The renovations of my new kitchen began in earnest. Essentially the kitchen space measured 10′ x 15′ and housed the washer and dryer, as well as, the usual kitchen space. I wasn’t terribly excited about having my laundry space in my cooking space, but there really was no other place to move it without knocking out walls…exterior walls.
So first things first. I turned on my handy dandy computer, pulled up my CAD program and drew a floor plan. Now don’t get all intimated by that. I use CAD in my design business, so this was an easy option for me. But anyone can draw a floor plan using good old graph paper. Draw your plan to scale so you can easily decide what cabinets you need and where your appliances will fit.
I decided to create a closet for the washer and dryer and use louvered doors. This allowed me to move the refrigerator from the corner by the range and add a tall cabinet for a wall oven. The original layout of the kitchen worked pretty well, so I did not need to move plumbing. I did have a gas line pulled in for a gas range. Got to have my gas cooking!
The next step was to draw a plan for the cabinets, sink, dishwasher, and range. Kitchen design isn’t terribly difficult since appliances, sinks, and cabinets all come is pretty standard sizes. It is recommended that you design your space with the work triangle in mind. This is the triangle created by the sink, cooking area, and refrigerator.
Now that I had a pretty good idea about how things were going to fit, I needed to find some inspiration. After searching through my magazines and favorite online picture sources, I found this:
My little bungalow has the original subway tile floors in the bathrooms…classic black and white. I wanted the kitchen to look like it belonged in the house, and so I decided to carry the black and white theme into the kitchen. It’s classic…like the bathroom floors.
And now would be a good time to gently remind you of what I started with…
So here we go! I hired a small crew to frame in the utility closet and install a new tile floor. Although the original hardwood floor was still intact, it had been covered with a new sub-floor and several layers of linoleum with lots of glue and a gazillion staples. Argh!
Next I primed and painted everything, had the gas line installed, added some can lights and a ceiling fan, and moved the water line for the refrigerator. Although I am pretty handy, I don’t do electricity or plumbing or, for that matter, framing or tile installation. But, I do install cabinets!
I was the general contractor for the house I lived in before this house. It was a wonderful custom-built home in Texas, and I did a HUGE amount of research in designing that home. It was ‘green’ and energy efficient, and I researched to death every material that I put into that house.
I used Ikea cabinetry everywhere…kitchen, bathrooms, mud hall, and utility room. I fell in love with Ikea cabinets!
Why Ikea and not custom built cabinetry? Lots of reasons! I have had custom cabinetry in two other homes. It is expensive and not what it’s cracked up to be. Essentially a cabinet is a box with doors or drawers. How hard can that be? With the Ikea cabinets I got well-built cabinets that use as much of the interior space of a cabinet box as possible, great finishes, incredible interior fittings, and a 25-year warranty for a fraction of the price of custom cabinetry. The hitch? You have to construct and install them yourself. This I can do.
I chose the Lidingo white doors and drawers. I love using drawers instead of doors and shelves in the lower cabinets because it seems to be a better use of space and organization.
I decided to use a non-Ikea Lazy Susan in the corner base cabinet. I found it online and figured out how to construct a shelf for it to be mounted on. Although Ikea does a lot of things right, I don’t like their corner carousel.
Next came countertops and the sink. I used Silestone quartz countertops in my last home and loved them! Although granite is indeed beautiful, it is porous and it has to be sealed. Sorry, Charlie, I am just not going to have a product in a working area that requires so much care. Silestone is nonporous and, therefore, doesn’t harbor bacteria nor can it be ruined by oil rings. And my Silestone–Stellar Night–even sparkles! I has 35% recycled glass to give it that special touch!
The sink is a fantastic find from Ikea. It is their single-bowl, farmhouse sink. (Domsjo) It is ceramic and weighs a ton! They do have a double-bowl as well, but it is just too large for my little kitchen. I topped it off with a faucet from, you guessed it, Ikea. (Glittran) I really ought to be getting some sort of commission from Ikea.
The backsplash was next. Remember my inspiration photo? I found all the tile at Home Depot and Lowes.
Finally the appliances were installed–GE Profile gas range, dishwasher, and Advantium speed cooker. The range hood from IKEA was installed. I finished up the cabinets with drawers, doors, and handles (Ikea Faglavik). The schoolhouse light fixtures added a nice touch and kept the feel of the 1960’s bungalow.
All in all, I think my Ikea kitchen turned out pretty well!
Please contact me if you have any questions about Ikea cabinets or any other parts of this little project. Now off to the living and dining rooms before spring comes!