Kitchen: Part 1 – the Plan


It’s only the heart of the home! No pressure! We have been planning this kitchen for an absurdly long time. I was playing around on the IKEA kitchen planner long before it looked like the deal was going to go through. But all of that hemming and hawing makes me confident that we aren’t being rushed into anything. For weeks, we tweaked the design to land on the final layout.

Then we hauled ourselves up to IKEA on the last Saturday of their kitchen sale (dread!) to place the order. We were expecting to wait forever for a sales associate, so we were pleasantly surprised to walk up and be helped immediately. It took about 2 solid hours with the sales associate, which we were expecting – they meticulously go through your plan to make sure all doors will open, cover panels are included, etc. It was awesome, and we got some crucial tips about installation. We scheduled delivery as far out as possible, without having to pay a storage fee. The delivery is SO worth it – less than $200 for them to pick the order, pack it, and bring it inside your house.

Here is the final layout:




It’s not a big kitchen, but we calculated that it has 4.75 million times the counter space and storage that our current kitchen has, so we are thrilled! The closet on the left side of the room will be closed off. Alex already knocked the interior wall out so that it now connects to our bedroom closet.

These renderings are professional-level screen shots of the IKEA kitchen planner website. What these renderings don’t show is that the right side of the kitchen (the sink side) will have subway tile to the ceiling, with open shelving on either side of the window. There will be a sconce above the window, 2 pendants over the peninsula, and 2 recessed lights along the middle of the kitchen.

The main detail we obsessed over while planning was the peninsula. We really wanted to have an overhang with 2 or 3 bar stools, but we finally accepted the fact that there just isn’t enough room. I still like the idea of a peninsula to separate the kitchen from dining, and offer a place to serve food and hang out. We decided make the cabinet in the corner of the peninsula accessible from the dining space, and that’s when we realized the layout is almost identical to my parents’ kitchen/dining. They, too, have a peninsula with no overhang, and a cabinet facing the dining area. That helped us feel secure in our decision.

The finishes:

  • Cabinet fronts are IKEA Laxarby black-brown. We had originally thought we would go with white fronts from IKEA, but once we saw Laxarby in person, it was a done deal.
  • The floor will be hardwood – it is being feathered in to match the rest of the house.
  • Subway tile backsplash, with a barely-contrasting grout
  • Two shelves on either side of the window, with black brackets. Not sure on the wood yet, but hopefully something with a little age to it.
  • Maytag appliances (except the dishwasher – we are getting the one from IKEA with the cabinet cover panel – SO excited to have a dishwasher again, and love the fact that it will blend into the cabinets)
  • Black hardware – we went with the IKEA Fagleboda series in black. I love the way it just barely contrasts with the cabinets. Drawers will have cup pulls, doors will have knobs. Some of the rendering photos have this wrong. So wrong!
  • Butcher block counters – from IKEA
  • IKEA DOMSJO single bowl farmhouse sink
  • Black faucet – probably this
  • Black sconce above window – I ordered this one, not sure if it’s going to work… I have had trouble finding a sconce that complements the pendants I have, yet doesn’t force the whole room into a mid-century look. I will have open shelving that will no doubt be loaded with antiques, and a farmhouse sink, so I’m really trying to mesh the two: farmhouse and modern. Help me, Joanna Gaines.
  • The pendants (see below) were the Habitat Restore find of a lifetime. I almost cried right there in the store. They were on long chains, so I took them to a lamp store (The Lamp Place) to have them re-wired. Initially, my thought was to swap the chain for black cord, but once we realized how short the cords would be, the genius at the lamp store suggested brass rods. They look INSANE. I also have a chandelier for the dining area that matches – it’s a 5 arm sputnik-style chandelier with similar globes over the bulbs.


The cabinet delivery was scheduled for Thursday, between 9AM and 9PM – which had me thinking, “wow that’s a really wide open window for delivery, I hope they call and give me a heads up!” And, they did – at 8AM that morning they said they were 30 minutes out. I couldn’t help but laugh that they actually missed their 12 hour delivery window, but of course I was delighted to have the delivery first thing in the morning. The delivery guys were super nice and organized. We had a space cleared in the basement for them to unload. It was 99 boxes, which sounds like a ton, but it’s really because every piece is individually boxed – 1 box for each cabinet frame, 1 box for each drawer, 1 box for each cabinet front, etc. I did NOT make them wait around while I counted each piece. From what I’ve heard, IKEA gives you a very flexible 48 hours to report things missing or damaged from a kitchen delivery.

We assembled most of the cabinets this weekend, but in the interest of keeping this post to less than 1 million words, read on at Part Two!


3 thoughts on “Kitchen: Part 1 – the Plan

  1. Love the blog Brooke. My kinda project, love planning reno projects, had fun doing my house. Love love the plans, wish I was there to help. You guys are awesome! 😘 Aunt Deb


  2. Wow! To see all of your reno’s chronicled here, is amazing, inspiring, and somewhat exhausting to think about!! You two have more energy and enthusiasm (not to mention impeccable taste and talent) than anyone I know! Can’t wait to get over there and tackle the trim! Mommio


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