When we first bought the house, we knew we'd do something with the kitchen cabinets--we just didn't know what. We initially thought we'd just sand, repaint, and put new hardware on them. It was definitely the cheapest option and I liked the idea of staying true to the era of the house (the cabinets are straight out of 1957--I'm a sucker for anything midcentury). But as we've lived in the house a little longer, we've realized the kitchen isn't as functional as it could be, e.g., cavernous cabinets that you have to climb through to find stuff, a weird row of super high cabinets that we can't even reach, doors that swing close by themselves because they've settled with the house, no convenient place to put a trash can, etc. We eventually decided to completely start over and put in all new cabinetry (well, Robert really made the decision a while ago and I came around in agreement). That way, we could implement a new, more functional layout and maximize storage space in our small kitchen.
So we started saving up and shopping around. We considered going the Ikea route at first. The price was definitely right and we liked the clean, modern look of the cabinetry. But we also started thinking about how long we're going to be in the house (we project a very, very long time) and worried that perhaps Ikea particle board wouldn't hold up over the next 30 years. So on to the next plan: finding all-wood cabinets that looked stylish and wouldn't break the bank.
We had kind of put the whole cabinetry thing on hold when we were out one day with my mom looking at tile at a local flooring/tile wholesaler (mom was trying to find tile for a bathroom remodel she's in the middle of and we thought we'd go along for some ideas/inspiration). And, wouldn't you know it, we found out they also carry lines of cabinetry and have a kitchen designer on staff who will sit down with you for a free consultation. Sweet. So we made an appointment with the kitchen designer and went home to take detailed measurements of our kitchen.
We sat down with Lori, the kitchen designer, a couple weekends later and hashed out a layout. She used this neat computer program that brings up the "new" kitchen on a computer screen as you design it. So existing kitchen looks like this:
But magic-happy-kitchen-of-the-future looks like this:
We thought it was pretty sexy. Then Lori added the whole thing up (Robert was so nervous about the big number that he literally held my hand as she did it). It wasn't insane but we kind of hemmed and hawed over it. Then Lori remembered another style of cabinetry by the same maker that had a slightly different look but was a bit lower in cost. She reworked the numbers and it came out to: $6800 (which also includes home delivery). That's probably about 3K more than Ikea would have cost, but we decided, hey, do it once, do it right, and have it last a lifetime.
So this is the style we decided on (not quite in that color--it would be a little darker brown):
We're still playing around with the kitchen layout and trying to decide on some things, but we think these may just be the cabinets for us.