Friday, March 18, 2011

Cooking up a kitchen

One of the projects we simply -had- to tackle was a new kitchen for our Ugly Duckling. Both existing kitchens (one upstairs and one downstairs since the Duckling had been turned into a Duplex) were simply gross and -had- to go. While it would have been nice to simply reface or even paint and freshen up an existing kitchen, this one turned into a total gut job (although we did keep a few wall cabinets for use in the utility and laundry room later).

Compared to the national average cost of remodeling a kitchen, our budget is nigh non-existent aka -very- modest. Shopping smart was definitely a must for us, and after looking at a number of budget-friendly options (, and even stock cabinetry from the blue/orange box) we settled on a kitchen from IKEA. It gave us the most bang for our buck and except for the cabinet knobs it was a one-stop-shop experience to boot. Viveka from the kitchen department at IKEA Orlando took great care of us and despite a small hiccup in regard to the communication with the delivery department that lead to a 3 day delay in delivery, all things went as smoothly as possible.

Last week, the truck rolled into town and dropped off a load of boxes at the Ugly Duckling. 77 items, to be precise, from cabinets and doors over hinges and toe kicks to counter tops and filler panels.

[Lots'a boxes]

[More boxes]
We chose the future library downstairs as my workspace. Here I could put the cabinets together while our Joe, Gloria and Phil turned our floors into the pride of the Ugly Duckling. Having grown up with IKEA, I love everything about it and I guess I'm also one of the lucky ones who've never had an issue with IKEA building instructions. Maybe it's a European thing. It's how we roll in the ol' country ...heh.

Anyways, first order of business was sorting the various pieces into cabinet piles consisting of a cabinet frame (either wall or base), appropriate door/doors and organizing element (drawers, etc.). Hinges, door and drawer dampers and feet I kept in a separate box. That way I could simply reach into it and pick what I needed without running into danger of losing smaller pieces.

[Ohhh, piles ...]

[One cabinet finished & the 2nd in the making]

All you need to put these cabinets together successfully are a hammer and a Phillips screwdriver. Drawers are "plug and play" and click together and the only thing that had me stumped for a bit was when I attached a drawer face upside down. Thanks to google and the internet, this issues was resolved quickly (and funny enough, it appears this is a common happenstance) and everything progressed smoothly from there.

[One last picture for those who offered to swing by for a cabinet building party; this was all the free space I had. Crammed between boxes, countertops and more boxes, not to mention any finished cabinets, it was all a bit ...tight.]


  1. Oh what an exciting day. Just like a gigantic christmas day. Oh, it will be so awesome for you to finally have a clean, modern kitchen!

  2. This whole house "thing" (how eloquent *L*) has been one giant Christmas for us, but yes, I can't wait to see the kitchen all done :o) I'm crazy in love with our house.