A kitchen cabinet curve ball

I haven’t talked about how terrifying it is to pick things out in a while. That’s mostly because the last 6 months have been about putting together things that I had already picked out. The kitchen ceiling was one exception. I knew what I wanted, but had to figure out exactly how to put it together. I’m happy with the way it turned out. It was about problem solving. I wanted my cabinets to run as high as possible because my house doesn’t have that much storage space. But going within 2 inches of the beams would leave awkward, narrow gaps between the cabinets and the ceiling. And the ceiling is so crooked that the level cabinets might look weird. The drywall soffits give me a sane, square space to put the cabinets up to. I think they help to bridge the level with the crooked nicely.

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But they also meant committing to the layout of the cabinets right away. The fridge will be 30 inches wide. It will slide into that pocket in the wall so it looks counter depth. And there will be a 24 inch deep cabinet above it. It’s pretty obvious that I couldn’t move it or get a bigger one now even if I wanted to, I think.

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The soffit is built to hang exactly 3 inches beyond the 12 inch wall cabinets (because on the sink side the beams forced me to do it that way) and the 24 inch fridge cabinet. Picture cabinets covering everything behind the red line.

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As for the cabinets themselves, I’ve been putting off making decisions. The Internet is filled with advice, but you’ll get 32 different opinions from 30 different people. But in the end, I decided that I’d go ahead and use IKEA cabinets with custom doors… that I may have to live without for a couple of years. IKEA cabinet hardware is great, the cabinet frames sound like they’re pretty well made, and they’re more stylish than what I saw from most American brands. I was leaning towards this but didn’t want to actually commit to it until I absolutely had to. And then that’s what happened.

IKEA introduced a new line of cabinets on Monday, February 2nd. They promised more modularity, more flexibility, more sizes. I waited eagerly, expecting everything in 3 inch increments like other American cabinet makers. Currently, there are a few sizes missing

Instead, they made the wall cabinets in 5-10 inch height increments, kept the same widths from the old line, and… they increased the depth of wall cabinets from 12 to 15 inches! Gasp. The new cabinets are incompatible with my soffits. One of the IKEA associates suggested that I rebuild the soffits to suit the new cabinets. I said “No no no no no no no no no, absolutely not.” Instead, I scrambled to buy the discontinued AKURUM cabinets, shelves, hinges, and hanging rails for all my wall cabinets. I will be cutting a few of them to sizes that IKEA never made, and later I’ll go back to buy the new SEKTION cabinet frames for my base cabinets. Much to my relief, I got everything I needed of the ones they don’t make anymore.

So… I’ve committed to custom doors. IKEA will discontinue the doors to the cabinets I bought for the walls and I could never get off the shelf doors for cabinets I cut down. So I’m committing myself to that future expense, but at least I can keep procrastinating on committing to a look! We’ll talk about tentative options sometime soon.

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23 thoughts on “A kitchen cabinet curve ball

  1. Melinda

    Oh no! I’m glad you managed to get all the cabinet boxes you needed. Are you thinking of using Semihandmade for the doors? I love practically every project I’ve seen from them, I’d love to get more information on what it’s like to work with them on a kitchen 🙂

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    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      That’s the plan, tentatively. I second guessed my first design ideas, but I’ll talk about exactly why later. But I could go 2 years without doors, so if you’re hoping to get information from me, you might have to wait a while.

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  2. Stacey at Dohiy

    That’s an awfully practical suggestion from the Ikea person — yeah, just rebuild part of your kitchen for our cabinets!

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  3. infinitequery

    This just exemplifies the frustrations of working with older homes. But it is so worth it not to live in the plastic monstrosities that pass for houses today. Even at the high end of middle the builder goes cheap, cheap, cheap. Want better? its always an “upgrade”. Arrrrrrrrrrgh!

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    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      yeah it really makes me laugh that my doors and door hardware are way nicer than what goes into really high end development homes… and not that terribly much extra. But then I don’t have that many in my little house.

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  4. laurencornes

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds choosing things for the house terrifying!! These are really decisions you have to lice with. How gorgeous are your beams?! A shame the new cabinets are incompatible with the soffits 😦

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    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      But at least I still got the old cabinets! I am now committed to the more expensive custom doors, but I’ll be better off with them anyway… I think. And at least I don’t need to buy them right now to make my kitchen functional.

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  5. Scraps

    Cabinet doors are overrated. I took ours off to repaint before we moved in back in July and they’re still sitting on the back porch (mostly because they look like they hadn’t been cleaned in 30 years and I don’t want to touch them even to hose them down and give them a coat of Kilz). The open shelves actually get a lot of compliments, mostly along the lines of ‘you can find where everything is’ and so forth. So don’t sweat the doors for a while.

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    1. Chad's Crooked House Post author

      I’m not in a rush at all about this. But I won’t be styling the contents of my cabinets. It’s just gonna look messy until I get doors. This is fine though. I’m more than ready for a break from perfectionism.

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      1. ladylansdowne

        We bought ikea units and fronts, then sourced hardware and worktops elsewhere. And thrown in a vintage cupboard painted to match… It works. Taking the whole look from one store is boring, though a LOT less hassle!

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  6. Jo

    There’s always something. You have made a reasonable decision and put the other ones off until you’re ready. What’s wrong with that? Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

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  7. Rae

    Again, haven’t read ahead yet, but your decision on custom doors is a smart one. I got IKEA cabinets when I renovated my kitchen. Every single cabinet door has since warped, and doesn’t sit flush against the cabinet box. Every. Single. One. The cabinets themselves are fine, but the doors suck.

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