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Our Kitchen Renovation Details

It’s taken me forever to put this post together because there are so many components, but I am super excited to share it all for those of you considering an kitchen renovation using Ikea cabinets.

When we first had an accepted offer on the house, we had a local designer & her contractor come in and give us some pricing on custom cabinetry. We knew we wanted to stay around $15K for the entire kitchen, and our first quote for new cabinets, just cabinets,was $16,500. We looked at options for getting the existing ones refinished, getting new shelves built inside of them, etc. but ultimately the cost of starting from scratch with Ikea cabinets was the best option. And I was SO excited about it. I have always read amazing things about them, minus the part about putting them together, and couldn’t wait to get started.

We were limited on changing the layout of the kitchen to stay within our budget, our surrounding walls were all load bearing and we also wanted to keep the existing hardwoods so we tried to keep everything on the same floor plan as it already was. The kitchen is actually pretty small, which did help keep costs down when it came to pricing per cabinet & per square foot of countertop. We knew we wanted to remove the cook top and replace it with an actual range, and also wanted to remove the upper cabinetry in favor of open shelves. Once we got our layout down, the kitchen planner helped us figure out what Ikea boxes fit in the space, and then we finalized our order with them – without the door fronts.

We then worked with the AMAZING Semi-Handmade team, to order our doors. We chose this option for a few reasons. They were higher quality than the Ikea doors, solid wood & the style was more of the shaker look that we wanted. Semi-Handmade also offers door sizes that are custom fit for your space, where as Ikea only offers a few sizes, requiring you to use “filler panels” for the extra spaces. So for example, our doors above our wall oven would have been about 6 inches shorter, and we would have had to put in a flat panel as a filler between the doors and the oven, since we did not use Ikea appliances. (I hope that makes sense, I know it is a little confusing!) I also really wanted a custom color that Ikea didn’t offer, so we loved that we were able to order the doors unfinishsed and have them painted in the color that we chose. I really can’t say enough good stuff about this part of the process, they actually helped us so much when it came to install and assembly, I am certain I called ten times over the course of the month asking different questions along the way. Overall, they gave the kitchen a much more custom look & we were so happy to have worked with them.

So to break it down a bit, here is a simplified version of how the process went (for those of you who have emailed me, this is where I was confused when we started, so hopefully this is helpful!)

1. Decide on a basic layout, then use the Ikea kitchen planner tool to pick & choose the components of your cabinet boxes (lowers, uppers, drawers, sink base, wall pantry, etc.), taking into account all of your space & appliance dimensions (so make sure you have these all picked out ahead of time).

2. Send finalized kitchen design to Semi-Handmade, so that they can give you the door sizes & panels. Panels are basically the wood that goes around your cabinet boxes & fills in the spaces between cabinets & appliances.

3. Finalize order for cabinets & doors (we did them at the same time to make sure there were no changes to be made to the original Ikea order order, which there were, so do these together), and patiently wait for 8,092,384,759 flat packed boxes to arrive on your doorstep (we paid an additional $75 to have someone pick up all of the pieces from the store & deliver them, because #threekids #aintnobodygottimeforthat)

4. Install cabinet boxes, then appliances, and then panels (in that order) for the best fit (if you are starting from scratch).

5. Countertop installation happened right in here somewhere, followed by having the sink/faucet plumbed.

6. Paint. Hands down one of the best decisions we made during our renovation, the painting company was SO professional and did a way better job than we ever could have. They came in, tented the kitchen, taped off EVERYTHING, filled all of the seams & nail holes, sprayed all of the boxes, and then took our cabinet doors to their studio to paint & return a few days later.

7. Install doors (everything is pre-drilled, and fit for Ikea hinges).

8. Backsplash, cabinet hardware & floating shelves (using these brackets that we used in our last house) come last, the best feeling ever.

We highly recommend hiring a carpenter during the process to come help out with any installation issues, someone who can make sure everything is cut perfectly to size, add trim, quarter-round, etc. to give you a really finished look. Brandon is super handy and was able to do most of this, but we were lucky to have a great carpenter to come in and assist with a few pieces of the puzzle & some amazing trim work at the end.

Here is our cost breakdown:

Ikea cabinets: $1850
Semi-Handmade door fronts: $2100
Custom Painting: $700
Appliances (purchased during 4th of July Sale!): $6200
Sink, Faucet & Cabinet Knobs: $1100
Countertops: $3800
Tile & Backsplash Installation: $1100
Floating Shelves DIY: $40
Electrical, Plumbing, Trim & Carpentry Work: $550
Total Cost: $17,440

We already had factored the price of buying a fridge into our closing costs, so less the cost of that, we weren’t too far off from our original budget. If you are looking to do a kitchen reno, and already have your appliances, there is definitely a good chance that you can complete it for under $10k. We love that we were able to give the kitchen the overhaul that it needed while making it totally our style, I am so so so happy with the way it turned out. If you have any questions regarding the process, definitely leave them in the comments and I will be sure to answer!

Sources: Cabinet Doors in DIY Shaker by SemiHandmade // Cabinet Paint Color SeaGull by Creative Cabinets // Quartz Countertops by Premier Surfaces // Floating Shelf Brackets c/o Shelfology // Sink // Faucet // Gas Range // Range Hood // Fridge // Microwave Oven // Drawer Pulls // Cabinet Knobs // Subway Tile Backsplash


The Little Pink Dresser

The girls room is definitely one of my favorite rooms in the house, it gets amazing light & feels so cozy with the low ceilings. Lately the big girls have been wanting to play in here by themselves more often, mostly to escape from Claire destroying whatever they are trying to do (third child problems) so we wanted to find a way to add a little more storage to their room for their dolls & some art supplies. Harper has been asking for a pink dresser since the first day we moved in, and a few weekends ago at a local flea market we found the perfect mini dresser to make her dreams come true. It was black when we found it, so we sanded it down, gave it a few coats of primer & then finished it up with a pale pink/coral called Little Piggy by Benjamin Moore. We added some new knobs & I have some leftover wallpaper from the old house that I want to add inside the drawers, but for now, it’s the perfect addition to their room.

Eloise has also been dropping her afternoon nap, so the big girls love to play in here during quiet time (and by play, I mean destroy) so getting some photos of this room with the beds made & the floor clean was not easy. I think by the time Claire transitions to a big kid bed, we are either going to have to scoot these over and add another, or at least add a trundle so she can bunk with her sisters! Or maybe by then Harper will insist on having her own room. Stay little, my darlings.

The Fluffy Little Squishy // I Can Fly // Home // I Had a Favorite Dress // Extra Yarn // Virginia Wolf

You can see before & after photos of the dresser over on my Instagram stories (@jlgarvin), I tried to cover all of the sources for the room but let me know if I missed something! Hope you all are having a great week!!! XO

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Winter Favorites for the Home

Once the Christmas decorations come down & the house gets put back together, I always get the decorating bug. We have so many spots in the house that are unfinished, and for me, I would rather have empty rooms or blank walls than fill it with things that I don’t absolutely love. We have been slowly collecting things for the built ins, are hanging curtains in our family room, and are working on finishing the playroom for the girls. Late night pinning & searching for the perfect pieces to make our house a home have led me to a few of these beautiful finds, so I thought I would share a current round up of some of the things I am loving lately.

 Cozy Throw // Pink Chair // Wire Basket // Wall Art // Pretty Planters // Polka Dot Pillow

Obsessed with that cozy throw & wooden wall art, I could find a place for both of them in just about every room of the house! Time to go snuggle up on our couch & watch last week’s episode of This is Us.

Happy first day of February!! XO