All posts in IKEA kitchen

Kitchen coffee center: just put it in a drawer!

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One of the main goals for my new kitchen was to find a solution for my coffee stuff. In our previous space, it was sort of confined to a corner of the counter, but still took up counter space and still was an eyesore. Since I use a stove top coffee maker and/or a French press, I hand wash the parts and need a place to dry them. Again, that takes up counter space.

So what do we have in total? A coffee grinder, a hot water kettle, a couple of coffee pots that are used regularly, canisters of beans, a milk frother, coffee stirrers, sugar… these really add up!

The solution is using one of my drawers in our new IKEA kitchen as a hidden coffee station. It turns some of the IKEA parts that go with the Bygel rail system seem to fit nicely on the rails for the drawer. As you can see, I’ve got some of the smaller items in the Bygel cups and have used one of the baskets for drying my coffee pot. I’ve put an old cloth underneath so the drawer doesn’t get wet, and have also taken a small cloth bag and put some uncooked rice in it to absorb any leftover humidity (you can’t see it in the photo but it’s there. It’s about the size of a golf ball). So far, so good.

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I’ve been using Dunkin’ Donuts coffee for my cold brew since that method uses a ton of beans. I’m convinced cold brew can make any coffee bean/roast taste great.

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With the soft-close dampers, none of this stuff slides around. Definitely worth the $4.99 for that feature.

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The hanging containers really do hang and don’t touch the bottom of the drawer, which is nice, however the small rack holding the coffee pot does, hence the towel underneath.

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I also have my coffee scoop and a brush for cleaning the grinder in there. It’s amazing how much stuff goes into making a simple cup of coffee.

If I had a deeper drawer and some additional planning, I could probably fit the hot water kettle and the grinder in there and install some outlets behind the cabinets so they’d be in there full time, but my space is limited. Even so, it’s a huge improvement over what we had before.

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Vote for our kitchen on The Kitchn’s Small Cook Kitchens Contest!

The LA Lady's IKEA Adel DIY Kitchen

 

Happy Friday! Looks like our kitchen made it onto the list so click here or click the yellow graphic below and vote for our kitchen!

 

 

Also wanted to note: I think I’ll only occasionally be doing Friday Linkathon since not a lot of folks read it, so I’ll just post one if there’s something timely to announce.

 

IKEA Adel kitchen: before and after sneak peek!

The LA Lady's IKEA Adel DIY Kitchen

So it’s been a couple of weeks of traveling and house guests and I’ve been remiss in posting. And there was Dwell on Design where I met the most awesome purveyor of skincare products (more on that soon) and I had a great time.

Basically, I was putting the finishing touches on the kitchen and then I had to leave town! After weeks of IKEA cabinet assembly and tile installation, we have a finished product. So now I’ve been able to work in the kitchen and so far it’s been amazing. SUCH a huge improvement over the old 80’s kitchen. And now I won’t hit my head on the cabinets either!

Before pics:

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The white upper cabinets that extend into the middle of the space were THE WORST. They weren’t attached to a soffit and so they were way too high to really be usable… and I’m almost 6 feet tall.

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There were two big changes to the layout of this kitchen. One is the right corner of the kitchen (see third image) which is to the left of the fridge. That’s where our old water heater was housed. It’s such a terrible layout and getting to use that corner was a must. The second is the peninsula that divides the dining room from the kitchen. It’s great counter space but it makes it incredibly difficult for two people to work at the same time. Also, I’m pretty sure every guest we’ve had has hit their forehead on those upper cabinets, so they had to go no matter what.

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And here’s the new corner! The water heater has been swapped out for a tankless so now that closet has been significantly altered to accommodate a washer and dryer (I’ll do a post for that later).

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So now there’s no peninsula and it’s transformed our space into more of a U-shaped kitchen. If we’ve lost counter space, I haven’t noticed it yet.

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I think the best part of all is our cabinet space is so much more usable. I’ve been able to put away everything with room to spare. The door in the above image, while a necessity, kind of interrupts the flow but I’ve made it work by adding the towel rack with hooks (I think it’s the IKEA Bygel version) and am storing my oven mitts there. You’d be amazed what you can hang on a hook or mount to a door.

Mr. Los Angeles and I were discussing the whole project. He hated installing the tile backsplash the most and I hated the cabinet assembly the most. Although as you can see, the tile going all away around the door is a great touch and I’m so glad we did it. Who says white kitchens have to be boring?!

These are the main materials we used: IKEA Adel cabinetry in off white, Cambria countertops in Bellingham and a sandy gray tile

These are the main materials we used: IKEA Adel cabinetry in off white, Cambria countertops in Bellingham and a sandy gray tile (not sure of the manufacturer)

Be sure to check out the post on how we assembled all of this stuff here as well as our custom DIY spice rack here. Once again, a special thanks to TME Construction for making this vision a reality and letting us DIY our hearts out.

Kitchen Renovation: DIY Installation: IKEA Adel Cabinets

ikea akurum adel cabinet bases installation diy

After running into a rogue vent, having some odd city inspections and a handful of other road blocks, we finally have our drywall and tile in and are installing cabinet frames. This is when the kitchen starts to look like a kitchen and not a tool shed. When we were bidding the project with our contractor, he said multiple times, “if you run into trouble with the cabinet installation, give me a call.” This was the major line item we decided to DIY and his faith in our ability to do a decent job was slim. I don’t blame him: these cabinets are not a simple DIY. They require some serious planning. 80% of our effort was spent on planning. Experience in assembling IKEA furniture really won’t help you on this project. What will help you is research… and a good tape measure… and a great drill, some extra screws… a laser level, etc. etc. etc.

Mr. Los Angeles has one of the best brains I’ve ever seen and the only contribution I provided was an extra set of hands and some basic suggestions. Even after paying someone from IKEA to come and measure our kitchen, he double-checked that every cabinet would fit and every door would have the right clearance to open. He also took into account that there’s not single wall that’s straight in this joint and we’d have to buy enough shims to build a tree house for The Brady Bunch. And in the true spirit of a remodeling project, there would be problems that need solving.

This process might seem obvious to any/all of you who’ve done this before, but I thought I’d include them anyways since we wouldn’t have known to do some of these things without researching it first. The way I see it, you can go about installing your IKEA kitchen in two ways:

  1. Get the cabinets and follow the directions while installing them. Done and done.
  2. Research the ins and outs of IKEA cabinets. Search YouTube for installation suggestions. Get the proper tools. Measure measure measure. Add all of the end panels, toe kicks, plinth pieces and details that finish off the kitchen.

We went with option two and, at times, it was difficult. I’d say about 60% of our knowledge base wasn’t contained within the IKEA directions but found in online forums and videos. Our contractor offered us a few tips we didn’t find elsewhere and that saved us big time. And it’s not that the IKEA directions are really lacking. In fact, it’s amazing how they’ve organized the whole process.

Before I launch into this, I’d like to recommend a few tools, some of which are specified in the directions and some that aren’t. It’s worth suggesting at this point that if buying all these tools and spending all this time installing the cabinets will outweigh the cost of having someone install them for you, then you might want to rethink a DIY installation:

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Custom DIY spice rack in your IKEA kitchen

Ikea custom diy spicerack

I’ve been immensely impressed with the IKEA process. The few problems I’ve run into have been relatively minor in the grand scheme. They’ve thought of everything…

…almost everything.

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Kitchen Renovation: 75% complete

Cambria countertop in Bellingham, lit by our under cabinet lighting from Environmentallights.com

Wow… we’ve come a long way! And yet we still have a long way to go. The floors are in, the base of the cabinets are in and I’d say about 90% of the cabinet doors/hinges/drawers are in. We still have to install the counters and backsplash, but once that’s done the kitchen is pretty much done.

 

    Cambria counter top in Bellingham, lit by under cabinet lights from Environmentallights.com

Cambria counter top in Bellingham, lit by under cabinet lights from Environmentallights.com

I’m so excited about our counter tops, and our lighting is looking great. Right now I’m writing several posts about the things we’ve done with our kitchen, plus taking a lot of photos along the way.

Stay tuned!

Kitchen Renovation: Demolition! And why we decided to not DIY this part

Kitchen Demolition

LET’S BREAK STUFF!

Finally! We’ve started our kitchen remodel today and our old, nasty kitchen has been demolished. I was dreading this day for a while but it just means we are one step closer to the finished project. I think we’ve chosen a great construction company (TME Construction Inc.) who can get this done in a reasonable amount of time. Barring any unforeseen disasters (which are probably inevitable) this should take about three to four weeks, start to finish.

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Making an IKEA kitchen look custom made

The LA Lady's IKEA Adel DIY Kitchen

When you talk to contractors, you keep hearing the same thing over and over again when you mention an IKEA kitchen:

  • We don’t do those
  • My cabinet guy can match their prices per linear foot
  • They look cheap
  • They are poor quality

I disagree with all of that.

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Kitchen Renovation: Buying an IKEA kitchen

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Well low and behold, we have purchased the IKEA kitchen! I’ve been mentally preparing myself for a while, knowing that many people have experienced some frustrations during the purchase process (not to mention the assembly) so I came armed and ready. You can find plenty of posts on the subject, and one was even posted on one of my favorite blogs The Kitchn the very day I went to go buy the kitchen. If that isn’t a sign…

Here’s my take on buying an IKEA kitchen:

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Kitchen Renovation: Phase One Planning (part 2)

So we’re getting closer to deciding on a contractor. Our salesman at the counter top company (which I’ll be reviewing when this process is done) is actually a reputable contractor and we’re getting a quote from him. It’s amazing how difficult it is to find someone who is licensed and insured (per the HOA’s and just a smart thing to do) and who will take a job under $15k-ish.

Continue reading →

 
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