Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Slowly starting to make some decisions about the house...


Our goals are to keep things as low-cost as possible, while strategically spending more for quality and finish on items that we will never be able to change after home construction (i.e. we'll really try to have a basement, even if we have to wait on other things like the patios, because you can never go back on choosing to not have a basement for storage). There are lots of exterior things we can wait on if we have to (patios, landscaping, etc.), and there are other things we can be economical about with the knowledge that we can improve or upgrade at some point in the future.

One of those things is the kitchen, and I believe we have decided, after a trip to our local store in Bloomington, MN, to go with an IKEA kitchen. At first, I had thought we'd never go with IKEA, simply due to my perception that it wouldn't be durable enough. We love IKEA furniture, and we have a bunch in our current home (painstakingly assembled by me). But a whole kitchen?

The more we thought about it and investigated, the more we thought we should give it a look at the store. From my own research, a whole IKEA kitchen (including appliances) would cost 30-50% less than if we were to, say, have a Home Depot kitchen with Home Depot appliances. That's some serious savings. And, once we saw the kitchens at the store, it seems a no-brainer. The design is certainly vintage IKEA; easy to use, well thought-out, lots of options, simple process (can't necessarily say all of these things about Home Depot or other standard retailers, especially in regard to design). What I show below is basically the process of kitchen design with IKEA, and some of our own preferences, using the IKEA kitchen brochure for 2008.

First, there's arrangements to consider for optimal work flow and usability, along with organization (click any to enlarge):

With the design of Scheme D, we would have the "L" shaped layout above (with an island), which is probably the best arrangement.

One thing that is awesome about IKEA is the thought that they put into organization, with tons of options for storage (click either to enlarge):
And how can any large family go wrong when they can supply everything we need for childproofing! (click to enlarge)
As far as style, most of what they display is too Scandinavian for our tastes, with really modern looking finishes and light woods. But, they have so many options that we can certainly design to our tastes. Er... or should I say, we can certainly design to MOLLY'S tastes. She has complete veto power when it comes to the kitchen, that's like her office. So, when we visited the store, out of the cabinet styles we saw, Molly (and me too, actually) liked the style and color I marked below (click to enlarge):
And with the different options one can select, it could look something like this:
Or this...
But, Molly has said she's always liked white kitchen cabinets as well, especially since they really brighten the room, so we can't rule out something like this yet...
Stress wise, what I really love is that IKEA is a one stop shop. You can literally get everything you need there (appliances, fixtures, you name it). Here's some examples of faucets (below). I'm partial to the industrial, "take-no-prisoners," "we-have-a-huge-family" faucet on the far left (seriously), but Molly doesn't like it. There's still time.
And as far as appliances go... alright, so I will divulge one splurge (albeit, a nice-to-have for a large family type splurge). Molly would LOVE the little number below:
The one thing we probably won't get through IKEA is countertops; though we will still go the inexpensive route, we're not sure IKEA really has what we would want.

As for my quality concerns, there's a 25 year warranty, and lots of other info (click to enlarge):
I think the need to upgrade any of this stuff in the future is going to be minimal, if not zero.

To top it all off, they have kitchen planning software that you can download to arrange things yourself (see here). And they can do installation.

I think at least we know what we're doing for one room of the house!


John Curran said...

I really like the lines of the IKEA furniture, and think it will be perfect for the style home you are planning. The medium-brown birch looks great, almost like cherry (?) and would look wonderful with dark green countertops. Or white, for that brighter look. My personal thought on the white cabinets is that it always reminds me of older, painted cabinets. But could be beautiful used with blues, or greens...

Happy planning...


Molly Koop said...

I like white cabinets, but I'm not sure that I like Ikea's line of white cabinets. They just seem a bit more "chincy" to me. That huge faucet sprayer screams "Use me to soak your sister with. It will be really fun." I'm not sure I want to go there.

Isaac Schwoch said...

I like the fact that they have interesting design options, such as the exposed hood over the range. Amanda and I will have to head over to IKEA one of these days.