Friday, January 31, 2014

the kitchen renovation: moodboard

When we first looked at buying houses, I knew exactly how I wanted my kitchen to look - charcoal cabinets, grey or white/grey marble-style counters, open shelving instead of wall cabinets, white subway tile... And then I started to actually plan the kitchen properly for this space and changed my mind about pretty much all of that, save the subway tile which will probably still get a run. I did know I didn't want all white. I LOVE white, but I needed some kind of contrast, some texture, some natural elements. It was always going to be an Ikea kitchen - I was happy with the one we installed in our last house, so planned to do it again, with better doors and a few features that might make it look less "Ikea kitchen" if possible. Not that there is anything wrong with that! I just like to add my own touches. Funnily enough, I ended up buying more from Ikea than last time (this time I bought the appliances as well!), but we went to a local supplier for the stone benchtop (which was installed yesterday!) and online for the lights and knobs. So here are the nuts and bolts of the space in picture moodboard form, and below, some of the ways I'd like to introduce some wood to warm it up.

1. Elverdam mixer tap, Ikea I don't quite get the point of the pull-out taps. I know those who have them couldn't live without them, but like gas, I've never had it so don't know what I'm missing! So I chose the one that didn't pull out! I love the gooseneck shape and the white handle which just gives it a little something extra.

2. Ramsjo doors in white/Faktum cabinets, Ikea The amount of Google searches I've done that involved the words "Ikea" "kitchen" "ramsjo" "painting" borders on crazy. I wanted the wooden doors. I wanted them to be white. I wanted a shaker-ish style door. All avenues led to the Ramsjo. But they're kind of pink in certain light. I knew this. But I was happy to one day paint them if need be. And then I got them home and saw them with our whitewashed floors and white walls and thought they looked ok - not too pink! But in the actual kitchen with the walls unpainted, no windows in and the floors all yellow and horribly stained still, they kind of looked pink. Sigh. But I think once it's all done, it'll be fine so I'm not touching them until then.

3. Quantum Quartz Turino, Central Coast Granite The cabinet door situation did throw out my benchtop selection a little. It was hard to pair the colours up and really get a feel for how it would look when the door colour was not definite. I really wanted a white shaker door, marble-look counter with a dark grey panelled island. In the end, we scrapped the marble-style stone tops due to them looking a little too white overall, and went with something with a few different colours that seem to cover the colour of the doors, the grey we're painting the panelling on the island, and the whites in the room. It was also $1500 less than the marble lookalike, which meant we could go for the chunky 4cm thickness. I kept being drawn to that one the most and I just prayed it was as nice in full length as the sample was - it's hard to tell with such a small piece. And luckily, it looks great!

4. Easy VJ pine panelling in British Paints Rhino Grey We loved this look so much in our bedroom, we wanted to replicate it somewhere else in the house - the kitchen island was the perfect space! This time it's vertical and was installed by our builders so is perfect, unlike our DIY job! The island is three metres long and runs through the centre of the home - so the dark panel will be seen from the back and two ends. Should be nice.

5. Cafe Lighting Orlando One Light Pendant, Wayfair I wasn't really sure what I wanted above the island until I saw these lights - they were IT. I would have loved to have the ones with the gold on the inside but I felt it might clash a little with all the silver tones in the room. I know it doesn't need to be matchy matchy, but I'm just not the bravest when it comes to that. So clean crisp white it was. They arrived today and I LOVE them. The shape, the metal chain over the cord and the size (they were bigger than I thought) is all perfect. Can't wait to see them hanging over the bench - the electrician comes on Saturday! So you know: Wayfair approached me last year about possibly one day doing a product review. I looked at several online places for lights and then searched through the billions of lights on Wayfair, fell in love with these black ones and approached Wayfair about reviewing those. They agreed and so were gifted to me, but I am being completely honest when I say I would have bought them anyway.

6. Framtid OV5 Oven, Ikea I'm not really obsessed with buying the top the line appliances. I don't fully understand what a pyrolytic oven is and I don't care (sounds like something pyromaniacs might like). Something about making it easier to clean? You know what? An hour out of my life to clean my oven every now and then is totally worth saving the extra at least $1000 it would have cost to buy one. I'm not the best cook, so as long as it works, I'm happy. So I looked around at other stores to buy appliances and just got over it quickly - I wanted something simple looking and stylish, so I chose this oven purely because I felt it was the best looking. And not purely fan-forced, which from experience I have decided I don't like. Plus I could have it delivered along with the dishwasher, cooktop and rest of the cabinetry I bought from Ikea. Done!

7. Cast iron stepped cupboard knobs in Antique Finish, Restoration Online I was debating the drawer pulls and simple black knobs from Ikea for this kitchen but as fate would have it, they were out of them when I went. So I had a little looky online for cabinets and stumbled upon these. I've ordered them so I'm hoping they'll be as nice in real life as they are on the computer screen! I think they'll fit well with the black pendants and dark flecks in the benchtop...

8. Luftig HW650 rangehood, Ikea (annoyingly, this is not online or I'd have bought it the first time I went to Ikea - I didn't know it existed until I was there that day, but hadn't transferred enough money for that and the sink, which I also didn't realise existed). This was purely about look - I wanted the triangular rangehood on the wall between two windows. There weren't a billion of them in the 60cm width though, so I thought I'd found it at Masters. I went to grab it one night along with an undermount sink and discovered it was a special order and would take three weeks. I didn't have three weeks (well, it turns out I will have lots more than three weeks, because the range won't go in until the windows do and the wall is patched which is still a fortnight at least away), but I didn't know that at the time, so I decided another Ikea run was in order and I grabbed this one and the Bredskar sink (which I got in a smaller size - also not on the website).

9. Nutid HIN4T Induction Hob, Ikea Again, I clearly know nothing about appliances. I bought this one purely because it had no knobs and looked so nice all flat and glassy. Little did I know, it can only fit into a benchtop that is at least 3.8mm thick and you can't use any pots and pans on it - you need to use special induction pans. I didn't know this until I'd got it home and opened it up - after I'd already ordered my benchtop. Let me just say I'm glad we went with the 4mm benchtop.... The pots and pans are another story. My Christmas present from my parents were a brand new set of Smith + Nobel pots and pans - worth $400. I used them of course straight away and have since discovered - after casually reading through the hob's info for something else the electrician asked me - that they can't be used as don't have a magnetic bottom. GRRRR. I guess I will be trying my hand at selling something on eBay rather than buying for once...

So what's the layout like? Oh glad you asked - I have this handy screencap of my Ikea planner that I somehow managed to do in the early hours of the morning I went down to Sydney and bought it all. Have I mentioned I'm a last-minute kind of girl? I've had this design pretty much from the start - we were ripping through the whole house so you could see from front to back - the kitchen was staying in the middle and so a large island bench was a must - it'd also create two thoroughfares through the kitchen area. I would have loved to have nothing on the island, but the length of the wall between the two walls that were removed wouldn't allow it AND a cooktop. So the sink is in the island - luckily, it's big enough to handle a sink and doesn't cramp its style too much. So without further ado...

 It's actually not that big a kitchen. Take away the sink, oven and dishwasher and I have a pantry, two sets of drawers, two full cabinets and one half a cabinet as the microwave is going on the top shelf (inside the cupboard behind the door, not built into the kitchen. I don't like microwaves on display). There are no wall cabinets or shelves going along that wall as the rangehood will be flanked by two windows. So that's it! Finger's crossed everything fits ok - I'm planning to spend the rest of today putting things away.

To add a tiny bit of extra space and to fill the gap above the fridge, we're planning to find some nice chunky rustic timber and put up a floating shelf above the fridge. I also think while black, white and grey is tops, there needs to be some warmth and natural elements in the space, so I am very inspired by these images below. I'd love some timber stools for the benchtop (at this very moment, I'm sitting on Imogen's Stokke highchair at the island - the only chair in our house high enough!) and maybe some timber shadow boxes on the small jut-out wall near the fridge for spices or pretty bowls. I'm also totally in love with the JUICE letters below and want to attempt to make some letter shelves for the kids rooms. If all else fails with the barstool search, I'll likely grab some replica Tolix stools in the aluminium colour - I spotted some at Mitre 10 for $35!

So we are slowly getting there - it's nice to not have to use an old cupboard door as my benchtop anymore! And if the plumber turns up like he said he would today, we should have a tap and useable sink by this afternoon - hooray! My poor bathroom sink will be happy about that!

Collages by me, last collage made from images via Goop (top), Doug & Elissa (right) and unknown (bottom).


  1. Eeeek! Love all the elements you chose. This is going to be one lovely kitchen. Congrats on hanging in there with three kiddos (and another on the way!). It will be worth it!!

    1. thanks lovely! it's coming along - be nice to admire the finished product from the couch with new baby. hoping to have it all painted etc by then, but i'm not loving my chances!!! everything is taking 5 times as long at the moment with this huge belly!! 6 weeks to go!!!! xx

  2. Hi just found your blog on your Ikea kitchen. I am in the process of designing one and like you do not want to see a microwave and will not buy a $700 (Canadian price) microwave from Ikea when you can pick one up so much cheaper. I do not understand where you hid yours in the 3D pictures. Thanks Vicki

    1. hi vicki - the microwave will just sit inside the cupboard on the shelf - it's in the end cabinet next to the sink. the powerpoint for the dishwasher and the microwave is in the sink cabinet. just make sure microwave is small enough width and depth-wise (you can adjust the shelves) to suit the cabinet - ours is a 60cm wide cabinet so it fits just fine. i leave the door open when i use it, then close once it's done. hope that helps! happy planning!

  3. Wow its going to look stunning!! cant wait to see it all come together.

    1. thank you!!! we are getting there - can't wait for the windows to come so we can do the finishing touches!! x

  4. You are so clever Belinda! Love your plan and cannot wait to see the photos.

  5. Fantastic mood board. Especially love that grey panelling. Perfect!