Taking a Kitchen into the 21st Century (on a Budget!)

About 18 months in, I realized that I never gave a final update on our Ikea kitchen! I wrote a little about why we chose Ikea in a couple of previous posts. Overall, it came down to a balance of value and quality. I’m glad to say that after living with the kitchen for a while now, I absolutely love it! I would use Ikea again in a heartbeat on another kitchen – even if I had a bigger budget. I feel that the quality is much better than stuff we’ve seen at big box stores and the value is incomparable. Now, for the good stuff!

Here’s our kitchen when we purchased the house back in August of 2013. Holy paneling.


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IS-4rj5r0v4upnhBesides the obvious aesthetic problems, it was very dark and the storage was not functional at all. You also can’t see the water damage from a washing machine that must have been there a looong time ago. It was, however, a pretty good size.

Here we are on day 1: notice my dad’s gleeful look! He couldn’t wait to get started with that sledgehammer. The day we bought this house is a day he lives to regret. Sorry, Daddy!


After LOTS of demolition and many trips to the dump, we had an empty shell to work with. We also cut a pass through into our living room to allow more natural light into the kitchen. Good move!


Many layers of linoleum flooring scraped and gross water damage in the left corner!


fresh new subfloor installed by yours truly, Clint, my dad, and a family friend. Also, the paneling is gone! 

This whole thing took place over the course of about six months, with many changes and decisions along the way. The old adage about home improvement is true – you’ll spend twice as much time and money as you thought. After drywall and flooring were installed, we picked up our Ikea kitchen, assembled the many box cabinets, and installed them.

kitchen-assemblyWe also installed a butcher block countertop and bar – also from Ikea. Here’s what my kitchen looks like today, after all those months of blood, sweat, and tears!









We ended up adding a ton of storage with those corner cabinets on top and bottom. In fact, I still have a few empty cabinets! I love the classic white shaker style doors and black hardware. We also chose black appliances to maintain that look. I know stainless is all the rage, but I fear it may be the “harvest gold” of the future! The kitchen still feels custom to me, even though a carpenter or cabinet maker didn’t touch it. Being able to choose every detail is what made the whole process worth it!

If you’re looking for a kitchen re-do and aren’t afraid to get down and dirty and DIY – go for it!


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