Finished Kitchen: Circa 1840 Working Farmhouse, IKEA Budget Reno

brickmanhouseAugust 19, 2010

Hi all,

Well, we've finally got a (mostly) finished kitchen! This kitchen's been in the planning stages for 8 years and I've been in and out of this forum for just about that long-- wow, time flies! Whether I've posted or just lurked, the information I've gotten here has been INVALUABLE.

I can unequivocally say that my kitchen would not look anything like what it does without this Forum, and for that I offer my profound gratitude-- there is, quite literally, no way I could have done it without all of you, past and present.

So, here are the photos of the finished result: From 2010-0818 From 2010-0818 From 2010-0818 From 2010-0818 From 2010-0818 From 2010-0818 From 2010-0818

For the entire album with detailed photos, just click on the link below any of the photos above!

Here are the details:

Cabinetry: IKEA Lidingo White (with glass uppers) for the perimeter, Tidaholm Brown/Black for the island

Island Knobs & Pulls: Anne at Home Farm Collection and Lewis Dolin Glass Cup Pulls (from

Perimeter Knobs and Pulls: Anne at Home Horse Collection, generic polished chrome knobs, cup pulls, and bar pulls (from

Wall Paint: BM Revere Pewter

Trim, Hood, and Fireplace Paint: Valspar Bright White (from Lowes)

Perimeter Counters: IKEA Butcher Block, stained Black with India Ink and sealed with Waterlox

Island Counter: IKEA Butcher Block, sealed with Watco food safe butcher block sealer

Main Sink: Whitehaus 36" farm sink (from

Island Sink: IKEA single Domsjo, undermounted instead of the usual overmount installation

Faucets: IKEA Hjuvik

Refrigerator: Because we grow a lot of what we eat (so we don't need to store much) and have a large fridge in an adjacent laundry room, we chose a generic small undercounter fridge (Home Depot, off the shelf)

Wine chiller: Sunbeam (Home Depot, off the shelf)

Dishwashers: Kenmore and Hotpoint, both existing and 5-7 years old

Microwaves: 8 year old Kenmores

Island Oven: IKEA Datid 30"

Hood: ProLine 36" range hood (from eBay)

Range: IKEA Praktfull Pro A50

Backsplash Behind Range: Handthrown Williamsburg brick (local brickyard, left over from another project)

Flooring: Lumber Liquidators, Hand Scraped Teak

Island and Sink Pendants: IKEA Ottava

Cabinet lights: IKEA Grundtal single puck lights

Chandelier over the Table: Progress lighting, black 5-light chandelier (Home Depot, off the shelf)

Fireplace: Style Selections 36" Vent Free LP fireplace (LoweƂs, off the shelf)

A few notes about the remodel, just to hit some discussion points I see come up a lot in this Forum:

Our kitchen lives in a big old 1840 farmhouse, which has been part of a working farm since the day it was built. Originally it was soybeans, but now it's part of a gentleman's farm (horses, heritage gardens and poultry), so everything has to be hard wearing and practical. It needs to stand up to heavy traffic, mud, hay, tools, and the occasional chicken (though usually when they wander in, they don't go much further than the family room, because they like the television). That definitely informed our choices for surfaces-- they needed to be hard cleanable, and ultimately easily refinished or replaced down the line.

Because the entire house already has strong architectural elements (huge moldings and built-ins), we worked within the style we already had-- all the kitchen moldings, mantels, panels and cabinets match (or are closely styled after) what already exists in the house. We definitely didn't do a period kitchen (we wanted a 2010 layout with all the conveniences), but we wanted the kitchen to look like it belonged in the house.

The big thing for us was budget-- believe it or not, the entire kitchen was done for UNDER $20K. Four big things contributed to that:

1/ We DIY'ed the ENTIRE project, start to finish. The only thing we hired out was the gas line install for the fireplace and range, because state law requires it. Other than that, all planning, demo, sourcing, and construction was on us. Might be why it took us 8 years. . .

2/ We reused what we could, and scrounged a lot, especially construction materials (which could have been buckets of money, considering all the custom work we did in the space), and kept what appliances we could. It was also a great way to be environmentally responsible on a project that, let's face it, has a lot of non-necessities involved.

3/ IKEA, IKEA, IKEA. If you're anywhere reasonably close to an IKEA, and you're on anything approaching a budget, go check it out. The cabinet quality for the price can't be beat (except for a few pockets of custom cabinet makers), and there are a lot of great accessories, appliances, lighting and other things to be had for a terrific price. As always, you have to pick and choose your items for quality and value, but at least in our experience, it is definitely there to be had for the buyer with a good eye.

4/ We didn't go for major appliance upgrades. Our whole family LOVES to cook (and eat!), and we wanted a great looking, functional space to do it all in, but we just weren't convinced that we needed more than the basics right now. If we want to upgrade down the line, it's easy enough to do, but right now our Wolf budget is standing in our barn eating hay, and our LaCanche budget is steered towards this Show Hunter prospect I have my eye on . . .

So there's our formula for a great kitchen that works for us considering the (kind of odd!) parameters we had. Hope you all can take at least something useful away from our experience.

I've submitted the kitchen to the FKB, and I'll answer whatever questions you've got. . .

Thanks again, everyone!

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That is just insanely beautiful! I'm stunned. Wow! I have a bunch of questions but it's 2:20 am and I need to get some sleep.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 2:22AM
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Fantabulous!!! I love love love it! You have a beautiful large and open space. I especially love the way the lighted glass cabs around the FP look so much like windows that I had to do a double-take to realize they were cabs.

Stunning. Great job!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 2:26AM
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Wow!! Your floor is gorgeous. I can't believe how great that stained countertop is! I had to read your post a couple of times before it sunk in that it's butcher block. Thanks for sharing the details and photos. It certainly looks like a much more expensive kitchen. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 2:33AM
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Oh, Brickmanhouse, I could just cry! That is as close to my dream kitchen that I've seen. You must be ecstatic!

I don't even know where to begin. First of all, no one would look at your kitchen and say IKEA (and I loooove IKEA) because it has a completely different look and feel to it. I have been watching for you to post your kitchen because of the little teasers you have posted, and I am almost speechless. Seriously. I love the counter to ceiling cabinets and so wanted to do that, but didn't have the space, so I will just have to admire yours. Fireplace in the kitchen? *Swoon*

I love your whole sink wall--those windows! Your range are and hood treatment--*slobber* I am gushing, I know, but I truly LOVE LOVE LOVE this--and I ADORE the pricetag! ;^) IKEA rocks!

Now a question, if you don't mind: I am also doing IKEA, and I was just wondering how you made your skirt or valance for the bottoms of some of your cabs. Would you mind sharing that? How did you attach them, etc?

Fair warning, if you see what looks like a rather large chicken in your kitchen wearing yoga pants, really it IS a chicken. Haven't you heard? They are now getting taller and growing long blonde hair! bubukbukbukbukbukbukbkuuuuuk ;^)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 2:45AM
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Ditto what the poster above said. I thought this was a "high-end" kitchen and then I read it was Ikea. Not that Ikea wouldn't feel high-end to me if I was paying the bill : ) Well done. It's the fireplace and stove backsplash that gives it that je ne sais qois. (My french is so old I can hardly remember it yet alone spell it).

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 6:40AM
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Congratulations and happy cookin'

L love how you integrated the fireplace, the island and the table space.

btw- is that a cat-pig under the table?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 6:42AM
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Absolutely beautiful! Love it all.
We just got back from a trip to Williamsburg, love the brick and the whole hearth design. Also see there may be an aspiring artist there!
Anyway, perfection...this one I will refer back to in my own designs.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 6:48AM
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It's lovely and I have some questions about your sink wall. What are the dimensions of the windows including and not including the moulding? I would like to have something similar but I'm pretty sure I don't have quite enough room. I have 82 inches from cabinet to cabinet and my cabinets also will be coming all the way down to the counter. Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 7:00AM
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It's beautiful! I love your brick backsplash. It all fits so perfectly into a farmhouse. You really did a stellar job. And I can't believe it's DIY! I am utterly lacking that skill set. I am so impressed. Enjoy your hard work!!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 7:09AM
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Budget kitchen? The look does not imply that. What a great space! I, too, am in awe of the details like the arch kick and the posts alongside of the sink. Such attention to details. Love the brick, and the way the frame around the hood makes it look like a fireplace mantle. Congrats!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 7:25AM
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Back again because I'm still admiring your pictures and I had to tell you that the shadow line atop your cabinets is causing me to want to raise high(er) my cabinets. Love it!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 7:29AM
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I second Shelayne's comment, this is as close to my dream kitchen as I've ever seen!!!!!! It's unbelievably beautiful and well done! I love everything about it, I don't know where to start. I'm afraid to keep looking at it because my kitchen is done and I'm drooling over yours!
Great job, enjoy!!!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 7:57AM
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Your kitchen is just fabulous. I can't believe it's IKEA, which I agree is great quality for the price, but usually looks too modern for our house and my decorating style. But you made it look totally custom and vintage and unique. There are lots of amazing ideas and "IKEA hacking" to be learned from your kitchen.

I'm totally borrowing (stealing ;-) your basement door idea (which is in the photo album if anyone else wants to look). Our existing doors are six panel except for the plain slab door leading to the garage. We could use your chalkboard paint and molding treatment and not have to replace it. THANKS!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 9:05AM
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It looks absolutely perfect in your home (with the architectural elements)!!!!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 9:13AM
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This is one of those times when you really do need to use the word "awesome!" I am stunned that you could get that kitchen on that amount of money! Design and execution trumps budget, majorly! Congratulations -- you have achieved a kitchen miracle. If there were a contest somewhere (and I'm sure there must be) for the most fabulous kitchen for the fewest dollars, you would surely win. I bet IKEA is going to get a lot of hits on their site today, but really, it turned out the way it did because you did such a great job designing and building it.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 9:17AM
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Beautiful kitchen but I really love that you choose horses over a Wolf or LaCanche!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 9:23AM
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Sure. You posted pics from a magazine shoot. HA--just kidding! It really looks like a magazine spread. It is unique, inviting and memorable. From the flooring to the brick fireplace and hood--what can I say? Except that I am jealous of your farmhouse! Great job.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 9:41AM
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Absolutely fabulous!!

Can I ask about the brick behind the range? Have you treated them with a product to protect them from grease and spatter, or are they 'raw' bricks?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 9:54AM
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Brickmanhouse, Your kitchen is stunning. I to am doing an Ikea kitchen in an 1840 Canadiana house. Ours is a rather large addition so we have had to be budget conscious. We are also doing everything ourselves so felt that we could do enough customizing so as not to appear as though we cut costs. I am so impressed with what you have achieved. Your kitchen is warm and inviting and no one would guess that it was a so called budget kitchen. It looks so high end, you must be thrilled. I would love to have a close up of your undermounted Domsjo sink and your India ink countertops. Were you able to get an even finish without it being blotchy? We have a pine work island table and bought Ikea butcher block for the countertops but have been recently thinking that I might prefer black countertops and thought my only choice was soapstone. You may have saved the day and my budget. Congratulations again for a job well done. I hope you have years of enjoyment in your new kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 10:41AM
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What an amazing kitchen, and for under $20K?? I could spend all day in a kitchen like that!!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 10:50AM
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Wow! Staining the wood counters black was brilliant!

Ditto what some have said above...never would have guessed those
were Ikea cabs.

Enjoy! And, thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 11:02AM
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That is gorgeous! I love seeing stunning remodels like this where Ikea cabs were used... since I'm mid-remodel with Ikea cabs myself ; )

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 11:16AM
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Your finished kitchen is absolutely beautiful and I am so very impressed with your talents; from planning to budget shopping, to resourceful details (like dying the countertops!) and, ultimately, that it is all DIY! Truly admirable! I never knew an IKEA kitchen could look like yours. (But then, I live in the boondocks and have never set foot in an IKEA.) I bet it feels as though it was worth waiting 8 years for this kitchen. I particularly like how the range backsplash picks up on the look of the brick in the FP surround. It is nice that you have room for an eat-in kitchen with a real table, rather than perching at the island. Very farmhouse. And, I'll echo everyone else's comments that your use of the glass front cabinets is inspired. They are gorgeous. To do so much for under $20K - many here will study your post and benefit! There's no doubt you must be in heaven enjoying the fruits of your labors!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 11:37AM
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OK, brickmanhouse, your kitchen is beyond terrific, but I am not going to gush because I have expected nothing less ever since I read the magic words "India ink" however many months ago.

As it happens, I just yesterday bought five pieces of birch Numerar, with the idea of staining them a color near to graphite (not to deliberately fake soapstone, but to create a reasonably tranquil atmosphere in my small kitchen). I would be most grateful if you care to share any insights arising from your decision to use India ink instead of a black transparent, semi-transparent, or opaque stain. I suspect that other people here would also be way interested, but if you think your experiments were too esoteric, I can be emailed via "my page."

I will just gush a little. This forum produces all kinds of glorious kitchens that represent the most elegant materials and appliances money can buy, and I am happy to drool over them. For me, however, the product of imagination, ingenuity, a stunningly well-conceived plan, a modest budget, and copious quantities of sweat is the cat's meow (or maybe in your kitchen, the chicken's cluck).

You done REAL good.

Thanks for the inspiration.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 11:49AM
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Sorry Brickmanhouse, I just realized you had more pictures. Saw the undermount sink but would still like more info on your stained countertops. Can't help going back to look at your kitchen again and again. I am just amazed by it all. Have done the same thing with our ceiling. If our kitchen looks half as good as your I will be thrilled.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 12:00PM
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PS. Many thanks for making some of your in-process photos publicly available. We would be happy to see more if you care to post them.

Also, for the record, I am partial to flighty bays who have flunked out of five-gaited but can jump over the moon as long as they don't have to think about it too long and believe that you would never ask them to do anything that is bad for them. Let me know if you come upon any. I'm a city girl, but I am really good at mucking out stalls, so maybe we could work something out.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 12:14PM
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Wish I'd bought stock in Ikea before you posted your kitchen, Brickmanhouse. Maybe it's not too late... Very, VERY nice job.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 12:28PM
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Very impressive! Perfect union of the aesthetic and the logical. You have a great eye and great values.


    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 12:49PM
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Utterly fantastic--love the brick, the wood, the cabinets (IKEA?!?), the whole look is fabulous and gorgeous. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 12:56PM
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Hi Brickmanhouse..

Your kitchen is a showplace. Looks better than an IKEA showroom kitchen for sure, (and those can look pretty darn good!) I have a lot of Ikea furniture in my home and have found the quality to be good enough for me. I am very impressed with what you have created. Congrats!


    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 1:03PM
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Wow wow wow! This made my day! It proves that you don't need to have money to have style! I too am finishing up an IKEA DIY remodel (ours only took 4 1/2 yrs) and I can totally appreciate the thought, care and time that must have gone into this kitchen to get these results. You were really creative, have a fantastic eye and the workmanship looks great. Great job.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 1:13PM
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WOW, WOW, WOW! I can only echo what others have said. Your kitchen looks amazing! I love how you incorporated the fireplace in with the kitchen. Your attention to every detail hids that this is a 'budget' kitchen quite well. Beautiful!!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 1:18PM
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Your kitchen takes my breath away. I'm speechless....

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 1:21PM
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Amazing job! I'm very impressed!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 2:10PM
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Thank you all so much for the compliments-- I'm really glad you like the kitchen, especially since so many of the elements were shamelessly stolen from all of you!

I'll do my best to answer all the questions, but if I miss one, just holler at me-- again, with all the info and help I've gotten here, it's major time to pay it forward.

Shelayne, about the toekicks on the cabinets: All of them are done from pine 1 x stock. We cut a solid back, which attaches to the IKEA cabinet legs with brackets they provide. Once we knew how far back the solid part would sit, we cut wood blocks wide enough to set the front "legs" forward of the solid toekick, directly under the face of the cabinet. Finish nailed them together, primed and painted, and that was it! It was actually one of the easier parts of the project.

Ncamy, about the sink wall: IIRC, the bank of windows is 110" including molding. They are three separate windows, though, not a solid unit. We bought them in a stock size off the shelf, and framed them out ourselves. If you have a narrower opening, you could always just get narrower windows, or alternatively, do two windows instead of three. Here's what the windows looked like during the framing process:

Bmorepanic, about the cat-pig: Too funny! That's our 10 month old kitten, who owns the place. She's merely kind enough to allow us to pay the mortgage for her.

Logansmum, about the basement door: We have the exact same set up-- all the doors in the house are paneled, except this one, which was clearly replaced some time in the 70's. We could have just replaced it, but I figured for 8 bucks I'd buy a can of chalkboard paint, and see how it came out! We've been having fun with it, and if it ever looks ratty down the line, we can change it out then. If you do the same, make sure you prime well, and use at least 3 or 4 coats-- the paint wants to erase off.

Petra66, about the brick behind the range: We haven't sealed it, though we probably should. I'm still debating what to do about it. I hate the shiny, plastic look of surface sealers, but the sealers that absorb aren't as effective. So I'm still ruminating on that one.

Several posters, about the counters: Believe it or not, they were really EASY. I read on the woodworking forum here that people were having trouble getting a true black stain, and that india ink would give a flat black look. I figured, since the counters cost a grand total of $280, and I'm in and out of art supply stores all the time anyway (see paintergirl94's comment above!) I'd give it a shot. If I hated it, no big loss-- I'd just regroup and figure out a Plan B. The india ink went on black and solid (no streaking or blotching) with a sponge brush, and dried in a matter of hours. I finished with 4 coats of Waterlox regular, 2 coats of Waterlox satin, and installed them. Time consuming, but not difficult. They've been in since December, and are holding up great.

Paintergirl94, about the artist: Yup, the painting over the fireplace was done by my favorite artist-- our 12 year old daughter. It just came back from our county fair, where it was reserve champion painting. She really did a great job with it.

And finally, a shout out to the horse people. . . I should have known there'd be a few of you around here! The only people crazier than the TKO's here are the THO's (me included). Here was the view out my kitchen window this winter:

Possibly prettier than a Lacanche. Definitely eats more than one!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 2:20PM
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You had me with the title alone and then I saw the pictures...


I wish I could use bold and larger fonts here, because this puny typeface is not enough. Your kitchen is everything anyone could possibly want in a kitchen! What you have accomplished is beyond what any KD could have come up with.

You should really send your pix to IKEA because I bet they would love to use it for advertising purposed. Maybe you can make back some of the budget that way!

I am about to embark on an IKEA vintage look kitchen and get tired to trying to explain that you can do a lot with IKEA stuff and it does not need to look modern or Scandinavian (unless you want it to).
I have seen kitchens for $60k that are not half as nice (or as big). Ours will be harder to figure since it is part of an extension that encompasses several rooms, but we could not afford to do it half as well or as soon if not for IKEA.

No matter how good the IKEA parts look, you put it all together with the rest which gives "the whole is bigger than the sum of the parts" new meaning. You could easily have a new career as a KD or GC if you showed these pix around. I will be coming back to this post tonight and studying it even more. It needs to be savored (and deserves it!).


    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 2:52PM
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I have to confess I'm getting tired of white kitchens and dark countertops....but yours is AMAZING! So beautiful I can't believe it's a DIY as well. Incredible design, terrific execution, brilliant selection of materials!

You totally rock as a kitchen designer/contractor! I'm sooooo jealous..........but congratulations on a job well done!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 4:19PM
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Your gray baby is gorgeous! Definitely superior to any old Wolf or LaCanche. You should be in the IKEA hall of fame. Whenever anyone says "I considered IKEA, but my house isn't modern" I will point them directly toward your kitchen. And what you accomplished, in a large room with a lot of cabinetry, countertop and millwork is clearly amazing on the $20K budget.

Well done, sir. Well done.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 4:38PM
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Well, I knew this was going to be one incredible kitchen back when you posted your pics of the counters, but this is just amazing, brickmanhouse!

I'd love a little more detail about how you did the single domsjo--which cabinet and all. Is there room for a disposal under there?

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 4:52PM
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Clipping the valance to the legs is BRILLIANT! I will show your post to hubby, as he will be the one with the saw. I had already bought the pine, so I figured that part out--LOL.

Thanks so much for your kind response--I so appreciate it!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 4:53PM
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Did anyone already say, unbelievably incredibly beautiful? Not only is this the most professional and creative DIY I have ever seen, your kitchen is in the top category "best of all kitchens ever seen.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 5:08PM
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(The rest has already been said.)

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 5:19PM
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Wow. I have no words. Just. wow. My jaw dropped, and I'm literally gaping at my laptop. That's DIY? Budget?? IKEA??? That's the most gorgeous, inviting, sophisticated space. If you'd said it cost three times the amount, I wouldn't blink. Congratulations on your kitchen. It looks like a wonderful space that you and family and friends will enjoy for many years.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 5:25PM
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Completely, totally genius, brickmanhouse. IKEA should probably pay YOU as the best possible advertising for their product. I hope you'll x-post this in the "Under $20K Kitchens" thread (and in the process resurrect it), which was very helpful to me and others here as we were planning our budget-but-beautiful kitchens.

Again, congratulations on a wonderful, wonderful job. Enjoy it!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 5:29PM
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As a history buff, I am always curious as to how to splice a modern kitchen onto an old house gracefully. You did it really well. The four pictures you first posted had me thinking that the bricks and fireplace were redone old things, so you really got me going. I applaud the kitchen in so many ways, but one of the best, for me, is the validation that five matching modern pendants and a less modern hanging fixture over the table can all look good together.

Excellent work and a great design and followthrough. Great job on keeping the kitchen within sensible bounds financially, although I think that 8 years of perseverance and endurance qualifies you and your family for a particular badge of glory.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 6:02PM
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looks amazing!!!!! I think we're going the ikea route too, with some tweaking. It is just so inviting. I love the bank of windows. There is just nothing like natural light. Beautiful horse too.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 6:07PM
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all around excellent!

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 6:17PM
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This is just incredible! If anything could convince a person to buy Ikea cabinets, this has to be it.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 10:54PM
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Love your kitchen and was so amazed that you did all that for under $20,000! I am thinking of maybe going the Ikea route also especially after seeing your kitchen and a few others on this site. Thanks for sharing to help others and for us to get to see such a gorgeous kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2010 at 11:59PM
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LOVE it ... especially the brick. My next kitchen will have a big brick fireplace in it.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 12:45AM
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Ditto to what writersblock asked: how did you tackle the undermounted single Domsjo? Any detailed pictures to share of the installation process? Did you add extra support beside the support that is Ikea provided? Is there a pullout underneath, if not, do you think a pullout would be possible? Which size doors did you use? Were they cut down? What did you use in between the top of the sink and the worktop, something like caulk?

Did you post this wonderfull kitchen at (f.i. in Project Blogs). I think they would highly appreciate it!

Regarding the brick, I have the same dilemma. Most products leave the stone too glossy and alter it's appearence, so I just leave the brick in my kitchen as it is for now. Thanks for replying to all our queries.

As you, I would choose the grey over the Lacanche anyday!!


    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 9:49AM
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Oh, it's so beautiful. It really should be in a magazine. Your sense of proportion and balance is exquisite. I was just at Ikea the other day, and looking at the displays, I would not have envisioned the elegance you have created. And, your kitchen is timeless. In 10 years it will look just as good. That is very hard to achieve.

I too had to choose my budget between my kitchen and my Hunter Jumper. The kitchen, though, once it's complete, is pretty much finished with draining my wallet. My horse, on the other hand, is a never-ending, infinite money pit. I also add a 1-hour commute each way to see him, unlike lucky you. I must love riding, mustn't I? Yup.

Hmm. I am looking for a new barn, maybe I'll trailer my horse over, and then just hang out in your kitchen for a while.... :))

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 10:08AM
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Amazing what one can do with Ikea-wish we had a store nearby. DH is in love with your ceiling. You mentioned getting the fireplace at Lowe's so I'm assuming it's not wood burning. Is it gas??

Your kitchen reminds me of my paternal grandparents who lived on a working farm. I still remember feeding the chickens and running through the corn fields. Alas, it has been sold/torn down to make way for suburban sprawl. Your kitchen vibe reminds me of the love and warmth I felt when I was little in the middle of my grandparents kitchen. Wish I had the right house and space to do something similar. You're very lucky and I envy you!!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 10:15AM
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I am pretty speechless over this kitchen and all I can really say is you have set the bar very high here on GW. The kitchen as it is plus your DIY skills not to mention IKEA on top of it. IKEA Hall of Fame.

Amazing job and I am still looking at the pictures over and over.

Congratulations and enjoy!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 10:23AM
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laura mcleod

Seriously, your kitchen is a crazy beautiful space! It looks like it has always been there - but is also so fresh and open. I love every element - the windows are especially amazing. A dream kitchen to work and live in for sure - thanks for sharing!! (sigh of envy....)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 11:32AM
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Again, thank you all so much for the compliments! We absolutely love the kitchen, and it's nice to hear that others do, too!

Writersblock and Petra66, we undermounted the Domsjo like we would have any other sink-- the rim of the Domsjo is blessedly flat, so it wasn't difficult.

The Domsjo single bowl is a 24" sink, so to undermount it, we used a 30" cabinet. If you wanted to do a drip rail installation (like we did on our main sink), you'd have to use a 24" sink cabinet, and cut the whole thing down to have the sink sit completely on top of the cabinet.

The sink is designed to sit on two metal rails (they come with the sink) that span the width of the cabinet, and screw into the sides. Those rails are too short for a 30" cabinet, so we just used wood, and placed it and screwed it exactly like we would have with the metal. The only thing you have to do is to measure carefully, and make sure that you screw the wood into the right spot, so that the top of the sink is exactly level with the top of the cabinet.

Once the sink is sitting level with the top of the cabinet, the counter top goes on, and sits on top of the sink and the cabinet. We just ran a bead of clear caulk along the sink/counter seam.

The trim out was a little fussier, but the beauty of IKEA is that you can buy doors and drawerfronts seperately, so we could just mix and match, keep what worked, and return what didn't. To do the apron around the sink, we used a 30" wide drawerfront (IKEA's deep drawer front-- 12" high) and cut it to fit around the outline of the sink with a jigsaw. Finish nailed it into place, then installed the airswitch for the disposal on the front.

Because we dropped the height of the sink, none of the standard IKEA doors fit exactly, but the 18" set was really close, so we used those, and just added a small filler strip above them. Because the Tidaholm brown/black is so dark, it's hard to get a good photo of it, but here's probably the best shot I have:

The Tidaholm reads really black in our kitchen, so we stained the filler strip with india ink (I was doing the countertops anyway, so why not?), and finish nailed it in.

There is definitely room for a pullout in there, or room for a disposal (we have one).

If you have any more questions about the sink install, let me know!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 11:54AM
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Yes the fireplace is gas-- it's a vent free propane unit. We have a wood burning fireplace in the adjacent family room (which we love, and use frequently), but I was definitely not prepared to put one in the kitchen, for a variety of reasons.

We had a small propane tank installed for the range, the kitchen fireplace, and also a matching one in the dining room. I bought the fireplaces off the shelf at Lowes-- they're a stock item. I was worried about having to settle for one with cheesy brass or metal trim, but was pleasantly surprised to find these, which are flat black, and are a pretty understated design. Price was right, too-- only $500 per unit.

This is my first experience with gas fireplaces, and so far, I'm really pleased! I have to admit it's a lot of fun to have a fire with just a flick of the remote, and the amount of heat this thing pumps out is amazing. The kitchen sits at the center of the house, and believe it or not, the unit heats a good portion of the main floor. It was installed in December, and it saved us a boatload of money on our oil bill during a record cold winter.

Tell your husband thanks for the compliments on the ceiling! It came out well, but Oh. My. God. what a colossal pain it was to install. I figured a paneled ceiling would be easier and would save a ton of time over having to finish drywall overhead (I'm the drywall finisher in the house, and I *hate* doing ceilings). Boy was I wrong-- that ceiling took FOREVER to do. Next time, I'm going back to drywall, seams and all!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 12:37PM
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Wow! That is one breathtaking kitchen!!!

I just love how you made the mantel and brick over the range marry the other fireplace.

Everything is just amazingly lovely!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 12:53PM
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I don't care how much it cost - this IS a "high-end" kitchen for sure!

Congratulations - your hard work, design aesthetic and cleverness paid off in spades!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 12:58PM
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This kitchen certainly ends the debate about IKEA.

WOWOWWW! Long live IKEA, long live brickman!!

It belongs in a magazine as a HIGH END kitchen. Just incredible.

I have always been a proponent of IKEA (having build my own kitchen cabs so I know about construction) but somehow there are naysayers who probably would buy them if they were priced 4 times as much :)

Your kitchen is outstanding @@

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 1:04PM
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What a stunning kitchen!
Congrats on building such a beautiful, warm and functional space. This really has to be one of my all time favorite kitchens!

Dawn, who is another IKEA kitchen owner/lover

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 1:15PM
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Thank you so much for the detailed explanation of the sink, brickmanhouse.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 1:15PM
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Thank you brickmanhouse for the detailed description. Up till now I was just going to do a regular installation of the Domsjo, but your excellent work has got me thinking!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 2:04PM
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You really have an eye for design! Terrific job!

I was especially excited to see the Domsjo sink. I was considering one, found one for 25 bucks in the stratch and dent section and brought it home to see how it "fit" me and my pots and pans. My builder saw it and said that since I wanted to undermount it, we could just saw off the chipped back part and use the $25 one instead of a new one. Your installation is just how I wanted to do mine. Thanks so much for sharing that!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 4:58PM
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I love it! You did an awesome job. IKEA rocks!! Love the stained "shelf"? that the sink sits on in the white cabs. And I of course love the brick!

Very very well done!!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 6:47PM
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Yvonne Albertyn_Brazil

That's a beautiful, beautiful kitchen! And most inspiring!! Thank you for sharing your tips. You've inspired me. I'm going to pick up some Valspar paint this weekend to try to finish our trim. I love all the trim you've used - it really is stunning!

    Bookmark   August 20, 2010 at 7:12PM
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Just stunning! It's beautiful and fits the house well. I can't believe it's Ikea and for under $20K!! Love the wall of windows too. Enjoy.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 9:23AM
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"WOW" is all I can say. It is BEAUTIFUL.

Actually I do have something else to say. What type type/brand of stain did you use on the perimeter counters, and which if the Ikea woods did you use?. Thanks so much. I am sure you will enjoy your kitchen immensely.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 3:03PM
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Inicredible job! I have been following your prior threads with much interest. Can I ask what the heights of the cabinets on your counters are, and how high your ceilings are? Also, did you raise the cabinets off the counter a bit and fill that in with molding so that the doors would open clear of the counters?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2010 at 11:50PM
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OK, just got a better look at your photobucket picture. Yowza, the details are incredible! Did you do those ogee edges yourself on the main sink? If so, is it difficult to diy? Also, I was interetsed in the detail around your 30" sink- looks like you pulled the sink cabinet forward the applied decorative columns on the sides before you shaped the counters around them?

I am also going to ask if you can post the details on undermounting with a drip rail, perhaps you can add it to your other post on undermounting without a drip rail?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 12:03AM
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How did I miss this?! It's really beautiful. You did an amazing job, especially using 'stock' cabs to create a very custom kitchen. I love the brick backsplash. I considered that and if I'd seen yours, would not have swayed from it. I'm totally jealous of your fireplace, and the cabinets surrounding it are perfect.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 12:23AM
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Absolutely gorgeous. Love the matching fireplace and range hood style...great use of brick. The whole project is just awesome. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 12:41AM
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This kitchen is so beautiful! I've never been to an IKEA, and now that I've seen your stunning kitchen, I'm so sad that we don't have an IKEA where we live. It really is AMAZING! I absolutely love it!!!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 4:07AM
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Thanks again for all the compliments, and the questions! It's great that everyone's interested to hear how we did things.

Joann301, we used birch, and stained them with India Ink-- no particular brand, just a big old $6 bottle of artist's ink. We put it on with a sponge brush, let it dry for a few hours, and then coated with six coats of Waterlox (4 regular, 2 satin). The counters are BLACK, with no woodgrain or color showing through-- they almost look solid-surface, so it wouldn't matter what wood you chose.

Scrappy25, all the cabinet stacks are 60" high. The two that flank the fireplace are two 30" wall cabinets stacked on top of each other. The one next to the window is comprised of two 15"-30"15" stacks, set side by side. Our ceiling height ranges from 8'6" to 9' (old house-- nothing's square or level!), and our countertops are a couple inches higher than standard, so we just configured the ceiling molding to take up the excess space from cabinet top to ceiling.

We did raise the cabinets off the counter with molding so that the doors would swing easily, and also because we liked the look. It's stock white IKEA cabinet molding, that can be used for a lot of different purposes. It's about 3/4" thick, and we just laid it flat on the counter, and mitred it in the corners. The doors swing with no obstruction. We also ran the same molding as a matching detail on the top of the cabinets.

We did the ogee edges on the perimeter counters ourselves, with a router. Honestly, though, if I had it all to do over again, I wouldn't have bothered-- it was kind of a pain, and I think the counters would have looked just as good with a flat edge. They're almost a bit too fussy for my taste.

The cabinet and main sink are pulled forward (maybe 6 inches or so?). I saw a photo of someone here who'd done it, and it looked good, so we copied it! There's no real change in function that comes with having it pulled forward, and it was easy to do. IKEA cabinets come with feet, so it's just sitting there between the two dishwashers, supported by its own feet.

I will definitely try to get details of the undermount install with a drip rail. A lot of times, people don't recognize that the drip rail is the leading edge of a wood platform that the sink sits on-- it's not a piece of molding tacked on to the front of the cabinet. I've seen drip rails tacked on after the fact, and no matter how well they're done, they look kind of funny. It's one of those little details that really makes a difference.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 1:43PM
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Thanks for your answers! I love studying your pictures, am learning so much. Thanks especially for posting the in-progress pictures.

Hope I'm not pestering you too much with more questions
1. Did you use doors on the sides of the island? How did you trim out the baseboards on the island?
2. For the "legs" on the cabinets, did you miter the fronts with the sides or do an end to side join to fill in the side gap between the front "legs" and the original toekick?
3. Are your fireplace and range hood cover trimmed out with 2x4's? What did you use for the trim "beading" inside the 2x4's? Looks like you are really good at mitering.
4. I see how you used the Ikea trim below and above your hutch cabinets. How did you attach the crown molding above that?

It seems like the more I look, the more there is!


    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 4:24PM
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I just had to show my DH the pictures of your wonderful kitchen since we are finally getting close to remodeling our kitchen (DH knows I am really fed up with all the delays, lol). Sadly, our horse property lacks the charm your farm possesses and we just have a small ranch style house to work with. I will be more than happy if our finished result ends up half as nice as this - it totally fits in with the overall feel of the place.

My only complaint is that you haven't shown us enough photos of your beautiful horses ;-)

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 11:21PM
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Hey Scrappy25,

No, you're not pestering me at all! I'm glad to explain what we did, and hopefully give you some ideas!

1. Did you use doors on the sides of the island? How did you trim out the baseboards on the island?

*** Yes, we used standard IKEA doors on the sides of the island-- 24 x 36. They have "side panels" they sell for the same purpose, but honestly-- they look like crap. With the modular IKEA cabinets, you can ALWAYS find a door to fit any cabinet side. They're ridiculously reasonable, and they look great.

2. For the "legs" on the cabinets, did you miter the fronts with the sides or do an end to side join to fill in the side gap between the front "legs" and the original toekick?

*** No mitres-- just a finish nailed butt joint.

3. Are your fireplace and range hood cover trimmed out with 2x4's? What did you use for the trim "beading" inside the 2x4's? Looks like you are really good at mitering.

*** The fireplace and range hood are trimmed out with plain 1 x stock-- either 1 x 4 or 1 x 6, whichever worked for the dimensions we needed. Don't use 2 x stock-- that would be way too thick!

The trim bead is also stock molding-- it's usually called "trim cap" around here (though I know molding pieces have different names regionally). It's the same molding we put on top of our baseboards to join it back to the wall.

With an old house, molding is SO much a part of any project-- we couldn't ignore it, and wouldn't have wanted to. We bought a good mitre saw 8 years ago when we moved in, and it's been worth it's weight in gold! What we lack in woodworking talent, we trust to a good quality tool.

4. I see how you used the Ikea trim below and above your hutch cabinets. How did you attach the crown molding above that?

*** We installed the IKEA trim above and below the cabinets the same way-- mitred the corners and attached with trim nails. Once that was done, we attached nailing blocks at each corner and wall (using construction cement AND trim nails, just to be sure). Gave the nailing blocks 24 hours to dry, and then nailed in the vertical 1 x's and the crown molding.

As always, holler if you need more info!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2010 at 11:52PM
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WOWSA - Just going to echo the other posters - You did an amazing job. We live in an old farmhouse and did an IKEA kitchen too -- so I was looking forward to seeing yours. Totally blew me away. You did a super fantastic job - I love your countertops- brilliant.

Enjoy your new space for many many years!!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 8:13AM
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I ditto each and every word of cheers and praise for your kitchen with multiple exclamation points!!!!! Having installed White Lidingo cabs in the rental unit kitchen, I've always been a solid Ikea fan. However, after seeing what you've done with Ikea cabs, I am totally blown away. Take a bow!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 12:57PM
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It looks great. Were the fireplace and hood surrounds IKEA too? What, if any, limitations did you find working within the IKEA line? Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 1:22PM
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Wow! There's not much else to say that hasn't been said. It's beautiful and inspiring, and I'm thrilled of how you approached your remodel (reduce, reuse, etc.).
You have given me hope that I just might be able to finish my DIY kitchen with the use of IKEA and still be able to buy that Dutch Warmblood I have my eye one!
Bravo to you!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 2:19PM
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Stunning! I've been considering delaying our remodel until the Ikea store in the Denver area opens in Sept 2011 but had been told by several friends in other areas of the country with Ikea stores not to bother. Brother, were they wrong!!! After looking at yours and several other Ikea kitchens, I'm convinced it will be worth the wait. Your kitchen is so beautiful, but at the same time practical! Although we won't be DIY, I think using Ikea is a way to get the most out of my budget. I also think your counters are inspired and may well use that idea!

A few questions: 1) How do you like your Ikea range? 2) Did I count right--4 ovens (1 in range, 1 in island, and 2 built into wall)? What brand/model are your built-ins? 3) What brand is your floor? Solid wood or engineered? Are you happy with it/does it show wear & tear easily?

Your novelty knobs are charming! Why did you use different pulls on the lower cabs between the stove & dishwasher? Did you use any of the ikea cab/drawer organizers? Have you found any especially useful or not so much?

Your ranch looks to be heaven on this earth!! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 2:57PM
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bestyears I am so happy that I am done with our kitchen-budget-renovation, because if I'd seen yours anywhere along the line, I'd have had to scrap all my hard work, and start all over. You have done an amazing, fantastic, fill-in-the-superlative job! Your kitchen will be just as lovely 50 years from now.... What a great place to enjoy with your family....

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 6:24PM
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thank you brickmanhouse for the detailed answers- very helpful! I am printing and saving all your words of wisdom for future reference! I am just in awe of your diy custom woodwork. To be able to conceive of something so beautiful and functional AND to execute it is really something!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2010 at 10:35PM
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Hi brickmanhouse,

I hope you're not yet fed up with answering all the questions! On the island I suppose you used 2 pieces of butcherblock ganged together? Can you tell me how to do this?

Much appreciated, Petra

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 5:26AM
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I'm thinking of painting our white kitchen (carrara marble perimeter, maple island with honed absolute granite) Revere Pewter.

It looks amazing in your kitchen. Do you like it? Does it change with day/night. Greenish tint or gray. I'm hoping for gray.

Thanks so much! Congrats on the gorgeous kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2010 at 7:00AM
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As always, thanks for the compliments! I'm always happy to answer the questions...

Creative Glo, the fireplace and hood surrounds weren't IKEA-- we did those ourselves. We have a lot of built-ins in the house (cabinets, lockers, fireplace surrounds in other rooms) so we just fashioned those to match the cabinetry in the rest of the house. The IKEA cabinets are similarly styled, but not identical.

I almost certainly could have come up with an IKEA cabinet/door/panel configuration to make the hood and fireplace surround, but honestly, by the time I did that, it was just as easy to build them from scratch-- we've already done it in so many other places in the house.

As for limitations, IKEA's got a limited selection of door styles. If you like what they've got, you're in luck! Otherwise, start looking elsewhere-- there's no customization of door style and finish.

Some complain that IKEA has a limited selection of cabinet sizes, but we found that the fact that everything is modular more than made up for that limitation. You can push together and stack just about anything you want in any door/drawer configuration-- it's like a giant box of Legos. The cabinets are also very easy to modify for whatever you want, so if they don't have it, you can easily make it.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 4:13PM
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Flwrs n co,

We love our IKEA range. It's made by Whirlpool, so not high end, but definitely enough for what we want to do right now. It's 5 burners gas, with an electric oven. The burners have been plenty powerful for everything we've cooked so far. The oven's big, so it takes a while to preheat, but the size has been terrific for large meals. I'm not crazy about the oven racks (they're pretty flimsy), but I'm sure I can find some aftermarket ones if they become a problem.

The second oven in the island is the IKEA Datid, and we adore that one-- it's 30", so big enough for most day to day cooking, and it heats SO evenly. I've been baking up a storm with dishes I never could have successfully done in the old ovens.

We do currently have four ovens, but that's only temporary! The double wall oven is original to the kitchen, and it's horrible. It was impossible to use before we redid the kitchen, and we certainly don't use it now that we have the new ones. That whole corner will be torn out (including the double oven) and will be turned into a walk-in pantry. We'll probably do that sometime this winter, but since the kitchen's functional now, we decided to turn our attention to some outside projects before the weather turns.

The floor is hand scraped Teak from Lumber Liquidators. I don't know the exact brand. It is solid wood, and I'm pretty happy with it. It does show scratches and wear, but honestly, because of the way we live, there's not a flooring surface in my house that won't, and we don't expect our floors to look pristine. Our flooring choice was made more for the workhorse factor than the design factor, so I probably would have been happy with just about any hardwood. This one wears like hardwood, cleans up like hardwood, and I like the color well enough, so it's a success for us. I would heartily recommend hardwood in a kitchen, but there's been nothing particularly good or bad about this one that would cause me to recommend it or warn away from it as opposed to the zillion others out there.

We decided on the vertical bar pulls on the cabinets between the range and dishwasher because they're trash can and baking sheet pullouts, and they're the only cabinets in the kitchen styled like that. The pullout front is a single panel that's very long and narrow, and none of the other pulls we used would have made sense. The cup pulls we used on the drawers would have been too wide and would have looked funny not being on a drawer. The chrome knobs we used on the uppers would have looked skimpy on the long narrow panel, and kind of funny not being used on an upper, so I had to go looking for a third option. The long, narrow bar pulls seemed to fit the long, narrow panels.

As far as IKEA drawer organizers, we didn't use many. I went a little cross-eyed looking at all the different cabinet organizer systems IKEA has, and finally decided that I couldn't make that decision at the moment, and we'd just have to add on later as we discovered what we needed.

I did go with a couple of the big wooden silverware trays, and they're awesome-- very sturdy, and are configured in a way that works for us. The baskets on the open shelves in the corner base cabinet are also IKEA, but they're not specifically kitchen organizers-- I think I found them in the accessories department. They're also terrific-- sturdy and work perfectly in the space I had available for them.

Hope this info helps!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 4:45PM
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Petra 66,

The island dimensions are 4' wide x 7' or 8' long. IKEA sells standard countertops at a standard width (25 1/2"), so you're right-- we did just buy two of them, cut them to length, and attach them together.

We did it with a biscuit joiner and glue, which is a pretty standard way of joining the edges of two slabs of wood (for countertops, shelves, or whatever). The biscuit joiner cuts a slot in the edge of each piece of wood, you slide a glue covered biscuit in the slot, and press the two pieces together. We used a little bit of wood putty (color matched to the wood) in the seam, and it's pretty invisible.


We LOVE the Revere Pewter-- it's a beautiful soft grey in our space. No hint of green at all. It does change somewhat with light, but really only to look a touch lighter or darker-- nothing about the change from artificial to natural light brings out any weird undertones. I highly recommend it!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 4:58PM
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Thank you, Brickmanhouse, for answering all of my questions. I'm definitely going to check out the IKEA range.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2010 at 7:44PM
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WOW!!! i am thrilled to have stumbled upon this thread. that kitchen is beyond gorgeous, and the floor plan is suprisingly close to mine.
brickmanhouse, if you are aorund, could you tell me some rough dimensions of your kitchen?
tia, another fan!

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 10:10PM
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oh, i almost forgot---that is a pretty grey!
i have a grey arab/canadien chevel cross, a copper haflinger and a glossy black twh. they have been eating my kitchen budget for years, but they are mine forever.
nothing better than looking outside at them snoozing in the sun.

meanwhile, it floors me that i have such a similar floor plan to yours. our main view is from the wall with sinks and range, so i'll have less cabinetry there, but otherwise i'm building that kitchen!

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 9:46AM
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Hi, I just came across this post of your gorgeous kitchen searching for stain looks of Ikea butcherblock countertops. India ink...brilliant! My your longest run of countertop by the main sink longer than 8 feet? Ikea's longest top is 96in. If so where did you put the seem? I have a 12 ft run and am trying to decide if I should put the seem behind the farmhouse sink that I too will have. Thanks in advance.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 8:13PM
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Love your kitchen. You must be bored of hearing this now. We are in the middle of planning our kitchen renovations up here in Canada. We have an old farm house and we are installing simple white cabinetry with oak floors. I was so convinced that our counter tops were going to be soapstone until we were handed an estimate for over $7000, so it was back to the drawing board. Like the use of butcher block with soapstone. What I really found ingenious was the dye application you used on the peremeter. Due to cost, we were considering soapstone laminate, but you kitchen is giving us cause to ponder. Just a few questions is you would be so kind?

Brand name of you india ink? (just more detail on that)?

How is the butcher block holding up around the wet areas, since you have drop in sinks in both locations?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 7:45AM
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Brickmanhouse, if you are still around, can you tell me if you stained the beech or oak Ikea butcherblock?

BTW everytime I see your kitchen it remains stunning.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 7:32AM
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She says she stained it with India ink and sealed with waterlox for the perimeter and then on the island sealed with Watco food safe sealer.

I would definitely forgo flashy appliance names for your beautiful horse. I love horses been around them all my life and owned several in the past. "There is nothing so good for the inside of a man as the outside of a horse." Or something like that ...quote I have always agreed with and make that for women, too : ) Love your kitchen, just beautiful!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 8:53AM
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Such wonderful vision you have! Such an amazing and unique space you have created. I would never have guessed it was IKEA. I am not knocking IKEA but you took a nice cabinet and with imagination made it look custom and spectacular.

Enjoy it!

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 9:13AM
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I don't think there's anything I can add to the scores of well deserved compliments above, but as another old house person, you had me when I saw that you used India ink as a stain. Your kitchen looks perfectly 'at home' in your old house - & that's no easy feat.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 9:58PM
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For the longest time we were on the fence with using Ikea in our kitchen because we have an older home and didn't want anything that looked too modern. Your kitchen came out so nice that I would have guessed it was all custom did a beautiful job! How are the countertops holding up over time? Do you have to continually add Waterlox to keep them looking good or 'baby' them? How are the countertops holding up around the sink/faucet where there's water?

    Bookmark   December 29, 2012 at 8:56AM
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Brickman, don't you love that you're inspiring people so many years later! Thank you.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 9:55AM
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It's absolutely stunning, but the best part is you didn't have to break the bank to do it, although it looks it!! It's amazing what can be done with the Ikea cabs in the right setting
I'm sooooooo jealous of your in-kitchen fireplace! I was hoping to,do it in this house, but with it being a 2 story house just couldn't get it to work w/o spending big$$$. Next house,for sure!

You should be so proud of what you'vel done, no matter how long it took. Thank you for the wonderful inspiration.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 5:07PM
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this is a gorgeous kitchen!

More on India ink as stain: I've used it on furniture a lot. Be SURE you get permanent India ink. It has some shellac in it to make it more waterproof.

It has amazing coverage. I have done an entire armchair frame with only an ounce or two. It's also very messy if you drip it, so wear old clothes and get some disposable latex gloves.

It may raise the grain on some woods. Sand the wood smooth before applying it, then do a very light sanding after it's completely dry, if it feels at all rough. Apply a second coat if the sanding removes any of the color.

The color is a warm black. It's opaque but the grain of the wood will show through, unlike with paint. It's a pretty unique finish.

I have never used Waterlox over my ink finishes, since they were furniture. I think you do need something though--the finish doesn't seem to be super permanent even though the ink is labeled permanent. (That's more for when it's used on paper, not furniture or counters that get a lot of wear and tear.) I used beeswax on the furniture which seemed to seal the ink pretty well. I don't think I would use it on wooden chair seats, though. Too much risk of rubbing off on clothing down the road.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2014 at 5:53PM
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