Tuesday, January 17, 2012

why new?

Several people have asked why we decided to get new cabinets instead of just painting and/or repurposing the originals.  Like I've mentioned, the original cabinets are solid.  They are good quality and in good shape - they just don't make sense to us.  In order for them to work for us, we would have to make far too many adjustments.  Let me explain...

See all those upper cabinet doors?  Yes, there are a few more than there needs to be and it's almost as if a few are on backwards.  A seemingly easy fix would be to remove the doors and just replace with larger ones.  We were originally going to take that route but after further inspection, we decided against it.

Those lime green lines mark a support brace that is a part of the cabinet frame.  We would need to cut those all out in order to make the cabinet space and doors more efficient.  While it's do-able, we didn't want to compromise the structure.  Also...

...in order for our new, taller, wider fridge to fit into the space, we would need to shorten the cabinet that is currently over the fridge.  (For perspective, the fridge you see in the pic above is an apartment size.) We also want to scootch our new fridge to the right a bit to give us a little extra elbow room when entering the room through that door.  Moving the fridge to the right would require us to remove those cabinets, or at least adjust to make them smaller.  Again, those tweaks are probably do-able but since we're going at this kitchen ourselves, I'm not confident enough in our cabinet remodeling skills.

We will also be installing our new microwave a few inches higher than the existing.  That would require us to make the existing cabinet smaller.  Because all of the cabinet frames on that wall are one large, single piece, adjusting that cabinet would cause a chain reaction of adjustments that we wouldn't want to take responsibility for.

As far as the other end of the kitchen goes...
...we are removing all of the upper cabinets that I circled in the picture above and replacing with open shelving.  The lower cabinets will be replaced with a proper corner cabinet and a large bank of drawers for easier access.  As it is now, it's close to impossible to grab anything from these cabinets without crawling halfway in first.  I'm curious to tear these out and see what might be hiding in that dark corner - perhaps my small cast iron pan that I haven't seen in months?

So, with all of the adjustments that would be required along with building new doors, sanding, priming, painting, etc., we came to the conclusion that we will rip all these suckers out and replace with a new cabinet layout that we were able to design from scratch.  Our plan is to move some of these cabinets into the storage room behind our garage or into the basement.  Whatever we don't re-use, we will try to sell for some extra cash.

Because of the countless number of available options, positive reviews, and, of course, affordability, we opted for Ikea cabinetry.  For some gorgeous kitchen photos and a descriptive explanation of Ikea cabinetry, check out this site:  http://carolreeddesign.blogspot.com/2009/10/why-i-love-ikea-kitchens.html.  So far, they have exceeded my expectations.  We mulled over several design options by using their online design tool (so fun!) and then the beyond informative in-store kitchen expert helped us to make some final adjustments.  All of our cabinetry was ordered on Saturday and delivered on Monday - all 113 pieces.  While I'm excited for the final result, I am less than excited to put it all together but I will constantly remind myself that doing this ourselves is saving us thousands.

Below is a quick sketch of our new cabinet layout that might help to show most of our changes.  While most are minor, our hope is that we will benefit from a significant increase in useable storage.  The opposite wall (not pictured) will also include new storage solutions but I'll get to that explanation another time!

In related news, I also ordered our new sink and faucet over the weekend from Overstock.  We are going with a 30" undermount, single bowl, stainless sink and a pull out faucet.  They should be delivered this week so fingers crossed we love them in person and they work for our space!

Our next steps are to (1.) start putting our cabinets together so they are ready to be installed as soon as we finish the demo.  (2.) Demo.  (3.)  Lay new floors.  (4.) Install all of our new cabinets and appliances.

Our hope is that we can get most of the demo done this weekend.  Fingers cross that we can stick to our probably-too-ambitious time schedule!

(Attention:  If anybody is interested in any of our existing cabinetry or appliances, please let us know!!!)

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