Before I start, you just might think this week's lot of posts is sponsored by Ikea, but for the record, they're not! There just happens to be a whole lot of Ikea-related things to write about, so I thought I'd cram them all into one week.
I wish I could say this is it, but nope, mine is still how it was a month ago only with less cupboard doors and more ants (does anyone else have this problem? What is going on with the ant invasion?) This, however, is a rather lovely looking kitchen from our October issue. Image by Dan Magree/Real Living magazine
On Friday I convinced my parents to come all the way up from Canberra to meet me at Ikea and help me get my head around the whole kitchen design thing. Well, they were coming up to Sydney anyway, but I used the babies as bait so they'd make a detour to Ikea. So mum babysat Zak and Layla and I put my blinkers on again and bypassed all the cool stuff and headed straight to the kitchen department (I did spot one thing - tomorrow - but that's because it was right in front of me. I swear I didn't look to the side once.)
It was rather helpful having Dad along - I can't imagine doing this with someone who hasn't done it before. He had clever inside knowledge such as how the wall microwave cabinets they have aren't deep enough for a lot of microwaves so I should just get a normal base cabinet and smaller door. And how the Gripp handles will avoid a repetition of my wardrobe handle debacle because unlike most handles you just screw them into the side of the door instead of drilling through it. And how I can use any size wall cabinet for the fan cause he'll adapt it. And that yes, I can use two small wall cabinet frames (because they're not as deep as the base ones) on the end of one bench side as open shelves into the dining room. Excellent.
I also - finally - put to good use a commenter's suggestion from way back and took a stick of wood in my wall paint colour to match the colour. On my last Ikea trip I was horrified to discover that the Applad white is actually not that white at all, rather a cream. However, it seems my Whisper White paint is also not that white and so the two together should come up a rather good match after all. So it's back to Applad! With Gripp handles. And birch wood benchtops. And a stainless steel sink with mixer tap. And if Domayne can't beat a price on the appliances, it'll be their ceramic cooktop, silver oven and rangehood too.
So, if my estimations are correct (oh please let them be!) I'll be forking out around $2350 for cabinets, $2018 for benchtops, plinths, legs, handles, sink, cover panels, taps, and $1310 for the appliances. A total of $5678. My carpenter quoted me $3650 for all the other stuff (ripping it out, putting in a new window, resheeting the walls, the plasterer, the plumber and electrician) so that brings it all to a grand total of: $9328 which is UNDER the $10,000 budget we set out to do. Oh, hang on I forgot to add the dishwasher, but still, close enough. We can afford more, but why go crazy when I'm happy with this? Plus, we won't be here forever, so I can design and do my dream kitchen in the next place if it doesn't have it already.
This almost made me want to reverse my materials, but I have a feeling - as lovely as it is - the wood bottoms will date quicker than white. Image by Dan Magree/Real Living magazine
My only drama was that when I checked the stock availability at Ikea I noticed some base cupboards and oven cabinet weren't in stock. I was all ready to call them to ask when they can expect more in when I discovered this nifty little tool: Ikea Webchat. It's like instant messenger - you ask a question, they answer rather quickly, and I found out the actual frames are in, it's the doors that aren't in stock, but they'll be in in a week and a half. Everything now rests on when I can get my electricty box upgraded because it's not going to be able to handle anything else and I'm not keen on finding out what will happen if it gets overloaded.
Soo, it finally looks to be happening. In fact in needs to be happening because my little '50s kitchen is literally falling apart: the cold water tap came off a while back and we didn't bother fixing it because "we were doing the kitchen soon". And then the other day the door under the sink fell off. We discovered that one tiny nail (not even a screw!) had been holding it on for the past five years. I think it was tired of holding up the fort and just gave up. Damn good job though. So, yes, it's time!
In celebration of my near kitchen renovation, I thought I'd share these pictures of two pretty kitchens from recent issues of Real Living I'm adding to our website's brand spakin' new image gallery (from next month, fingers crossed!) Aren't they lovely?