As those of you who have been following along know, the husband and I ordered our kitchen months ago and to answer the question you’re all wondering, no, the walls were not fully framed and completed prior to ordering (I know, this was a major risk).  Luckily for us, we didn’t have to make too many modifications to the design once everything was delivered…but changes definitely did need to happen and we had no choice but to just go with the flow.

If you haven’t already, you can catch up on our kitchen design ordering process so far here and here.

Ordering so far ahead of install was a classic case of trying to catch the sales.  For those of you who don’t know me, and haven’t figured it out yet, not only do I love pretty things, but I love getting them on the cheap.  I’ll hunt for hours on end online, in stores, wherever the hunt takes me, for the perfect item at the perfect price (don’t ask me to define that…it’s mostly just a gut feel of “GAHH that’s WAYYYYYY too much money” or “that sounds like a GREAT deal!”).  So when I learned of the sale on the DIY Shaker cabinet doors from semihandmade that I planned to use in our design were 20% off, I had to take advantage of it so that meant ordering the IKEA cabinets and the doors months ahead of schedule.  We’re definitely on a budget with the renovation so every bit counts!

Anyway, back to the design changes.  Once the walls were finally fully standing and sealed up (and our IKEA delivery had arrived), we took the opportunity to map out the kitchen.  One thing became very clear very quickly – we would have to make some modifications.

Kitchen tape layout
Here’s the outline of our kitchen, doesn’t it look beautiful!?

First off, we learned that the cabinet we had purchased for the far left corner of the kitchen would need to be replaced for a smaller one.  We had included a 21″ lower cabinet in the design as we were told to “just round up” the dimensions of the room (p.s. this was a total rookie mistake to listen to this advice.  When planning a kitchen where EXACT measurements are paramount, NEVER “just round up.”  Ok?  But hey, you live and learn.)  Luckily enough for us, this just meant swapping the 21″ with 3 drawers for a 15″ with 1 shelf which ended up saving us around $100!! (Remember, every dollar counts!)  The only tricky thing is that now we have to order a new door for the cabinet from semihandmade as well as exchanging the box and components to IKEA (there goes that money 😦 )

When we realized we had to make this swap, we packed up the cabinet components and headed to IKEA.  We had been waiting to take our next trip when the annual kitchen sale was happening and what would you know, we were right on time with this trip!  In case you aren’t aware and are considering an IKEA kitchen – they have an annual sale each year where you can save 20% on your ENTIRE KITCHEN.  Yup.  You read that right!  Another fun fact is that if you order near-ish to the sale itself they’ll let you come back with your receipt to get the credit for the sale.  I know, who needs more reasons to love IKEA 🙂

The other thing we had to modify in our original design was the size of the island.  When we taped out the kitchen on the floor we realized that we did not in fact have as much kitchen proportionsspace for our island as I had hoped.  In order to have a properly functioning kitchen that would not feel too cramped on either side of the island, you need to have at least 42″ between the cooking space and the island (assuming 1 cook, this jumps to 48″ recommended space if you have a 2 cook household) and at least 36″ between a counter and the wall.  I often referenced this image as a reminder (and it is still in my phone’s camera roll today!).  Knowing that our island was 8′ long, we were fine on the sink side of the kitchen, but when it came to getting as much space as possible on both sides of the island between the stove and the wall, the standard 24″ cabinets plus a 12″ overhang, it was simply not going to fit.  Though I fought it as much as I could, I eventually came to the conclusion that the 24″ cabinets just weren’t going to cut it.  Since we purchased the cabinets and doors separately, I needed to make sure that we would minimize the damage to our wallet by simply swapping the 24″ cabinets for their 15″ equivalents so the doors didn’t need to change.  I emailed our lovely salesperson at semihandmade and she assured me that this was an acceptable solution, score one more for our modular kitchen design!

The whole reason I had avoided swapping the island cabinets was that I didn’t want the island to look too skinny and awkward since it’s right in your line of sight when you walk in the door.  The solution we came up with was to add legs to the ends of the counter to visually bulk it up.  The below picture is from a tool called EasyHome Homestyler that I like to use to play with spaces online and get a more accurate visual than just what’s in my head (it particularly came in handy when trying to put into words my vision for the husband).  I found an adjustable island in their system that had legs and voilà, I was sold that we could make this narrower island work.  (Please ignore the odd looking counter/cabinet combinations..this is more for visual reference and placement purposes)

snapshot-Mon, 30 Oct 2017 18_56_11 GMT.png

Now, I’m not going to lie, I’m slightly bummed we won’t get that big chunky island I’ve always dreamed of.  But alas, compromises must be made.

Until next time!



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