finished the end of the cabinet that now showed) and the cabinets above the microwave opened upwardly. Like a hatch. Really annoying to have to hold the cabinet door up while you are looking for something. I actually liked the old laminate counter. It was kind of a confetti pattern that was cute. Unfortunately, some of the edging was coming off so it was taped down, some other edging had broken off so someone had painted that spot white. It didn’t look great when you scrutinized it.
This is how it looked when it was all gone; stripped down to the sub-floor and with the soffit removed.
You would think that it seemed full of possibility but it just felt like it would never come back. I started worrying that I was creating a Gray Gardens around me.
I was quite surprised how anxious I was about getting this put back. It is the first time I’ve gone through a remodel like this so maybe it was just first time jitters.
This is my kitchen this morning.
I’m embarrassed with how much it looks like the old kitchen but then I remind myself that there was a lot I liked about the old kitchen. It was very cheerful and friendly. I really had my heart set on a white kitchen. I even had my Mom pumped up about a white kitchen. Every inspiration picture I pinned was white and I was so excited for the change. Then I walked into Ikea and as soon as I saw these cabinets I was sold. Without hesitation. I guess you should listen to yourself when you have that kind of absolute reaction. It’s funny, my Mom had the same reaction. We both walked right up to these and said, “yes.”
So there is a very similar look and feel that I’ve maintained but everything is clean, new, and a lot sturdier. I’m not crazy about the floor combined with the cabinets. I think the floor would ROCK with a white kitchen but it isn’t hideous and I love the floor everywhere else in the house.
I still need to touch up the gray paint in places that got a little damaged during installations and I need to paint the window trim white. I also still need to put in the backsplash. I kind of have my heart set on a white subway tile. I don’t think this will get done until after the holidays. I just really need to get things put back. I’ll be hosting Thanksgiving and the rest of the house is still getting put back together. I unpacked a lot of boxes from the garage this weekend and the room configurations have changed a little so I’m having to solve new storage issues.
To recap the changes, I purchased the kitchen materials at Ikea. The cabinets are the Adele style in medium brown. They are quite red though. I think they are more like a cherry finish but that may sound dated so they don’t call it that anymore. The counter is quartz in nougat. It really is gorgeous. I didn’t go with any of the edging details and I love it. I love the clean simplicity and the beautiful curves the manufacturer created.
I really didn’t want granite or marble. They are beautiful but this little house just doesn’t call for fancy or high-end. Beautiful, simple, cozy.
The sink and faucet also came from Ikea. It’s a farm sink with a single basin. I really like the single basin and I like the clean simplicity of the farm sink. I’m a little sorry I didn’t get the under-mounted sink. It also isn’t very deep which may not be an issue but I’m a little sorry that I went for the least-expensive sink. The other sinks weren’t a lot more and might have offered more in the long run. So far though, this has been a really nice sink to work in and it is very pretty. I like the clean lines. The end of the faucet does pull out as a sprayer so it’s updated. I love the tall profile. That makes it much easier to fill tall things with water.
To save a little money, I built all the cabinet boxes myself (easy) put on all the handles and hung the doors. It really wasn’t difficult to do at all. The only thing that made me nervous is that you have to drill the holes for the handles so I was nervous about making sure I didn’t tilt the drill at all making the screw go in at an angle and then having the screws in the wrong place to attach the handle and I was nervous about making the handles crooked. Even if they were only crooked a little, there were many that sit side by side so anything crooked would show. In the end, I made a jig which helped a lot and I was really really careful. I was very deliberate about handle placement and EXTREMELY careful about lining the jig up. I’m very pleased with how they look. You would never know I did it myself.
The boxes were all a birch finish and then the doors, trim, and panels are medium brown. On one hand, I like this very much because the lighter material makes it easier to see inside. On the other hand, this might make my end bookcase look kind of strange. I had insisted I wanted a little bookcase on the end of the peninsula. This will be for cookbooks. I see these in all the high-end kitchens and it makes a lot of sense so I don’t know why everyone along the way was so confused by this. I can’t decide if the birch bothers me or not. It won’t be very visible when it is full of books. I have researched where I can get “tape” that matches this finish so I could at least put it on the ends.
I was really lucky that they were having their twice annual kitchen sale so by buying all this from them, I got 20% off which figures out to be about $1000 off.
I worked hard all weekend getting as many boxes unpacked as possible, caulking the heck out of both this room and the family room, and getting all the cutting and painting done for the pantry. I really hope I can finish the pantry tonight because there are a lot of boxes that have no where to go until it’s done. I’ll share more when I make some actual progress. If you are too curious to wait (because who ISN’T dying to know what color the brackets will be?), I’ve been putting pictures up on instagram and Twitter.
In the meantime, I’m a lot less stressed having my kitchen back. I’m already defrosting chicken for the crockpot. It feels like the height of sophistication to have ice cubes being made automatically and to be able to put things in the dishwasher and wash them there. Heaven.