kitchen decision: need some insight (ikea v. custom)

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kitchen decision: need some insight (ikea v. custom)

Postby redneckmodern » Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:36 pm

we're in the middle of a living through new construction would have been easier. not that any one thing is hard, but it's everything and combined with busy schedules... sigh. anyway... if you haven't seen the pictures, it was simply too trashed to save (quarter sized holes, fire damage, etc.). we had planned to replace it with like materials (and still can)...

we also for a number of reasons, including cost, we're going with ikea for the cabinets "guts" themselves with bosch appliances. originally, due to ikea's poor door selection, we were going to re-panel the (other walls will be drywalled for safety/fire) and i was going to custom make (myself) drawer-fronts and doors out of a matching wood (again, i've sourced it). however, it's a lot (lot) of work and we have lots more work to do elsewhere in the house (and in the yard).

then ikea came out with their nexus yellow-brown door fronts (image + ). they look great and would go well in an MCM home... however, they would look very odd adjacent to the luan paneling.

so here are my self-generated choices (please try not to bust my noggin' with #3, or #4)... the countertop will likely be white-ish silestone for a terrazzo look.

1: custom: luan doors (to mount to ikea bases) to match the paneled central wall

pros would look great/seamless // central wall will remain paneled (also more time intensive than drywall and harder to mend later on)

cons: very time consuming to make // finish will not be as durable as factory ikea finish // mistakes are bound to happen in craft/construction

2: of the shelf ikea yellow/brown with a drywalled central wall

pros: (very) easy, which would save time/money/energy for other projects and life // factory finish will be more durable // factory made will likely have a better fit than my own manufacture // drywall on central wall will be much easier to install

cons: the "regret-factor"

thoughts/been-there's would be greatly appreciated.

(edit: cleaned up and changed the title to be more specific/less vague)
Last edited by redneckmodern on Fri Nov 16, 2007 8:41 am, edited 7 times in total.

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Postby Futura Girl » Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:53 pm

we just got through a full year of home rennovation CHAOS. complete top to bottom re-do... what most people take 2-5 years to accomplish - we fast tracked to get done in a year for business reasons.
one of these items was we put in an ikea kitchen in our P&K home.

love our ikea kitchen, BUT.....
if i had an Eichler to redo - i would ABSOLUTELY GO FOR CUSTOM made cabinetry that mimicked the original Eichler cabinet design.
I love my ikea kitchen BUT I MISS MY sliding EICHLER CABINETS!!!

see the discussion of how we were trying to retrofit the ikea stuff here:
http://www.lottaliving.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=8380

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Postby Futura Girl » Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:54 pm

p.s. - check my comment on your blog about EN.

Lotta is run on a different business model. we use VERY light handed moderation: only for extreme cases of un-friendly behavior once in a blue moon. in my mind - we have one of the friendliest boards out there :angel:

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Postby redneckmodern » Thu Nov 15, 2007 7:39 pm

thanks. the custom cabinets will still be swing-open, just with a wood that matches the interior (luan) siding for a more continuous look (or doors that are easy to procure that won't conflict with the painted drywall)...

and thanks, too, for the comment on my own blog. this site (llbb) was the one i had in mind when dreaming for less-moderated, lasting and linkable eichler-specific information -- the editorial content of the EN is tops, but the forum is tough to navigate... fortunately, enough eichler owners visit this site and leave informational bits and links for posterity. i've added lots of bookmarks from links i find here.
Last edited by redneckmodern on Thu Nov 15, 2007 9:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Futura Girl » Thu Nov 15, 2007 7:54 pm

yah - i'm an ex eichler owner and an eichlerholic for life.

marty and i are pals and i understand his reasons for what he does.
but i seldom post there anymore...
like i said - i have a different business model.

do consider sliding doors - they are quintessential eichler look - and actually very smart for earthquake CA.

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Postby Luka » Fri Nov 16, 2007 12:35 pm

I'm sure either choice will be a good one but I did just wrap up the installation of a Nexus Yellow Brown kitchen so wanted to share the flickr group I set up showing the process (and we used silestone as well) just in case it's helpful.



And a quick image for those that don't want to sit through my overly long slideshow



Image
Image
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Postby redneckmodern » Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:23 pm


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Postby Luka » Fri Nov 16, 2007 5:02 pm

I tried to model it off of the George Nelson chests with the white sides. I'm fairly sure I am the only person on earth that would pick that up looking at the kitchen but it was the goal :) . They do make a Rubrik Stainless panel and I bet it would look great.

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Postby Chimay » Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:21 am

We've also done an IKEA kitchen in our P&K, as MM and the other old-timers on this site well know. We have been very happy with it, and given the cost of it vs. the alternatives, it was really a no-brainer for us. Although we have aimed at a much more modern, European-style kitchen for our place and would have otherwise chosen something from a manufacturer like Boffi or Poliform.

That said, in an Eichler, I'd be inclined to preserve/restore the original look of those kitchens as much as possible, and I love the sliding doors.

Here's a pic of our kitchen. You find others elsewhere on this message board, or on sites like ikeafans.com. I'll also include our flickr site for more pics of the house, with lots of before, during, and after shots.



Image

Good luck, and post photos of whatever you decide!
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Postby redneckmodern » Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:50 am

thanks chimay. i've seen your kitchen somewhere... a magazine? we tried the ikea nexus yellow-brown in the vanity area and like it a lot. the cabinets are actually very high quality insofar as components (blum) and the drawer system is amazing. we're still planning the kitchen but have decided on ikea... the original eichler kitchen in our house was long gone, but we're keeping the original footprint.

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Postby Chimay » Fri Dec 07, 2007 8:39 am

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Postby redneckmodern » Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:27 am

i think it was in atomic ranch... the ikea cabinets -- at least the hardware -- is the same as a very high-end line (studio becker) used in some soft-lofts here in SF. a friend is an agent at the property and was in a bit of disbelief when i informed him that the drawer systems, etc. were the same as the ikea units with different plastic faceplates (..bbbubuut, there are *high end* cabinets, not ikea...") ... we even "borrowed" a soft close knuckle from the model (on the smaller doors, you really only need one per side, not per hinge)to use on a cabinet door until we got some of our own.

the only real question i have which is one that others might benefit from insight on: does the glass top, electric cooktop suck as much as i fear it will? we're not plumbed for gas in the kitchen and have a bosch cooktop ready to install, but 3 decades of cooking on gas has me worried...

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Postby Chimay » Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:35 am

My wife should really be the one to comment on this, but I know how she'll answer so I'll go ahead and respond. She is French, and an amateur chef who likes to prepare elaborate meals at least on a weekly basis as her main hobby. She much prefers gas, of course, but that wasn't an option for us because of ventilation issues (we couldn't really install the necessary hood given our configuration, without severely disfiguring the ceiling). We weren't plumbed for gas either, but tore up our slab for the island so we could have added it. But we have a Miele ceramic glass cooktop which she is very happy with. It heats quickly and modulates very quickly. It's far superior to most American models. If you don't go with Miele, Gaggenau is the only other viable option, in our opinion.

Bottom line is that she hasn't missed the gas. By the way, we also have a pop-up downdraft ventilation system hidden in the island. It's more than adequate, as long as you're not using gas.
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Postby Chimay » Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:45 am

Regarding the differences between IKEA and other "high-end" cabinets is not in the hinges and drawer hardware, as you point out, but in the fit and finish of the cabinets themselves, as well as the configurations and accessories available. Go into a Boffi or Poliform showroom and you will see what I mean. Of course, the cost/benefit ratio on those kitchens is a bit dubious, given they cost easily 10 to 30 times what an IKEA kitchen costs.
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Postby Stephen » Fri Dec 07, 2007 11:37 am

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Postby Chimay » Fri Dec 07, 2007 1:56 pm

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Postby redneckmodern » Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:03 am

thanks for the feedback... chimay mentioned boiling water for pasta as the most advanced some folks get and i completely agree... what has me worried more than modulation in the electric cooktop is the ability to actually drive enough heat to a big pot of water to boil it in less than an hour. we're currently cooking on an electric portable burner (we're still sans kitchen) and this is the biggest woe there as well -- a 3qt pot of water take 20mins to boil. as for induction: the pans need to be "magnetic", correct? we have far too many aluminum pans to make induction an option... including the morning coffee ritual with the aluminum moka pot.

in any case, we have the bosch unit ready for install when we get to the kitchen and we'll simply see how it goes. interesting note about the ventilation and gas... we're keeping (only) the old eichler vent fan... in our case, even a downdraft unit was not possible. hoeing for the best, there, too...

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Postby Stephen » Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:12 am

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Postby rockland » Sun Dec 09, 2007 6:56 pm

a well seasoned chef can cook on anything. immediately understands the heat. BUT, would not know how to cook if not seasoned and trained on a
gas stove. pure and fun knowledge of food is learned in a gas kitchen. if one does not cook, it is probably an electric situation.
i have not seen a kitchen anywhere, good or bad, in a restaurant, with an electric kitchen. no argument. fact. maybe a few side treat inductions and
microwaves, but never without gas. electric is probably why people do not cook. my mother, now 80, never learned to cook, and has saved 50 years
of GoodHousekeeping mags. electric stove and burned everything. they seem to just nibble on cheese now. or microwave a sweetpotato.

the joy of cooking is not the fancy tool. gas is a learning curve. but a good meal can be made on anything. really just understanding the heat.

gas cooking is just alot more fun! (i can cook on elec but i cuss alot)

the most fun is my summer home, a woodfired stove and cooktop built by the menonites. (wood only, for heat and cooking)
Image

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Postby Chimay » Sun Dec 09, 2007 9:40 pm

Don't think anyone's claiming that an electric range is just as good as gas. Certainly, gas is superior and you won't find any restaurants that cook without it, just like you wouldn't try to race a Camry (to continue with the car metaphor).

But what I'm trying to say is that for most people, an electric range is more than adequate - especially if it's a high-end ceramic cooktop from a European manufacturer (which really a completely different animal from electric coils your mother probably used). Also, with gas you need an overhead vent because even a very good downdraft would not be adequate for eliminating the carbon monoxide that the gas is giving off.

My wife is literally a French chef. She always prefers gas hands down, of course. We agonized over not being able to get an overhead hood into our kitchen and how that prevented that option. But she's been extremely happy with our ceramic cooktop and can make that thing sing. So like MM, she hasn't missed it.
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Postby bananabobs » Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:40 pm

Image

Blum is introducing these new hinges. When I saw them at the cabinet show in Las Vegas this summer, the first thing that came to mind is Eichler!
I don't want to sound like a commerical...
With AVENTOS HL, the one-piece door front lifts up vertically and provides unhindered access to the interior. This lift system is the ideal solution for an appliance garage or wall cabinet.

The door is easy to open and can be stopped at any desired position. It closes silently and effortlessly thanks to BLUMOTION.

Features & benefits:
· Easy to open
· Stops at any opening position
· Silent and effortless closing, thanks to BLUMOTION
· Provides easy access to cabinet interiors
· Small program, wide range of applications
· Easy assembly and installation
· Stability, even with wide fronts
· Excellent durability
I am biased, I own a cabinet shop, however, custom does not have to be expensive and can do so much more for you. You need every inch of space in an Eichler and off the shelf cabs can only be custom fitted to your kitchen. Custom cabinetry is build for your kitchen. BTW I will go to the mat defending professional hardware over IKEA, I have replaced many IKEA kitchen hinges and drawer glides with Blum and Accuride. If you plan to live less than 5 years in your home, go for the IKEA, if you plan to live longer, get the quality, the old adage about the quality outlast the memory of the price paid.

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Postby bananabobs » Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:46 pm

I just installed a Kenmore glass cooktop. I abhor Kenmore; this was a client-supplied part. (Another touchy subject) I was impressed with how fast it heated and cooled down, 0-90mph in about 4 seconds and cools enough to touch within 2 minuets.

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Postby Chimay » Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:52 pm

Actually, as we mentioned earlier in this thread, the hinges and glides that IKEA supplies for their cabinet lines are all Blum. The difference between IKEA and custom or high-end cabinets is not in the hardware, its in the quality of the cabinets and the degree of tailoring to a particular space.
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Postby Chimay » Wed Dec 12, 2007 1:09 pm

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