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.

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