...because home doesn't happen overnight.

I live less than 15 minutes from our local IKEA.  Most times, it’s convenient.  Other times, I probably don’t need to be there spending money but, well, it’s just so darn close!  Tonight was one of those convenient times.  I think.  The few items from our IKEA kitchen in the making that weren’t available at the time we purchased the rest of our kitchen were finally back in stock today.  I called IKEA ahead of time to make sure they were in stock and had them hold them for me until close. After dinner, while Handy Hubby was busy working on the Underdog, the boys and I made an IKEA run.  I remembered to grab my camera although I did have to turn around at the end of our street to come back and get it.  At least I was still close to home when I remembered it.  Anyhow, I thought I’d snap some pics of the cabinets we’ll be using in our future kitchen and go into a little more detail about how we ended up choosing mix-and-match lower and upper cabinets.

First up is this kitchen display.  I’d already been eyeing inspiration photos of kitchens with contrasting cabinetry when Handy Hubby saw this display in real life and loved it.  The decision to use the black-brown RAMSJÖ cabinets as our lower cabinets was an easy one.

I also liked the idea of open shelving that was used in the display kitchen.  We haven’t purchased any shelving yet but I could see some stainless steel shelves like those ending up in our kitchen. We did purchase the same hood as shown above.  I haven’t made up my mind on the contrasting grout lines in the backsplash.  They feel a little bathroom-ish and busy to me.  But that’s just me. Anyway, this black and white kitchen got our wheels turning and we definitely wanted to use the dark base cabinets.  Next, we headed off to find the white version of the RAMSJÖ cabinets to use on the walls.  Easy enough, right?

The only problem was I didn’t like them.  The picture doesn’t do it justice but the ‘white’ finish is more of a whitewash.  The wood grain shows through the paint.  From a distance, they almost had a pink or beige tint to them.  It obviously wasn’t a bad paint job…that’s how they were supposed to look and they would look great in a kitchen with a cottage or country feel.  They just weren’t what we were looking for. We quickly moved onto the white {actually listed as off-white}  ÄDEL wall cabinets.

They were the right color and very similar in style to the RAMSJÖ but…but…but I didn’t like the seeded glass fronts.  And I knew I reeeeeeally wanted glass-front cabinetry on the wall where the kitchen desk would go to bounce light around and keep things feeling open on top.  {I wanted the uppers on the wall opposite the desk – where the fridge and microwave will go – to have solid fronts so the only area affected by the glass-front issue was the desk area.} The seeded glass just wasn’t doing it for me.  I know it hides clutter better but I’m not a cluttery person to begin with and the effect felt {dare I say it?} cheap to me.  Gulp.

I asked about the glass-fronts and the white ÄDEL glass-front cabinets only come with seeded glass inserts.  So, onto the next white, glass-front wall cabinet candidate.  The LIDINGÖ.

It was the right color and had the smooth glass fronts that I wanted.  However, it was a different style than the RAMSJÖ which we had already decided on for our base cabinets.  The frame of the door was slightly narrower and the added framing on top of the glass pane mimiced that of a window.  I did like it though.  For comparison, here’s a picture of the RAMSJÖ vs LIDINGÖ wall cabinets. Again, from the picture you can’t really tell a huge difference but I assure you, that RAMSJÖ one is beige-y.

I asked the IKEA kitchen designer on duty her feelings on mixing the two different styles in one kitchen and she actually liked the idea.  And the more I thought about it, I did too.  Maybe the mixed styles would give the kitchen a more custom look as opposed to being matchy-matchy?  So, we selected the LIDINGÖ cabinets as our upper cabinetry.  That’s how we ended up with two different styles of cabinetry in our future kitchen.  Were you able to follow all that past tense mixed with present tense chaos?

As a bonus, I snapped this desk area within a kitchen display at IKEA while I was there, too. It’s a little smaller {and a different color} than the one we’ll be implementing in the Underdog’s kitchen but you get the idea.

I like how the handles on the upper cabinets run horizontally on the doors.  I think that’s how we’re going to install ours as well.  I’m also up for DIYing a chalkboard above the desk.  I could just tape off a rectangle of wall and paint it with chalkboard paint then frame it up with some store bought trim.  Now, there’s an idea.

After I played the unpopular role of crazy-lady-with-a-camera-and-two-Matrix-reenacting-kids, I paid for the remaining kitchen items that were missing from our original order.  FYI:  I still got the 20% off discount that we were awarded in April for purchasing at least three appliances along with our kitchen order.  I just had to show the original purchase receipt from April along with our order number.  IKEA gives you a folder to keep all your order related papers in, so I just brought the entire thing with me when I picked up the missing items. I had to pay in the kitchen design department then pick up my pieces from the special order desk in the warehouse.  By the time me and the boys got down to the carryout desk, the items were already pulled and waiting for us.

That’s because I ran into this on the way down…

I tried very hard not to look at anything on my way from the kitchen department to the checkouts but my will power was not strong enough for this sale price.  I’ve been coveting cowhide rugs for months now.  I love them.  I want one.  Call me cruel.  It won’t change my mind.  At the previously listed price of $250, I couldn’t talk myself into buying one.  But at $89, I couldn’t resist.  So I grabbed one up after I contemplated getting two.  I think it will look great layered on top of a jute rug in the Underdog’s living room someday.  Some.  Day.

UPDATE:  Apparently, the $89 price tag on the cowhide rugs isn’t the case at every IKEA store.  Please check with your local IKEA authorities before making a special trip!

images:  all Dana Miller for House*Tweaking



Wow $89 is a great price…thinking of ways i can convince my husband we need a cowhide rug…Can’t wait to see how the kitchen cabinets turn out as well!

We installed a whole Ikea kitchen at my daughter and son-n-law’s house. Lots of building to say the least, but you have to expect that when you buy from Ikea. They love the cabinets, the hardware, the look and feel of them. And you can’t beat the price. They got the Lidingo in white. Sweet price on that rug, how could you not pass it up?


We JUST redid our kitchen using the LIDINGO cabinets (I did a whole long post on my blog)… we couldn’t be happier with them!

The only thing that was sort of interesting was that IKEA didn’t give us an awesome solution for spacers… so if you have spots you need to fill, you should pick up some extra cabinet doors. That’s what we wound up using for our spacers.


I think the LIDINGÖ cabinets look nicer than the ÄDEL. (By the way, Lidingö is a suburb of Stockholm. :) ) It might also bring out or compliment the future glass door you’re planning to install (French maybe?). I’ve always loved subway tile, and I think it’s a classic and timeless look (thanks to the movie ‘Something’s Gotta Give’). We have subway tiles as a backsplash with dark grout, and I think it looks nice and not busy/bathroom-ish at all. Apart from looks, having dark grout is very practical to have in the kitchen (stains). I think after a while, light grout starts to look dingy. Like you, I’ve been wanting a cowhide rug, but I can’t stop thinking about the animal, and I’m not sure how it would look in the bedroom.


Wow, you are so inspiring me to go to IKEA and not be scared of their kitchens!

I am so jealous you live that close to Ikea. Going after dinner during the week is a great time (no crowds). My blogging partner (my mom) just posted her kitchen reveal today. You should check it out. http://www.the2seasons.com


I love your cabinet choices and I have loved keeping up to date on the progress of the “Underdog”. Can’t wait to see what else you do! And as for that rug, what a great price! I thought we got a steal when we bought a new one on ebay for $150. We love ours and I am sure you will, too:)


That office area is so inspiring! You’ll get so much more use out of a work area that’s in your main living space!

I hear ya on the white cabinets…most things I see from pottery barn have that not quite white finish, too, and although I can see the cottage-y look working in some spaces, to me, it would just look dingy in a kitchen.

I grew up near an Ikea (they were in Canada in the 70s), and now they’re building the largest ikea in Canada right down the street from our childhood home! I must get to the Cincinnati ikea this summer, it’s not that far,really!


Oh, I agree that the seeded glass looks cheap. I’m sure some people (you, for example) could make it look very luxe, but in my house, it would end up looking cheap.

Dana I love your choice of cabinets. I LOVE Ikea as well. I wish I had known Ikea better when we put out kitchen in 4 years ago. Well if we ever do another kitchen, it will be an Ikea kitchen for sure. I can not wait to see how your kitchen turns out. It’s going to be goregous. I live about 15 mins from Ikea as well. We usually stop during the week after work because it’s on our way home. LOVE IT!!!! :-D


I’m seriously running to Ikea after work and picking up a cowhide…I cant believe that price!


OMG! I have been eyeing that cowhide too but couldn’t justify the price! I am going to my local IKEA next week, I hope it’s still on sale… I am picking that sucker up and bringing ‘er home! :)


WHAT!! The cow hide rug is now $89???!!! Crap – looks like i will also be making an Ikea run (which is 5 minutes from my house) tonight!


I like the two cabinet styles together. The seeded glass definitely wouldn’t work. I can see how it looks “cheap”! $89 is a STEAL for that rug. If I didn’t have a puppy that likes to chew on everything, I would get one of those.

Also, I’m totally jealous that you have an IKEA so close to you. I used to have one right up the road when I lived in Baltimore, MD but now I’m in Columbus. Two hours is a long way to go for IKEA!


It seems to be $89 only at your store. It’s 200 at the one here (Baltimore) and on the website. Debating a road trip now though…


Now can I sick P.E.T.A. on you?? Seriously, I love your decorating style but a dead cow skin on the floor…yeeeh gross.


OK…I am SO jealous that you live that close to an IKEA! The closest one to me is 3 hours away! I love this kitchen…they have such great stuff at great prices!


LOVE Ikea kitchens! PS- that is a SCORE on the cowhide rug! I’ve been contemplating one for my hubby’s home office! :D I might have to grab one too!


TAR – I grew up in a home where my Dad hunted most of our dinners. We ate everything from squirrel to rabbit to frogs to deer and everything in between. We had chickens for eggs too. We also had a home grown garden that boasted watermelon, green beans, corn, potatoes, onions and tomatoes. We didn’t make many trips to the grocery store when I was little. Our milk came from a local dairy in glass bottles. There were deer antlers {for calling the deer}, deer skin and stuffed deer heads in our home. That’s just the way I was raised. It may not be right for everyone but it was how my family lived.


Brittany – Thanks for the heads up! I’ll add a little clause to the end of the post so everyone knows to check with their local IKEA stores on the price.


wow $89 for the cowhide rug???? thats a great price I’m going to call Ikea Pittsburgh
to see if they still have them available! your kitchen will look amazing love the 2 color
cabinets. we had black lowers & white uppers ( we painted them) at our last house.
have you decided what color counters yet? i would love white with the lowers being black


Sharon – I’m leaning towards a lighter countertop. So, yes, white is a contender!


I sort of agree w/ TAR, and I don’t know if you should equate animals on a family farm or those that were hunted in a forest – who have had decent living conditions – w/ those who never experienced anything outside of a concentrated animal farming operation – unable to move, never see sunlight, are subjected to an inhumane death in many cases…not to mention the tole it takes on the environment (a huge source of carbon emissions and water pollution). To each his own, but I just think people should be informed consumers and know what sort of industries they are fueling w/ their purchases. BUT I do think it’s great that you’re renovating an older home and that you use a lot of reclaimed items – it’s very “green” of you :)


That is exactly how I was raised & I wouldnt change it for the world. I think the cowhide rug will look amazing! Ive had my eye on it for a year & if it is that price at our ikea store, that will be my hubbys fathers day gift! (we wont tell him its actually for me) : )


Lauren and TAR – I’m very sorry if my cowhide rug buying implied that I am okay with animal cruelty. I thought that TAR’s comment about the animal skin being ‘gross’ meant just that…that it was gross…and he/she wouldn’t like it in his/her home. I shared my childhood upbringing to show that I’m used to having skins {and other animal products} in the home, so they don’t seem ‘gross’ to me. It’s no secret that I have a leather sectional in my family room and a sheepskin on a chair in my living room along with a leather-lookalike chair in my son’s room, a faux fur pillow in my mini mudroom and a faux fur throw in my family room. That being said, I think you raise a valid point concerning the treatment of animals. Of course, I don’t know exactly how this particular cow whose skin I bought was raised and under what conditions. And I didn’t think about it when I bought it either. You both have me thinking that I should be more conscious of what my shopping choices are telling certain industries. Thank you for that!

I definitely don’t want anyone to feel like I’m shutting them up. We’re all responsible adults here {except for those spam commenters who keep wanting me to redirect readers to porn and fishy financial sites} and I think we can all agree that none of us are either right/wrong nor perfect – just different. I’m definitely not perfect! I would hate for you to think that it was my intention to send a crowd of barbarian H*T readers on a hunt {sorry for the pun} for tortured animal skins. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for your comments and insight. I don’t think you readers realize how much I learn and grow from you!


Dana – You are a class act. I appreciate you taking the time to respond to both Lauren and me. I also appreciate you listening to my information and taking it into consideration. I am so pleased to hear that you oppose animal cruelty and will, in the future, consider making humane choices when that option is presented to you. I figure if Todd Oldham (who by-the-way makes a great faux leather) can be a voice for animal welfare it is my responsibility too!!! Again, thank you.


TAR – Absolutely!!


We swapped out the glass panels cost a couple of bucks and a few minutes each.


HouseTweaking: My husband and I are in the process of buying our own “underdog” and have been thinking about Ikea kitchen cabinets…I like Ikea but have been nervous about the quality. I know you haven’t installed them yet but in your opinion is the quality of the cabinets good? Do you know anyone who has these cabinets who might know if they hold up well?


Elizabeth – I have a co-worker who redid her entire kitchen with IKEA cabinets a few years ago. She loves them and says they’ve held up very well. Also, in the midst of blogging about home decor, I’ve heard nothing but great things about IKEA’s kitchen cabinetry quality. It seems their kitchens are of better quality than some of their inexpensive furniture. We’ll find out from personal experience in a matter of weeks! I’ll be sure to keep you posted…