Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A kitchen is conceived...

It turns out that the gestation period for a kitchen is roughly six months. Or at least that is what the Future Missus tells me. Which is why the kitchen has just been purchased from Ikea!

Really, what happened, is that we came to an agreement with a new contractor, Trent Steffen of Pallet and Palette, to assist us on the project.  He's an interior designer and general contractor, with impeccable taste.

(Note: I'm still doing most of the work, but I've come to realize that I need to speed things up; and the place where this would make the greatest difference is in rough framing. One inexperienced guy working alone, means I would probably spend two or three months framing.)

So, leading up to this point, the Future Missus and I have been talking a lot about the look and interior design.  The future Missus knows what she wants, but in a few instances (kitchen, master bath, paint colors, lighting), she knows that she'll need some help getting from ideas to reality.

In particular, the kitchen was mostly a lot of ideas; but when she looked at cabinets, the prices got overwhelming fast (think $150-$250 a foot).  If you look back to our kitchen plans you can see that we have a pretty substantial U-shaped kitchen with an island.  That's a lot of feet.  And the only option we seemed able to afford were $60/ft plain oak cabinets from Home Depot.  They would require a lot of work (putting in glass fronts ourselves, paint) to look decent.  She felt pretty stymied.

Enter Trent in his black leather duster, driving his black Cadillac.

We asked to meet with Trent and get his advice on the kitchen. The Future Missus and Trent had a meeting of the minds, and chose colors for the kitchen. He suggested IKEA cabinets.  He said they were great quality for the price.  The Future Missus's only concern was that she wanted cream colored cabinets, and IKEA only has white.  But Trent showed her how you can warm up white a lot with the right lighting and she was sold.

So off they went to IKEA to plan the kitchen.  It was a 3 hour job, and she said at about 10 minutes in she realized that had she been on her own, trying to put this together, she would have been in tears.  You see, IKEA has this software to build your kitchen  (which doesn't work on Macs btw, and is a general pain in the ass to use online anyway).  In the store it works pretty well, and you can save your design for later. And of course, when you are ready to buy, it makes it easy to give the design to an IKEA kitchen employee to make your master buy list.

So they picked out the cabinet faces and got started.  This white cabinet in the middle (Lidingo) will be the perimeter cabinets.

And this walnut color (Liljestad) will be for the island.

And here's the layout they put together in a few hours! I'm stoked, I really like it.

There will be butcher block countertops on the white cabinets of the perimeter, and a white countertop on the walnut island.  This white countertop is yet to be determined because the materials we like are awfully expensive (but more on that later as we pin those details down).  

Anyway, back at the store they found out that IKEA was having a sale on kitchens - 20% off if you spent over $4500. Also, the walnut colored cabinets were being discontinued.  So those two things together led to some tough decisions.  Do we buy our cabinets 6 months before we'll need them?  Where do store the cabinets? (Remember, I delayed finishing the crawlspace so I could get a bulk deal on the foam insulation?)

The Future Missus was pretty worried about missing out on the sale AND those walnut colored cabinets.  All the other wood cabinets at IKEA are pretty red-toned.  And apparently, that just won't work.  

So I spent the largest amount at once for anything on this project so far... $4500 for our kitchen cabinets. That's pretty damn good.  Without the 20% sale they were $5600, so we saved $1100 on our cabinets that were already a great deal.

So this is good, but the downside is that we needed to take delivery of the cabinets within four weeks.  More on that to come...

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