What I Chose
What I Chose
Appliances: Kenmore, in stainless steel,
Why: Recommended by my stepmother. I took advantage of the Presidents' Day Weekend Sale, which included a rebate offer of 20 percent off three appliances priced at $399 or above. Icemaker and water dispenser were musts for the fridge, range with more than four burners very much desired. Ended up splurging on appliances, but it was well worth the extra expense and still a very good deal.
Cabinets: Akurum, in Fagerland antique stain, from Ikea.
Why: Price and ease of assembly. J could put together Ikea furniture with one hand while washing his hair. Well, almost. Ikea has dozens of styles, most with a very modern look. We prefer traditional and not too dark, so Fagerland antique, a solid pine, was the obvious choice. We used the user-unfriendly software at Ikea to figure out the exact design of the kitchen. When we realized that having an island would leave us no room to open the fridge, we decided instead on a peninsula, which we created out of three 15-inch-wide base cabinets. In total, we bought five wall cabinets, five base cabinets and one high cabinet that we use as a pantry.
Countertops: Pragel laminate, in Stone Effect Black (black with whitish speckles) , from Ikea.
Why: Seriously inexpensive (about $3 per square foot), and when we saw it on display at Ikea with our cabinet style, it looked really good. Ideally, we would have gone with EnviroGLAS countertops (made from recycled glass), but we couldn't justify the expense. The downside of laminate is that it scratches easily, but because I got all the countertop material for about as much as it would have cost for one square foot of granite, I'm willing to overlook some scratches.
Faucet and sink: Emsen 1 1/2-bowl sink and Emsen faucet, which doubles as sprayer, from Ikea.
Why: Well, we were buying just about everything else from Ikea. . . .
Flooring: Slate tiles with cleft surface from Home Depot.
Why: Saw them at Home Depot for $1.99 per square foot. Each tile is unique, and the fossil patterns on some of them are so cool. What I didn't realize was how difficult it would be to lay and grout such unevenly textured tiles. Keeping them clean hasn't been quite as challenging, but it is the only surface in the house I have to vacuum.
Lighting: Hampton Bay three-bulb halogen fixture from Home Depot.
Why: Good price ($60), and you can adjust where the bulbs point. Drawback: Halogen is hot, possibly too hot for a kitchen. But the light it casts is far more flattering than fluorescent light would have been.
Paint: Behr, in Distance (a strong gray-blue), from Home Depot.
Why: Good-quality paint, and the color complemented the kitchen's style and the color in the living room. (Plus, both of us wanted a blue kitchen.)