If you followed along with Faith's kitchen renovation, you already know about Semihandmade, the LA-based company that makes custom fronts to fit IKEA kitchens. She said ordering from them was "the single best decision" she made through her entire kitchen renovation process. High praise indeed! If you're new to this company, here's what you need to know:
I don't know much, but I know I love you ...hot pink kitchen floor. (That's how the song goes, right?) This floor is an unexpected, thrilling detail, especially when you consider that the ceiling is also painted pink, albeit a paler shade. Apparently the floor in this Swedish kitchen was a dull laminate before the owners — in a bold, budget-friendly move — painted and then covered it with large sheets of adhesive-backed plastic, which gives it that slight sheen.
There was nothing quite so angsty in my kitchen renovation as the countertops. Maybe it's because I was coming from a rental kitchen with truly awful laminate countertops, countertops that were not only dirty cream in color but textured with deep wrinkles, like rhinoceros skin, never clean and never smooth; but I was convinced that the countertop choice would make the kitchen. Countertops are the difference between easy cleaning and dread. Countertop material changes the light in a kitchen, and is the surface under your hands and food. For me, kitchen renovation meant finally having countertops that were beautiful, bright white, and easy to clean. And not too expensive, my husband added.
Marble was the natural choice. Right? Right! Here's the story of how we overcame our fears, and found our honed marble countertops.
This schoolhouse-inspired dining room is so fun, with its floor-to-ceiling world map, vintage chairs, and purple (!) dining table. If this inspires you to paint your own dining table (or other piece of furniture) consider this tip from Jenny Brandt, the table's owner...
So, you want a little pattern on your kitchen floors but aren't crazy about putting down a rug and installing Moroccan-style encaustic floor tiles isn't an option. The next best thing? A floor stencil. This is a pretty dramatic look, particularly given how oversize it is. But in the right space it could work. What do you think? Cool and creative, or a bit too much for the eyes?
I think brass is such a fine detail in a modern kitchen. In small amounts it adds just the right amount of sophistication without going overboard into glitz. Lately I've been particularly partial to brass cabinet pulls. The following pulls range in price from $5 to $15, and they're a good starting point if you want to try this look out in your own kitchen:
Ready for the next step in my kitchen renovation? Here's where things get a little wild and fast, and where my photo library gets a little, um, thinner than I would like. I understand now why people have a hard time documenting renovations, especially near the end — you're so exhausted and ready to be done the camera is the last thing on your mind.
Having said that, I do want to walk through how we installed our IKEA cabinets. Here's a peek at the process of assembling and installing the kitchen, which we actually did ourselves with some coaching from our contractor. (Tip: If you want to read from the beginning, click here, or scroll to the bottom of this post and click back through the series widget at the bottom.)