Monday, 17 October 2011

Now we're cooking with gas!

I mentioned a while ago that we'd had a new kitchen installed, well here are the pictures!
We went with IKEA, since they're very cheap, and we were impressed with the quality - I have a friend who had an IKEA kitchen 5 years ago and it still looks brand new.
I used the online design feature to put the layout together. Fortunately once we'd paid for it instore a fitter came out to measure and corrected all of the mistakes I'd made. Oops! My measuring mistakes meant that I didn't get everything I wanted - double sink, built in microwave and full sized dishwasher being the biggest dissapointments!
When we bought our place it'd been a student rental for a long time and the cheap kitchen was really past it. The oven door had lost its handle, and its ability to light the gas. The fridge barely kept anything cold and the freezer frosted up within hours. The sink was leaking and the cupboard doors were warped. In short - ready for the knacker's yard!
Before - uninspiring to say the least
The kitchen was delivered on a Saturday and we were overwhelmed with new things. That was like Christmas, as the men brought appliances and IKEA packages in. Very exciting times!
We ripped the kitchen out ourselves to save some cash and actually it was very satisfying! We ran into trouble with the sink, as the people who fitted it didn't isolate the water supply, so we couldn't remove the taps without flooding the house. Fortunately the buildres managed to sort that out.

The builders arrived bright and early on the Monday - the electrician first to sort the appliance plugs out, then the cabinet makers and the plumber. The benefit of using the IKEA recommended service, apart from getting some of the installation on their interest free credit deal, was that they knew exactly what they were doing with the units. Within a few hours the first cabinets, and the extractor fan had gone up.
And by Wednesday afternoon, they were finished!
We went for Ramsjo units in white, with a solid oak worktop. The door fronts do show every bit of dirt, but they wipe off easily. The work surface has been very easy to keep clean and we've not marked it yet! The sink is Domsjo and I love it - it's big enough to fit the oven trays in completely, to soak and handwash clothes, plus it's been easy to keep clean - I noticed it was getting a bit tea stained today and after putting some soda crystals and boiling water on it, the stains came off with a wipe. My only complaint would be that with a high tap like ours and a shallow sink, the water does tend to splash everywhere if you're not careful. Fortunately, since we're barely washing anything up any more it's not much of an issue!
I think the biggest change has been the use of space - we've fitted a dishwasher in to the kitchen, and managed to hide the recycling bins away without sacrificing any cupboard space. Plus the built in washing machine keeps it lookig tidy.
I've been very impressed with the IKEA appliances - they're all A and above rated and seem to have been designed with very sensible and practical use in mind.
We've made good use of space, with a carosel cupboard in the corner - the shelves pull out completely so you can get right to the back and it works better than I'd thought it would!
The drawers with a cupboard front were a bit of a wild card - we only got them because there wasn't enough space for a regular drawer unit. Actually, though, they work really well. The height of the bottom drawer lets me stand up cleaning spray and kitchen roll, while the top 2 drawers fit cutlery and cooking bits and bobs simply.

The obligatory before and after shots:

The island making the L-shape is a trolley, coincidentally in the same colour scheme as the kitchen. We went for that rather than a built in island so that we can get a big table in and, when we pull it out to seat 10, move the island to keep access all around the table. Using baskets on the trolley shelves lets us store our veg and large bags of pasta.

The 'dining' part of the room got some wall cabinets and a sideboard for storage. Using the alcove left by the chimney breast gives us more space in the room/ We're planning to buy a new, bigger table which will be the same size as the current table at full extention, seating 6, but pull out to seat up to 10. As we've used the length of the room there should be plenty of space for that.

It feels as though we have more space now, and the room feels much nicer too. As the front door opens directly into this room, it's helped to improve the feel of the whole house!
There's a lot of work to do still - tiling the cooking space, painting the walls, making a new blind, fitting new lights and, eventually, stripping the carpet off and doing up the original oak floorboards in the whole of the room. All we have to do is find the time and the money!
I have to say that I've been very pleased with the IKEA purchasing process, the fitters (who came back to fix a minor issue with the work top placement 2 days after I called about it) and the quality of the cabinets and appliances.

For reference;
Sink: Domsjo
Fridge: Framtid fridge freezer
Oven: Datid OV8
Washing machine: Renlig
Dishwasher: Renlig
Hob: Datid
Work surface: Numerar Oak
Sideboard: Stornas Buffet
Doors: Ramsjo white
Handles: Svep

Cost £3350
Fitting £3490 (IKEA approved firm DTW)
All but £1000 of that went on 2 years interest free credit.
The appliances are all under 5 year warranty, the units 25 years and the installation 3 years, so we're pretty confident it'll last!

If you're looking for a good value kitchen, I'd say that IKEA are well worth a look. They're well designed and the service is very good (we had a named contact to deal with). You can almost certainly save money by putting cabinets together yourself if you have the know-how and looking for a local firm to fit them and the appliances, though you won't be able to spread the payments that way.


  1. Looks so fresh and airy. Gorgeous finish!

  2. Your kitchen looks beautiful!!!

    My parents bought an Ikea kitchen a few years ago and it's great. My dad's too cheap to pay someone to put it together though so we had to do everything ourselves (he is also too cheap to pay for delivery so we crammed everything into the back of our van...somehow it actually all fit!) haha

  3. What a change. Its lovely. I especially love the way you re-did the alcove in the dining room.

  4. Beautiful, I'm very jealous. I'm stuck with a manky old kitchen with mouldy cupboards, the joys of renting *sigh*

  5. It looks lovely! Of course, I'm biased as you've picked exactly the same cabinets, handles, work surface (well, wooden) and sink (well, mine's a double) as my kitchen so I would say that ;)

    Hell of a difference though, bet the additional cupboard space is a god send, I know mine was. Loving the cupboards in the dining room!

  6. Wow, it looks beautiful! I feel silly saying it looks straight out of one of those lovely kitchens pictured in the IKEA catalog, but, well, it does! :)

  7. Fantasic new room. What a joy to use. I would love to have a gas cooker, but there isn't gas in our village. And you designed it yourselves. How cool.

  8. How lovely! Everything looks so fresh, crisp, and beautifully organized!

  9. Looks great! I brought a kitchen from Ikea 5 years ago.... it was £600!!! It still looks good :)

  10. Looks beautiful! What a change from the old room! I love sitting in the kitchen, so the feel of that room is to me the most important in the house.

    Although I wouldn't want to furnish an entire flat with only Ikea-stuff (some people actually do that...) their kitchens are really great, and I have to admit to having one or two furniture pieces from them =)

  11. I do love a kitchen makeover post! Looks fantastic, lovely and airy. I love going around Ikea and looking at their kitchen layouts. My kitchen is ancient and faling to bits but we need to do some major building work before I can get a new one.

  12. Ooh I've never been so interested in a kitchen before, yours is gorgeous now! Loving the sink, I always reckoned one like that would be handy space wise! :)

  13. I think you have my dream kitchen! We have been doing a bit of DIY but have decided not to replace the whole kitchen - there's nothing wrong with it, its quite new, its jsut not to my taste. Yours looks fab now, great job!