Kitchen Inspiration & Choosing Cabinets

There are some very exciting things about to happen at our house. A COMPLETE kitchen remodel! We’ve done several bathroom renovations over our years but never a kitchen. And it scares us a little and yet really excites us. We will be doing it ourselves. Well that is, installing everything except for the countertops. We will be removing walls, adding electrical, and removing floors. And we are starting this weekend! Cabinets have been ordered and will arrive the first week of May so this weekend will begin the demo phase as well as re-configuring outlets and lights. There are three walls that will be coming down and all the carpet and parquet floor in our entire house will have to be removed (eventually). I plan to document along the way so stay tuned. Really the next two weeks will just be demo which will take us a while with Andy’s back and work schedules. Also we are scheduled to tile my mom’s kitchen backsplash soon so it’s going to take us awhile for demo alone.

I did want to share my mood board with all of you though. I love so many different styles that narrowing down our choice was difficult, not including narrowing down finishes and flooring that would compliment what we wanted. I have been dreaming and pinning images since we bought the house last fall. So let’s first explore three kitchens that I just love and really speak to me. I keep coming back to these kitchens when planning our kitchen.

First up is Chris Loves Julia recent kitchen renovation. I just love Julia’s style so much. I love the drama and yet light and airy flow with modern touches. My only fear though is that by going dark with the cabinets our house would feel too dark. We don’t have a lot of natural light so we nixed the dark cabinet color but I still wanted to pin her image here as I just love all of her finishing touches like hardware, hanging plant, lights and that bell! Their cabinets are also from Ikea, which is something we considered doing ourselves.

Second is basically every white kitchen from Studio McGee. If you don’t know Shea, you need to head directly to Studio McGee. I love Shea’s vision and all her light and airy white kitchens. Like I mentioned above, our house lacks natural light. I love how this kitchen really brighten things up and yet the dark counters really make a bold statement.

Third is Rachel Parcell’s kitchen. No matter what I do, I keep coming back to marble. But of course, I will never use real marble due to it’s insane upkeep, but I just love how light and airy this kitchen is. I also love gold accents but not sure I can pull that off in our own kitchen. The tile up the entire wall and that range hood has me swooning.

So after a lot of going back and forth between pinned kitchen designs, Andy and I had some serious conversations. First I started with cabinet color. I really wanted to go dark for the base cabinets. It would hide dirt, give us the mood/boldness I wanted and we could get them at Ikea and save thousands #nojoke. However, with the lack of natural light and the fact Andy was not a fan, we nixed that idea.

Second, we looked at Ikea’s stock cabinets in white. You literally can save thousands of dollars on a kitchen by going with Ikea cabinets and to be honest, they are actually pretty good quality. The only deterrent for me was that their white color was really an ivory and I just couldn’t get over that. I wanted crisp white. Since we don’t have a lot of natural light, that ivory will look even more yellow in our home and that would really bother me. Then I looked into Semi Handmade, a company that creates custom doors for Ikea cabinets. The nice thing about Ikea is you can order what you want. If you don’t want the doors, don’t order or pay for them. I priced everything (doors and cabinets) out on both Ikea’s website and Semi Handmade and was really leaning towards this option. We would save so much money and the quality would be there. I was pretty sold on this and had finally convinced Andy to go with Ikea cabinets. I took off work early one day and drove him to Ikea to really sell him on them and I won. He was sold. The price tag really is what sold it for him. The quality is just as good as some of the other cabinet lines out there in hardware stores so he said that was the winner.

Then I woke up the next day and told  him that I didn’t think Ikea was going to win me over. Here’s a glimpse into living with me during a DIY renovation. Constantly changing my mind, pouring hours upon hours into the design/material choices. Here’s the thing about Ikea cabinets, it’s a lot of install work. We will be remodeling our kitchen ourselves at night and on weekends. We have a busy work schedule right now and to throw in the fact that Andy is still recovering from back surgery, I would be left alone with putting every single one of those Ikea cabinets together. The other thing I considered was the fact that Andy gets pretty frustrated with putting together Ikea stuff some times and it just isn’t worth it this time. If we were a year out from Andy’s back surgery I definitely would consider it. The other thing is that the organization alone of ordering cabinets (you have to think about spacers and trim and toe kick) all before you order. I have already poured about 8 hours into Ikea cabinet design and pricing and I knew that I still had a long way to go before I could order all the pieces. It was honestly too overwhelming. We also kept expanding our kitchen plans. If we were remodeling a smaller kitchen, again I would probably go with Ikea.

So back to the drawing board. Through all of this we basically only agreed on color of cabinets. Then enter Lowe’s. They were having a 20% off kitchen cabinet sale and so we decided to check it out. At this point, I already had all my measurements and design layout I wanted so when we walked in to just check out cabinets they offered, we were greeted by a designer and began designing that day. It only took about 2 hours and only a few quarrels from Andy and I. I then stewed over the design for the next 12 hours. I made calls to family and friends and showed them our design and asked for input. We made a follow up appointment with Lowe’s for the following morning so I would have a deadline. Andy learned his lesson from his trip to Ikea. #smartman. The next day we made a few modifications and placed the order. I will say that we had an amazing experience with Lowe’s and their design department.

After we chose cabinets, we went to look at countertops. We’ll address those later. More quarrels to come.

I did want to share with you though the mood board I made. I find it helpful when trying to decide on which way to go with a design to create a mood board so you don’t stray too far from what you end vision is.

More to come on our kitchen remodel. Next post, the before’s of our kitchen and the design layout. Stay tuned.


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