Tuesday, May 3, 2011


i had a comment from M that made me decide to post an entry about our Ikea experience to date.
  • Don't try to get it all done in 1 trip:  we made 5 trips in all (i think) to Ikea (Schaumburg & Bollingbrook, IL) to plan & buy. A couple of trips were recon - just to gather info & get ideas. We took a camera because i don't remember what i had for lunch; there's no way i'd remember i was even in Chicago by the time we got home!    it was worth it because we found things several times that could have been costly mistakes.
  • Plan, plan, plan:  between the online planner (which i hate btw) & the recon trips, i felt very confident when we finally decided to put the order in.  oh, & that planner is not the end-all. when you get ready to purchase, you can customize some things that would not be possible in the planner. we had no clue about that & were thrilled when we found out.  but we should have known after viewing our friend Rundle's kitchen - the ultimate Ikea hacker dude.
  • Measure, measure, measure: we ran into a snafu with our fridge that we hadn't planned on. even though it is counter depth, the hinges on top caused us to have to raise all the upper cabs up to accommodate this.  we toyed with multiple levels of cabs, but that didn't look good in the end. oh, & we did not get our appliances from Ikea so that might have been solved if we had. just think about that!  anywho, we raised all the uppers 1" & it looks fine. that rail install system made it so easy too!
  • Pull the trigger:  i could have planned & measured forever & never bought a kitchen. I AM A COMMITMENTPHOBIC! so at some point, stop planning, stop the homework, & make the leap!  they will let you come back (see later)
  • Verify the items are available in-store:  Not all parts are right there in the store. ours were, but our friend's was not so they will be going back up this weekend to get back order items. be prepared for that!
  • Listen to those Ikea folks:  so you have to work with a real person before ordering/buying all this stuff.  did you know they have degrees/certs in design?  i didn't.  makes sense now, but i just thought they were sales people. when we explained that first & foremost, our kitchen had to have a feeding station for the Boxers, they totally got it & that changed our plan right there. they came up with a much more user friendly config to accommodate the Kids.
  • Avoid Sat/Sun if you can: okay, admittedly i was sick with the possum flu, but even well i don't think i'd do my final order & pickup on a Sat. that wait time formula that they post at pickup?  let's see 8min for 1st cab, then add 1min for each line item?  hmmm guess they meant the new math. our order should have taken 1:18 total. it took almost 4hrs.  so be prepared for delays on a weekend or, better yet, go on a weekday if you can!  although watching suburbanites try to figure out exactly how to cram pack their SUV's was entertaining.  
  • Organization pays off:  at least it did for me. afraid we were going to flood while i had all those flat packs in the garage, i spent last Friday hauling all the ones i could upstairs. i took the Build List that they give you & numbered each group (in hindsight i should have used the same #'s that you see on the planner drawing - oh well, that will come in handy for the office redo). anywho, i grouped the FRM (that's the box) and any cover panels together on the floor in the kitchen, writing a number on them to match a number on the Build List. i wrote the same # on boxes that were drawers or shelves (this was not necessary for hardware, dampers, etc.). this allowed Nacho to work quickly (ok, as quickly as he does anything) when putting them together. but it has been a huge help, per him, because he assembles the box, hangs it, then the panel(s) is right there to install as well.  i admit i did it, not to be helpful, but because i'm OCD like that.
  • Expect to go back:  we have already seen 2 cabs that we want to modify. the top pantry & the fridge cab. we're going to put pull-out drawers in there instead of static shelves. i don't plan to use those often, but when i do i want it to be easy. 
  • Take your time & Enjoy!  it's your kitchen & you have to live with it for a while - unless you have the balls to redo it again in 3 years.  so don't rush it & really think about things before & during. i'd rather pay to have it right, than pay for a mistake i'm going to hate for years to come.
Oh, & because it's your kitchen, WHO CARES WHAT ANYONE THINKS BUT YOU! i was very conscious of not really asking anyone for design advice other than Terry & Rundle.  i was picky about when i asked & who i asked. we got plenty of "looks" when people saw my flooring choice & design, and plenty more when we said the cabs were going to be black/brown. but you know what?  DON'T CARE!  THIS IS ME NOT CARING!  CAN YOU HEAR THE SOUND OF ME NOT CARING? NO? DON'T CARE!  it's your kitchen, do what you wanna do!


Michelle said...

Ahhh thank you for responding!

It's so funny that you said you could have planned and measured forever because that was/has been my biggest fear. WHAT IF we didn't measure right? What if the guy we paid to come measure did it wrong? What if what if what if. We finally just went for it and ordered last Saturday (which btw took us 4 hours as well). We felt like our Ikea guy was totally on point and went through every single item line by line. He even suggested I call my credit card company to make sure the transaction since so large would go through without a problem.

I totally agree on not sharing plans with many people. Just the mention of Ikea cabinets gets this look of disgust from some people. I work in construction and my boss's were not happy with our choice but have accepted it and thankfully are helping us with the remodel. A few people have also been irritated by our backsplash choice but screw em'...if you're not paying for it then you're opinion doesn't matter :)

I'm over at http://house-of-w.blogspot.com
I am TRYING to update but it's been difficult to get into it.

337 said...

The funny thing about people hating on IKEA cabinets is they are generally the same people who will happily go to Menard's and buy their stock cabinets without a 2nd thought.

I think people don't like their cabs because they associate IKEA with cheap particleboard furniture, which they have, but they also have some really nicely made items that are much better than something you'd find elsewhere.

Moser said...

I have seen 337's (what does that stupid number mean? Is that he show with Shermon Helmsley?) kitchen cabinets and they rock balls. They totally convinced me to go Ikea in my kitchen remodel. Of course that project comes after the garage electrical, garage furnace installation, garage re-siding, garage insulation, new water heater, finish the basement, finish the trim work, finish the gaping hole in the back of the house, repaint everything, re-roof, burn house down and start again....

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