If you’ve been following along on our journey with the #TheModHouseProject, I promised you all that I would share my kitchen plans and inspirations with you. As you know, we are doing majority of the remodeling ourselves using an IKEA kitchen.
In my previous post, I shared an image of our “before” space. It’s an 90’s dated kitchen with one horrible layout in an 11 x 18′ room. Furthermore, what you can’t see in the photo below is that the oversized curved island actually takes up space in our adjoining family room making everything feel really, really, crammed. (No lie. The previous owner’s couch actually leaned against the island!)
Now although this is not our first time doing home renovations, it is our first time redoing a kitchen. So a lot of planning and research went into this one before we attempted anything. For the most part, things are going according to plan while other things had to be changed along the way —-> it’s all part of the process!
The most important question that anyone needs to understand before they jump head first into a kitchen reno is “what is the primary motive for remodeling your kitchen?” Some may want more storage, a better prep space or just a modern day update. For us, we wanted a better layout for our kitchen with an open concept feel on our main floor. Which leads us to our first requirement. . . .
Requirement #1: Open Concept & Airy Kitchen
Although I cannot increase the square footage of my kitchen, there are ways to create the feeling of more space. In our case, we widen the doorway between the kitchen and dinning room for better traffic flow.
Having clear sight lines from the kitchen to both ends of our house does wonders for an open concept feeling. Not to mention, it’s great for entertaining! Also it allows us to put a longer 7ft island which not only elongates the kitchen but does not take any space from our adjoining family room.
Since our existing kitchen had some cabinetry on the wall we removed, we really only lost one upper cabinet space. For additional storage we will be using some floating shelves to make up for it (plus I finally have a pantry in our main floor laundry room!)
Requirement #2: A DIY kitchen
Originally, the plan was to paint our wall cabinets and replace our curved island for a straight one. However, after stepping foot in the IKEA store and looking at all the well designed displays, we were sold on the idea to just change it all. With the affordable price tag and the multitude of styles, it’s a DIYer’s dream. Plus a week later, the IKEA kitchen event started 😉 I couldn’t say no!
We loved the soft look of LIDINGO cabinet doors and we knew we wanted a two-tone kitchen. We opted for white glass uppers and grey lowers which looks fantastic with our newly placed hardwood floors.
We are really customizing our IKEA island which I’ll post a tutorial at a future date. I’ve search GOOGLE high and low for tips on how to put an IKEA island together and was dumbfounded when I couldn’t find anything that can help us.
Here’s an image from the IKEA website using the LIDINGO grey cabinets. Not the exact look we are going for but somewhat similar.
Requirement #3: Upgrades for that WOW factor
Right from the start, I knew I wanted that professional and stylish looking kitchen. Knowing what materials speak to you is the key to success. For me, a quality countertop paired with a high-end professional sink and faucet are key factors to making an ordinary kitchen a fantastic one!
Let’s face it. If an IKEA kitchen was paired with laminate countertops and a sad looking sink & faucet, the kitchen won’t have that “wow” appeal. Pair it with something fancy like quartz or granite and all of a sudden you have this amazing, professional looking kitchen. Just take a look at the store displays next time you go to IKEA. That’s why 90% of their kitchens are done this way.
We choose to go with white quartz countertops which we got through IKEA. I wanted to pick something that will remain classic and stand the test of time. Similar to the picture below. . .
For the sink, I searched high and low, read a million and one online reviews to discover some of the best manufacturers on the block. The one I kept returning to was BLANCO. Have you seen their products? Seriously they are the “Ferrari” of kitchen sinks.
I know I wanted something durable, easy to clean, scratch resistant and most importantly something that looks like a piece of art! BLANCO hit each one of my requirements right out of the ball park. Plus after many nights of researching, their reviews were simply one of the best.
I’ve been particularly interested in their SILGRANIT® collection which is a line of coloured sinks made out of 80% granite. Although I love stainless steel and I’m pretty sure you do as well, I can’t help but be drawn to the uniqueness of these coloured sinks. . . and hey, as the hubby puts it, “I like to be different”.
There is no shortage of ideas and online inspiration when it comes to picking out finishings for a kitchen. At times, I really do feel overwhelmed due to my ever changing mind. I discover new things all the time and then I think to myself “hmm, maybe I should do that instead”.
If there’s one thing I learned from this process—just stick with your original ideas. No matter how many times I changed my direction, I’ve always somehow reverted back to my initial design thoughts. Anyone else feel the same way?
I really can talk about this stuff for days but to avoid turning this post into a novel, I will stop here today.
*Click through these links to see more about our kitchen plans, kitchen sink, creating an IKEA island, how to disguise a kitchen soffit, a kitchen recap, about our wallpaper, DIY upholstered bench seat, about our kitchen chairs and our kitchen reveal.