We weren’t planning on doing a kitchen renovation. We always thought that we’d buy something that was livable but not exactly our style, forget that we actually had power to change it, and then live with it forever. While I care about design and decor quite a bit I’m also an inherently cheap and practical person. Ripping out a functioning kitchen wasn’t going to happen. I always figured I’d be making minor changes to make the kitchen more “us” (what does that even mean?). Maybe adding a backsplash? Switching out appliances? Adding floating shelves? Who knows. All I knew was that I was entirely prepared to settle. Never did I think I’d have a blank canvas to work with. That’s a whole new ball game and a lot more choices.
Choice paralysis? Get thee to Pinterest. I found myself drawn to a few specific styles.
RUSTIC WHITE KITCHENS.
God these kitchens give me heart eyes. All that white and wood? So simple but so good. Keeping the tones low contrast really allows the texture to pop. Do I worry about the upkeep of white cabinets and wood? Sure do! I’m a slob, especially when I cook. But one thing is for sure, you’ll have to pry my bin pulls out of my cold dead hands.
a.k.a kitchens for those of us that can’t commit to a single color. They’re all swoon worthy. Functional yet graphic. It’s a crossword puzzle for the eyes. This is why I don’t write professional copy for design magazines… Do I worry that this look will feel so 2015-2017 in a few years? Yup, and re-doing the kitchen in another couple years isn’t an option. But who knows maybe these two toned beauties will become the next subway tile (never going out of style… amiright?!) and just keep going on and on and on. You never know.
WILD CARD KITCHENS
Kitchens where design and intentionally are in the front seat. These kitchens MAY be practical but they sure don’t look like it. They’re all drama and not for the faint hearted. Just like the best Bachelor contestants (kisses to my girl Ashley I). However, my spider sense tells me that these are some fancy finishings and likely impossible on a not that fancy budget. I know when somethings too good for me- and these kitchens are definitely it.
So what did my pinteresting teach me? Other than that I’m super susceptible to advertising and those damned ” social media influencers”?
I know what I like, but I don’t know what I want.
There’s too many options and the freedom of getting to design a “dream kitchen” means having to commit to one specific dream- oh boy. We needed to narrow down our options stat. Isn’t it super helpful how money always does that? It look about 5 minutes to realize that the only cabinets we could afford were from IKEA. Hallelujah. First decision made!
We headed to IKEA, the great democratizer. There’s 18 cabinet fronts to choose from, varying from glossy minimalism to cozy cabin chic. A cabinet for every lifestyle endorsed by IKEA! Will there be something that feels like “us” while still being universally pleasing enough to be sold at Ikea? Or course there is- we’re not that unique. Loved the idea of the gimslov, but in person it felt too cheap. The hittarp was nice but the scale was off. The ekestad was lux but felt too modern for a 1930s pre-war kitchen. The truth is this- the case was closed the second I laid by eyes on this beauty…
The laxarby IKEA kitchen.
These cabinets were giving me “London bakery shop owner who’s obsessed with vintage pulp mysteries and makes the same red sauce every Sunday” vibes. If I had to date a cabinet I’d choose this one- which is really the only way to ever pick out cabinet in my opinion. To feel this transported by the Brooklyn IKEA showroom was impressive because this place generally only reminds people of the Brooklyn IKEA showroom. Okay- maybe the Target at Atlantic Center, but that’s about it.
But still, sometimes you just see the one and you know. The website says it’s black/brown but it’s really not- it definitely black but it has just the slightest bit of warmth to it. It’s lines are traditional and it has the heft (and soft close) of a door that I would not expect from IKEA. Still not convinced? Lets take a gander at how Chris Loves Julia has made this choice work for them.
You’re drunk if you don’t think that’s beautiful. I’m all stars, hearts, and unicorn emojis. It’s budget pick and a “sensible choice” but I really think it’ll glam up our space wonderfully with it’s contrast and weight. It’s practical, classic, and intentional. I didn’t know what my dream kitchen would look like when I started this process but I’m pretty sure I found it, and it looks a lot like this. #kitchengoals