I've been a busy little bee. September and October has been pretty big for kitchens. Change has been sweeping its way through the department, and as always I've been working hard to make sure we present our customers with the best IKEA have to offer! The first challenge came with the redesign of our low price kitchen. Yeah, another low price room. Now I have another one under my belt! Check out my first low price room here.

Originally, our low price kitchen was a small galley style in Applad white, to the tune of around $2,000. But IKEA loves to throw curve balls whenever necessary, you know, to keep it's customers, competition, and even its co-workers on their toes. Gnosjo is our brand-new door style replacing IKEA's Nexus black brown, but also taking Applad white's title as the low-price door in our range. I was pretty skeptical as to how the finish would actually look, but the new door has so much visual and physical texture, that when I saw it installed, I immediately became a fan. Because we were getting rid of Nexus, we collectively made the decision to change out the current Nexus kitchen, save as many pennies as possible, and make a bigger kitchen into the low-price kitchen. 

Here is the old Nexus black brown kitchen

This photo was taken by a fabulous friend of mine who was our previous kitchen designer, and implemented the 2010 Kitchens Remodel.

Immediately I began thinking of how we could bring the price down. What's new? What's now? What's trending? Then I decided, we should totally try open shelves! Not only would open shelving make the space more open and airy, it would be a quarter of the cost of wall cabinets. Our Com-In manager also suggested that I re-work the bar and take out more unnecessary cabinets. We also said goodbye to the stainless steel appliances, which was more than half the cost of the total kitchen. Are you ready for the after?

Okay, I lied. This is the under construction photo! But what a huge difference, right? 
Here's what we did:

  • Switched out the shallow-depth high cabinet for two stacked 30x30" wall cabinets with Rubrik light blue accent doors.
  • Took down the wall cabinets and added Ekby shelves. 
  • Added new Numerar countertop
  • Replaced the wall cabinets behind peninsula with Capita brackets
  • Removed the horizontal cabinets
  • Painted and added new tile

I just wanted to get a good close up of the tile for you. Subway tile is the most classic tile ever. It's beautiful, yet so inexpensive. I specified gray grout for a modern twist. Oh, and after all that, here's the real after:

I tried to keep it pretty simple with very few injections of color. This look is definitely not for the disorganized kitchen owner. Tip: Only purchase kitchenware that you love! Oh, and only keep things out that you use most often so that dust doesn't have much time to accumulate. P.S. Bonus for those who noticed that I added a window!

Because Vurm wine holders are merchandised across from the room, I made the conscious effort to incorporate it back into the room. The blue doors are pretty sweet, huh? Too bad they're getting discontinued in February. Get 'em while you can!

Notice that in the construction photo the countertops are different. In the final hour we switched them to light blue throughout, and a butcher block top for the bar which was stained black brown. Long story short, if you try this at home, pre-cut laminate tops are not great for a bar solution like this. Why? Well, you have to cut down the depth and reattach the laminate edge, which in most cases (even with a highly-trained professional) may not come out as cleanly as you may like. Since we have a huge DIY customer base, we decided not to complicate things, and make the solution as simple as possible. It was unanimous though. The stained butcher block top is so hot! Shout out to our carpenter for being so amazingly awesome!

Oh, and of course it always helps to give the customer a glimpse of who is living in the space. This guy is a musician. The kitchens' staff named him Tonio. :)

Believe it or not, photos and artwork are always my biggest challenge when putting a space together. Even more so in my own place. I think it's because I really want to get it right the first time, so that I can avoid unnecessary holes in the wall. Okay, it's pretty easy to patch the hole and repaint at work, but why waste the time if you don't have to? Finding photos of actual people is pretty hard too because we're only allowed to use free royalty-free images. I had to modify the original elevation I drew in CAD to accommodate artwork I would actually find, and incorporate the addition of a window. As always, a quick sketch never lets me down.

Did I mention we all re-wire our own lighting? Yeah, that takes a while, but totally worth it. I love how these dangly pendants give a nod to the pattern on the window coverings.

Snacks for three.

I'm always excited to add textiles in kitchens because the opportunities are so few and far in between. This music note Margereta fabric was perfect.

 So what do you think? Lighter, brighter, and all under $3,200.

I HUGE shout out to my girl Brandeis for all her help and patience!  Also, Hugo, you are the best! As always readers, stay tuned. There is so much more to come!
Just wanted to stop by with a quick, little update that I did a while back! Besides Kitchens and Dining, I am also responsible for Children's IKEA, which is currently composed of 4 roomsettings. To tell the truth, this area needs a full overhaul, and I've been told to do the bare minimum until I can fully plan a remodel for the area (along with the Com-In manager, my interior design manager, the Children's IKEA manager, and the sales manager). Needless to say, it takes a lot of collaboration before we can begin something like this. Until that glorious day when I can say goodbye to the current roomsettings, I'll continue to make a few small updates here and there. Today's update is a focal wall inspired by the Torva Veggies in R94.

Here's the before:

Yeah, as focal wall, this one is pretty sad. Our team dubbed this room the "princess room" even though it lacked a princess vibe and rocked a veggie motif. This wall had to go.  I had been twitching to get rid of it since I inherited the area.

Here's a quick sketch I made:

Here's the after:

Though not nearly as wonderful as a full remodel, I think it made a dramatic difference. I was racking my brain trying to figure out what to do. Then I figured a garden would be much more fitting for a room that focused on vegetable characters. To update this wall I used Slattahult poppy wall stickers (we actually have the same wall stickers in our kitchen), Fejka artificial grass, Smycka artificial flowers, and birch Ribba Ledges. How's that for a quick pick-me-up?

And of course I had to attach the grass to the shelves. Why, you ask? Because sadly, many of our customers feel the urge to pick up display items whenever they see multiples in a roomset and throw it in their cart - even though displays have a "display only" sticker on the bottom. I also tried to keep the grass out of reach of the children whose parents allow them to use the roomsettings as their personal playground. Overall, I was going for a somewhat 3D wall mural vibe - minus the princess. :)

On the small storage unit I ended up using a bit more grass, a flower indicative of the flower motif in the bedding, and a small carrot instead of the larger one.

I even added a little "awww" to the under-the-bed storage box. Truthfully, this is the only part of the update that didn't live well. The next day, these big veggies got ripped from the box and kidnapped. Yeah, tragic I know. I must say that Children's IKEA is such a challenge - especially when the rooms get torn apart EVERY SINGLE DAY, but I remain optimistic. I can't wait to redesign the area and create more sophisticated roomsettings with more versatile and realistic living situations. We may be a few months off from that, but I'm super excited for a change and an even bigger challenge. Lately I've been working on several kitchen redesigns so I can't wait to share them with you next time! Stay tuned!