Sourcing for the Kitchen

Ok, so our walls and floors aren’t that great, but do we really need to redo the kitchen? Especially if to do it right we need to do a gut. After all, right when we moved in, we made our kitchen work with some paint, fabric and craigslist purchases. It may not be the most comfortable or pretty, but really it works. for now.

And yet, the odds actually aren’t looking all too good. first there was the fridge. Last summer we found out that it could not compete with DC summer heat. So, instead of a new fridge, we got ac – you know to keep it cool until we know what kind of fridge to get for a new kitchen. This summer, I looked under one of our cabinets, and here’s what I saw:

i am no expert, but i say this cabinet got about a year, maybe two, tops. and of course we can replace this one cabinet. but, i am not sure how much longer anything in our kitchen will last. so what’s going into our new kitchen:

Ikea Cabinets: when it comes to house projects or any other projects (ahem, wedding) I usually do tons and tons of research, to find the best and least expensive options. This is how Ikea really entered the picture here. Praise for Ikea just kept coming up again, and again, and again. Also, Consumer Reports rates Ikea cabinets as better than off the shelf lines offered by Home Depot or Lowes.

Ikea satisfies major points – quality, price, and looks. All these are Ikea:



images: ikea hack, atticmag, carrol reed design, living etc 

And Ikea kitchens have an important bonus point – its customizable.

We will be doing some, and potentially all of this:

  • custom door panels for cabinets and pantry:


An Ikea pantry customized with new panels and housing a fridge on the left side. source: willy marshall

ikea cabinets with custom doors from scherrs (you can read more about that here) source: AT 

  • spray painting cabinets a custom color (most likely white or gray):


source: sarah richardson painted ikea kitchens found via decor happy

I am not a big fan of Ikea’s white cabinet selection and also I don’t really like the feel of whatever clear coat they put over paint. i see more of a glossy lacquer paint. see more here.

  • hardware: this one is by far the easiest and least expensive option. one source that I recently found ansaldi & sons – i particularly like the bin pulls that have the feel of library catalog.

See more on various ways to make ikea kitchen bespoke here.

Appliances: In terms of searching for appliances, I have to admit, I give in to looks, specifications (extra tall fridge vs standard height – since we are big on vertical space), and price over a quality rating. AJ Madison website is very helpful – the search function is amazing for plugging in specifications for sizes, prices, brands, etc.

Though I do find that once i have picked out several choices by the above method, the consumer review magazine and googling specific models helps.

Some of the appliances will come from Ikea, which contracts Whirlpool for the job. The panel dishwasher, for example, makes sense.  Btw, these typically also score pretty high on consumer reviews.