This post is in partnership with IKEA.
The last room to wrap up in our garden apartment renovation is the kitchen! While plumbing was swapped in the bathroom, water connections were moved in the laundry and a lot of cosmetic upgrades were made throughout, this is the space that has seen the most drastic change – by far. We teamed up with IKEA to create a functional and attractive space for our future tenants, a decision that came to easy to us for all that IKEA has to offer. Soft close hinges are a standard, deep base cabinet drawers are plentiful and finish options are generous. We purchased everything during their annual kitchen sale, saving us 20% off the top and allowing us to stretch our budget as far as possible. We chose the BODBYN gray cabinetry, and with a small exception (the butcher block countertops and tile backsplash), almost everything in this galley kitchen is from IKEA – refrigerator, dishwasher, range and hood included! After tax, we easily stayed under $5k!
You might remember that this room started as a big open space, with almost no rhyme or reason to the placement of the appliances and cabinetry. From the beginning, on our non-negotiable list was the addition of a teeny mudroom, a small sliver of common space that would give us direct access to the whole house utility room. In doing so, we lost about 4′ of width from the kitchen, but what we pulled off is so much more functional that we could have imagined. And in odd twist, it feels bigger than ever! We happily received input from Daniel – he’s pure magic, we tell you – and although we were on the right track (so close!), his suggestion to add a 3′ pony wall had the entire layout falling into place! Click on the main image below and scroll to the right for the full progression, including our IKEA Home Planner rendering. Ca-razy.
Here’s another progression when facing the opposite way:
One of our biggest concerns with a galley kitchen was the ability to fit more than one person at a time in here. We’re happy to say that after completing the renovation, Scott and I have ‘fake’ cooked in here, opening and closing the appliances, pretending as if this kitchen was our very own. With more than 4′ of space between the base cabinets, there is more than enough room for the two of us – washing up our fake dishes and cooking our fake pasta. The extra roomy base cabinet drawers are a dream, and as I opened and closed them (and opened and closed them some more), I couldn’t help but wish aloud that we would have incorporated the same into our own personal kitchen! Psst… While some items are listed throughout, all sources are gathered at the bottom of this post.
The sink wall has seen a handful of faucet changes, and we waffled back and forth on a few other details (that light bulb in the cutest little sconce has been swapped endlessly!), but we are thrilled with where we landed. We ultimately picked up this pull down faucet, and it was paired with the NORRSJÖN sink, both in a stainless steel finish.
On the opposite wall, we made the (bold?) decision to nix a microwave in favor of the LUFTIG range hood. In doing so, our goal was to keep this smaller kitchen feeling as open and airy as possible – plus we wanted any excuse to extend the glossy white subway tile to the ceiling! Although this hood has the option to recirculate using a charcoal filter, we opted to have our contractor properly install a vent to the outside during the whole mudroom addition, which will be a huge help when cooking large meals on the stove.
We tucked away a few bonus features, including the RENLIG built-in hidden dishwasher (hooray!); it may have been a splurge (when compared to a washer without the door), but the continuity of the cabinets makes it well worth it, we think. And in other small-kitchen-details, we opted for the pull out cabinet underneath the sink, which will be a sneaky way for anyone to hide away their trash and recycling bins!
When we first shared our kitchen plans, we also shared the lesser seen view of our furnace closet, a big bear of a box that had to stay. But! We made the most from what we were given, eliminating what used to be a double bi-fold and installing a (much prettier) 24″ door instead. The rest of the furnace closet was drywalled, and our contractors framed out a small area where we could include a pantry! We used the same BODBYN doors (but in off-white), and we ultimately painted them the same bright white as our trim work, so that they would, essentially, fade way. Tip: For peace of mind, we cleared the size of the door and any additional requirements with an HVAC specialist before the reconfiguration.
Facing away from the kitchen, we weren’t even a little sad to say goodbye to the extra-cabinetry-that-once-was. With an almost 5′ clearance between the cabinets and bare wall, we think there’s even enough room for a slim bench or two-top bistro set, which was our goal all along. This angle might help you to see how the kitchen connects to the rest of the house, too. See that hallway, there on the left? That leads you into the main living space:
This was our first IKEA kitchen that we’ve installed, and we would do it again in a heartbeat! After falling into a routine of cabinetry building on weeknights, becoming familiar with their rail system the following weekend and filling in every last gap afterwards, it’s absolutely something we’d recommend to any fellow DIY-er. (And if that’s not your thing, they also offer professional install services.) To be honest, it’s going to be hard to part with this guy! We hope our future tenants love it as much as we do.
PS… The garden apartment is now available to rent! If you’re in Chicago and looking to make your move by October 1st or sooner, send us an email. Available immediately. Serious inquiries only, please.
wall color: Sherwin Williams Basalt Powder | cabinets | refrigerator | dishwasher | range | range hood | sink | pull-down faucet | countertops | subway tile | drawer pulls | finger pulls | sconce | hand towel | soap pump | marble pastry slab | cutting board (similar) | fruit bowl | utensil holder (similar) | coffee jar | pour over brewer | salt + pepper grinders | rug (similar)
See all of our kitchen posts!
IKEA® is a registered trademark of Inter IKEA Systems B.V. The views, ideas and opinions expressed here are my own. As always, thank you for supporting the sponsors that support Yellow Brick Home!