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

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Postby rockland » Wed Dec 12, 2007 1:28 pm


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Postby bananabobs » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:37 pm

Okay. That has been established. IKEA uses Blum, let's get on with the the posts.
(grumble grumble grumble :evil: ... they're missing the point here...WHAT about the NEW hinge???What about Redneckmodern's kitchen?? grumble... yeah think positive before Futura Girl tells you to play nice...again...)

Hey Redneck, what's new with your kitchen?

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Postby rockland » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:53 pm

oh, sorry, did i go off subject again?
i was holding a nice hinge, never installed, from ikea.
you mentioned that you had replaced ikea hinges with blum...
i was just surprised to see that the ikea were blum. and really well made.

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Postby redneckmodern » Wed Dec 12, 2007 9:56 pm

the new kitchen will be ikea's nexus yellow brown with white boxes. we do like the ikea line quite a bit and it seems to fit really well in the kitchen as well as in the budget... all cabinet/hardware, etc. is clocking in at about $5K, not including appliances and countertop.

we'll be using silestone's blanco maple for the top and will be undermounting a simple blanco sink (blancospex-plus) and using a hans grohe faucet (interavtiv with the looped handle to complement the simple stainless pulls we're using).

we already have the bosch appliances in the garage waiting for the install which will have to happen after we replace the kitchen window and siding... with this house it's definitely step-by-step.

we've been very "ikea-lucky" in the past... albeit aware of some folk's ikea-curse. as much as we'd like to go custom, there are simply too many things still to do to turn something as essential as a kitchen into a larger project than it has to be. i think we'll be plenty happy with it... ikea's quality seems to be improving as well as the blum hardware. ikea just introduced soft-close hinges with a piston that mounts directly to the hinge-arm... quite nice.
Last edited by redneckmodern on Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Chimay » Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:00 am

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Postby redneckmodern » Thu Dec 13, 2007 9:22 am

ikea has a lot of "tells" in their product lines... be it that quintessential reading chair or bookcase or some texture, color, pattern, form, something that says "ikeeeaaaah".

in the kitchen department, their white boxes are about the same as any others (visually). the legs are fairly simple (almost modern-generic)... the thing that gives an ikea kitchen away to me (at first glance) are the fixtures (faucets) and countertops. hopefully with silestone and some grohe fixtures, our kitchen will be less "sweeeedish"... the nexus yellow brown (today) seems less ikea-esque as well.

in dilettante's pix of his orinda home, there are some (brilliantly) carefully placed ikea lamps adjacent to some otherwise very pricey furniture... in many cases, the difference between an artemide fixture and an ikea one can only be noticed at close range (hand-feel of switch, quality of lamp-cord)... and the biggest different being a (literal) 10X price increase (dilettante's lamps are $40... a comparable artemide piece is $400)...

just goes to show that everything likely has place somewhere and that creative uses abound for even the most modest things.
that said, the ethos of ikea's flat-pack meets modernism and the style/construction of our eichler home -- imho -- are not anachronistic...

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Postby Perks » Mon Feb 18, 2008 9:59 am

Just thought I'd throw in my two cents. Got a final estimate of costs for our new cabinets: $4650 plus installation of $100 per cabinet (less if we assemble them in advance, which we will be doing), compared to $25k for nearly identical cabinets through another design store. We decided to go bold and buy Abstrakt red, with light gray counters and ebony hardwood floors. Build quality won't be quite the same, but I don't ever hang from the cabinet doors or store bowling balls on the shelves.

I agree that the fixtures are major giveaways (especially if you buy their appliances which are emblazoned with the Ikea name!). For that reason, all of our appliances/fixtures as well as our counters are from other sources.

I would strongly recommend spending the extra few pennies and have a designer work out the kinks. We had the guy from Michael Kaake Construction come out to do the measurements and mock-ups, and all in all it cost $250. He was able to figure out a solution that we had been scratching our head over--namely, how do we incorporate the original wall oven that's too wide for the standard wall cabinets. The staff at the store were, unsurprisingly, not the most knowledgeable (and too busy to be of much use).
Andy Perkins, Broker/Owner

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Postby SDR » Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:33 pm

I just caught up with this thread. I wasn't aware before that Bob was a cabinetmaker. I'd be interested in his take on this: the IKEA cabinet boxes are made of the very lowest grade particle board there is. 1/8" back (!) with vinyl on one face (= warpage). The hanging system for wall cabs. is probably adequate (Americans are not used to the Euro system, where people take their cabinets with them when they move). The doors look great. I have not studied the drawers. Blum metal drawers have a weak point: the attachment to the drawer front.

When I assemble IKEA kd boxes I glue the dowels. With coarse and crumbly particle board it's just a matter of time before the kd cam fasteners loosen; gluing the dowels will make that moot.

I'm glad people are able to get a kitchen for a good price. IKEA has certainly taken the country by storm. Not enough time has passed to tell if people will be happy over the long run. Perhaps at the rate that properties turn over it doesn't matter.

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Postby Chimay » Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:38 am

SDR -
What do you mean by "the hanging system for wall cabs is probably adequate (Americans are not used to the Euro system, where people take their cabinets with them when they move)"? I'm not sure what the relationship is between the two.

If I understand, you mean that because Americans don't move their cabinets, the IKEA solution should be fine. But in Europe where they do move them, it's not. But if that's true, I'm confused because IKEA is, after all, a European company and their kitchens are most popular in Europe. In any case, I believe it's fairly rare anymore for Western Europeans to take their kitchens with them when they move. Certainly from my own personal experiences living in France, I can say that's not common anymore.

As for their longevity, I also think they've been around both here and in Europe long enough to form an opinion. I've seen 20 year old IKEA kitchen in Europe and they are still in good shape. Of course, it all depends on how well the cabinets were built and installed in the first place, so reinforcing the boxes is good advice.

Also, you can afford to replace your IKEA kitchen with an entirely new one about 5 or 6 times at least for the price of a custom-built kitchen from a craftsman or a high-end Italian or German maker. So if it does fall apart after a few years and you need to replace it with another IKEA kitchen, you're still ahead.
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Postby rockland » Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:49 am

Chimay. Your kitchen IS custom. I've never seen Ikea use their own stock so well. :D

We did move with our old ikea kitchen. and put them in our storage/winter workroom.
not that common to bring them along, but the building we moved from is being turned into mini overpriced lofts.
they would have ended up in a landfill. (very easy to remove and re-install)
they replaced unstable shelving on flimsy metal wall brackets. makes a fancy storage-room.
(white AKRUM? but has yellowed considerably over their 10-15 yrs)

woodworkers will always be a bit edgy about a compressed board product. not fun at all to work with.
the glues used now are stronger that the fibers. i'm constantly soaking off-cuts for days without a change.
(moisture over an extended period i would guess, would destroy anything.) nothing uglier than swollen chipboard
or paper printed photo wood covered laminate.

DIY ikea as they sell it and layouts so crammed with gadgets and poor installation is destined for failure. (imho)
having recently visited ikea, some styles are poorly made. others are very well made. hit or miss across the
board in all their products.

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Postby egads » Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:05 am

I would not judge the Ikea kitchen cabinet boxes by their other furniture. The boxes are full 3/4. Many much more expensive factory built cabinets are mostly particle board. The Mills Pride ones from Home Depot are much worse. If you go to Home Depot or Lowes and price out the very limited modern choices, you will be at custom prices in a hurry. Now there is a reason to buy factory built. The finish applied is much stronger. Here in California, we can't even buy many finishes for on site or in shop application.
I would have at least some of my kitchen already done in Ikea if they made a 27" wide base. I need it in drawers. I will make it. Out of real plywood.

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Postby Stephen » Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:34 am

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Postby SDR » Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:44 am

Impressive. If prefinished white interiors and exteriors, and frameless construction/full overlay/fully concealed hinges had not become the aesthetic standard, this is what we'd all have (albeit in a variety of wood species) in our homes. That's an excellent array of drawer slides, all of good quality.

The shop (now a large interstate manufacturer) that I started in in the 'sixties made laminate-clad face-frame cabinets of lumber core (face frames), plywood (boxes, shelves, drawers) and particle board (doors -- fully laminated with Formica). When switching over to Eurobox (frameless) cabinetry in the mid-late seventies, they chose to use 5/8 particleboard for all box panels, including the back, which was set into a dado. Heavy ! This was so the back could be fastened to the wall at any point desired, as the metal wall cleat was an unheard-of improvement in the US. (It also simplified material inventory and usage in the plant. All panels were covered with either plastic laminate (exterior panels) or white cabinet liner, done in-house with the same presses, and rigid glue, as had been previously used for the face frame line. A responsible if somewhat innovative strategy. I'd be surprised if this hadn't all been modified in the intervening years.

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Postby rockland » Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:28 am

red maple. and simple flat-front doors.? that's new.
http://www.youngfurnituremfg.com/yfunfi ... maple.html
the website is much improved over my purchase date of june 2004.
(just found the invoice)
and they use horses! ? might just be a sunday afternoon photo op.
nice to see a success story...

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Postby SDR » Tue Feb 19, 2008 1:01 pm

In fact, someone trying to replicate a typical MCM kitchen (typical of a broad range of types, if not the more progressive Eichler and Case Study examples, perhaps) could do worse than to install these pine face frame cabinets, probably with a slab door. They could be painted or stained, as required. Exterior panels and doors could be substituted with birch or other plywood if that came closer to matching the originals. The knife hinges are very typical (this same hardware has been made by Stanley and others for sixty-five years or more). This exact cabinet is fully typical of what was being made in the postwar period, all over the country.

There are cup hinges made for face frame cabinets, which allow a full-overlay appearance. And even a narrow added face stile and piano hinge is possible with these boxes, for those trying for the Taliesin look.

So, not to further distress IKEA owners, but -- there are options. Of course, the modern aluminum-and-glass doors that we like are not really typical of original MCM kitchens, though they certainly are a nice update and go well in almost any but the "woodiest" of MCM interiors. To each his own.

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Postby Connie » Thu Feb 21, 2008 10:56 am

We installed an IKEA kitchen with Abstract light grey fronts in 1996 and used it more than 10 years. When we sold it, it still looked like new.

Image

Image

Image

There are definitely better kitchens around, but you can't get more quality for the money, imo. When accurately installed, they hold up well. Plus - just like Perks, we don't ever hang from the cabinet doors. :wink:

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Postby Futura Girl » Wed Apr 16, 2008 5:08 pm

for anyone looking at using ikea furnighins - i think this is a pretty cool site...

http://ikeahacker.blogspot.com/

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Postby Connie » Fri May 02, 2008 10:27 am

Don't know where to put this, so I'll highjack the kitchen thread. I just found a listing in Palm Springs with incredible . Awesome.

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Postby redneckmodern » Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:46 pm

yaay! we're with the kitchen... (note: "done" links to pix, etc.)

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Postby egads » Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:40 pm

Congratulations on your restraint with respect to handles and drawer pulls. Form follows function is truly the gist of modernism. Less really is more.

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Postby rockland » Sat Oct 11, 2008 7:52 am

Congrats!
(is that a burr grinder?) and which one.
I was about to ask about the appliances but you touched on that in your blog.

Looks serenely comfortable.
I like the table and not sure why you want to change it but household use seems
to dictate a change...
Last year we used the kitchen table exclusively, but somehow have changed to
the more formal dining area. No reason really, just a new habit.
(could be political. Closer to CNN, talking heads, debates, Tina Fey


:D )

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Postby redneckmodern » Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:10 am

thanks. (burr grinder?) yes. it's a rancilio rocky (doserless). works well... more expensive that it should be, but... purchased from sweetmarias.com (local to us... we used to live about 6 blocks away)... along with the technivorm coffee maker.

re: table... i had wanted a uniform surface from counter to table... but the counter ended up being a bit high (about 3 inches higher than "normal") because of the fitment of the fridge in the space it needed to go in (and the height of the legs to accommodate it... with the counter height stools, it will be an awkwardly high table. presently, the slight height difference kind of bugs me... it should be exact or much different. plus, the stools are a bit hard to "scooch" back in. we have 2 more, so we can sell all 4 on ebay (they're emeco and spotless) and we have 2 random, unused eames sideshells (in gray) that we can use here at a 30in high table instead... we might also make the table a 4-topper instead of 2... wanna buy some stools and a table?


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