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Pimp Up Your…

October 21, 2012

Kitchen, part 1.

How do you make a tailor made (NOT!) IKEA kitchen to be your own personal, unique kitchen? It’s not very different than in the car business. You choose the extras according to your style.

A not-so-scientific price comparison in multiple kitchen stores in the capital proved what I suspected. The actual kitchen cabinet frames are all the same. The price difference from one kitchen to the other is in the doors and the extras. Ikea had interestingly the best massive doors, but only rather boring crown moldings and the covers for the sides of the frames are made from MDF which does look pretty much like fake instantly. To make the kitchen personal and cottagy I decided to pimp it up with:

– 10 cm high crown moldings and stain them

-17 cm high boards between the cabinets and the floor from birch wood

– 4 cm high lists below the cabinets

– plywood made from sheets of birch on the sides the cabinet

The plywood, the birch boards, and the lists cost me 120 Euros at Bauhaus. The crown moldings were a bit more difficult to find. I was finally lucky to find them at a shop specialized in  lists and moldings in Helsinki (Helsinkin Erikoishöyläys). That shop has a super selection of lists and moldings. It’s like every carpenters dream. And they are decently priced. 8 meters of 10 cm high crown molding set me back less than 40 Euro. So, for less than 160 Euro plus the paint I had all the wooden material to put the kitchen into cottage style.

I also installed the lights and power sockets above the table tops. I went for the Massive Tarragona Cucina system which allows you freely to combine power outlets, halogen lights, and the switch. Well, it wan’t quite as freely as I had hoped for. If you have only one source of power on one side of the system, then you are forced to continue with the power outlets, then the switch and then the lights. Otherwise, the power outlets only give you juice if the lights are on which is kind of silly. But I found a way to make it work on both sides of the kitchen. 2 Halogen light modules, 3 power socket modules, 2 light switches and the two connection cables to the external supply from Suomen set me back 340 Euro.

Now the kitchen is waiting for the table tops and the ventilation fan. I got them already in the garage, but that’s another story…

PS: One little story I forgot to write: When we bought the kitchen from Ikea we decided to have the 100 or-so-pieces collected from the shelf by Ikea staff. That pick-up service – and I can only guess why Ikea doesn’t advertise it very much as it is super handy – costs you only 30 Euro. They only promise to collect your stuff throughout the same day but in our case they were done in 40 minutes. When I picked up my two trolleys loaded with the pile of boxes I wanted to check with my item list with German precision whether everything is complete. But the friendly Ikea employee informed me that everything was already checked on my behalf. And guess what, do you think everything was there? Well, kind of but then again not. There were as much parts as on the list. But the door to cover the integrated dish washer turned out to be black. I don’t know whether Ikea thought it would be a great design highlight for an kitchen that is otherwise white to have one black door, but I didn’t think it was very funny. They switched the wrong door later on in the Ikea in Vantaa, but not without checking from the item list (the same one which I wanted to use) whether the item list has the wrong part number or whether the pick-up service picked the wrong door. Unsurprisingly, it was the pick-up services fault. No, I did not get my 30 Euros back. And yes, I would use the pick-up service any day again when buying a kitchen.

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