Oh boy, when they say "allow more time than anticipated for larger projects" they aren't kidding (whoever they are). After seeing our house for the first time we assumed we would leave the kitchen in a very similar state for a long time. As you can see in the pictures below, it wasn't too bad at first glance. Upon moving in we decided to simply do some cosmetic upgrades to cover up the current look by painting cupboards, replacing the weird vinyl floor and eventually replacing countertops. [We replaced the cooktop immediately, you can read about that here!]
Well, we started those projects... I got to painting the cupboards before our things were even moved in and while it's not my favorite project ever, it's definitely a doable one with some patience. They turned out nicely and seemed to update the space significantly.
Even after we were feeling settled into the house and the cabinets were starting to take shape with their new color, it just didn't feel right. We didn't like how obviously painted they looked when they were open - as the inside of the cupboards remained the original wood color while the fronts and doors had been painted. You can also see above that we were dealing with a really nice countertop and flooring (can you sense the sarcasm?). Altogether it just wasn't right and felt like a bandaid instead of a solution.
After living for months with half painted cabinets while we made some decisions about the space, we chose to purchase new countertops and complete the painting. Off to Ikea we went where it just so happened the solid wood butcher-block color that we wanted was 50% off. We were off to a great start when it came to the kitchen budget. We has previously purchased flooring on sale and now this! What a cheap renovation! Are you scoffing at our naiveté yet?
While at Ikea we noticed one of their room displays that was as close as I could possibly imagine to a dream kitchen. It had the big farmhouse sink (that was proving to be impossible to install in our current cabinets) and the grey color scheme; to us it was dreamy! We figured it would be fun to use their 3D kitchen layout planner to see what the cost would be and then make an educated decision based on price and not emotion. Home we went (with countertops in tow since they would be part of the plan no matter what) and we used nap time to plan out our kitchen cabinet swap. It ended up being something that we could afford and with a sale/promotion they had going, it was more cost effective than usual.
So there we were a couple days later, in Ikea making the biggest house purchase we'd ever made. We were so excited! After all, how hard could it be to demo the existing cabinets and replace them with the new ones! You can scoff again. Swapping was our goal, but when cabinets were delivered and we started demo we realized it just wasn't our reality.
Stay tuned for the next steps in this "two week" turned two month project!
**Spoiler: This story has a happy and beautiful *swoon* ending!