Saturday, February 18, 2017

Our Happy Home ~ Kitchen Renovation

When you move into a home that is not new, the list of things to do gets very long very fast. 

Our house was built in 1999. We knew moving into it that we would have to do a lot of work on it. It was perfectly functional but not really our style. The previous owners had builder beige everything and everything was a base model. It was.... boring. One of the biggest items on our list was kitchen. We knew it would be a big ticket item. Kitchens are generally one of the most expensive projects in a house so it got put onto the back burner. 

After tackling the basement development and the deck we knew that the next step was the kitchen. It started with a planning trip to Ikea to see what they had to offer and it quickly turned into a series of very serious planning sessions. It was pretty easy to decide on style and colour. It was important to us to create something timeless but still modern. We decided on all warm white and glass with a butcher block island. We put the order in and scheduled our delivery and that was that. 

The next step was demolition. Here is what it looked like before we started (with the tile backsplash already removed)....

The removal process was pretty quick. Dave did most of the heavy lifting but they pretty much popped right off the wall. Over the next two days Dave removed everything as we tried to time everything for the arrival of the new cabinets. We didn't to be without the kitchen more days than absolutely necessary.  

Henry was so excited to help! He was in there like a dirty shirt. He even helped his dad take apart the sink cabinet. He was in little man heaven. 

Sydney was on the clean up team. She is so much like me... a little neat freak.

We opted to donate all of our old cabinets to Habitat for Humanity. It is for a good cause and it was also convenient for us. Habitat will come and pick up your old cabinets for free if they are in good shape. They then sell them in the re-store to raise funds for their projects. 

We organized the pick up of the old cabinets and drop off of the new ones for the same day. The old ones went out in the morning and the new ones came in the afternoon. It could not have worked out any better. 

Our new kitchen came in the form of 136 boxes. To say that it was overwhelming would be an understatement! It was crazy! My biggest piece of advice for anyone looking into building an Ikea kitchen would be pay for the delivery!  If you choose to bring your own kitchen home you have to wait in line at the store, potentially for hours, while they pull every single piece from the warehouse. Then it is your responsibility to load each piece into your vehicle and then each piece into your house when you get home. It would be a major pain in the ass. 

We started building the cabinets right away. They were pretty easy to put together and once you built one, you knew how to build them all. We set out to get them all built as fast as possible so that the install could begin.

When you order your kitchen with Ikea you have detailed lists and drawings of everything. Each cabinet has a number based on it's position in the room which makes it soooo easy to put together. 

On installation day Henry was all set and ready to go! He got all geared up to work with the grown men. Our contractors showed up and everything started to come together. We have used the same contractors for all of our major projects and love the work they do. 

The best part about the Ikea Sektion system is that once you get the hanging rail on the wall and into studs, the cabinets basically hang themselves. The challenging part is all of the finishing. Moldings, spacer pieces and fine finishing is something that is all better completed by a professional with the right tools.

On day one all of the upper cabinets went in. On day two all of the lower cabinets. On day three they tackled most of the finishing and on day four they built the island and mounted the butcher block. Every day was more exciting progress!

Meanwhile, we headed out to Urban Granite to pick out our counters for the back. A friend from high school is the shop foreman and he was able to push our order through within a week! They came out and templated the day that the cabinets were done being installed. We chose the beautiful grey quartz with white marbling by Ceasarstone. It's called Arctic Mist.

While we waited for our counters I got to work on the cleaning and organizing. I am obsessed with having organized storage so I knew that this would be my favourite part! I started lining all of the drawers and planning out where everything would live. 

The day that the quartz went in was like Christmas! It was the counters that made the kitchen feel almost complete. At this point I was able to start putting everything away. We were also able to place the call to our plumber to come plumb in the sink for us.

While waiting for our plumbing to go in we had the difficult task of deciding on a backsplash. I actually though that this would be the easy part! It turns out that this would be the most difficult decision in the entire kitchen. With the warm white of the cabinets and the cool grey of the quartz, we needed to find the perfect tile. We auditioned a few sheets from Lowes and in the end we decided on creating our own houndstooth pattern with driftwood coloured tiles. The tiles are three by eight inches and I knew that they would make the impact that we were looking for. 

Then the water came! After having to do our dishes in our bathtub for three weeks we could not have been more excited! Our giant farmhouse kitchen was perfect and the faucet is incredible!

The tile took three full days the put in as a result of the complicated pattern. Making all of those cuts in a garage that was sitting at -25C made it a lot more challenging for our contractors. It meant that the water lines on the wet saw kept freezing up so everything had to be cut dry. I honestly think that it was totally worth it. 

Here is the final, beautiful result. We could not be any happier with the outcome! It is a bright and well organized space that our family will use  and love and use every day for years to come. I will give you a little tour.

We went with all drawers on the bottom for convenience and better storage. The new island is about 9 inches longer than the old one and is sitting on a custom built wood box for stability. The top is butcher block and we added an open wine rack to finish it off. 

There are hidden drawers in all of the base cabinets giving us a mountain of extra storage. We opted to use bamboo dividers from ikea for all of our cutlery and love the look and organization.

Here is a close up of the backsplash. 

We also picked up plastic divides for the tupperware and pan drawers. It makes everything super accessible and easy to find. 

We ordered a bamboo in drawer knife block for our knives. They were previously on a magnetic knife block that we didn't want to put back on our nice new backsplash.

The kids even got their own art drawer. We used to house all of their things on top of the fridge but there is no space to do so now.... and I wouldn't want to if we could. I am really making the effort to keep all our our counters and surfaces clear. 

Our hardware is simple and timeless. 

To say we are in love is an understatement of massive proportions. This kitchen is my new favourite place in the house!

Mrs. E

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