Friday, October 11, 2019

Ikea kitchen renovation: reveal!

Do you remember (the 21st night of September) when I talked about the plan for our kitchen renovation?

When I was researching ikea kitchens, or kitchen renovations in general, I would see people say 'oh we did this 6 months ago, only getting around to finishing/posting now' and I would be all up on my high horse and think 'goodness gracious me, these lazy ass people are so lazy with their laziness, get 'er done why don't you' and here is me now, over two years later. We hadn't even really technically finished until right before we listed the house, when we finally painted the ceiling.

So, yeah, closed on the house yesterday so it is officially not ours anymore. It was pretty hard to say goodbye to a place I loved living in, especially because it wasn't just the house I was saying goodbye to, but that life. But, it is what it is and all that. Onwards and upwards. I figured better late than never with sharing this post in case anyone wants to see it.

As a reminder, here is what the kitchen looked like when we bought the house:


We knocked out the wall leading to the living areas before we even moved in, so we lost the cabinets on that wall. Most of the drawers didn't open and the majority of the shelves in the cabinets were falling apart. The dishwasher didn't work and there was nowhere to store food. We had two microwaves though. It doesn't seem that bad but it really was not functional at all and we bought the house knowing we'd be renovating asap, not just 'one day' like some projects (cough, bathrooms).

So this is what we lived with for two or three months, I think:


You'll notice the very classy garbage bags and tea towels over sharp edges because I didn't think the whole living after a demo before the reno thing through. Also, we had to place a rug in between the rooms where the walls and cabinets were because you could see into the basement, the cabinets had been built straight on top of the subfloor and I guess part of it came up with the cabinets. So we had to put new subfloor and underlayment down before our new flooring and cabinets, but we are getting ahead of ourselves.

You can check out the shopping and demo process here if you'd like, I won't recap that again. But here is everything:


I know Ikea gets a bad rap for things being cheap and hard to put together and maybe that is the case with some items, I don't know. But the kitchen was - in my opinion - very easy to put together and I think the quality is fantastic. I can actually say that too, because we used it for over 2 years. But again, getting ahead of ourselves.

So we did the demo, then we did the floors. We painted the walls. We should have painted the ceiling somewhere in here, oops. The next step is to start assembling things and attaching the metal suspension rail thing to the walls. I did most of the assembling while KC and his brother did the metal thing. If you have ever put together furniture, you can put together ikea cabinets. The only one that gave us any strife was the peninsula because you kind of have to figure it out yourself because each kitchen will be different. It's meant to go up against a wall, on the metal rail thing, but because it's a peninsula, it didn't. KC built some wood into the floor to secure it, I admit I didn't pay all the attention. But it was sturdy AF and I took some photos of it so apparently I did pay attention. The back was exposed so we covered it with some beadboard panel stuff from Home Depot. I googled and found a paint match thanks to someone on the internet, I don't remember who, but there you go.It exists.

Oh, and in general our walls/floors gave us strife because nothing in our house was completely level or straight. The joys of an older house.

After all the cabinet boxes are assembled and the metal rail is up, you hang the cabinet boxes and attach them to one another. Super easy, way easier than (I assume) individually attaching each cabinet to a wall and then making sure the next one is exactly level. The rail skips that part - make the rail level, cabinets are level. However, because they hang on a rail, they kind of tip a bit so they come with these little plastic things that go on the bottom of the cabinet so they sit flush with the wall. Hard to explain and of course I didn't take a photo, but the little plastic things are hidden by the side panels you later attach.

Ikea cabinet boxes come in two colours, I think, white and brown. The doors and panels are the things that are different. My doors were off white and you couldn't really tell unless you put something bright white next to it. But it did mean we had to put a panel on any exposed sides of the boxes. Then you attach the doors and slot in the shelves. The base cabinets come with legs that you can adjust to make everything level - this came in handy with our wonky house. Then you attach the toe kick things to them. As for the uppers, I didn't want to waste any space with crown molding, so we just put some wood up there and painted it. KC built a little shelf above the sink for my cook books and other random kitchen stuff.

Pictures of the process:



And of course, would it be a post of mine if I didn't share photos of the cats somehow being involved?


All done! It was definitely hard work, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. In fact, I may well do it again if I ever buy another house. The hardest thing of the whole project was ripping up the old lino, two layers. That was backbreaking work. Putting together ikea cabinets was a cinch compared to that. I do think the demo of the old cabinets/soffits and hanging the metal rail was a bit more difficult than assembling the cabinets, but like I said, KC and his brother did the majority of that.

If we had continued living in the house, we eventually would have replaced the light fixtures and the table and chairs. They just weren't priorities so we never got around to them. Here are some nicer, more recent, pictures from the listing:


Ikea actually discontinued my island - they have a similar one, but I don't love it - so thankfully I was able to keep it (it's currently wrapped in plastic in storage) and hopefully I'll be able to use it one day in a new house. I am weirdly overly sentimental about some things so I don't want some 'old life' things in my 'new life', but for some reason, the island is not one of those things. I love it, I want it, I kept it. Perhaps I'll feel differently down the line, only time will tell.

And because we're all a little nosy here is my source/price list - though, most of it is 'ish' because I ended up returning things, buying extra things, etc. 

Flooring: Vinyl tile - $400
Dishwasher: Maytag - $500
Microwave: Whirlpool - $229
Gas oven: Whirlpool - $600
Sink: Ruvati - $369
Faucet: Delta - $350
Disposal & accessories: InSinkErator and switch - $230
Bagster: Home Depot + Waste Management - $150
Fridge: Whirlpool - $900 (we bought this a year and a half later, but still).
Cabinets, countertops & handles: Ikea (GRIMSLÖVEKBACKEN & ORRNÄS) - $4,500ish (this includes the stenstorp island that is discontinued, I think this is the replacement). I ended up taking a bunch of stuff back from our original order and getting a bunch of money back. I then bought heaps of little fun kitchen things and I've since bought 3 of those 'secret' drawers (drawer within a drawer), a replacement drawer front and a replacement cabinet door so that's why I have no idea what my total ended up being. I bought the replacement door/drawer front for user error reasons, not ikea quality reasons.

Unfortunately, I don't exactly remember all the other costs, like drywall, plumbing, electrical, HVAC etc and they wouldn't be true market costs anyway because I work for a construction company and have a lot of contacts. I also included all the smaller things in our budget - like decor (clock, rug, blinds), island stools, and a bunch of fun kitchen things like organisation doodads, but I didn't want to detail them all out here. We also did a few other things around the same time - new bathroom vanity and faucet, electrical and HVAC work in other areas but we figured while they were there... So it's kind of hard to tell the true cost of it all. We had a total budget of $10k which may seem like a lot to some and pittance to others, but it was our budget and we stayed under it which was the goal.

Final thoughts:
- surprisingly easy to put together, definitely easy to do it yourself
- very affordable and way better quality than other options that were in our price range
- speaking of, the quality is outstanding. We had absolutely zero issues.
- my favourite things were the island, the big sink and the pantry. I didn't think I would like the island, didn't think it would be enough room to actually do anything, but obviously I adored it so much I took it with me.

We ended up doing a little coat rack hook wall right behind the back door, which I also really loved, you can see it in the listing photos.

So, phew! All done. Would 100% recommend an ikea kitchen. Will 100% do it again, unless the next house I buy already has a great kitchen. I was very sad to say goodbye to this house, but I was especially sad to say goodbye to the kitchen. I might have taken some videos and spent like half an hour just sitting and looking at it. I really loved that kitchen.

Anywho. There you go. Hopefully this was entertaining to read/look at pictures/helps someone on the internet if they want to do an ikea kitchen.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Books Lately

Happy Show Us Your Books day with Steph & Jana! First off, happy freaking 5 year anniversary ladies!! I cannot believe it has been that long and I'm so happy it is still going. Please never stop. Also, small reminder that I coincidentally posted about books on the same day you all started, so I am the original member/link-er-upper, right? Let me have that? Jk. But not really. Why do I remember things like that and can't remember if I locked the door?

I was hoping I'd have more books to talk about today, but alas. Thankfully I feel like reading again - for a few weeks there I was worried - but I've been too busy with the house, moving, etc. Things will calm down soon, the house will close and I'll put everything in the apartment away, and then I'll have more time to read. 

Quick side note - thank you to all the kind comments and emails and messages after my post last week. I did chuckle a bit at how it seemed like I was trying to sneak that little tidbit in my post - I wasn't trying to be sneaky, I am just in such 'to do list' mode right now that I was just reporting like, yep, this is what is new, then this, then this... but it did make me laugh, I wasn't going for the shock factor. I just didn't want to open with that and I didn't quite know how to segue into it, like by the way, I'm getting divorced. Not that I'm apologising, we all know how much we hate apologising in blogland. Just explaining. But anyway. Thank you again. I am doing okay.

Moving on...

The Huntress - Kate Quinn
world war 2
This book took me 100 years to read. It was good. It was written well. But lort, it was long. It felt like a Kate Morton book, except that at least with a KM book, the slog makes up for it because the whole convoluted mess all comes together neatly with a bow at the end.... you know? I don't know that this book was worth the length, if that makes sense. It was good. I liked it. But I kept waiting for something more to happen and it didn't. I'm not mad I read it. There were some parts I really enjoyed. I liked the characters and their relationships. I liked learning about different aspects of the war I hadn't before. I got teary a couple of times. I did like it, I just didn't hardcore love it.
A Nearly Normal Family - M.T. Edvardsson
legal thriller
Book club's latest. Not the biggest hit. If I'd read this on my own, I would have DNF'd in the first part because the father's section was awful. I liked the daughter's section the most, the mother's just felt unnecessary. There was a lot of repetition. Overall, it was kind of interesting and I did want to know what happened. But it was a pretty 'meh' read.
Outfox - Sandra Brown
romantic suspense
After about a month of not really reading, I jumped back in with an author that I always enjoy, I can always count on her to wow me and keep me interested in both the romance and the suspense. Her books are always twisty and interesting and I can't put them down..... so imagine how disappointed I am! I thought it was just me and my mood, but several of my goodreads friends feel the same. This just was not Sandra Brown quality. I read the first 60% quickly because it was an easy read, but then I struggled to finish it because nothing interesting was happening, the suspense was not suspenseful, the romance was kind of cringey.... Overall, not the worst book I've ever read, but definitely the worst 'newer' Sandra Brown I've read (I generally don't love her 80s/early 90s stuff).
Murder at the Brightwell - Ashley Weaver
cozy historical mystery 
This book has been on my list for a very long time. It was fun. It took me a long time to read, though I think that was me and not the book. I didn't guess the killer, so I did find that part interesting. It wasn't the most amazing book, it wasn't the most captivating read, but I did enjoy it overall, I did have a good time reading it and I already have the next one from the library.
No Judgments - Meg Cabot
I quite enjoyed the princess diaries series so I was intrigued by this new series by Meg Cabot. Wasn't impressed by the novella that came before this one, but chalked that up to it being a novella... but unfortunately, wasn't terribly impressed by this one either. It was cute and a quick read, but there was way too much going on, I felt like it was a 'lets fit all the things in!' kind of book. If it's going on in the world today, MC tried to put it in this book. Because of that, the romance was definitely underdeveloped and rushed. But it was cute enough and passed the time more than fine.
Received from Edelweiss.
War - Laura Thalassa
I had high, high, HIGH expectations for this after loving Pestilence so very much (sidenote, hate these covers, the original Pestilence cover was the most beautiful cover in the entire world). I didn't love this one. Was it me, was it the book? I don't know. I didn't love or care about the characters, so I didn't care about the story. I'll still read the next one, but meh on this one.
He's So Fine (Lucky Harbor, #11) - Jill Shalvis
Good ol' Jill Shalvis never lets me down. That's all I have to say about this book actually. I went in expecting XYZ and that's exactly what I got. I love her. This was delightful.

Dear Girls and The Heart's Invisible Furies - I literally just started this one this morning, so no thoughts yet.

Linking up with Steph & Jana. Happy 5 year anniversary guys!


Life According to Steph

TL;DR - I recommend The Huntress & Murder at the Brightwell, even though they are all under 'enjoyable enough' I definitely enjoyed those two more than the other two.

Read anything decent lately?

Thursday, October 3, 2019

September 2019 Recap - What's New With You Link Up

Hello all, time for another what's new with you link up! Thanks again if you join me, I always appreciate it. You don't have to display the button if you don't want to, but don't forget to mention it somewhere in your post and check out some of the other posts! I'll be doing a monthly recap like I do every month.... except for last month.

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So, September. It's been both crazy busy and pretty uneventful.

The highlight was of course the Backstreet Boys concert - I liked them growing up but I was never a super fan. My friends were though, and we bought the tickets last November. It was a really, really good concert, and I actually really like their newest album.


Other than that, lots of cat time...


I managed to read a few books and even got in a couple of workouts. Dessert for dinner one night, sangria another, and a lovely gift from Bev.


In not so great stuff, I actually got in a car accident on the way to my friend's house before the concert. Thankfully, no damage and no real injuries, just had some good ol whiplash. Also, my cat back home died. She lived a good long life though, I got her when I was 13, maybe? 14? I don't remember exactly. I got her when she was just 3 days old, her mum had died so we had to bottle feed her and stuff. She was the ugliest thing you had ever seen in your entire life. Her name was Agatha. I did not name her, my boyfriend at the time's sister did, because she was the vet nurse that helped me take care of her. The name stuck and suited her. We used to call her Aggie the Alien.


In other stuff.... KC and I split up, we sold the house, he took Chelsea, I have Penny & Millie. He's moved out, I'm in the process but still at the house. We're still dealing with a few logistics and paperwork. I am not opposed to talking about it, but there's not a whole lot I want to say online where anyone can see it. I'm not afraid to say that I am handling it about as well as can be expected. I have good days and bad days, I have felt all the emotions. I go up and down. It is what it is, and there you go. I'm not trying to be flippant or vague, it is amicable though it was not mutual. Unfortunately, there's only so much one person can do when the other is done. I've accepted it and I am sure I will get through this.

I'm moving into my apartment slowly over the next few days so may not be able to get to everyone's posts immediately, but I will definitely get to them. Here's a few photos of it though if you're curious, in all its messy glory:


And a few more pictures of Chelsea because I tried to spend as much time with her as possible knowing she was leaving me. These are mainly for me, I know it's not terribly interesting to see 50+ photos of the same cat.

Chelsea loved hanging outside with me - she was the only one I could take outside, plop down in front of me and not worry (too much) about her running off. Isn't she pretty? She also loved hanging with me in the bathroom, I'd pick her up, throw her over my shoulder and she'd start doing the happy paws - I have permanent scratch marks on my shoulder. The last photo makes me laugh because that's so her - must rub head against everything.


Fluff monster...


She's the most photogenic of the cats - she stands out against everything, her eyes are gorgeous and she sits still the longest. I could just snap my fingers or tap my phone and she'd look up, like she was a cat model in another life. If she wanted to be picked up or put in your lap, she'd reach a paw out like hey, human, look how cute I am.


and a few more because why not.


Okay, last lot, this was yesterday, knowing she was leaving eventually and knowing I only had a couple hours left were completely different things. I smothered her with my love, she was probably sick of me by the time he came to get her.


Also, Penny is 7, Chelsea is 6 and Millie is 5... so for 5 years, we had 3 cats. This is the best photo I've gotten of the 3 of them, and yes, I was holding tuna up in the air. I think I might frame it.


So yeah, that's it from me. If you'd like to link up, please do so below:


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