Our first kitchen renovation was the biggest project we had taken on yet. We had debated back and forth about what exactly we wanted to do for 2 ½ years before taking the plunge.
We ended up going with Ikea Cabinetry. It's durable, affordable, and it had the look we wanted. I took on the measuring and designing myself using the Ikea Home Planner.
Here's a few things I learned while using Home Planner:
- Set up the dimensions of the room first.
Measure three times, because twice isn’t enough.
Sometimes you know your space better than the sales person.
The Home Planner is pretty user-friendly and it's perfect if you are keeping the layout or room shape the same. However, if you are taking on a bigger project and moving walls or relocating a kitchen completely, I would suggest using one of their professional services to come to your home and measure for you.
We didn’t move any walls, but we did change the layout slightly. We relocated the refrigerator from the left side of the kitchen to the right, where we had some dead space between the counter ending and the slider starting. This left the side unobstructed and we could do a long nine foot counter with upper and lower cabinetry. This gave us SO MUCH PREP SPACE! This was definitely the best design decision we made.
The last layout change we made was switching the dishwasher from the left to the right of the sink. It was too close to the oven before and now we could add a giant "lazy susan" in the corner cabinet.
I wanted a dark countertop to contrast the light cabinetry, but I was having trouble finding exactly what I wanted. I love the look of Soap Stone but it's expensive and has way more maintenance then most modern countertops. I settled on a honed slab of Virginia Mist from World Stone Group. The honed finish meant it wasn’t super shiny, so it didn’t have a dated vibe. I absolutely love how it turned out.
Lastly, the back splash is from the Tile Shop, it's a neutral hexagon pattern with a bit of color around the edges of the title. We went with a cream grout.
Overall, the kitchen reno took about a month. We were lucky that we could do most of the work ourselves meaning we weren’t waiting on contractors. However, we did hire out for the cabinet assembly and installation (if you have ever bought anything from IKEA, you know why).
It was the first BIG project I designed myself and I could not be happier with how it turned out. I think the new buyers are pretty excited too.
After photos by John Barnhart – The Packer Group