Taking Stock

With our Ikea kitchen flat packed and hanging out in the living room and the contractors not quite ready to get started on their end of things, we're in a kitchen limbo. I'm using it as an opportunity to inventory and cleanse, following the KonMari method as much as my impatient heart will allow.

Kitchen drawers are a real wasteland for unused/unnecessary gadgets. If you have a cast iron skillet, a good chef's knife, and some solid mixing bowls, your kitchen is complete. The rest is gravy and that gravy needs a home. 


This is a picture of only 1/3 of our kitchen cabinet space emptied. Getting it all out so I can only put the good stuff back in (re: KonMari).

The dining room is about to become the kitchen for a few weeks while we tear some things apart and build something new. The less we have to deal with inventory-wise, the better life will be when we come out of this (hopefully) alive. I posted a few things I'm getting rid of over on Instagram if you're interested.

I know it to be true that prep work pays off, but I also know it to be true that I forget to finish my prep work 9/10.

Ikea Kitchens - Here We Go

After soliciting advice from the Internet and friends and strangers, we decided to get a quote from Ikea for the kitchen. The process can go a couple of different ways depending on your confidence levels. We opted to have Ikea's team come out and measure the space for us. We have a ton of bump outs and weird protrusions in the kitchen, so I feel confident that those have been accurately captured. Glad we went with the pros on that one.

The result was a 3-D model of the kitchen, which can then be modified in Ikea's online design platform. I played around with some thoughts before we went to an in-store appointment with an Ikea rep, who was supposed to help us design our space. He did give us some ideas, but only after we asked a lot of questions. He never asked what our budget was, what style we liked, etc., but rather looked at what I had done in the design tool and made a few tweaks. At this point, we're in $89, so it's not a total loss. Do I recommend the measure and design appointment? Meh. I feel confident in our measurements but less than confident in marching ahead with the big purchase.

The goal now is to finalize all of the fun design elements. The layout is pretty sound, but I'm still waiting for a vision to come to me on the overall look of the space. The more I go on Pinterest, the more paralyzed I become.

Things that are settled: black quartz counters, counter and shelf configuration.

Things that are not settled: fronts and fixtures. Has anyone had success with Semihandmade? They sell fronts to Ikea cabinets that are way more customizable, paintable, etc. The first image below is from their site. The second is an Ikea option for cabinet fronts.

 Image via  Semihandmade

Image via Semihandmade

 Image via   Ikea  .  com

Image via Ikea.com

We have an imposed deadline of a few weeks from now to make our final decision since our 15% discount from the Ikea kitchen event has a time limit. This is probably a good thing because I could mull over these options for eternity.

The Landing of a Lifetime: I've Made a Huge Mistake Edition

It took me less than 24 hours to come crawling back here to tell you that I've made a huge mistake. Maybe less of a huge mistake and more of a huge miscalculation.

Yesterday, I had straightforward plans to rip up the carpet from my staircase, sand down the wood, and stain it to restore it to its original state. Boy did I underestimate the painstaking steps the previous owner took to make sure nothing could be reversed with ease. I knew the wood had been painted, but I did not know mass amounts of hardware would be mounted on it.

Under the carpet, I found a rubber backing glued to every single step. This is in addition to the metal bar soundly nailed to each and every step from the very bottom to the tippy top.

Sanding and staining? That is the stuff of yesterday. The new goal is to get this goo and hardware off of the steps so we can take off our shoes before Thanksgiving.

The Landing of a Lifetime

When I saw it, I knew the landing and staircase in our house should be a statement area. It's the first thing you see when you walk into the house and the big old blank wall draws your eye all the way to the top of the house.

I've thrown around some ideas about what to do with the wall and we've also made great progress on stripping the banister down to its original state, but before I can move forward with polishing anything off, I need to address the staircase.

A thick layer of beige carpet is covering - you guessed it - painted hardwood. A very thick layer of paint at that. Sanding isn't for the faint of heart and doing every single crevice of this might break me, so I'm thinking of going halfsies with myself on this one.

 Image via  Houzz

Image via Houzz

 Image via Design Alchemy

Image via Design Alchemy

This approach splits the difference, meaning I would only need to sand the top part of the step and then paint over the bottom half. "Only" I say now.

Time to break out the orbital sander.