Monday, June 14, 2010

Kitchen Planning

Some of you may have been following along with my kitchen saga. Last year, we had a few people come to do estimates, and they all came in around $20,000. This year, after hearing that some of the same people had lowered their prices, they came in at $25,000. Thinking that I was never going to get a new kitchen, I went into a bit of a funk.

Then we learned about Ikea kitchens. And suddenly things started moving very quickly! So I thought I'd share how you go about doing an Ikea kitchen, at least for as far as we've gotten so far.

First, you go to Ikea. You really have to see it all in person to get a real feel for it. Go to Ikea, eat the meatballs, and then go looking. One interesting thing about the Ikea kitchens is that they are not all in one place (like, say, kids stuff or living rooms) but are spread out all over the store. So take your time and wander, and believe me, Something will attract your attention. Pick up a catalog. Go home.

Now go to Ikea online and (if you have a PC) use their kitchen design software. If you don't have a PC, you'll have to do it another way, or bring your information with you to the store. You'll want to measure your kitchen, complete with doors, windows, water, and electrical. If you think you might want to take out or move walls, soffits, etc, this is the time to see if you can (not once you are excited about doing something and then you find out that you can't!)

Put everything into the system and then start playing with cabinets. You don't have to be perfect. Just get your general layout done. You can change stuff later. Now go back to Ikea.

Now you want to go to the kitchen design center. This is where you pick out your cabinet fronts, countertops, handles, and appliances. A design expert will go over your design with you and help you to remember stuff that you might have forgotten. He or she will make sure that you won't have handles knocking handles, and make sure that everything will actually fit. You'll be confused when you're using the software yourself, but that's because you are not an expert. Your design expert will make sure that you have the right kind of cabinet for your microwave, have the fridge that you actually want to order, and have it all in the right colors. Then you can buy it! Or you can wait and sit on it for another 2 weeks like we did. I suggest the latter. It's a big purchase, and you probably want to take your design back home and make sure you have it all right (we made 2 major changes after taking ours home, and one minor one).

And then you can order everything. When you do so, they might have you take some stuff home with you that day. We brought home our new cutting board and 34 door/drawer handles. They also let us take with us one drawer front so that we could pick out paint colors.  We should be getting a call soon with our delivery date, and then the real work will begin!

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