One thing I absolutely loathe in a home, is being able to see into the kitchen from the front door. Mr Hammer, the Hammerlings and I are yet to live in a home where this is not the case. Aaaand . . . it’s still not the case. Another piece of motivation to get downstairs built in quick-smart! It was the best place to put it for later on, however, so with that out of the way, let’s get on with the fun kitchen stuff.
In our build price, a basic kitchen was accounted for. ‘Basic’ is the key word. A kitchen sink, an oven and stovetop and a pantry, with cabinets under the kitchen sink. No benchspace. No cupboard space. All this for the low, low price of $4700.
It was a pretty easy decision to have that stricken from the builder’s supply list, and instead get ourselves a flatpack kitchen. We could get an entire kitchen with plenty of bench and cabinet space, including the oven/stove/rangehood/kitchen sink, for less than that (total was about $4500). Our builder was not overly happy (he’s had other DIYers put in flatpacks and have issues), but agreed to us supplying our own, considering Mr Hammer is a carpenter himself and has installed many flatpacks before.
So! Ikea. We sat down one night using Ikea’s painfully slow software, to create a nice little cooking space. We added the whitegoods. We saw it in 3D. It fit the budget. We designed a few different kitchens to fit in the space. If you can bear the snail’s pace, it’s a really good tool to get an idea of your finished product.
However, Ikea is a 3 hour drive away (but one is openeing up about an hour and a half drive away at the end of 2016, so you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be there, nosing around!). We could already imagine the store visit dragging along three tired kids who’d been cooped up in a car for three hours. As much fun as that trip would have been, we opted for a Kaboodle kitchen from Bunnings, which is about a 5 minute drive away. Sadly, their black cupboard doors only came in gloss, and were at the expensive end of their range (Ikea had a black wood-grain effect which would have been perfect). So we chose ‘chocanilla’ and thought we would get the timber tops and stain them grey, remembering that this kitchen is to be temporary.
The timber benchtops were, in the end, too pretty to stain grey. And with the whole thing put together, the chocanilla looks more like a weird grey-green-khaki kind of colour against the benchtop and the black tile splashback. Project for the future: painting the cabinet doors black.
It was an entirely cost-effective process. The cabinets took about a week of working after our dayjobs until dinnertime to put together. We have soft-close hinges and drawer runners (I love soft-close!). The handles are yet to arrive. But this is the progress so far. We have more cabinet space than we’ve ever had, so that’ll be nice!