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.
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.