Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Ikea Kitchen Extravaganza

I am of the firm opinion that when you add the word "extravaganza" to anything, that it automatically ups its excitement factor. It worked right? Now you are alllll prepped for a great post!

Awesome. Let's do this. It only took me hours to take, compile, and edit all of these photos. And that doesn't count the hours to actually makeover this kitchen ourselves. What I'm trying to say people is...I do this because I love you. This was hard labor! I'm not above shameless plugging. My friends all know this to be true.

So, once upon a time, we bought a cute ranch house in an amazing neighborhood. The type of neighborhood that has beautiful big trees, an established but not-stuffy feel. It had a greenway (trail along a river where you can run, ride bikes, walk dogs, enjoy nature), and a community pool. And the house was on the corner between two cul-de-sacs. I mean, that's like the double rainbow of real estate if you have kids!  Then we went inside and the kitchen was...underwhelming, to say the least. I had plans right away to paint the cabinets like my previous kitchen. I took a deep breath and said, no problem, the house is worth it. I can see the potential!

Sure, they was only this awkward tall cabinet for a pantry. And yeah...the sink is off center from the window (WHY???), but, I can make it work. Yeah, the linoleum is yellowed and there is a weird, random strip in the middle of the floor (see above, the white stripe on the floor)...but I wasn't afraid.

I thought, yeah, I'll take off some doors and it will freshen the whole thing up.

And at least on this side of the kitchen there lots of storage, and I can see into the family room!

And who doesn't love a cozy eating nook? The walls were a hideous pinky/tan...nothing a little paint couldn't fix. It'll be easy, right? All cosmetic, right? Hahahaha. #famouslastwords

So of course, we discovered mold under the sink. (Because, of course). And of course it was pretty extensive. (Because I cursed us with my "it will be easy" positivity ha!) The idea of mold in my cookine area frankly freaked me out. So our SUPER budget project was suddenly out the window. The drywall had to be torn out and replaced behind the sink.

And I thought, well...Ikea is having a kitchen sale. And we are handy, we can do this! We'll keep the same floorplan and just squidge the sink over while we're at it! Hahahahaha! Oh my little naive self. I ALWAYS underestimate the work in every project. We had to scrape and repair the popcorn ceiling, tear out and replace the flooring, and install new cabinets. No biggie. :) But in the end, after all of the back-breaking work, it was worth it! We created a kitchen that I love to be in and it was still very much on a budget.

 Ta-da! The drywall was pretty damaged from tearing up the tiny backsplash and tearing out and repairing the drywall behind the sink. So we decided to do a backsplash. I love beadboard, but I love CHUNKY beadboard even more. But I wanted something waterproof and wouldn't be an issue behind the stove. So we found this great vinyl product that you can even use outside. It was pretty easy to install all things considering! I found the faucet (a Perrin & Rowe for your faucet enthusiasts/nerds like me) on eBay for a STEAL.

And then I died and went to heaven when we got a farmhouse sink. I decided not to do the Ikea farmhouse sink because I heard mixed reviews about it. But, trying to figure out how to make another farmhouse sink work with the Ikea system was difficult. Finally I found an online forum that showed how someone else got around the issue using a short apron Whitehaven Kohler sink. It is one basin and I LOVE it. I'm sorry, I can't stop capitalizing things. It is my favorite part of the kitchen for sure.

 When I designed the kitchen, I decided that I really wanted a countertop overhang. We had removed the awkward pantry cabinet (and moved a larger Ikea pantry unit to the adjoining laundry room), so I knew we had a bit of space to do it. I love to bake with my kids, and I'm really happy we made that decision! I didn't take a picture from an angle you can see it, but it's straight back from the loaf of bread, before you get to the dining table. :)

A close up of the bread, because I have priorities, and bread always tops that list.

I was also insistent on some open shelves that I could decorate for holidays and easily reach my baking supplies. This was also to save on budget. Open shelves are much much cheaper than upper cabinets.

I'm not the world's best low-light photographer, but I still love this photo with it's shadows.

This little dining nook has gone through many variations as it was difficult to find furniture that fit the scale of the space. But I finally think I figured it out. But as all of my rooms, it is subject to change. :) I found the amazing bench (a Ballard designs dining bench) on Craigslist for so cheap it's crazy ($30). The guy who listed it was more interested in selling the table he had listed and was super happy for me to take the set off his hands. Best deal I've ever made!! The table is an Ikea table that I painted the legs, the chairs are painted Goodwill chairs.

Remember that long bank of cabinets that looked into the family room? Well they became a bajillion times more space efficient because now they are pull-out drawers. I got the hardware on eBay, naturally.

The countertops were bought through Ikea as well, because with the kitchen sale they were a fair deal. Despite other people trying to scare me off of them (well...and sometimes myself), I went for the marble, and I have never regretted it. I got them honed, and that has made a great difference in any etching. But I seriously don't even care, it just gives them a nice patina. I love them!

On this side we did put some doors on the cabinets (which were surprisingly not hard at all to hang. Ikea really does have a great system). 

We kept all of the same appliances, and I really enjoy cooking with gas. I don't know how I'll ever go back if we ever move from this house.

So, there is my little tour of our kitchen makeover. Like I said, lots of sweat and tears (but no blood thank goodness) were spilt in the name of this project. But we are so proud of the work we put into it. It really has become the heart of our home. The ikea planning system is a bit of learning curve, but I'm glad I designed it myself!

And just for fun, I put some before and after's right next to each other and posted them below so you can really see how big of a change the space underwent.

Hope you enjoyed the EXTRAVAGANZA. I know I did. :)


  1. It really is an amazing makeover! Aren't you so glad you took before pictures? You did a fantastic job. Our old kitchen looked very much like that one, and it's amazing what a few coats of paint will do to old wood cabinets. Thanks for sharing!

  2. It really is an amazing makeover! Aren't you so glad you took before pictures? You did a fantastic job. Our old kitchen looked very much like that one, and it's amazing what a few coats of paint will do to old wood cabinets. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Amazing transformation!! Love the new kitchen.