If you hire a kitchen designer they will do a lot of the work for you. They’ll pair your style of cabinets with flooring, give you backsplash options, scour the internet for lighting options and sink options, etc. It sounds like a dream, honestly, but we didn’t have it in the budget to hire a kitchen designer and the job also kinda sounded like fun! I was up for the challenge!
I’ll be completely honest, designing this space took a lot of time and I understand why people hire designers. BUT, if you have the time and love design, I think you’ll enjoy the process.
Before we started this project, I hadn’t really thought about what I wanted in a dream kitchen. Crazy I know, but I just hadn’t given it much thought. I learned a lot along the way so I wanted to share what worked for me and what I would do differently in the future. If I could go back, I still wouldn’t have hired a kitchen designer. The process was fun!
When I first started looking at kitchens, the ones that stood out to me the most, the kitchens I kept pinning and repining were all from Devol Kitchens. Their kitchens are so dreamy. I love the in-set cabinets that just melt into the boxes. I love how cozy and classic and rich they feel. And if you have the budget, Devol Kitchens will actually design your kitchen lay-out and ship a whole set of cabinets to you. They start at around 60k. LOLL. That was not in the budget, unfortunately. Not even close.
SO, I got a bid from a cabinet maker and it was closer to 20k for what I was looking for (shaker-style cabinets that had that in-set). That price tag still hurt, so I did some more research and came across Semi Handmade, a company that makes fronts that fit onto Ikea boxes.
Like everyone who was broke AF in their 20s, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with Ikea. A few years ago, I vowed to rid my entire apt of anything Ikea so I was a bit timid when it came to this cabinet process. It’s safe to say that the cabinet process still resulted in a love/hate relationship! LOL. Still the same—nothing has changed!
So here is how the process went down (I’m including prices just to be transparent and informative but of course this will vary depending on the size of your kitchen):
1. Measuring Kitchen – If you’re getting custom cabinets, the process for it usually goes like this: demo, space is cleared out and then the entire space is measured and custom cabinets are built for the space. This is not a bad way to do it. Of course, this is why some kitchen renos take a ton of time.
With Ikea, they sub-contract a company that comes to your house and measures your kitchen space. These measurements then get put into your “profile.”
2. Kitchen Design Time– You have to make an appt with Ikea to design the space. There are also companies that will design it at your house in the space. This is the route I wished I had gone because it’s easier to imagine. Continue Reading
I’m really excited about this post because I really should’ve researched tips on working with a contractor BEFORE I started. I would also like to preface this post by saying that this is my only experience with a contractor so obviously take this with a grain of salt.
How do I say this gently?…I didn’t LOVE working with my general contractor. But as I asked around to some friends, I found that our experiences were very similar. My contractor wasn’t on the job the entire time, there were mistakes that happened and I didn’t know what I was looking for or how to fix them. There was miscommunication, lack of communication, people not showing up on time, people not showing up at all, delays, etc. This is apparently super normal!
Every industry I’ve worked in, I’ve never experienced this so this was sort of a shock to me haha. Call me naive. Regardless of my experience, if I were to do another renovation, I’d absolutely use a contractor again.
Here are some benefits of using a contractor:
1. Insurance – They are insured. Meaning if they do work on your house and the roof caves in, their insurance will kick in and pay for the repairs. If one of their workers hurts himself/herself while working on your home, their workers’ comp will kick in. Their work is insured and so are their employees. Huge plus!
2. Licensed – All contractors are licensed. Actually probably not all but make sure you’re hiring a licensed contractor. This means that if you need to pull a permit with the city of wherever last minute, they can do it. Licensed also means they usually know what they’re talking about. Ours absolutely did know what he was talking about.
OMG I can finally tell you that the entire kitchen is done done DONE. It’s an amazing feeling and I love the way it turned out. As you know, I started this process a long time ago!! There are a lot of bases to cover so I’m not going to cover everything in this post, instead I’m going to separate the posts into three or four posts.
This one is all about the reveal! I love dramatic before and afters and I have to say, the before photos show a pretty intense makeover.
This was my first ever renovation and I learned a lot. I also designed this space myself, which was another huge learning experience.
Let’s start with the inspiration. The house itself is an English-style cottage so I wanted to be true to the house. I wanted it to fit within the style of the house so I went with shaker cabinets. What I didn’t want? Was an all-white kitchen. I wanted something with a bit more style but at the same time, I wanted to make something that would be sellable and not too custom.
Here are some BEFORE photos that show the dramatic change:
Before we start, here’s a link to Part 1 in case you missed it!
If you’ve been following the kitchen renovation on the Insta Stories this is all old news to you BUT I figured it’d put a legit update on this here space to show you where we are in renovation land.
It has been a pretty fun learning experience. A lot of people told me that the four week estimate that we were aiming for probably wasn’t going to actually stick and they were right. We’re currently four weeks in and we’re kinda far from being done.
The first thing that was done was the demo. PHEW! This might’ve been my favorite part. It was so dramatic and really made me laugh because it was so crazy how different the space took. Continue Reading