The Cool House: ikea
Showing posts with label ikea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ikea. Show all posts

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Test drive: Modern kitchen reveal

The new kitchen has been up and running for a few months now and it occurred to me that I never posted a product list nor talked about how it functions as a working kitchen. The design challenge for the renovation was to create a space that would fit seamlessly into the mid-century house while utilizing 21st century technology, that would give us as much storage as the original but not feel as cramped. I spent six years researching and compiling wishlists. Remember the inspiration kitchens? The process was fluid, the layout changing right up to the moment the cabinets went in.

Moving the island has enabled me to both cook and wash dishes while spying on the neighbors looking out on the front yard; this is great entertainment, much better than a TV in the kitchen. Having three long and separate counters means a lot of people can be in the kitchen at one time without getting under each other's feet, but I find myself second guessing the Caesarstone, it's easy to maintain but in a battle with a Le Creuset casserole it's a brittle pussy. The previous Corian put up more of a fight. The Guy enthuses about the deep Blanco Super Precision sink, mainly because he can fit so much in it at one go. I like that I can pile dirty stuff in there and it almost disappears. I made a conscious decision not to have multiple dishwashers and I haven't regretted it. The thought of sacrificing a cabinet for something I'd only use once or twice a year strikes me as wasteful, plus the huge sink holds a the equivalent of one full load out of sight until the dishwasher is emptied again.

We both love the induction cooktop-it's a geek's dream come true-and the Cree LED downlights that have made a huge difference to the lighting in the room. These eco-friendly products were something I insisted on and they've more than lived up to expectations. The double convection wall ovens heat evenly but they take longer to reach temperature, even with the rapid preheat, than the old GE model and when I use the timer I can't read the oven clock. The cabinets are fabulous, the soft-close full-extension drawers mean less bending and stretching and yes, there are still a couple of empty drawers. Maybe though, the best part of the kitchen was something I didn't appreciate until I visited a friend who has beautiful Saulsalito tiles on her floor. After standing on them for only an hour I came home with an aching back. That's something that hasn't happened to me since we layed the hardwood floors!

Quick reminder of how it used to look. It was a great kitchen, although the design was not as specified on the original blueprints-in fact it had twice as many cabinets as Andrew Geller had planned. That made for four really tight corners, one of which, 2' between the island and the desk (just seen behind the island in the photo), we had to remove to install the new fridge the week we moved in!

The renovation layout has meant that more people can fit in there without pinch points, the smallest passage is a roomy 39" and my hips are thankful for fewer bruises. We had twenty-five friends in the kitchen one evening, the sink full of beer and white wine in a bath of ice, the table groaning with desserts and I could still get round to refill drinks and pass hors d'oeuvres. That's when I knew we had a fully functioning space.

Ikea Nexus Brown cabinets, Atlas Homewares Linea Skinny rail pulls, Caesarstone Misty Carrera countertops, Cree LED lighting, Electrolux ICON wall ovens + induction hob, SubZero refrigerator/freezer, Marvel wine fridge, Bosch dishwasher, Blanco SuperPrecision sink, Grohe Ladylux3 faucet, Benjamin Moore Silver Satin paint, Miniwax American Chestnut stain.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Still no hardwood flooring in sight so work continues on the plumbing in the kitchen and the electrics in the den. The Sub Zero is churning out blocks of ice for the Gin & Tonics, the rough plumbing for the sink and dishwasher is done - and the tap outside the kitchen has been reconnected.
Yesterday I flew to Ikea to pick up the deco strip for the light rail and the drawer fronts to replace the doors on the cooktop cabinet. Unfortunately somewhere between the phone call telling me my order was in and me arriving there they had been misplaced. Five guys, two gals and a person on the end of a telephone tried for 90 minutes to make them reappear. One gal suggested I reorder and they offered to UPS them to me in "t'weeks"! I had an itsy-bitsy snarky Brit hissy fit whereupon a certain Kevin waded in and located them in four minutes flat. YAY DUDE! And in less than one hour after that the pieces were installed in the kitchen and the last handles (nos 50 & 51*) were screwed into place. Now we just waiting on the Caesarstone and we can start to cook again.
*I needed 49 handles but ordered 51 "just in case". This proved fortuitous when I decide I needed double handles on the 36" cooktop cabinet drawers. I also over-ordered cover panels and we ended up using all of them, including the ones I was going to make into a backsplash. Good thing I fell in love with those tiles...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sleeping soundly

The Hoffman bed arrived Saturday so we happily traded crashing on a mattress on the floor for a real grown-up king-size bed. Paradoxically, the huge bed makes the room seem larger. I have no idea why this should be but I'm happily embracing the bonus. Better still, switching the furniture around allows me a fabulous view of the white magnolia from my side of the bed - at least until all the leaves on the beech tree open. More importantly we've been sleeping better for the past four nights than we have in the previous four years.

Apart from the art piled up in a corner - and a place to put the BeoSound1 - this room is DONE. For those who need to know how it compares with the original inspiration and the The Guy's updated design, here's the rundown:

Bed: Room and Board Hoffman in Teton, Ink
Bed Linens: ikea Andrea Satin
Media console and Bedside Tables: Room and Board Grove
Rug: Kravet custom
Sofa: ikea (no longer available)
Drapes: Habitat Pixel (no longer available)
Cornices: Custom (Awesome Designer)
Blinds: Smith and Noble Dark Mahogany
Paint: Benjamin Moore. Walls: Titanium; Ceiling: Cloud White; Trim: Bittersweet Chocolate
Original Abstract Art: Jamie Geller Dutra

The entire before and after timeline from Muenster Cheese to Bittersweet Chocolate is available for your delectation here.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kitchen Inspiration

The inspiration for the kitchen is simply the original kitchen here. If it weren't for the chewed up cabinet interiors I would have just replaced the couple of pieces of cracked laminate, installed new Corian/Caeserstone/Cambria/Silestone counters and replaced the floor with something more eco-friendly than stick down vinyl tiles. As it is the shelves are warped and the hinges have been re-screwed to the cabinet sides so many times it looks like a moonscape inside the high cabinets. So it's time to let go and start afresh.

We were also struck during our tour of the Racquet Estates in Palm Springs by the pairing of inexpensive laminate cabinets (mostly ikea, which I love) and high-end appliances and countertops. The laminate in our kitchen has stood up well to 40+ years of kids, dogs and cooking and today's finishes are even better so this is the way we'll go. I'm also very taken by this kitchen I found while trolling the interwebs - from TurningHouseIntoHome - that has similar window configuration to ours.

After the four month long master bathroom renovation, I want the kitchen to go much more smoothly. This is feasible because there will be no wall tiles or wall board to remove - it's simply a matter of unscrewing the countertops and cabinets, stripping a layer of marine board off the floor, re-flooring, installing the new cabinets and counters and wheeling in the wall ovens, cooktop and island hood. Wheeee! It'll be that easy! I've set a schedule that will be take no more than two months beginning as soon as the replacement window goes in - you know, the one that has the mock travertine formica interior sill that's higher than the outside window frame...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Laundry Reveal

Shussssh! Don't tell the master bathroom but I'm cheating on it with this room. I find myself in here more often than is necessary - and for reasons that have nothing to do with laundry...

If I find my hands are a little dirty I'll run here to wash them - even if I'm at the other end of the house and have to pass a bathroom (or two) on my way. There's something about this Grohe K4 faucet that keeps me going back and stroking it every single time I go in the room. Lest you think I'm a crazy sicko, Nancy at the marble fabricator's office also has a fetish for it. It reminds her of a baby's bottom...

Speaking of marble, this is the same marble we used in the master bath and I just want to LICK it, it's so gorgeous. This piece over the Bosch undercounter washer and dryer will be finished when the fabricator cuts me new backsplashes - the installer used the long piece to make a 2" backsplash for the vanity upstairs - oops!

As for the Ikea Applad cabinets, they hide everything neatly away - including the vacuum and the ironing board - behind the softclose drawers and doors. At the moment most of the cabinets are empty but the plan is to use this as a mini-kitchen while we are undergoing the kitchen remodel. Oh, yes, I did just casually throw that out there; no stopping us now - we're on a roll!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Laundry Update: Cabinets

I wrote this post before I went walkabout:

Some weeks ago I promised an update to the failed initial laundry room plan. I drew and redrew the plan and eventually came up with something I could live with: 2 x 24" cabinets over the washer/dyer, a high cabinet next to the dyer and oak countertops. On the adjacent wall there will be one 18" and one 24" cabinet next to the laundry chute. Underneath the laundry chute a 15" cabinet, next to it a 24" sink base and then an 18" pull-out drawer unit. That will mean we only need a 2" filler, so no wasted space, and I ordered 39" tall wall cabinets so I'll have lots of room to store cat food.
The floor will have the same porcelain tiles we are using in the powder room. They are really low-maintenance, as easy to clean as the white Applad cabinets we've chosen. It should be a breeze to get this room finished.
Unfortunately, when we went to Ikea to buy the cabinets the high cabinet was out of stock so we ended up just getting the wall cabinets, which we have had neatly stacked in the garage for a month now. The plan was to make one cabinet per evening in the hopes we could have hung them by the following weekend but plans tend to get postponed in this house. Sometimes indefinitely.

Then I came back from Boston and to my great surprise I found:

Boxes assembled

and boxes on the wall. With doors. And handles. I'm totally impressed, maybe I should go away more often.
It's looking very shiny and clean, and much bigger than before. I can't wait to get the rest of the laundry room finished.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter = ikea

Jefke, Maya, Hermes
A trip to Ikea to buy some cabinets to finish the laundry room was a big fat bust. I had everything planned out, wall and base cabinets from the Udden range in clean, mod, white and stainless steel, plus a Mossby stainless shelf but, as so often when we get to the store, we started to second-guess the plan. To replace the existing sink countertop where the cats feed happily away from the ever-hungry dogs who would otherwise devour their treats, we could have either a free-standing unit with a single sink that would leave enough room for the cats to feed (just) but there would be a 9" gap at one end and that would be really annoying (you try scraping dried-on cat food out of a space that size)or a unit that would fit exactly that comes with a double-sink meaning the cats would have to eat in the sink. Rats. Thwarted once again.
So we came home empty-handed and cleaned the laundry which didn't make me feel even the teeniest bit better about the waste of time and fuel.
My mood wasn't made any better by listening to a segment on NPR about chocolate for Easter and hearing Chocolate Dinosaurs were a big seller. Because now I want a chocolate dinosaur and I didn't even get a little egg.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

No eBay, but some Ikea

To ease the pain of the eBay boycott I made another purchase at Ikea instead. A pink Stockholm throw to cover the scratch marks on the Harvey Probber sofa in the Great Room.

It's mostly mohair and extremely soft, which unfortunately, makes it irresistble to the cats. At least it cost a reasonable $29.99 rather than the $100+ that these things can sell for, so if it gets ruined I won't be too upset with them.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fruitbowls: for rich and poor

Stainless steel fruit bowls to be exact.
I've been hankering for one for a while now but I'm not sure it would look right in my kitchen.

The NY Times featured this beauty from Ligne Roset. The Eplaff, in lacquered stainless steel, measures 23"in diameter and sells for a whopping $265.

For a whole lot less money, $29.99 to be exact, Ikea has Stockholm, a stainless steel bowl with a less gimmicky flower pattern. It's slightly smaller at 16.5 ", but that may fit better on the average person's sideboard. Not to mention their wallet.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Dressing made easy

Ever since we moved in I've had difficulty getting dressed. No, not with the buttons or zippers, it's colours that have been the problem. I can't tell you the number of times I've left the house thinking I was dressed head to toe in basic Soho black and found out I had on a brown shirt, black trousers and navy boots. While Stacey and Clinton may tell you navy and brown are neutrals and you can wear any neutral with anything else, this is a BIG FAT LIE. You just look like you have no sense of style, or you got dressed in the dark. Which is pretty much what I've been doing since June 2004.
I'm feeling much better after the recent bout of sickness. And a little restless (nothing done on our 2008 House Resolution List) so I went to Ikea to get a $5 lampshade to go on the recent ebay purchase. $5 I figured wouldn't break the bank and it would only take me 5 minutes as I knew exactly what wanted. Ha, I was cursed by the Ikea fairy as I walked in the door. Actually not fairies but two "greeters" a la Walmart. Normally this would scare me but they weren't too cheery, and were quite young and fit and while I was wondering when Ikea Long Island started to employ people to smile at you as you entered, in fact when they started to have enough employees they could afford to station two at the entrance, and whether they were expecting a riot? Or someone taking up residence in the store without permission, that I was unexpectedly pulled deeper into the lighting department by some really bright halogen ceiling lights.
Really bright lights that would fit in our master closet. So that I could see what I was pulling on in the morning. So I wouldn't leave the house looking like I didn't care what I looked like. And they were only $35 each. I bought two.

It took Steven 30 seconds to take down the old lights and put one of the new ones up. They've changed the fittings on the Ikea ceiling lights and they are a joy to fix. Could have done it myself it was so easy. No fiddling twisting wires together - it's a push/pull system. All lights should be this easy. Then it took an hour to fix the second one because the electrical box is buried in the ceiling and we had to devise a system of spacers and screws to get it to the correct depth (thank you original electrician, I wish only good things for you) but I wasn't about to give up on this.

Eventually though we made it work and turned the lights on. Oh my god! So this is what my clothes look like. I had no idea.

I was so impressed that I will be going back to Ikea next week to get another fixture to go in the laundry room. So I can see if the clothes coming out of the washing room really are clean.

Oh, yes, the lampshade I went to Ikea to get. That fitted, too.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ikea Magic

Even if you hate Ikea (who could hate Ikea?) you have to appreciate the flash inspirational video on their web-site. Keep your finger on your mouse to make it go faster. Enjoy!
And if that's not enough of an end of year's cadeau for you, here's one more on the same theme from the Jonathan Coulton Project.

Monday, December 17, 2007

More Holiday Decorations

It appears that I'm not quite done with the decor for this season. I seem to have a white theme going on this year. Maybe I was inspired by the review of Park Ave Winter and the slideshow of the frosty interior. I found this white glass vase in Marshalls for "chips" and after trying a couple of places for it in the dining room I've placed it here with the white swirly bowl and glass tealight holders in the den.

I think the table still needs something to balance things out. Perhaps a splash of red?

On the kitchen island I placed the old red wood candlesticks we bought at Ikea in Belgium in, I think, 1991. Who said Ikea stuff doesn't last? They still had the white candles in them from the last time we used them (probably 2004). Unfortunately, I don't have any more white candles this size so this might be the last time they are lit.