Trivia of my life

When people talk about redoing their kitchens for "only 20" or "just 40" grand I have to bite my lips to keep the sarcastic "Only!" back. It's just so damn far from our reality. Both financially and in terms of what type of kitchen my "cooking" really deserves to have. But recently, we manged to find a tiny amount of cash that we want to use to spiff up our crappy kitchen.

Currently, we are debating ordering cabinets from Ikea. Ikea cabinets are cheap(er) and very cute. We can either order ones with real birch doors and then keep them in the attic while we try to piece together the cash for the rest of the kitchen. (This may take a year) Or go with the cheaper version of laminated birch doors and actually be able to afford some slightly imperfect appliances from the Sears Outlet now.

So what I'm trolling for here are the answers to these questions: Have you ever installed Ikea cabinets in your kitchen? Laminate or regular? And how are they holding up?

I fear that if we opt with the laminate version it will end up peeling or dinging the second our dog slides into them with a rawhide bone. But I also fear that if we put those real birch cupboards up in the attic, there they will stay till we sell the house and are forced install them. After which I will enter that getting the house ready for sale phase where you lament that you didn't fix the house up real nice for your own damn selves.

Ikea? Anyone?


smashedpea said...

Sorry, don't know much about cabinets - but I do know that the cheaper Ikea stuff does not hold up well. At all. I survived my student days on Ikea and we still have some of the stuff around, but I've learned to be more careful with the stuff you want to last.

Our neighbours installed their lovely Ikea cabinets themselves and said it was a breeze - though they had someone help them who'd done it before. They look great and I'm all jealous with my crap kitchen that we'll never be able to afford to fix up, not when the husband wants to dig out the basement first and make that nice.

Not sure this helps much, but anyway, there you have it.

And hi, I'm kinda new here.

PamKittyMorning said...

I have friends who got nice expensive laminate cabinets and after 3 years now the laminate is peeling up around the oven. Of course her expensive kitchen design company came into repair them and suggested that while she's cooking she leave her drawers open so they won't be near the oven's heat. Which to me is not really a solution at all.
I know a lot of people LOVE IKEA but personally the stuff seems too cheap. But darling, you're right. Good luck with whatever you choose.

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

I don't know much about cabinets either. But IKEA is darling. And cheap. Still not sure if it will hold up. But, darn, I wish we had an IKEA in Denver either way.

And I hear ya on the "only" comment. We have an old house that we are working on piece by piece and have similar feelings. :) Sigh. Someday we'll get a big loan to put a master suite in the attic, but until then, we're cozy.

Anonymous said...

The real birch IKEA cabinets are very nice and well made. A friend, who is a carpenter and former custom-cabinet maker, was satisfied enough with them that he used them in his own home.

I don't know about the laminate. Usually all laminate just wears out faster than you would like. It might depend on how long you intend to stay in your house...

Lotta said...

Smashed Pea - I understand. We've been "waiting" to do our kitchen up right for 7 years. I'm at the f'ck it phase. Let's just do it cheap cause whomever buys it is just going to rip it out anyways. I know because that's what they do on TLC's Moving Up.

Pam Kitty - Interesting, I'll pass that on to my husband who will be installing whatever we get.

Aimme - It's enough to make me want to buy new construction some days. And then other days I love the old milkglass doorknobs and molding and so I forgive the crumbling cement steps in the front.

Anon - Good to know. From what I can tell from visiting Ikea hack sites many experts like the foundation of the Ikea cabinets.

All - Ok, so I went out to Ikea today and tried to put my fingernails into the laminate. I really tried to make a nick and couldn't do it. I'm thinking that we are going to go for it and be prepared to potentially replace a door or two. Or sedate the dog. Whatever we need to do. I'll keep ya posted!

Anonymous said...

Are your existing cabinets too far gone? Could you get by with painting them or even buying new doors? If not then I'd suck it up and buy the nice cabinets. A new kitchen adds mucho money to the value of your home. Why would you have to store them? Home Depot usually has some type of granite on sale. Or you could go to a tile/stone store and ask about a cheaper way to get granite in your home. And nobody said you have to do it all at once. Get the cabinets and counters, then in a few months or so, get appliances.
There's always the trusty Home Equity Line from your bank to help afford these things. That's what we did.-Bama

Lotta said...

Bama, bama, bama (shaking head) The budget for this spiff up is gonna end up being around 3,200. For a whole kitchen. Husband doing all the work and reusing whatever hardware we can. Granite, on sale or not - would blow that budget out of the water. I say we would have to store the nice stuff while we saved money to pay for the rest of the appliances and flooring. Cause this is a cash only job. No equity baby. That went bye bye trying to keep up with son's medical bills.

Little Monkies said...

IKEA cabinets were very highly rated on Consumer Reports when I was looking at them. I know a lot of folks on have used them, you might swing by there and see what they say.

Just say no to home equity right now, even if you could do it...bad, bad market.

Also, I found heaps of stuff on livemodern about different materials, etc and you could post about your needs and ideas. The people on that site are total nerds for this stuff.

For the appliances, seriously look at the ding shops. My FIL got an awesome refridge for a ridiculously cheap amount because it had a dent in the side...the side that was against a wall that you couldn't see. Lots of thrifty stuff out there to consider!

Lotta said...

LM - We are def. buying appliances from a ding shop. We have a great Sears Outlet that sells those type of items. We got a really nice washer/dryer from there a couple of years ago.

Great link, I'll check it out!

Couldn't do equity if we wanted to. Might not anyways since we want to move in a few years and want to put that money into a new home.


OldRound said...

You should go to the kitchen forum on the gardenweb. Lots of info on IKEA to be found there.

Lori said...

We have laminates in our kitchen - the house is now 11 years old and they are starting to peel on the doors - no problem with the cabinet part, just the area you grab at- thus giving you a painful reminder your laminate is starting to peel and am going to have to do something about it soon. As someone mentioned before - can you get away with just the doors? That is part that "showcases" the cabinets. Also - if you have any Sears that are appliance only (we have one in our town, funky store, you wouldn't think it being a Sears at all) check there for their scratch and dents - I picked up a He4T whatever washing machine that is normally $1500 for $800 because of a dent.

Lotta said...

Lori - Well, we are going to put silver handles on them so that should help with wear and if we aren't outta this house in 4 years I would be surprised. I'm all over Sears, we've got a discount place in town and that's were we will be shopping!