I’m guessing a lot of us spent a lot of time this week in the kitchen. Wouldn’t a cheery kitchen make everything taste better? Check out the ones below…
image from 2Modern
image from Apartment Therapy
image from Oh So Lovely Vintage
We decided some time ago to go with Ikea cabinets in our bathrooms, specifically the Godmorgon line. I saw this the other day and thought it was a really easy, interesting idea to add a little lighting to the bathroom:
image from Young House Love
The Ikea vanity is under-lit and the lights are just plugged into an outlet that’s controlled by a light switch. You could do this with traditional under-the-kitchen-cabinet lighting or even with rope or string lights. Cool, huh? It’s perfect for a nightlight or a small bathroom that feels dark.
Yesterday we introduced the real outside of our house, but I’ve never shared the virtual inside of the house from the 3D walk-though that our designer provided some time ago. There isn’t a good way to share photos from the walk-through, as it’s very much like playing an old-school computer game with the arrow keys and commands. Yesterday, fueled by too much coffee and giddy from the cooler temperatures, I was determined to walk myself through the house, so I figured I’d take a few photos during the process. Photos of a computer screen never turn out all that well, so bear with me…
So, here we go, this is my workstation at the old house and the first view of my kitchen:
Here’s the living room, container and window wall on the left, what we call the “focal wall” in the living room straight ahead (imagine lots of artwork), and our dining area and doors to the back porch to the right (with a view of our kitchen peninsula).
This is a better view of the kitchen, standing in the back corner of it. You see the upper and lower cabinets with the window backsplash on the right and the beginning of the peninsula straight ahead.
Finally, here’s a view of the outside of the house; it’s what my next door neighbors will see…until we put the fence up, that is. It’s the worst photo of the bunch, but I like the house from the side angle, and I’ve never really seen it before.
I’ve professed my love and loyalty to Ikea cabinets, but most of my adoration is based on their price and functionality. What if I could get custom cabinets that might even be sturdier and prettier than Ikea at an even lower price? Well, if that were truly case, I’d have to consider leaving my old flame for a new one.
Our contractor has said that his subcontractor can likely do just this for us. While we don’t have any hard numbers to compare yet, it is interesting idea to flirt with. Below are some nice examples of custom cabinets that could possibly win my heart.
image from Ciiwa
image from Houzz
image from Apartment Therapy
image from Luxury Kitchen Design
image from Improvised Life (I can sense my husband shaking his head already, but these are fun.)
You know how it goes…you choose certain details early on, and you are bound to eventually change your mind, right? I was set on two-toned cabinets from Ikea—Nexus brown for the lowers and Abstrakt high-gloss white up top—but then we saw the cabinets in person (for like the 100th time), and everything changed.
image from Apartment Therapy (two-toned, but not sure this is Ikea)
The first issue is that Nexus comes in birch or brown-black, which are both fine, but neither are the real brown that we are looking for. (I could have sworn that Ikea used to make Nexus brown, am I wrong?) Birch is very light and wouldn’t contrast much with white cabinets, and brown-black is more black than brown and may be too dark for a galley kitchen. There is Adel, Ikea’s real brown cabinet, but it’s framed, and I am set on a completely smooth front door.
The other issue is that Abstrakt is so high-gloss that it’s reflective. This isn’t a bad thing, but for quite a bit less money, Ikea’s Applad is a little less shiny and still smooth and white. I really wouldn’t notice the difference between the two if I wasn’t picking them out myself.
We came home confused after the visit to Ikea. Without Nexus, the two-toned theme wasn’t looking all that promising. We started looking at pictures, and I began to accept the idea that all-white cabinets might not be that bad…hey, we have them in our old house, and they’ve worked out for years. All-white Applad cabinets would save us money and they could match anything.
And that leads us to countertops…we had planned on white flecked quartz (although we were going to have to fight to include it in our contractor budget, with it being around $60/square foot). White counters with white cabinets might be a little stark, so now we are considering grey counters, which is what we were first attracted to about a year ago when we started looking at finishes. I like the Crystal Ash by Cosentino and Grey Expo by Silestone (the bargain choice). It’s silly to say, but I love the fact that grey will look amazing with my majestic yellow Kitchenaid mixer.
Once we had a countertop idea, I Googled our combination, and actually found a kitchen using Applad and Grey Ash, and it looks great:
image from Smidgebox
Of course none of this is finalized yet, so there is still time to change my mind again.
Last week we made quite a bit of headway on the design of our kitchen. We’ve bought our fridge and avowed to scour the web for sales on the rest of our appliances and base our opinions on the appliances on Consumer Reports reviews and aesthetics. We know the general style we’d like for our faucet and sink, but our taste exceeds our budget, so we’ll be looking for sales there too.
We’ve decided upon our Ikea cabinet configuration, and we’re pretty excited about the pull-out pantry, drawers for our lower cabinets, above-the-fridge cabinet, and display shelf.
image from Ikea Fans
image from TekBuild (that corner display shelf will end our cabinets near our bar)
We are going to try for quartz counters unless our budget absolutely won’t allow it (really, when you start looking, with the exception of laminate, most counter options are just about the same price installed). And, we encountered a happy surprise last week with the design of the bar that separates the kitchen from the great room—we’ll have a waterfall counter. What’s that? It’s basically when the counter edge turns down to meet the floor. Ours will also include a peep hole (there will be a gap space between the cabinet and counter side), which will be a fun design element to play with.
image from Granite Gurus
image from Houzz (see the peephole on the left?)
image from Four Walls and a Room
We decided awhile back that we were going Ikea for the kitchen and that we really like the two-toned cabinet look. We know that we’ll have a galley kitchen with a wide doorway and a counter/bar area. Playing with Ikea’s kitchen builder program, we’ve come up with a couple of possible arrangements. Yes, they are similar designs, but there are some differences between the two. Step in to my kitchen…
Above is a pretty traditional layout with Abstrakt high gloss white on top, and Nexus brown on the bottom. We will mostly use drawers for the bottom and we’ll have a pull-out pantry near the window (at the far end of the kitchen). Directly across from that pantry will be our washer and dryer, and then there’s an obstruction (it’s the closet in the guest bedroom), and our fridge will sit next to that. Obviously, you won’t see the backs of the cabinets and fridge (there will be a wall there), and the counter at the bar will overhang a bit too so that we can push stools up to it. Another cool feature is that our backsplash will be a long horizontal window, like this.
Below is the same set up, except that the upper cabinets are arranged differently. This arrangement has cabinets going all the way up to the ceiling (which I like better, as that area above your cabinets is just gross…go check if you don’t believe me, it’s a grease and dust magnet). Also, the Abstrakt high gloss cabinets are kind of arranged in a puzzle pattern, like I first saw here. It gives us quite a bit more storage and probably ups the cost a bit too, so we may have to wait and see what the final verdict will be.
I’m excited about this. I think either design would be pretty great, and just about the same amount of storage we currently have. With the newer cabinet features, like pull out pantries and drawers for pots and pans, either design would utilize our space and meet our needs better than our present kitchen.
In searching for the right vanities for our bathroom sinks, I began thinking that I just want something similar to a kitchen cabinet…so why not just use a kitchen cabinet? They are generally built with more options (drawers, pull-out organizers, etc.) and are probably able to withstand more wear and tear than a bathroom cabinet that is used less frequently.
It turns out that a lot of people are already doing this with Ikea cabinets, and that’s what we’d probably use anyway. The only drawback that I’ve read about is that kitchen cabinets are generally taller and wider than bathroom vanities. The height doesn’t concern me, as we are tall people anyway (and many have suggested solving this by suspending the over-the-fridge cabinets from the wall at the regular height). The width might be an issue, but that would be based on our house plans and how much room we have allotted for the vanity size.
The bathrooms below look pretty great, and I don’t think you’d even realize that they are kitchen cabinets:
image from Pinterest
image from Ikea Hackers
I’ve used this image before, but I love the use of two different types Ikea cabinets, especially to add a little color.
We’ve got a couple of giant dogs that we spoil to no end…evidenced here. Our girls are family members (my mom has taken to calling them her “granddogs”), so we want the best for them. Long ago, we read about elevated feeders to fight against bloat, which can be deadly to Great Danes, so we’ve always fed our dogs out of raised bowls.
In the new house, our dogs will have a special built-in feeding area that will include a cabinet for their food and a ledge for their bowls that will blend in with our house. If you didn’t have the option of a built-in feeder, the classic-looking pet feeding hutch below would be a cool idea:
images from Freshhome
Our friends recently painted their bathroom mirror frame to complement their décor, and it’s a fresh change, and one that I may never have even considered. A bathroom mirror is one of those things that I just don’t think about; it’s something that is easily taken for granted, as it’s just there.
But what if it isn’t there? What is the perfect bathroom mirror? I think the perfect one would have to be a mirror and a medicine cabinet, as I’m always in favor of hiding things behind doors. We bought our medicine cabinet/mirror combo just after we moved to Houston, because our apartment was lacking one. We bought the cheapest model from Ikea, which has held up for almost 15 years, but it’s nothing great. In fact, it’s too small and the shelves aren’t adjustable, which is just a pain. Plus, it would be better if it was inset into the wall, rather than jutting out.
So maybe that’s it: the perfect mirror needs to be medium-sized (the mirrors that cover an entire wall kind of scare me in a funhouse kind of way), adjustable, and also a medicine cabinet. I’ll add that I also like the simplicity of a frameless mirror because it seems to be timeless and it goes with everything.
image from Architects for Life
The mirror above is way too big, below is too specific and whimsical.
image from Homes-Design
image from Trendir
The medicine cabinet/mirror above is really cool in the way that it opens, but the simple one below is just right.
image from Kaboodle