Monday, November 4, 2013

Cooking in the Pit

One of the things I was most excited for in designing a brand new house was obviously the kitchen.  I found about a million inspiration kitchens on Houzz and Pinterest.  All of them had one thing in common: white shaker style cabinets which gave of the simple, modernish, bright feel.


I also loved the look of having natural wood open shelves along with the white cabinets to warm things up without making things too dark.

When we started to look at actual cabinets, I had a couple requirements:  white (obvi), inexpensive but not super low quality, and the ability to design and order the cabinets without actually talking to a real person.  I'm really good with people.

Naturally we immediately thought of the Ikea Adel cabinets, which are a shaker style in what they call "off-white".  Special bonus:  Ikea's awesome design software.


We were totally dead set on Adel for most of our house design process.  Until I woke up and remembered that I totally hated our stainless steal appliances when we lived at the Brewery.  They were always disgustingly dirty and impossible to clean and I have always said I would never get them again.  I know all the cool kids are doing it, but I think they must really like scrubbing.  So, long story short, we decided on white appliances.  Soooo 1995.  Good, because the 90s were fun.

However, white appliances + off-white cabinets = deja vu from the kitchen cabinet painting disaster of 2012.  I knew we couldn't get the Adel off white with the bright white appliances.  And yes, we were suddenly designing our kitchen around 90s style white appliances.

Then, one fine day, I found my dream bright white kitchen made out of real wood:  Deerfield Shaker II in bright white from Kitchen Resources Direct.


I immediately ordered a $25 sample door, and it was glorious.  The Deerfield cabinets are super affordable -- more expensive than Ikea, but less than anything else I had found.  They are seriously really great,  and loved that sample I got with my whole heart.

Then, one dreary August night, we got the detailed building estimate from our contractor and it was SIGNIFICANTLY higher than he had initially estimated.  Like, life changingly higher (no fault to him apparently building supplies suddenly went up. Yay!).  So the beautifully, completely affordable dream kitchen was out... and Ikea was pretty much our only bet.  I was quite sad about the loss of the one thing I really, really wanted in this new house, but in the end it's just a kitchen, people.

I forged on with my plan B and started finalizing the design for our kitchen based on the rough design we had initially given our amazing home designer. 


As you can see from the house plans, initially we had planned on having the cooktop against the wall with a hood and all that mumbo jumbo.  At the right of the cooktop we had planned on adding wood open shelves like our inspiration photo I showed you way up at the top of the post.

But then, the clouds parted, and I had the bold idea of putting the cooktop in the island with one of those vents that rises out of the island like the Jetsons.  And that resulted in our final design:

I'll elaborate that unlabeled Ikea design photo in a minute.  Before we could order we had to decide on which cabinet fronts were were going to get.  We had already ruled out the stupidly off-white Adel cabinets, but I couldn't let go of my love of pure, undiverged, white cabinets.

Titus and I took a few trips to Ikea, and the only pure white cabinets they have are the Abstrakt high gloss flat panel cabinets which are super duper modern.  I actually love how they look on the bottom cabinets, but the uppers and tall cabinets the kitchen might become a little too Jetsons for me.  I was looking to get more of a Jetsons go to the cabin feel.


 Look how well the Abstrakt whites go with white appliances!

Then, Ikea came out with their new catalog which included the brand new Linding√∂ Gray.  They are raised panel, which is probably my least favorite, but they were less modern, and gray is a pretty great color and would go well with white appliances.


We decided on doing the cabinets around the perimeter in the new  Linding√∂ Gray and going with Abstrakt white for the island.  The appliances will also be white, which will add to my long lost white wishes.  The countertops will most likely be some sort of white material, as well.  This all resulted in this final design beauty:


Those are glass front cabinets on the fridge and oven wall (which I have been warned I won't like by anyone who is a grandma).  Above the sink are three windows with a lovely lake view.  There will also be an overhang on the island for stools, so the island cabinets facing us here will be under an overhang.  The island will be ridiculously massive, and I should really go into a countertop place to see if they even come that big.  But this is our plan.  It is our plan so much that we already ordered the cabinets.

We aren't super close to needing them, however, Ikea is having their 20% off sale, which we wanted to get in on before they went out of stock on too many things we needed.

So overall, I wouldn't say I got my dream kitchen, but this will certainly be amazing, functional, and all ours.  Now we just have to wait a few months to actually have it. 

As far as a cost breakdown, the cabinets only (no countertops, sinks, or appliances) came out to be $5,898.72 with the 20% off which we think is neat.  Thanks Ikea for making our money pit shallower.

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