...because home doesn't happen overnight.

I have a confession.

We’ve been planning the Underdog’s future kitchen layout since March!

I know, I know.  That’s not fair.  When we took ownership in the beginning of May, other more pertinent projects {tree removal, electrical upgrades, de-shuttering, etc.} took precedence.  So, today’s the day I spill the beans on the kitchen’s future.  Why are we starting with the kitchen reno first?  Well, because the kitchen is a space that we use lots on a daily basis.  We rarely eat out and instead prefer to make our own meals.  So when prioritizing room reno’s for the Underdog, putting the kitchen up there at #1 was pretty much a given.  We can stomach plain Jane bedrooms, outdated pink bathrooms and even no air conditioning for a while but we’d really like to have a functioning kitchen to prepare homemade meals in – for us and our kiddos.  It’s part of our daily routine and something that we do together as a family…sit down and enjoy a meal.  Or, at least, we try to.  More often than not, Handy Hubby and I end up making crazy, non-blinking eyes at each other because Layne can’t seem to keep his squirmy bottom in his chair and Everett chews most foods into a flavorless pulp then spits them out, refusing to swallow a morsel. Yeah, meal times can be a little stressful.  But it’s a family tradition that we’d like to keep going because we’re hoping this is just a phase.  So many things are going to be new when we do move – neighborhood, friends, schools, surroundings – that we’d like to keep some continuity.  Even if it does involve improper dining etiquette!

So, onto kitchen plans…

You already know that we plan to knock down the walls separating the kitchen from the dining and living areas.  We have plans to vault the ceilings as well.  We’re going for a more casual, open floor plan to help the modest space feel airier.  We’ve already removed and sold the original 1950′s kitchen cabinetry.  We’re all for painting cabinets but these were not worth keeping.  They were sagging, stained and in bad condition.  As you’ve probably guessed by now from the post title, we’re going with IKEA cabinets, appliances and hardware.  Why?  1) We read a lot of customer reviews touting IKEA kitchens for their budget-friendly and aesthetic appeal.  2) Our local IKEA is less than 15 minutes away.  3) IKEA was having a sale.  As in, 20% off your total kitchen purchase if you bought 3 appliances.  The sale ended May 1st and we closed on the Underdog May 2nd. Which means we planned for and bought a kitchen for a house we didn’t legally own yet.  Scary!! It’s definitely not a decision we’d push onto anyone else, but it ended up working out great for us so far.  That means in the weeks prior to closing on the Underdog, we spent a lot of time measuring, researching, asking questions, floor planning and designing.  We used IKEA’s Kitchen Planner which you can access at home on your personal computer and also at any IKEA store.  In fact, when we were on vacation in April we visited the Tampa, Florida IKEA to work on our kitchen design.  That’s the nice thing about the IKEA Kitchen Planner.  You can come up with an amateur design at home, save it and then pull it up at IKEA.  {FYI – The Tampa IKEA was having computer problems the day we visited but, thank goodness!, we were able to access our saved design.  It probably wouldn’t hurt to call ahead and make sure all systems are go before making a special trip to IKEA for kitchen planning purposes.}  We found the IKEA kitchen design employees {at both the OH and FL stores} to be extremely helpful in double checking our designs, answering questions, helping us fill in wasted space and placing our order.  I guess you can take that however you want considering we don’t have a finished kitchen yet!

Are you ready to see the Underdog’s kitchen plans?  Here goes…

 

That’s the kitchen/living room overhead view once the walls are removed.  The kitchen will remain at the back of the house and you’ll be able to see it from the front door.  {The front door is shown in the bottom right-hand corner.}  Since the kitchen will be in full view from the living room, I want it to have symmetry and balance along with a focal point.

{view from the living room}

The focal point will be the hood.  It will be positioned between the two windows {now the kitchen and dining room windows}.  The image above doesn’t portray it very well, but the window on the right is larger than the one on the left.  Eventually, I’d like to replace the right window with a glass door of some sort that leads out to the backyard.

The left side {I’ll refer to them as left/right for descriptive purposes} of the kitchen will house the refrigerator, microwave, trash pull-out and a lazy susan.  The doorway leads to the den and garage.  I think having the fridge close to the garage will be convenient for unloading groceries. The sink will remain below the left window.

The right side of the kitchen will act as an office.  The image doesn’t relay this but the countertop along the far right wall will extend the full length of the floor cabinets, covering the empty space in between them as well.  I’ll be able to slide a chair or stool under it into the empty spot for bill paying, making grocery lists, searching the web for recipes and, most importantly, blogging!  I plan to use the floor cabinets as storage for hanging folders, printer, paper, etc.  The doorway leads back to the bedrooms.

In the center of everything will be a ~ 9′ long island.  I love, love, LOVE the idea of a large farmhouse table standing in for a kitchen island, but Handy Hubby and I decided we’d need the extra storage provided by an island with base cabinets instead.  We’re torn between adding big chunky legs, a countertop overhang and 4 stools to the living room side of the island OR leaving it as-is and having a dining table on the living room side of the island that can be pulled away from the island to seat extra guests if necessary.  If we go with an eat-in island, I’ll have to come up with a clever way to add extra dining surface in a jiffy. Maybe a drop leaf or pedestal table in the living room that can act as a dining table when necessary?  Obviously, an island that seats 4 would be plenty for us on a daily basis, but we would need other dining options for guests.  The other problem I have with island eating {let’s just call it that} is that my legs always fall asleep when I sit on barstools.  I’m short.  Maybe I just need a padded cushion, footrest or something?? Aaaaah, so many decisions!  Good thing we’re quite a ways out from having to nail down the whole dining thing.  The back wall will house the gas stove, hood, dishwasher and sink.  I’m pretty excited about my dishwasher having a door panel that looks like cabinetry.  I think some open shelving and a tiled backsplash above the oven that extends all the way to the ceiling would emphasize the hood as a focal point even more.

You may have noticed that we chose contrasting upper and lower cabinetry which I hinted at here. Not only do the white uppers and black lowers differ in color, they are two different styles of cabinetry.  Mix-and-match cabinets, here we come!  The uppers are the AKURUM wall cabinets in white.  The uppers above the desk area will have glass fronts for a lighter feel.  The lowers are the RAMSJÖ base cabinets in black-brown.  We hadn’t originally intended on mixing styles but ran into issues with size and color for the upper wall cabinets.  {More on that next week.}  I think I’m really going to like the mix though.  It should make it feel a little less store bought-ish.

A few other things of interest about our future IKEA kitchen:

  • This layout will require us to move the placement of the stove which means we’ll have to re-route/run a new gas line.  I thought about switching the positioning of the stove with the fridge but didn’t think a refrigerator made as good a focal point as a stove.  I also liked the idea of having the sink in the island but decided against it since the current sink placement gives us a wonderful view out to the backyard and Handy Hubby doesn’t want to move plumbing around if he doesn’t have to.
  • We did not purchase a microwave, sink, faucet or countertops from IKEA.  While we did find a few options we loved, they were priced high compared to what we payed for our sink, faucet and granite installation last summer.  I’m keeping an eye out for a good deal on a microwave.  I’ll probably scour the web and Craigslist for a sink and faucet.  I’m thinking of mixing and matching the countertop surfaces too.  Some light-colored solid surfaces along with worn, salvaged wood are tops right now.
  • We purchased a refrigerator, gas stove, hood and dishwasher along with our IKEA cabinetry. This got us the 20% off discount.  All IKEA appliances are made by Whirlpool even though they may/may not have the IKEA logo on them.
  • We’re going with the VÄRDE hardware.
  • The cabinetry, appliances and hardware came in right at ~ $8,000.  That’s with the 20% discount.  That’s not inexpensive by any means, but since we bought a house for well below $100,000 {yes, I said below 100K} we can afford to spend ~ 10K total on the kitchen reno.
  • When we placed our final order, there were a few items that weren’t readily available for shipment due to the warehouse being out of stock.  Apparently, when you order an IKEA kitchen, it’s shipped from a warehouse NOT your local store.  We were able to buy a few missing items {dishwasher, hood and cabinet trim} directly from our local store but are still waiting for a few drawer fronts to come in.  The rest of the order was shipped to the Underdog about 2.5 weeks after we placed the order.  The delivery fee was $89.
  • The cabinetry requires self assembly {like most IKEA stuff} which allows for smaller shipping packages and lower costs versus your local home improvement store.

So, it looks as though we have an IKEA kitchen in the making.  No, we haven’t even opened a box yet since it was delivered 2 weeks ago!  Remember, we still have the electrical upgrade and demo to do before we can even begin to think about a kitchen.  Even though we don’t have final results yet, we’ve been happy with IKEA’s service {thanks to Rob at IKEA West Chester who stayed after hours to place our order} and design help {especially the guy in Tampa who squeezed a trash pull-out into our design} and are stoked that we got to take advantage of the 20% off deal.  Don’t worry, I’ll share the rest of this IKEA kitchen story – assembly, installation, quality control, appliance integrity, etc. – as it unfolds.  Stay tuned!

I’m curious to know if any of you have had experiences with IKEA kitchens?  Ever installed one? Know somebody who has one?  Been eyeing one?  Does just the thought of one make you cringe? I don’t know anyone personally who has an IKEA kitchen, so I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a tad apprehensive.  But all the ones I’ve seen and read about online are fantastic.  Another reason why I love the www.

FYI – I was not compensated in any way for this post.  I’m just sharing what we’re doing even if it involves a Swedish home furnishings superstore.

images:  all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

 

67 Comments

03.June.2011

I really, really like your design.

We are desperate for a kitchen re-do but, alas, do not have the funds for one at the moment. I am hoping to convince my husband soon that an IKEA kitchen is doable (our kitchen is pretty small, so it would be even less expensive than yours). I’m also very glad to hear the West Chester people are so helpful as that is MY local IKEA as well. :)

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03.June.2011

Hi Dana! I love your plans for an Ikea Kitchen! We LOVE ours! Here’s a link to a guest post I did over at 7th House on the Left: http://7thhouseontheleft.com/2011/01/reader-redesign-emilys-kitchen-renovation/ Feel free to email me if you have any questions! Also, just a tip — we assembled all of our cabinet frames/boxes before we started any demo (I know you’re well past that point), but it was VERY helpful to have all of the boxes ready to go as we were installing, vs. having to assemble each cabinet, then install it, then repeat.

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replied on June 3rd, 2011

Emily – Thanks for the link and useful info about pre-assembling the cabinets. That’s our plan!

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03.June.2011

Hi,
We installed IKEA cabinetry in our kitchen 4+ years ago. My husband did use screws to put the cabinets together as well as the glue and dowels supplied by IKEA. We also have 2 different cabinet styles for upper and lower. The cabinets have held up very well to our many, many, many meals made. We put a solid surface counter-top on with a bar overhang that our counter top installers placed 2 metal bars, countersunk into the ply-wood sub-top, to support the bar overhang. This eliminated the need for legs or undercounter support to bang your knees on. Good luck to you. It sure is fun and satisfying to complete the kitchen on your own-as well as MUCH less expensive:)

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replied on June 3rd, 2011

Carrie – So great to hear that you are happy with your budget-friendly IKEA kitchen!

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03.June.2011

Oooh, my husband and I really want an IKEA kitchen too, but are forcing ourselves to save up so we can pay cash for countertops (not from IKEA) and the labor to have someone install them before we do anything in our junky 1950s yellow and pine ranch kitchen. I am so glad to know that the IKEA people are good at the planning part, because we both suck at it! Hope it all turns out as pretty as your plan!

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03.June.2011

One word about a sink at IKEA–we got ours from there (the big, double farmhouse sink–http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S99822037) and I LOVE it. For a farmhouse sink, it was the cheapest we could find (about $400–though now it looks like the price might have gone down???). I recommend it to everyone I know and everyone who comes over always comments on it. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to go back to a smaller sink whenever we move! I love the idea of an IKEA kitchen–it’s my favorite place to play when we visit the store! Can’t wait to watch yours come to life.

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03.June.2011

Wow, that’s going to be one huge kitchen! I think the one thing IKEA is best for is kitchens; a lot of people think that the quality is the same level as their other furniture, but it’s definitely not. They really step it up in this area, because it’s such a huge money-maker for them! I don’t have an IKEA kitchen myself, but I know several people who do. Really nice, clean look, with creative storage solutions!

I’ll be living vicariously through you, as I live in a very small apartment with a 1940′s-style kitchen. So excited to see it all come together!

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I love that you are doing an Ikea kitchen. We don’t have an Ikea kitchen, but we do have Ikea AKURUM cabinets with ADEL doors with the VÄRDE handles in our Laundry Room. We do not have any base cabinets. We love them so far. They have that “soft close” on them and I love that feature. Our cabinets are horizontal to fit better with our space. They were typical Ikea put together directions, BUT the directions for the insulation of the rail system has words and it’s explained very well. The piece that the upper cabinets hang off of is such an easy and cool system. Definitely the easiest way to go to hang upper cabinets. You can sort of hang them yourself if you had to (well handy hubby), but it’s a little hard by yourself. I can’t wait to see your kitchen come together. You have some awesome ideas and it’s going to look amazing. Your Great Room will definitely be the show case in your home. I love your idea for the tile backsplash up the whole wall. Dreamy!!! It’s going to be gorgeous!!!

http://thedecorscene.blogspot.com/2011/03/laundry-room-cabinets-installed.html

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03.June.2011

Dana – Just FYI, your RAMSJÖ link leads to the lower AKURUM style!

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replied on June 3rd, 2011

Stacy – Oh shoot! Thanks for the heads up. All fixed now. Is it that obvious that I stayed up waaaay too late writing this blog post?!

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03.June.2011

My parents installed an IKEA kitchen in our cabin on Lake Huron about 30 years ago. I haven’t been there for a while, but after 20 years, it was still looking pretty good! The one issue we had was that we didn’t measure very well (ok, I was a kid, so I didn’t measure at all!) and we had to hack into some drywall to get an extra 2cm space. We ended up uncovering some of the original hand-hewn shingles that my great-grandfather made when he build the cabin! (The kitchen was an add-on).

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03.June.2011

I just installed an ikea kitchen in my sisters place together with her husband (she was 9 month pregnant). I was actually pretty easy (as long as you follow the directions to the t and sort all the packages very well before you start). I am certain you and handy hubby will easily be able to pull it of.
Of course having an ikea near by in case you are missing something is great. The quality is very nice and over here (Germany) they guarantee you that you will be able to replace just the doors with ones from the newer series (as in: they will have the same sizes and configurations available) for at least ten years (in case you want a new design).
The hubby and I also plan on installing an ikea kitchen when we finally “get” our house from the builders in August.
Looking forward to seeing your kitchen journey!

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03.June.2011

A bit of fair warning. My husband does remodeling and has done IKEA kitchens. IKEA kitchens are designed for flat, square walls. With a bit of ingenuity you can get it, but it may take some modifying. Handy Hubby sounds like he can handle it. They don’t go up like regular cabinets, and sometimes need reinforcing, but the results are still beautiful. Best of luck!

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03.June.2011

I’m in love with the design!! Can’t wait to see the final result…

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03.June.2011

I don’t have an IKEA kitchen but we bought 6 kitchen cabinets (tall ones) to bank together as 2 different wall units, one for an eat-in kitchen and one for the living room as a TV/stereo center almost 26 years ago from the first US IKEA. They were never hooked to the wall in a permanent situation so they have been moved twice and I am still using them (in a different configuration). The melomine surface cleans nicely and the birch doors I have still look nice –

As a kitchen they will get harder use but will be firmly attached to the wall which will save some flexing.

Good luck with your new kitchen – all those pieces can be intimidating but the instructions are easy to follow.

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03.June.2011

We also have a full Ikea kitchen and love it. We bought an old house (1920s) late last year and to increase the selling price the owners updated the entire kitchen with cabinets, granite counter tops, farm house sink, faucet, and appliances all from Ikea. Despite Ikea’s reputation the cabinets are well made and the granite counter top is very durable. We love our big farmhouse sink which is under a large window and overlooks our backyard. The dishwasher is absolutely the best dishwasher we’ve ever had (maybe I’ve been unlucky but we’ve never had a dishwasher that doesn’t require you to rinse the dishes and we never have to now withe the Ikea one and we only run it on the basic settings!). I think you made a great choice and you’ll really like it – and people are always surprised when we tell them that every single thing in our kitchen came from Ikea!

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03.June.2011

I love the dark cabinets and the light countertops. Love it! As for barstools we have a bar-height table and it’s great because all our “bar stools” are really just tall chairs but they all have a bar mid-way down the leg which is a necessity for us short people. Just make sure they are *sturdy*. You will be putting your full weight on those bars and we’ve had trouble with them getting loose/ripping out.

For the extra seating you should make a simple table with the same countertops as your kitchen so you can pull it out for more guests and it doesn’t look crazy.

Good luck! Looking forward to seeing it develop along the way.

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03.June.2011

I just installed an IKEA kitchen a month back. I LOVE it. I installed my cabinets to the ceiling, and that was a bit tricky b/c my house was built in 1940. Oh so uneven ceilings. But from the look of your plans it seems like you are not all the way up to the ceiling. Plus my kitchen is pretty tiny.

here is a link to mine.
http://livingonliveoak.blogspot.com/search/label/kitchen%20renovation

The cabinets are easy to assemble. They don’t give you screws to attach the plastic legs to the base cabinets. We ended up finish nailing and gluing the trim through the top of the uppers and for the filler pieces, instead of using the hardware they provide. I am trying to remember if there was anything wonky that we encountered. There isn’t anything I can think of that a basic handyman couldn’t do. The website IKEA fans helped me out a lot with some of the trim installation. It seems there is an answer for almost any problem anyone has had. good luck! you cant beat the price.

Alison

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03.June.2011

We have a 1920s house with a 1960s kitchen, and as random sections of the base cabinets have gotten askew, we’ve replaced them with Ikea. We couldn’t be happier with them, and we’ve had them for about 3 years. I wish we could afford to do everything at once; when we finally can, we’ll be using Ikea cabinets for the rest of the room. We, too, cook almost all of our meals at home, so everything has been very well used and has held up really well.

We also bought an Ikea/Whirlpool dishwasher (probably the same one as yours, it has the cabinet front). It’s only about a year old, but we are also very happy with that. It’s pretty quiet, and everything comes out gleaming.

The only thing I’d caution against are the Rationell drawer dividers. They fall apart easily and often. Find another drawer-organizer solution.

I think you’re going to be thrilled with the bang-for-your-buck of your Ikea kitchen.

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03.June.2011

Looks amazing! I continually regret not putting in contrasting cabinets in our house. But meh, it’s not our forever house so I guess I can live with it. We also put in an IKEA kitchen in February of this year. We absolutely LOVE it! We’re so so very happy with everything. We have the cabinet-front dishwasher and LOVE it. LOVE!! Probably my favorite part of the kitchen! My brother-in-law is a contractor and put together and installed all of our cabinetry over 2 weekends. It’ll be absolutely easy (just tedious) for someone who has an inkling of what they’re doing.

I adore your desire for the underdog! It’s going to look amazing when you guys install it! Can’t wait to see it!

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My neighbour is an interior designer and she’s installing an Ikea kitchen right now… it looks great!!! It’s all about the design, and yours looks fab! Also, keep up with the family sit down dinners. My boys are 4 & 6 now, and it’s the best when they try and make us laugh, and have full blown real conversations around the dinner table. I thought this day would never come! Enjoy all of it!! PS – Your new pic looks great. LOVE that dress!

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03.June.2011

Why not make the “den” a diningroom in the future. Since you are going to use the desk area in the kitchen for a laptop, you don’t really need an office space. And it would flow nicely with the kitchen…:)

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replied on June 3rd, 2011

Dawn – The idea of reworking our original den/living room/kitchen/dining area is heavy on my mind! We may just make room for a dining table somewhere after all.

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03.June.2011

What perfect timing. I swear every time I read this blog lately, you’re like three steps ahead of what we’re planning to do. It’s awesome. I get to see how it turns out before we do it! : )
We literally just picked out cabinets last night. We are renovating a 1922 bungalow and plan to do an all IKEA kitchen. In fact, the same exact look you’re doing – black on bottom, white on top. I’m dying to see how it looks and since we’re about 2 months from doing the kitchen, perhaps yours will be finished and I can stop freaking out.
My sister in law did an IKEA kitchen about 5 years ago and seeing how it’s aged in her home is what sold it for us. She’s a busy mom and active cook with 4 kids. They hang and climb and are not gentle on the cabinets and they still look new. For the price, you can’t beat the quality. My husband is also a builder and said that IKEA cabinets are a better quality than some of the cabinets he’s done that cost $20,000+.
Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

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03.June.2011

I’m getting ready to put my kitchen in this month. We’ve had our cabinets for a while… neither of us have had much luck putting them together, though that may have been due to lack of motivation. Normally we are really good at putting things together! Soon we will be forced to get our butts in gear though. I’m looking forward to the motivation your new kitchen will bring :)

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03.June.2011

We put in an IKEA kitchen three years ago and love it. The cabinets have held up wonderfully, the full-extension, soft-close drawers and the soft-close doors are fabulous. And the cabinets cost $6,000 less than the same kitchen plan from KraftMade. We put all the boxes together ourselves (all a cinch except for the blind corner cab, which we finally figured out with the help of some tips from ikeafans.com) but had a contractor install them in our 1940s wonky-walled house.

We’re currently putting in some IKEA kitchen boxes in a bathroom reno, but using doors ordered from Scherr’s in North Dakota. They’ll build doors and drawers in any imaginable door style and wood species to fit IKEA cabs. We haven’t installed ours yet (walnut slab doors) but they came today and look wonderful. And the cost, even with shipping, is about the same as the top end of the IKEA doors (we used the Tidaholm door style in our kitchen).

Also — regarding sinks. On the recommendation of the wonderful Kitchen forum at Gardenweb.com I bought a Ticor sink from Galaxy Tool Supply (ordered online). It’s a huge single bowl undermount stainless steel sink that cost about $200. Very heavy gauge and much less expensive than similar sinks I was looking at. We’ve been most pleased with it.

Best of luck with your new kitchen. I’m sure it will be fabulous. I look forward to following along.

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03.June.2011

I am about 75% done installing my IKEA kitchen. We bought a 1979 house that had virtually no kitchen (free-standing IKEA stuff). After much research and talking to a lot of people I went from no-way-IKEA to all0the-way-IKEA. They were a breeze to assemble (though time consuming) and install. We got the DOMJSO farmhouse sink, I planned my whole kitchen based on wanting that sink! ;-) We have all of the lower cabinets and sink installed and we went with a Caesarstone countertop. The only thing we need to do is install the upper cabinets, but I’m waiting on my dad to do the electrical for the microwave and hubby to do the vent for the microwave! ;-) With a 25 year warranty, you won’t be sorry you went with an IKEA kitchen! Good luck!

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03.June.2011

Hi there, We installed our IKEA kitchen over 7 years ago now and have loved it ever since. In a family home with 5 kids, 2 adults and a dog it has stood up to everything we could have thrown at it. Just this last week we decided to paint the doors, to freshen up the look and cover a couple of small chips to the original paintwork, and it now looks perfect again! I really cannot recommend them highly enough.

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03.June.2011

My hubby and I installed IKEA cabinetry in our old kitchen. We both really loved it. We did cabinets up to the ceiling and also had a pantry. I miss that pantry so much!!!! Alas, we are in a new house now and no more sparkling new kitchen for us. We’ll have to rehab this kitchen as well and IKEA is definitely on our minds. The cabinets were easy to put together and install. We went somewhere else for our counter tops as well and didn’t have any problems making the bases level so the counter top went on well. They were quite good about returns, though we didn’t try to return anything after the return window was over (it took us forever to get our kitchen done which had nothing to do with the difficulty of putting the cabinets in). In addition to the pantry I really loved the drawers that had the automatic/slow close (or whatever it’s called) feature. We put them on our top cabinets. Oh, and there is an amusing picture in the instruction booklet. I imagine you’ll figure out which one it is…

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03.June.2011

I think your ikea kitchen will look wonderful. I like the idea of an apron sink. Btw – I just cannot get over the price of your home – you cannot find any sort of house for under $550,000 where I live. Great that you can own a wonderful home without being “house poor”. Good luck with the installation!

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03.June.2011

A lot of my friends back home in Ireland have IKEA kitchens and love them, plus they look great!! One of them used a red glass splashback (instead of tiles) and it looks amazing, but her cabinets are white high gloss so it all looks good together and very European :)

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03.June.2011

We installed an IKEA kitchen in our first house and loved it! Installation goes pretty quickly and was much easier than we expected. We also pre-assembled all our cabinets at once. Just make sure you install everything in the correct order. Also, just a heads up, my hubby who’s also handy had to use some ingenuity and problem-solving skills to make some unmarked/un-predrilled doors and panels work and fit properly, but I’m sure your handy hubby will have now problems with that. But despite that we had a great experience installing them. And the quality is very good too. I know some stuff from IKEA can be kind of junky, but we were very impressed with the quality and the finishes. The drawers are even self-closing! We had a tiny kitchen at the time and decided to install a pull-out pantry and that was so awesome…just 15″ wide and like 6 feet tall with sliding shelves/drawers. We loved that feature. Anyways, you are going to love your new IKEA kitchen! It will look very high end when your done, especially with that hood.

Also, I love the idea of putting a long table next to the island like you described. I think that would look great and would give you a lot of flexibility too. Another idea if you decide to instead go with the ‘island eating’ style is to run your countertop down the sides of the island too and have them all overhang to make room for stools. I love this modern look, especially light countertops with dark cabinets…..I think I saw Candice Olsen do this in a kitchen on HGTV once. Anyways, just a thought. I love this design you’ve come up with. I think it is going to make the whole house feel like a million bucks! Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

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03.June.2011

We installed an Ikea kitchen in our 100 year old home. LOVE it! My husband put it together and then we had our contractor do some nice finishing touches like molding on the bottom and top of the cabinets, hood cover for our Ikea hood and open shelving. We bought ours on sale, too, but we got 40% off custom countertop with our purchase! We spent a total of $15000 which includes high end Kitchenaid & Electrolux appliances that we scored at a Sears Outlet! You can see some pictures at our website: http://www.northocoee.com

You’ll love your Ikea kitchen!

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replied on May 10th, 2012

Thanks so much for sharing your kitchen images. I have been trying to decide between going with Ikea or the Martha Stewart Home Depot cabinets and I think this was the final inspiration I needed to go with Ikea. Your kitchen is incredible!

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03.June.2011

It’s just a phase, they will get to a point where they need very little correction. Mine are 5 (boy) and almost 7 (girl), and they are fantastic 87% of the time. Also, they do great out because of our consistent family meals at home. Kitchen looks fun, can’t wait to see it unfold. My BIL just bought a house and is going to do a concrete countertop. May be a cheaper solid surface option? Good luck with all of it! :)

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04.June.2011

Love IKEA kitchens! And they do have some really great countertop options but no harm in waiting to see what else you can find. The fact that you’re looking elsewhere reminded me of a podcast I hear the other day, Thomas O’Brien on The Splendid Table was talking about how he always designs white marble in kitchens and how beautifully it ages – think truly worn pizza counters in Italy or just about any bakery counter or floor in France – he says *use it, let it get stained, let it become more beautiful* and I can’t stop thinking about my favorite french restaurant and bakery!

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04.June.2011

We have installed two ikea kitchens in the last 5 years (we designed and installed both ours and my moms). We love them. Happy with how they are wearing. We got the farmhouse sink too. It’s maybe my most favorite part of the setup! The rangehood was really the only appliance we purchased. Haven’t had any problems.
We had a couple of minor mixups with the order (didn’t get all the door fronts). I found the Ikea kitchen planning staff to really be helpful. I too used the kitchen planning tool prior to going in to Ikea, it was easy to use. I would definately recommend this kind of kitchen to anyone.

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04.June.2011

This plan looks great and I LOVE the open design. My brother and his housemate did an IKEA kitchen a couple summers ago and they love it. They got some deal for free installation by IKEA. He is especially proud of the silent self closing drawers. Can’t wait for more photos!

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04.June.2011

I can tell you don’t live in the South. Air conditioning would be number 1 on my priority list. It was 102 degrees yesterday in Birmingham, AL. No way I’m living without AC.

Can’t wait to see the final product.

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04.June.2011

Great plan! I love our open concept kitchen-dining-living space, it’s perfect for family togetherness ! We have stools at our huge island, and that’s where kids eat lunch and breakfast…but I prefer to eat dinner at the table next to the island, more conducive to conversation because you aren’t all facing the same way. When we do eat dinner on the island, the kids usually sit on the stools and we stand on the other side. Maybe we are unusual that way, but we don’t ever all sit at the island at the same time!

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04.June.2011

We had an Ikea kitchen in our house in Germany. I think all the specs for Ikea kitchens are universal. We really liked it. They fit a lot of functionality into a small space. We didn’t actually install it as we were in a rental, but the landlord consulted with me on choosing the design and I was there for the installation. The installation guys consisted of our landlord (a lawyer) and his son. If those guys could do it, then you guys are golden. The only annoying thing was that one of the lights went out in the hood and it was a big production to get it replaced. We had a flat cabinet panel with a high gloss finish – pretty modern – which worked well until we had a baby whole like to put her little fingerprints everywhere. Sigh.

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04.June.2011

I think you are going to love having no upper cabinets in the main part of your kitchen. We are building a home and our temporary rental doesn’t have any and I love the airy feeling so much that we aren’t putting any in our home either. I love the open floor plan!

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04.June.2011

I have a friend who has installed three Ikea kitchens in her young life; she swears by them. I have been VERY impressed with the quality and wearability. I think they are far superior to anything sold in Home Depot or Lowes, and we plan to install one in our new rental property. I think you will be happy and I love your ideas so much.

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04.June.2011

my parents had one in our old house! I think they already had it for more than ten years and it still looked great when they moved. I love kitchens so much, your right, it is the heart of the home. I have a hideous one in my dorm and I just don’t spend as much time in it as I would like because of the way it’s designed.

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04.June.2011

Hi Dana – I really love my IKEA kitchen. I sold my beloved Victorian that I had renovated so I could downsize like you did and own my house outright, as well as pay the kids’ tuitions. My house was on the AT house tour the same week as yours. I must admit I was quite envious (in a good way of course) of the comments you got – so many and all positive. Mine were mixed because I brought my eclectic and non-contemporary style into a completely contemporary house and some people just didn’t like it. Also, I was fairly disappointed in the photography they did (she took so many shots of the same scenes and left the edges washed out rather than allowing for detail – oh well, when we love our homes, we wish others to see it as we do and I am not sure this was the case on AT for me). Anyway, all of that is to say that I bought this house before it was built but the builder was very very proprietary about the design, which overall has been absolutely great and although I might at this point, with the freedom to do it like I would really like (choose different cabinets that better suit my style in the house) I would definitely stay with IKEA and I recommend it to people all the time. It looks very professional and as someone else pointed out, it is much more solid than some of their other furniture. It stays so clean and the drawers roll really nicely and the cabinets open and close so easily. I also have IKEA in my bathrooms. If you want to take a peek (as if you have the time!?!) I’ll add the link. I love your style – you do clean lines and an organized look way better than I do. I also like how you pull darker woods in, which I have not done much of) I am very fond of odd pieces that are not necessarily coordinated and my house is a jumble of things, but everywhere I look in it, I see things that are meaningful and that makes it really nice. I have changed it a lot since the AT tour. I felt really defeated after reading some of the comments, but my sister pointed out that the majority were positive and I try to remember that!

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/la/deborahs-shabby-chic-and-modern-home-house-tour-131975

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replied on June 4th, 2011

Deborah – YOU envious of ME?! I think your house tour is amazing! I wouldn’t take any of those negative AT comments too seriously. Everyone has their own taste. As long as you love it, that’s all that really matters!

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04.June.2011

Dana- You know me and I have an Ikea kitchen. We love ours! I am excited to see yours all come together!

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replied on June 5th, 2011

Gail – I know, but I’ve never seen it!!!! You need to invite me over for a little photo shoot, I think. That, or I’ll just invite myself over. ;)

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04.June.2011

Love it! I spent about a million (give or take) hours on ikeafans.com to look at all the different Ikea “hacks” in the kitchen forum. It got all the wheels turning. I ended up replacing our dull formica counters with thick maple butcherblock that my hubby routed and fitted. I stained them a deep chestnut and finished them with waterproof boiled tung oil. You can’t beat $350 counters!! It’s a work in progress, the cabinets will eventually be cream and we’ll have a backsplash of some sort- but like a previous poster- I couldn’t live another day without that farmhouse sink, so we’re taking it step by step.

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j288/NakedHousewife/kitchennewcounters.jpg

http://i83.photobucket.com/albums/j288/NakedHousewife/kitchennewsink.jpg

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05.June.2011

Dana – sweet! Thanks – Watching your new house (aka the underdog) unfold is really fun. It’s so inspiring!

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05.June.2011

I love that you took advantage of the 20% before you had the place…my husband and I had done the same thing two years ago! The only difference was that something happened and our excrow fell through…leaving us with a pretty hefty load to return to IKEA (2 hours away)! But we eventually closed on another place and have installed IKEA cabinets. We really have no complaints, other than having to drive to two separate IKEA’s to get everything we needed. But assembly and installation was easy and I love the quality, especially for the price. Here’s our before/during/in progress pictures:

http://lovinglivinglifeathome.blogspot.com/search/label/kitchen

Loving your design plans, can’t wait to see it come together!

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05.June.2011

best of luck. we’re nearing the end of our kitchen redo & it was all IKEA cabinetry. we’ve learned a lot along the way & love it so far! http://blondemafia.blogspot.com/search/label/kitchen%20remodel

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05.June.2011

I saw your plans yesterday and just came across this picture online. The stove area kinda looks like your future kitchen!
http://www.houzz.com/photos/64320/Milwuakie-Split-Level-contemporary-kitchen-portland

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05.June.2011

I love your plans! We have an IKEA kitchen(ette) in our basement and it looks just the same as my in-law’s custom kitchen! I love it and would do it again. Carol Reed has a whole post on making IKEA kitchens look custom:
http://carolreeddesign.blogspot.com/2009/10/why-i-love-ikea-kitchens.html

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05.June.2011

Just wondering if the designs are to scale, because it seems a waste of space to put the desk area along the right hand wall if it wouldn’t allow a table to fit too (between the desk and kitchen. I love the idea of a built in desk area and had originally planned for it in our house in the ‘family’ room but ended up putting the TV there instead.
If it were me I would definitely need a dining table somewhere as well as a generous space for a lounge. I’m not sure sitting along a breakfast bar would cut it for meal times but each to their own.
A few of the contemporary homes here in Australia are putting in the stove in the island which might solve the issue of having to have the range between the windows.
At any rate, I can’t wait to see what you make of it :)

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replied on June 6th, 2011

Rachel – We want to keep the space between the island and built-in desk open for traffic as we plan to make the right-hand window a door that leads out to the backyard someday. We’ll need room for trekking from the kitchen/living room to the backyard. Handy Hubby and I have been discussing other dining options {other than the everyday eat-at island that will be great for just us} and think we’ve finally decided on how to address it. More on that later!

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06.June.2011

I love the design. It is going to look so nice! I can’t wait until you post the after pics:)
Xo
Kelly B

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I love the dark lowers and light uppers–very nice!

Growing up we always had dinner together too (with 4 kids, it was much cheaper for my parents to make nice meals at home than it was to hire a babysitter and go out to dinner). Looking back, those times are some of my fondest memories and I have no doubt that my passion for cooking began with those family dinners. This is a tradition we definitely will be continuing when we have our own family–glad to know we will be in good company :)

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06.June.2011

Dana,
My parents are currently redoing their kitchen and we live in Northeast IN but our closest IKEA was the West Chester one so their whole kitchen was purchased the same time yours was–maybe we ran into each other! But they are in the process of installing everything and it is looking good. They got the Akurum style with the mutton glass and a desk just like yours! They also got some of the appliances there too and we have yet to install anything but I hear they are really good too! Anyways just wanted to let you know we are in the midst of all of the same renovations with the kitchen as you are! The design looks great and can’t wait to see the finished product!

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We had an underdog once…the house was a 100 yrs old…I had so much fun gutting it and remodeling…Watching your transformation brings back so many memories…I know the stress but you are going to have such a beautiful home when you are done…

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replied on June 8th, 2011

Denyse – How wonderful to hear someone say something positive about our adventure! So many people {including our families} wonder what the he#@! we’re doing. They can even be down right discouraging. Thanks so much for your comment.

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18.August.2011

Hi, there! I just found this post and your situation sounds eerily similar to ours…in a good way. We also gutted a 1950s kitchen to put in a spanking new Ikea kitchen (and removed a wall along the way). We also bought all of our appliances and cabinets from Ikea during that great sale! We chose Ikea for a lot of the same reasons you did: price, consumer reports, and, yes, 20% off.

The cabinets were installed a couple of weeks ago and we’ve been really pleased with them so far:

http://alwaysaproject.blogspot.com/2011/08/cabinet-peek.html

Can’t wait to see how everything comes along!

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replied on August 19th, 2011

Jen – Your IKEA kitchen looks fab! I love that you installed the cabinets right up to the ceiling. Great work so far!

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23.June.2012

Hi – We also are considering an Ikea kitchen. Do you have any pictures of your finished kitchen and can you share any pros an cons to using Ikea?

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replied on June 25th, 2012

Now that we’re all moved in, I’ll write up a post on our experience! Stay tuned…

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23.November.2012

I had the white Ikea kithen cabinets installed and they peeled badly within 6 MONTHS. I only wish I had not removed my old solid cherry cabinets that lasted about 30 YEARS. Ikea cabinets are junk, and their warranty is worthless when you go to complain.

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