You may find this shocking, considering the blog you’re on, but there aren’t really that many “projects” at the cabin. Sure, there is painting that needs to be done, and plenty of design choices, but there are no walls to knock down, no bathrooms to totally renovate (uh… sort of), no patios to build. Sure, the roof needs to be replaced, and the septic tank might be shot, but the DIY stuff that we can handle is relatively small.
We’ve said it in pretty much every conversation we’ve had about the cabin: the kitchen is small. And we are totally cool with that! As AirBnB users ourselves, we’ve never looked at the kitchen as a deciding factor in where we plan to stay. I know some people do, and if they do, our place shouldn’t be on their list. And that’s fine! But our kitchen is small in its current state, and it’s going to be small once we renovate it, which we plan to do this summer.
First, let’s remember what it looks like now.
Ah, so many questions. Why did you pick such a large fridge? Was that stove part of the original plan? And if so, why does the door prevent the drawer from opening? How come some doors just don’t close, and why did anyone just leave it like that? Kerry would want me to ask what anyone was thinking with the shabby-chic attempt at the blue uppers — but you know what, that one is at least just a style choice. But I can’t abide by this overall lack of function!
Our realtor’s husband is a carpenter, and when we asked him if he knew anyone that might be able to demo this for us so it’ll be ready for installation in late June, he took one look at it and said, “Uh, yeah, I can do that.” Our plan is to get it demo’d, drywalled, and ready to go and then I’ll install the cabinets myself. There is nothing we can do to make this kitchen bigger, so we are just looking to maximize space — and of course make it look good.
We are once again going with an IKEA kitchen. We did all IKEA cabinets at our main house, and we could not be happier. They are super customizable, there are nearly infinite interior options, and the quality has never let us down. Plus, using IKEA’s online kitchen planner makes creating your own dream kitchen a DIY dream come true.
The overall layout of our new kitchen will be the same, with a few adjustments. We will just do one straight line of cabinets, where as the current kitchen turns the corner (and has drawers opening into the stove). Instead of a full stove, we found a pretty cool microwave/oven combo in another small kitchen reno. For a stove top, we are currently debating between 2 and 4 burners. Really, will anyone — including us — be cooking a big meal in this kitchen? Do we need 4 burners? We’re also getting rid of the uppers in favor of open shelving, and we plan on adding a dishwasher.
With all that, it seems we’re actually losing a lot of cabinets. So how are we going to counter that? We’re going to take advantage of IKEA’s internal customization and maximize every inch of cabinets. Here’s a forward look at our current planned layout:
This rendering removes the half wall so you can see all the cabinets, but we will be keeping it. From left to right: a 24-inch wide cabinet with three drawers; a 24-inch cabinet that will house the microwave/oven and cooktop, with 1 drawer on the bottom; a 15-inch cabinet with three drawers; a 30-inch sink cabinet with 2 doors; an 18-inch dishwasher; an 18-inch cabinet with 3 drawers; and the fridge (I’m sure Kerry will talk about the fridge later). On the far right is where the table currently is. We plan to just not touch that for now.
Our trick here is to maximize each cabinet by using 3 drawers. They are 10 inches tall each, which — based on our current cabinets with only 2 drawers — is plenty of space even for a tall pot. We have 15-inch tall cabinets at home and there is a lot of wasted vertical space. The top drawer of each cabinet will have another interior pull out drawer: something we have on our drawers at home and they are such a great use of space for things like silverware, knives, and spices.
On this rendering, we’re missing a few things. We don’t have the open shelves, which will probably be on either side of the window. The wall on the left is a bit of a mystery. It’s currently covered with uppers and cabinets, and we believe there is a window behind those uppers. So we’ll see what appears after demo. And the half wall isn’t here, but that half wall has a bunch of shelves, as you can see in the image at the top of the post. We’ll keep those, and use them for whatever else makes sense.
We are currently in the process of printing the front facing rendering, and then writing where everything will go. This was a process we did in our current kitchen and I highly recommend it. Print out the design and then on each drawer write things like, “silverware,” “plates,” “mixing bowls,” “baking goods,” etc. For example, I’m already wondering where cereal boxes will go, because they are tall and finding a spot for them can be difficult. But seeing as this kitchen will primarily be used for things like breakfast and lunch, and probably never used for four course meals, there are a lot of kitchen gadgets and whatnot that aren’t going to be needed here.
Later we’ll talk about what we’re doing for cabinet fronts (we love the IKEA fronts we have but we are going in a different direction for the cabin), the other style elements, and of course, the fridge. And, obviously, all of this could change if we realize that something here just doesn’t work. Let us know in the comments if you’re seeing something that just totally doesn’t look right!