I keep a running list of my favorite house tours. I refer to them for inspiration or when I just need a good eye candy-induced pick-me-up. I thought you might enjoy seeing the online tours from the past year or so that made my it list. Here are 10 in no particular order.
1. Laurel Canyon Cottage – I absolutely love how an array of vintage items (textiles, furniture, accessories, art, etc.) gives this cottage a collected and cozy feel, yet careful editing keeps the space from feeling cluttered. I think I need some mudcloth in my life!
2. Midcentury Oasis – I’ve touted Commune before. One of the firm’s designers is the homeowner of this amazing abode. More than the decor (which is fabulous), I adore the backstory of the home. I’m a sucker for underdogs. I want to save them all! I’m also inspired by the use of built-ins in this midcentury gem.
3. Austin New Build – Ironically, I am equally inspired by this home which was built new from the ground up. I’m drawn to the open layout, warm wood tones, dark kitchen cabinetry and the abundance of natural light. My dream house has tons of natural light and comes with a lifetime window cleaning service ;) This home was actually featured twice last year. See more of it here.
4. Eclectic California Home – Amber Lewis knocked it out of the ballpark with this remodel. I could move right in and wouldn’t change a thing. I’m always amazed at how effortlessly Amber mixes patterns. She makes it look so easy! And the master bathroom design is stellar.
5. The House of Schoolhouse – The owner of Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co. calls this place home. If you look closely, you will notice many Schoolhouse products on display but this isn’t a showhouse. It isn’t too precious. It was designed for a family of five with durability in mind. I’m taking note of the planked walls & ceilings and all the family-friendly nooks like the built-in desk area and mudroom.
6. Casual Modern Loft – This small space feels homey thanks to lots of layering. I love all the natural touches & textures and how the owner worked with the builder grade cabinetry in the kitchen and bathroom. It’s a good reminder that not all kitchens and walls have to be white and / or custom to be great.
7. Global-Inspired Hideaway – Technically, this tour is from the tail end of 2013 but who’s keeping track? Again, lots of different textures and materials (sheepskins, Moroccan rugs, nubby linen, woven wall hangings, painted & unpainted brick, copper, concrete, wood, leather, etc.) work together to lend a cozy vibe. I also like how there isn’t a rigid color scheme and nothing “matches” yet everything goes together. This home was previously featured on Apartment Therapy before its Domino debut. See it here.
8. Little Cabin in the City – This 800 sq. ft. rental was originally featured in 2011 but it resurfaced this year and I’m glad it did so I could add it to my list. I have a soft spot for small spaces and this one does not disappoint. Every square inch is utilized. It has an imperfectly perfect, lived-in vibe that feels just right. Proof that bigger isn’t always better.
9. Comfortable and Stylish Family Home – This original Streng has Steve and me itching to find a midcentury gem with good bones. (FYI – Steve said this is his favorite online house tour to date.) I’m so happy the homeowners kept the original kitchen and cork floors while bringing in modern pieces and finds from their travels. Even without a bunch of kid paraphernalia lying around, you can tell it’s well suited for a young family. I love that it isn’t overly designed. The outdoor space is pretty amazing, too. See before-and-afters here.
10. Organic Modern Sweet Spot – What do you get when you mix an architect’s attention to detail with a floral designer’s natural touch? You get one pretty amazing house, that’s what. From the interior courtyard to the tidy built-ins to the material choices (love the repetition of the gray tile), this home is exemplary of good design that will stand the test of time. It’s unique and trend-free with a focus on quality. If I had to choose one favorite tour from the past year, this would be it. There’s nothing else like it.
Do you keep a list of inspiring home tours? What are some of your favorites? I’d love for you to share links in the comments section!
images: 1) Tessa Neustadt 2) Douglas Friedman 3) Michael A. Muller 4) Tessa Neustadt 5) Jeremy Bittermann 6) Kim Lucian 7) Brittany Ambridge 8) Marcia Prentice 9) Ashley Bruhn 10) Kim Lucian
Obligatory preamble rambling: When we were renovating our kitchen, I searched high and low for any information I could find on Ikea kitchens. The results were few and far between. We did end up with an Ikea kitchen (which we love) but I’d like to shed more light on Ikea kitchen renovations from the perspective of other real life homeowners. It’s something I wish we would have had access to when we were considering Ikea for our own kitchen remodel. Plus, it’s fun to see how others use Ikea to suit their personal style and needs in the kitchen. I hope you find these posts helpful and inspiring – whether you ultimately end up with an Ikea kitchen or not. Enjoy!
In February of this year, Jess and her partner, Tim, purchased their first house located in Queensland, Australia. The kitchen was closed off from the main living area and faced the back of the house. 90’s cabinets and laminate countertops did not reflect the couple’s impeccable style.
OLD FLOOR PLAN
NEW FLOOR PLAN
To improve the layout, the couple made plans to remove walls separating the kitchen from the living area and flip the kitchen so the peninsula would separate the kitchen from the living area. They used Ikea cabinetry to achieve a sleek, modern design. I asked Jess several questions about the remodel. Find her answers and the mind-blowing “afters” below.
Which items in your kitchen hail from Ikea?
We chose to purchase our FAKTUM cabinets, ABSTRAKT gloss white doors, drawers (and fronts), BLANKETT handles, RATIONELL drawer liners and cutlery organizers from Ikea. We also selected a few of our appliances – namely the MW6 combi oven, dishwasher and rangehood (discontinued hidden model).
What made you decide to source these items from Ikea?
I had a pretty solid Ikea bookcase constructing background as my first house was furnished with many of their inexpensive storage solutions. I knew that we could probably tackle the kitchen cupboard assembly without too many hiccups. Obviously, the price was also a huge deciding factor for us as we are renovating on a budget and committed to completing as much as we can ourselves.
I also spent hours and hours online reading reviews and comparing different kitchen systems. I found ikeafans.com (sadly, it’s no longer) to be an invaluable source of knowledge. If hundreds of other novices had attempted an Ikea kitchen and come out on the other side without a messy divorce, so could we!
Who designed your kitchen?
We designed and redesigned several times using the online kitchen tool which we found to be very useful and, at times, a bit frustrating. It is amazing how much bigger your kitchen looks onscreen versus real life! I definitely suggest taping out the rough dimensions of your new cupboards before making any final decisions.
Once we were fairly set on our design, we made an appointment with an Ikea kitchen specialist who helped us to finalise additional items like cover panels and plinths.
In terms of aesthetic, we managed to combine our individual styles and also take inspiration from my favourite blogs – House*Tweaking, Manhattan Nest and Chezerbey. The end result is a Scandinavian / clean-lined / warm wood tone style that we both absolutely adore. All the pieces fit together better than we could have hoped!
Did you assemble and install all Ikea kitchen components yourself? If not, what did you seek help with?
With heaps of over-confidence and a passion for late night arguments, we tried our hand at everything over the course of our renovations. And we didn’t suck at it…especially the bickering, we excelled at that!
We knocked down the old wall between the kitchen and the lounge room, built a new wall to effectively reverse the kitchen, plastered and painted, and generally spent every weekend taking carloads to the tip.
I built all of our kitchen cupboards which took approximately 12-14 hours total. Tim & I installed the cabinets ourselves and we even tiled for the first time when we installed the marble splashback.
Unless you are a licensed electrician, it is illegal to undertake electrical work yourself in Australia. Fortunately, we have a great electrician who installed our new downlights and pendants and wired up our new appliances. We also outsourced the plumbing work and the Caesarstone bench top construction and installation.
How did you customize your Ikea kitchen to suit your needs and preferred aesthetic?
To suit our style of mixed cold and warm elements, we chose a Caeserstone bench top in sleek concrete, sourced hexagonal carrara marble from ebay and utilised Tasmanian oak as trim on archways and above the cooktop.
We recycled cover panel offcuts to close a 7cm gap between the ceiling and top of the upper cabinets. We cut down a standard FAKTUM cupboard to create a usable storage space above the fridge pod.
Our kitchen features a few unique items that give it that little bit extra in our opinion: a black Franke techtonite sink, a clock purchased on an anniversary trip to Byron Bay and Tim’s dream induction cooktop which we managed to pick up for a song from an online auction house.
We also took the opportunity to install new flooring throughout our house which originally featured the cheapest bamboo laminate and old cracked tiles hidden under black linoleum. We chose Quickstep classic midnight oak brown which was extremely easy to install and perfectly complemented our kitchen choices.
How long was it from design to the final product?
Design has been happening since day one of viewing the house. We ordered our kitchen components in June and began renovating on weekends in August. The final kitchen reveal happened during the first week of October. I took three weeks holiday in September which allowed me to install new flooring and paint pretty much everything.
How long have you lived with your Ikea kitchen? Have you encountered any problems?
We have lived with the finished product for two months now and have only adjusted the push-to-open hardware on the top cupboards to ensure they close properly. I am very impressed with the quality of the Ikea cupboards and appliances, particularly the fact that we have a working dishwasher again!
What is your favorite thing about your kitchen? Least favorite?
This is a hard question! Tim’s favourite is the Electrolux 70cm induction cooktop, whereas mine is the actual layout which has opened up the main living area.
Our least favourite is, unfortunately, the pantry size. We didn’t realize that the 40cm cupboard actually means 30cm drawers so it was a bit of a downsize from our old kitchen. Luckily, we have ample spare cupboards to compensate.
Would you recommend Ikea as a source for a kitchen remodel? If so, which items?
Yes, absolutely. We are very happy with the quality of the cupboards and the endless options / configurations.
We would highly recommend the combi oven and love the soft-closing drawers. The gloss finish of the doors and drawer fronts is impeccable and seems to be very durable.
Would you consider Ikea for a future kitchen remodel?
We would definitely use Ikea again. In fact, we are taking on the study / linen closet as one of our next projects and plan to use a combination of the Ikea FAKTUM cupboards and the PAX wardrobe system. Ikea provides both great service and an awesome result.
Resources of note:
wall paint – Dulux vivid white
flooring – Quickstep classic midnight oak brown
cupboards (cabinets) – FAKTUM, Ikea
handles – BLANKETT, Ikea
bench top (countertop) – Caesarstone sleek concrete (4003), Regency Stone
cooktop – Electrolux 70cm ceramic induction cooktop in black (EHD68210P), GraysOnline
rangehood – Luftig (BF570), Ikea
oven – Fisher & Paykel 60cm oven (OB60SL7DEX1), JB Hi Fi
microwave combi oven – Nutid (MWC6), Ikea
dishwasher – BESPARA integrated dishwasher, Ikea
fridge – Fisher & Paykel, already owned
splashback (backsplash) – 50mm hexagonal carrara marble mosiac, ebay
grout – Ardex magellan grey, Beaumont Tiles
sink – Franke tectonite kitchen sink in carbon black (SID110-50), Masters
tap – stainless steel with vegetable hose, ebay
wood trim – Tasmanian oak, Bunnings
clock – anniversary gift
pendants – Tadao 1 medium point top concrete pendants, Beacon Lighting
stools – Tolix in white, Outlet Homewares
Hahnii snake plant in grey pot – Masters
Jess & Tim, thank you for sharing the story of your kitchen remodel so candidly and so thoroughly! DIY novices? You could have fooled me.
OH MY WOW. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around this amazing renovation. I love that they had the forethought to knock down those walls and flip the kitchen’s layout. It completely opened up the space. The kitchen looks as if it’s been this way all along. Jess & Tim make it look easy, but committing to a minimal design and limited palette requires restraint. And the attention to detail is flawless: the DIY cabinet over the fridge, hexagonal backsplash, concrete pendants, concealed hood, fancy electrical outlets / switches, trimmed out space between the upper cabinets and ceiling. One of my favorite parts is the oak trim above the cooktop and in the doorways. They complement each other so nicely and provide the slightest touch of warmth at eye level. Not to mention, the oak-trimmed doorways are practical. Our drywalled corners have taken a beating from the kids!
As you can see, Jess & Tim’s stellar style doesn’t stop at the kitchen. I’m all over that sofa. It’s further proof that Aussie’s must have an innate sense of style that puts the rest of the world to shame. (No offense, world.) I’m just glad these two are kind enough to share theirs with us and I hope it’s contagious. You can follow Jess & Tim’s renovating adventures over on Jess’s blog here.
I’m off to practice my Aussie lingo (cupboards, bench top, splashback, lounge room – so adorable!) but if you’re in the mood for more Ikea kitchens, check out the rest of this series:
An Ikea Kitchen in Asheville
A (Mostly) Ikea Kitchen in Denver
An Ikea Kitchen in Rural Australia
An Ikea Kitchen in the SF Bay Area
An Ikea Kitchen in Northfield, Minnesota
An Ikea Kitchen in Brooklyn
An Ikea Kitchen in Orange County
An Ikea Kitchen in Texas Hill Country
An Ikea Kitchen in Chesapeake
An Ikea Kitchen in a Barn (in France!)
An Ikea Kitchen in Cape Cod
P.S. – The #HolidayHostess event continues this week with Kelly from Lily Pad Cottage. She recently painted her laundry room navy and it looks fab!
images: Agent Thirty Six