We thought for a long time about what we should do for our kitchen cabinets. We really loved the organization of Ikea cabinets, but didn’t really love how any of the doors looked so our initial plan was to buy ikea cabinets and then have someplace like Semi-Handmade make custom door fronts for us, so they would be a little higher quality and not be laminate. We got this all priced out, but the door fronts were surprisingly expensive, and we would still need to pay for someone else to paint them, or do it all ourselves, which would have been okay, but a significantly larger amount of work.
Then we talked to TJ and he introduced us to a guy he has worked who makes cabinets. We had Rafael come and give us an estimate and the custom cabinets with fronts ended up being just a bit less than the Ikea/Semi-Handmade plan, but the price also included painting and installing them which made it an even better deal. Another added bonus was that custom cabinets would fit into our kitchen better with less filler pieces required, because it would be made to our exact measurements rather than fitting together the standard sizes made by Ikea. We asked him to include some of the features of Ikea cabinets that we liked to make things more functional so it was a win all around.
The new configuration of cabinets is probably the best decision we’ve made in this entire renovation and it’s amazing how much more spacious our little kitchen feels now. The awkward L-shape was converted to a galley style and even though the closet we stole from the living room for the kitchen was quite small, it did allow for more cabinet space and for moving the fridge to a better location. We only added about 20 sqft with that closet, but the space feels so much larger and looks so much roomier. Surrounding the fridge with pantry cabinets filled with drawers to more easily access the stuff in the back is also a huge improvement and gave us exponentially more storage than we had before.
There are a few other nifty features that help the kitchen to be more efficient as well. Next to the sink is a false cabinet that pulls out to hold a garbage and recycling bin. In the laundry room one of the lower cabinets has a little opening for the cats to crawl through so we can hide their litter box and its stink. Our microwave is out of sight in a perfectly sized cabinet next to the fridge and we also have a tall cabinet to store the vacuum, broom and mops in.
The countertop guys came and installed our quartz counters and farmhouse sink which I love! One benefit of having such a small kitchen is that we were able to get remnant pieces for our counters so they ended up being really discounted.
Between the kitchen and the laundry room we only needed four pieces, and they were all smaller than 36″ wide so it wasn’t very hard to find what we needed for a good price. I LOVE our counters, and quartz was the best decision. We sacrificed a fancy tile backslash in favor of just a small quartz lip in order to keep to the budget, but the counters turned out so amazing that it really wasn’t a sacrifice at all. I would make that choice again and again. Plus I think the small lip contributes to the uncluttered feel of the new kitchen.