Tuesday, November 15, 2016

About Formaldehyde in Cabinets


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A factor you might want to consider when you choose kitchen cabinets is TOXICITY. Especially if you have children, I think you should make sure any cabinets or products you buy for a kitchen remodel meet the highest standards insofar as toxic glues or adhesives.

This is true for flooring and can be for tile adhesive. It is true for both fiberboard and plywood cabinets. One reason to buy Made in the US cabinetry is that the standards can be higher. I suggest CARB 2 Compliant for any cabinets. This is a measure of formaldehyde in the adhesive used in the fiberboard or plywood. It is odorless, but you can often sense it's presence if you go into a room or store with new cabinets that are NOT Carb 2 compliant.

Formaldehyde is a carcinogen and can also cause headaches, eye and sinus irritation and other symptoms. The Carb 2 standard caps the amount of formaldehyde that can be used. Any product that meets this standard should be labeled CARB 2.

We are happy to say that the frameless cabinet line we offer IS made in the US and IS Carb 2 Compliant.


Susan


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Friday, October 14, 2016

Quickstart Your Kitchen Project


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Here's a simple way to start your project. Get a fresh notebook and use it for your project.

1) MEASURE everything involved. Do a simple sketch of the kitchen walls, with windows. Note down location of plumbing (gas and water lines, where they enter the room). It is not that important to note down where the electrical outlets are. Moving or adding outlets is fairly inexpensive and is usually part of any remodel.

2) Once you have measured everything, make a LIST of items you need to PURCHASE, which could include: flooring, cabinets, countertop. appliances, paint, backsplash tile. It could also include materials needed for repair, such as sheetrock and electrical materials, but you might want to leave that list for the contractor, or if you are DIY, for later on.

3) With your list, you can shop. You should be able to get a rough estimate of HOW MUCH of any item on your list, using the measurements done in #1 above. Find an expert in each category to gather consumer info on each item, especially the more costly ones.

4) DESIGN the layout of the new kitchen. This is best done by an expert. Do-iIt-Yourself layout plans can have, and usually do have, errors or oversights. Since the layout is the foundation of the project, make sure you love it and that it is done correctly. You will need the MEASUREMENTS and some idea of the APPLIANCES you'll be using to do a precise layout. A precise layout then determines the cabinets components you need to purchase, and will also tell you how much countertop you'll need.



These found steps are required for just about every kitchen project. Unless you have a very big budget and can pay one company or contractor to do everything for you, (not recommended) and supply all materials,  this is how you proceed.

I hope this helps you.

Susan


P.S. I am happy to talk with you to offer further guidance. I can usually offer tips that save time, money and stress. Call 1-877-550-1753 or schedule here: FREE 30-minute IKEA kitchen planning consultation

Quickstart Your Kitchen Project


Request my FREE eBOOK:  
How to Budget for an Affordable Kitchen Remodel


Request INFO on ALTERNATIVES TO IKEA kitchen cabinets.




Here's a simple way to start your project. Get a fresh notebook and use it for your project.

1) MEASURE everything involved. Do a simple sketch of the kitchen walls, with windows. Note down location of plumbing (gas and water lines, where they enter the room). It is not that important to note down where the electrical outlets are. Moving or adding outlets is fairly inexpensive and is usually part of any remodel.

2) Once you have measured everything, make a LIST of items you need to PURCHASE, which could include: flooring, cabinets, countertop. appliances, paint, backsplash tile. It could also include materials needed for repair, such as sheetrock and electrical materials, but you might want to leave that list for the contractor, or if you are DIY, for later on.

3) With your list, you can shop. You should be able to get a rough estimate of HOW MUCH of any item on your list, using the measurements done in #1 above. Find an expert in each category to gather consumer info on each item, especially the more costly ones.

4) DESIGN the layout of the new kitchen. This is best done by an expert. Do-iIt-Yourself layout plans can have, and usually do have, errors or oversights. Since the layout is the foundation of the project, make sure you love it and that it is done correctly. You will need the MEASUREMENTS and some idea of the APPLIANCES you'll be using to do a precise layout. A precise layout then determines the cabinets components you need to purchase, and will also tell you how much countertop you'll need.



These found steps are required for just about every kitchen project. Unless you have a very big budget and can pay one company or contractor to do everything for you, (not recommended) and supply all materials,  this is how you proceed.

I hope this helps you.

Susan


P.S. I am happy to talk with you to offer further guidance. I can usually offer tips that save time, money and stress. Call 1-877-550-1753 or schedule here: FREE 30-minute IKEA kitchen planning consultation

Quickstart Your Kitchen Project


Request my FREE eBOOK:  
How to Budget for an Affordable Kitchen Remodel


Request INFO on ALTERNATIVES TO IKEA kitchen cabinets.




Here's a simple way to start your project. Get a fresh notebook and use it for your project.

1) MEASURE everything involved. Do a simple sketch of the kitchen walls, with windows. Note down location of plumbing (gas and water lines, where they enter the room). It is not that important to note down where the electrical outlets are. Moving or adding outlets is fairly inexpensive and is usually part of any remodel.

2) Once you have measured everything, make a LIST of items you need to PURCHASE, which could include: flooring, cabinets, countertop. appliances, paint, backsplash tile. It could also include materials needed for repair, such as sheetrock and electrical materials, but you might want to leave that list for the contractor, or if you are DIY, for later on.

3) With your list, you can shop. You should be able to get a rough estimate of HOW MUCH of any item on your list, using the measurements done in #1 above. Find an expert in each category to gather consumer info on each item, especially the more costly ones.

4) DESIGN the layout of the new kitchen. This is best done by an expert. Do-iIt-Yourself layout plans can have, and usually do have, errors or oversights. Since the layout is the foundation of the project, make sure you love it and that it is done correctly. You will need the MEASUREMENTS and some idea of the APPLIANCES you'll be using to do a precise layout. A precise layout then determines the cabinets components you need to purchase, and will also tell you how much countertop you'll need.



These found steps are required for just about every kitchen project. Unless you have a very big budget and can pay one company or contractor to do everything for you, (not recommended) and supply all materials,  this is how you proceed.

I hope this helps you.

Susan

Monday, October 10, 2016

IKEA Kitchen Sale Fall 2016


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A fall sale is on, so if you plan to buy IKEA kitchen cabinets, now through November 20th, is a good time.

However, once again there's no actual discount, only a gift card for 15% of your purchase. An average kitchen's worth of cabinets costs $5,000.00 or more, so consider how you'll use a $750 IKEA gift card. For accessories like drawer inserts? An IKEA couch? I admit I wish they offered an actual discount, it seems kinda sneaky to require you to buy still more IKEA "stuff" with the gift card.

We've considered how to buy a kitchen so that you can use the gift card for the purchase. For example, buying HALF of what you need and getting the gift card and using it for the second half. But this cuts your gift card amount in half. You could play with this and figure out a way to buy and use the most of the gift card, but there's more than the reduced gift card amount.

An IKEA kitchen requires buying A LOT of individual items. These are generally listed on a design created in the IKEA system. You go to the store with the log in for your design and the salesperson or "co-worker" turns that design list into an actual order.

The issue with breaking up your purchase is that it is CONFUSING. You can easily overlook needed items or get TWO deliveries. In my experience, it is confusing enough to get a delivery of 85 IKEA flat, heavy boxes with Swedish-sounding names and codes that will hopefully turn into a new kitchen.

IKEA has some nice cabinets, not great quality but nice and also affordable. We've found other lines in the same price range and higher quality so we're no longer such huge fans, although we still know how to DESIGN a fabulous IKEA kitchen.

So take advantage of the sale but keep in mind that to order confidently and not end up with a $7000 pile of boxes in your garage that make no sense and that you can't easily inventory might not be work splitting up your order.

Do I want an IKEA couch? No. Would I prefer a sale with an actual discount on the price? Yes. Is the discount that good. Not so much.

We are happy to design an elegant kitchen for you. I'll also send you info on alternatives to IKEA cabinets that might impress you as they have us. Same price range but higher quality and more options.

If you live far from an IKEA store, if you aren't confident your design is as good as you want it to be, call, help is available. We offer a FREE 30-minute phone consultation with expert guidance and tips on IKEA kitchens and alternatives. Happy to help!

Susan

P.S. I am happy to talk with you. I can usually offer guidance and tips that save time, money and stress. Call 1-877-550-1753 or schedule here: FREE 30-minute IKEA kitchen planning consultation


IKEA Kitchen Sale Fall 2016


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How to Budget for an Affordable Kitchen Remodel


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A fall sale is on, so if you plan to buy IKEA kitchen cabinets, now through November 20th, is a good time.

However, once again there's no actual discount, only a gift card for 15% of your purchase. An average kitchen's worth of cabinets costs $5,000.00 or more, so consider how you'll use a $750 IKEA gift card. For accessories like drawer inserts? An IKEA couch? I admit I wish they offered an actual discount, it seems kinda sneaky to require you to buy still more IKEA "stuff" with the gift card.

We've considered how to buy a kitchen so that you can use the gift card for the purchase. For example, buying HALF of what you need and getting the gift card and using it for the second half. But this cuts your gift card amount in half. You could play with this and figure out a way to buy and use the most of the gift card, but there's more than the reduced gift card amount.

An IKEA kitchen requires buying A LOT of individual items. These are generally listed on a design created in the IKEA system. You go to the store with the log in for your design and the salesperson or "co-worker" turns that design list into an actual order.

The issue with breaking up your purchase is that it is CONFUSING. You can easily overlook needed items or get TWO deliveries. In my experience, it is confusing enough to get a delivery of 85 IKEA flat, heavy boxes with Swedish-sounding names and codes that will hopefully turn into a new kitchen.

IKEA has some nice cabinets, not great quality but nice and also affordable. We've found other lines in the same price range and higher quality so we're no longer such huge fans, although we still know how to DESIGN a fabulous IKEA kitchen.

So take advantage of the sale but keep in mind that to order confidently and not end up with a $7000 pile of boxes in your garage that make no sense and that you can't easily inventory might not be work splitting up your order.

Do I want an IKEA couch? No. Would I prefer a sale with an actual discount on the price? Yes. Is the discount that good. Not so much.

We are happy to design an elegant kitchen for you. I'll also send you info on alternatives to IKEA cabinets that might impress you as they have us. Same price range but higher quality and more options.

If you live far from an IKEA store, if you aren't confident your design is as good as you want it to be, call, help is available. We offer a FREE 30-minute phone consultation with expert guidance and tips on IKEA kitchens and alternatives. Happy to help!

Susan

P.S. I am happy to talk with you. I can usually offer guidance and tips that save time, money and stress. Call 1-877-550-1753 or schedule here: FREE 30-minute IKEA kitchen planning consultation


IKEA Kitchen Sale Fall 2016


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How to Budget for an Affordable Kitchen Remodel


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A fall sale is on, so if you plan to buy IKEA kitchen cabinets, now through November 20th, is a good time.

However, once again there's no actual discount, only a gift card for 15% of your purchase. An average kitchen's worth of cabinets costs $5,000.00 or more, so consider how you'll use a $750 IKEA gift card. For accessories like drawer inserts? An IKEA couch? I admit I wish they offered an actual discount, it seems kinda sneaky to require you to buy still more IKEA "stuff" with the gift card.

We've considered how to buy a kitchen so that you can use the gift card for the purchase. For example, buying HALF of what you need and getting the gift card and using it for the second half. But this cuts your gift card amount in half. You could play with this and figure out a way to buy and use the most of the gift card, but there's more than the reduced gift card amount.

An IKEA kitchen requires buying A LOT of individual items. These are generally listed on a design created in the IKEA system. You go to the store with the log in for your design and the salesperson or "co-worker" turns that design list into an actual order.

The issue with breaking up your purchase is that it is CONFUSING. You can easily overlook needed items or get TWO deliveries. In my experience, it is confusing enough to get a delivery of 85 IKEA flat, heavy boxes with Swedish-sounding names and codes that will hopefully turn into a new kitchen.

IKEA has some nice cabinets, not great quality but nice and also affordable. We've found other lines in the same price range and higher quality so we're no longer such huge fans, although we still know how to DESIGN a fabulous IKEA kitchen.

So take advantage of the sale but keep in mind that to order confidently and not end up with a $7000 pile of boxes in your garage that make no sense and that you can't easily inventory might not be work splitting up your order.

Do I want an IKEA couch? No. Would I prefer a sale with an actual discount on the price? Yes. Is the discount that good. Not so much.

We are happy to design an elegant kitchen for you. I'll also send you info on alternatives to IKEA cabinets that might impress you as they have us. Same price range but higher quality and more options.

If you live far from an IKEA store, if you aren't confident your design is as good as you want it to be, call, help is available. We offer a FREE 30-minute phone consultation with expert guidance and tips on IKEA kitchens and alternatives. Happy to help!

Susan

P.S. I am happy to talk with you. I can usually offer guidance and tips that save time, money and stress. Call 1-877-550-1753 or schedule here: FREE 30-minute IKEA kitchen planning consultation


IKEA Kitchen Sale Fall 2016


Request my FREE eBOOK:  
How to Budget for an Affordable Kitchen Remodel


Request INFO on ALTERNATIVES TO IKEA kitchen cabinets.



A fall sale is on, so if you plan to buy IKEA kitchen cabinets, now through November 20th, is a good time.

However, once again there's no actual discount, only a gift card for 15% of your purchase. An average kitchen's worth of cabinets costs $5,000.00 or more, so consider how you'll use a $750 IKEA gift card. For accessories like drawer inserts? An IKEA couch? I admit I wish they offered an actual discount, it seems kinda sneaky to require you to buy still more IKEA "stuff" with the gift card.

We've considered how to buy a kitchen so that you can use the gift card for the purchase. For example, buying HALF of what you need and getting the gift card and using it for the second half. But this cuts your gift card amount in half. You could play with this and figure out a way to buy and use the most of the gift card, but there's more than the reduced gift card amount.

An IKEA kitchen requires buying A LOT of individual items. These are generally listed on a design created in the IKEA system. You go to the store with the log in for your design and the salesperson or "co-worker" turns that design list into an actual order.

The issue with breaking up your purchase is that it is CONFUSING. You can easily overlook needed items or get TWO deliveries. In my experience, it is confusing enough to get a delivery of 85 IKEA flat, heavy boxes with Swedish-sounding names and codes that will hopefully turn into a new kitchen.

IKEA has some nice cabinets, not great quality but nice and also affordable. We've found other lines in the same price range and higher quality so we're no longer such huge fans, although we still know how to DESIGN a fabulous IKEA kitchen.

So take advantage of the sale but keep in mind that to order confidently and not end up with a $7000 pile of boxes in your garage that make no sense and that you can't easily inventory might not be work splitting up your order.

Do I want an IKEA couch? No. Would I prefer a sale with an actual discount on the price? Yes. Is the discount that good. Not so much.

We are happy to design an elegant kitchen for you. I'll also send you info on alternatives to IKEA cabinets that might impress you as they have us. Same price range but higher quality and more options.

If you live far from an IKEA store, if you aren't confident your design is as good as you want it to be, call, help is available. We offer a FREE 30-minute phone consultation with expert guidance and tips on IKEA kitchens and alternatives. Happy to help!

Susan

P.S. I am happy to talk with you. I can usually offer guidance and tips that save time, money and stress. Call 1-877-550-1753 or schedule here: FREE 30-minute IKEA kitchen planning consultation


Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Gloss Cabinets: Easy to Clean


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Shaker-style cabinets, traditional white, look pretty nice in many homes. But my own experience is that they are HARD to keep clean. White cabinets have to be wiped constantly and after a few years the white starts to darken or get sort of dull.

I'm also a fan of veg/fruit smoothies and I make one almost every day. I love my Vitamix but it's messy. If you don't pay careful attention,  the thick green mixtures can spray out the top of run down the side and those white cabinets, with the shaker details, have to be cleaned for each smoothie. And even then I see drips of green. 

I have had to use a Q-tip to clean the ridge on those doors. So this is why, my next kitchen is going to have GLOSS cabinets and ONLY slab doors. One smooth surface I can wipe down quickly. Whether it is white or another color remains to be seen. But I love the choices. You can get 4 x 4 tiles of any color/style. Not all are gloss. Some are matte or woodgrain. But all are SLAB doors, one flat surface. Which is the way to have an EASY TO CLEAN kitchen.

Susan


Monday, October 03, 2016

Mixing Door Styles




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Picking out colors for your new kitchen is perhaps the most fun part of a kitchen remodel Although the doors of the cabinets are a big factor, you can create any sort of look with accessories, appliances, backsplash tile countertops, and flooring. And even window coverings or treatments contribute to the overall look.

I can tell you that slab doors, or the type of cabinets that have flat fronts, are MUCH easier to take care of, keep clean, etc. It's amazing that cabinet manufacturers have been making those tiny ridges on cabinet doors for so long that we get used to cleaning our cabinet fronts with a q-tip. I will never again buy cabinet doors with details that trap food particles. But that's me.

Anyway, with slab doors you can create any sort of look, from super modern to traditional. It has to do with the OTHER items you choose. Stainless appliances are going to look more modern than white or black ones, obviously. So if you choose slab door cabinets and want a less modern look, avoid stainless items, and use wood or warm colors to complement the cabinets.

The line of slab door cabinets we can get have some texture woodgrain finishes I love. My favorite is TEXTURED WHITE. It looks like white wood but you'll have to get a sample color tile to see it for yourself.

GET SAMPLES


Anyway, I have been considering how to mix another door style with textured white to create EXACTLY the look I want. I think I will go with cream gloss but I haven't quite decided. Here's a photo a client sent that I like. Dark wodgrain cabinets on the bottom. Cream gloss on top. Modern but not SUPER modern, if you know what I mean.

Then again, sometimes a traditional kitchen is really called for. We found this line of shaker cabinets that are the same price as IKEA cabinets but are ALL WOOD. They are nice. Sold to builders from the factory, we can get them for our design clients.

REQUEST A SHAKER CABINET BROCHURE

If you have a two tone kitchen, would you send me a photo? I'm kind of studying this right now.

Thanks,
Susan


Friday, July 15, 2016

Expert Design Matters

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  • Have you been struggling with the IKEA Home Planner free online software?
  • Do you have four plan versions (or 10!) and none are REALLY what you want?
  • Are you SCARED to order cabinets based on a design you did?


These are comments I hear all the time. To sell their cabinets, IKEA offers a FREE way to design a layout. But is this the way to get a beautiful result? Not unless you have studied kitchen design. Even then, the software itself isn't really adequate to make the best use of the cabinets. Probably you have noticed this.

If you are going to spend $10,000 or more on a new kitchen, invest a small amount in expert design. I don't mean the IKEA service, which is not expert and uses the SAME free software with all its limitations.

Our professional designers, with years and thousands of designs worth of experience use EXPERT SOFTWARE that enables us to create elegant, highly functional kitchens.

Why settle for cookie-cutter or incorrectly designed layouts? It is simply the case that a professional design is needed to get a great result. A pro design will likely save you TIME and MONEY and prevent errors. It will make the installation easier in almost every case. It will make ordering faster and easier.

To save two or three hundred dollars by going with NO design or CHEAP design is a mistake.


Susan




Friday, April 29, 2016

Do you REALLY want IKEA cabinets?

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It has occurred to me lately that many people just don't have the data needed to make the best coices for kitchen remodeling and cabinets purchases. IKEA is easy. There is a huge store, hard to miss, seemingly low prices WITH style.

But, as in all things, you get what you pay for. My son purchased an IKEA couch a few years ago. A few years earlier I purchased a nice, lightly used couch for an area of my home off of craigslist. It wasn't cheap but it was nice quality.

If you could see the two couches now, you would see the difference. The IKEA couch is in threads. True, there have been young children and heavy use of my son's couch. But the quality of the IKEA fabric is so much lower. The springs are shot, it's ready for replacement. You can't do much to fix up a worn out IKEA couch, it becomes clear.

Now my couch, used less admittedly, is as good as new. My dog sleeps on it every day, he has squashed down the cushions to suit his body shape (which is adorable). But were I do vacuum, dry clean or steam clean the couch, it would really be in the same condition as when I bought it.

That's the difference between couches, but how about cabinets. IKEA cabinets are nice. You can see them in the stores and they seem pretty sturdy. But so did my son's couch when he bought it. IKEA cabinets are medium density fiberboard with either particle board or MDF doors of differing qualities. this isn't bad, but for a huge purchase, $5000 or $10,000 not to mention the labor you pay for to install them, maybe it's not the best choice.

We found a US manufacturer that builds plywood cabinets with beautiful thermofoil doors. We are happy to get these for our clients. They cost about the same as IKEA Ringhult (gloss) and whereas you pay for shipping, there's no sales tax (except in CA) and because they are preassembled, no assembly charge. You can find any skilled installer, not just the IKEA installers who charge a premium.

Why would someone choose IKEA cabinets when they can get something better for about the same cost? Because IKEA is familiar, and one thinks it'll be safe.

But it turns out that a lifetime warranty is easy to come by, and higher quality is available without a lot more cost. It just takes some research and some courage to think outside the IKEA box.

Thanks for listening,

Susan



P.S. I am happy to talk with you. I can usually offer guidance and tips that save time, money and stress. Call 1-877-550-1753 or schedule here: FREE 30-minute IKEA kitchen planning consultation



Thursday, April 14, 2016

Avoiding DEAD SPACE in kitchen design

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The alternative to IKEA I've been writing about is doing better and better. SUCH nice cabinets and for the same money as a homeowner would spend on fiberboard IKEA cabinets, they can have wood cabinets (with the same hardware that IKEA uses) that are CUSTOMIZABLE.

Let's say we design an IKEA kitchen per the requests of a client (which we still do, of course!) and there's six inches of space left. There is no IKEA cabinet that is 6 inches. Nothing. That is dead space and covered with "filler." But with a customizable line you can resize two cabinets, say from 30" to 33.25" and USE those six inches. The factory simply builds them to the specifications of the design. 

Can you see why we love this line? We know that some clients want the IKEA shaker doors or the lower cost door styles. That's fine, we can create a truly elegant layout for them.

But for anyone who considered the IKEA Ringhult (gloss) I have to recommend that you take a look at this alternative line. It costs the same or less than IKEA Ringhult but instead of TWO colors, it comes in THIRTY-FIVE. Some gloss, some matte, some wood grain, some textured. You can get 4 x 4 blocks of color samples, just request a brochure and there's a link to order.  They are beautiful.

Here is what I can tell you about ordering cabinets from us. First, unless you are in California, there is NO SALES TAX because you are buying from out of state. 

Second, these cabinets are PREASSEMBLED so you save $1000-$3000 on assembly. You can also hire ANY experienced kitchen contractor, you aren't limited to a company that can install IKEA kitchens. This is going to save you money, too. 

So, whereas you do pay for shipping, this is always less, even shipping all the way across the country, than sales tax savings plus assembly cost savings. 

But the most important thing to know is that these are BETTER QUALITY than IKEA cabinets. They are WOOD. They have fabulous accessories, see moderncabinetry,us They are NICER and it's not subtle once you see them. 

That you can customize them is a designer's delight, but after 12 years of designing IKEA kitchens, we know that this is a product anyone considering IKEA cabinetry really needs to consider. It's not just super glossy modern kitchens. You can create so many looks with the 35 styles. And they are all the same price! (the 5 'metallic 'are 10% more).

As always, I offer a FREE 30-minute phone consultation to discuss your project. I can give you more data, perhaps answer some questions about IKEA or other kitchen projects, and tell you about our expert design services, too.

Thanks for reading,

Susan

P.S. I am happy to talk with you. I can usually offer guidance and tips that save time, money and stress. Call 1-877-550-1753 or schedule here: FREE 30-minute IKEA kitchen planning consultation






Thursday, March 24, 2016

LAST CHANCE for PRO DESIGN during CURRENT IKEA Sale


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A beautiful design takes time, communication, revisions, sorting out. Don't expect elegance from a design done in a few hours. You will want time to consider the details, revised, tweak, finalize.

That said, our design process takes at least three weeks and so we have a cut off date to ensure we can complete a design service to a full result before a deadline, in this case the April 17 end of the IKEA sale.

It's not a great sale, but if you want that gift card AND expert design, call soon. We'll get you through.

Susan


P.S. I am happy to talk with you. I can usually offer guidance and tips that save time, money and stress. We offer a FREE 30-minute IKEA kitchen planning consultation

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Mix and Match COLORS


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Not everyone likes or has enough space to pull off an artful mix of cabinet fronts/colors. But from a dark island in a white kitchen, to some metallic drawer fronts in a woodgrain kitchen, I have to say that I love the look of the mix and match.

Possibly a mix of cabinets can look simply eclectic or unplanned, but done well, thoughtfully, the look can add elegance and make a simple, affordable new kitchen look like a high end remodel.




These are photos of the thermofoil cabinets we can get for our clients. They are beautiful and there are 30+ color/style choices, all the same price. Some are gloss, some are woodgrain some are matte. We can send nice 4 x 4 color chips and door samples and even whole cabinets so you can see the quality. VERY MUCH WORTH LOOKING INTO if you were considering IKEA cabinets.

The design is the key, for any new kitchen. That's where a professional, like our team of designers, comes in.


P.S. I am happy to talk with you. I can usually offer guidance and tips that save time, money and stress. We offer a FREE 30-minute IKEA kitchen planning consultation


Friday, March 11, 2016

The IKEA Kitchen Sale


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Well, it's that time of year and thank goodness there's SOME sale. It's not the 20% off we hoped for, but it's better than no sale, which we experienced in the fall.

The deal is that if you spend $4000 (which is easy on even a modest-sized kitchen, you get a gift card back for 15% of your purchase price.

I suppose that if you want an IKEA couch or are furnishing a whole apartment, it's not bad. But the chances are that if you are buying a kitchen, you own a home and spending hundreds of dollars at IKEA can be FUN, but not that productive. I tend to buy things we don't need when I have gift cards...

Anyway, we have a much better deal on modern cabinets. There's not for everyone, they are not particle board and you don't get a delivery of hundreds of flat-packed boxes. Our cabinet line is WOOD and the cabinets are delivered pre-assembled. The prices are comparable to IKEA pricing and we provide PROFESSIONAL design service.

I really hope that you help me spread the word that there is an alternative to IKEA that is REALLY worth looking into.

If you would like a BROCHURE or color chip SAMPLES, just let me know.  I have lots of data. We are really excited to find this AMERICAN-MADE line of beautiful modern cabinets.

Susan

P.S. I am happy to talk with you. I can usually offer guidance and tips that save time, money and stress. We offer a FREE 30-minute IKEA kitchen planning consultation




Thursday, March 10, 2016

IKEA Cabinets (fiberboard and MDF) or WOOD?


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It comes down to what you prefer. But you need data so do your research. Know what you are paying for. Some of the PARTICLE BOARD styles are NOT CHEAP. You will pay thousands for particle board cabinets. 

Which IKEA styles are PARTICLE BOARD?

BJORKET
EKESTAD
GRIMSLOV (medium brown)
HAGGEBY
LAXARBY
TINGSRYD


Which IKEA styles are Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)
BOBDYN
EDSURUM
FILIPSTAD
GRIMSLOV (white)
HITTARP
RINGHULT
VEDDINGE


IKEA cabinets are either particle board (lower end) or MDF (medium density fiberboard). Make sure you consider this when you choose your style. Higher quality cabinets are usually plywood.

WHAT IS PARTICLE BOARD?
Particle board is a waste-wood product made by heat pressing wood chips, sawmill shavings, or even sawdust and resin together. To make it water resistant, fireproof, and/or insect-proof, various chemicals are used including wax and dyes. After the resin, chemicals, and wood scraps have all been mixed together, the mixture is made into a sheet and compressed. 

PROS
Low cost
Lightweight
Good for ready-made inexpensive furniture


CONS
Low strength - cannot support heavy load
Not as eco-friendly as wood for furniture
Expands or discolors around moisture

What is MDF?
MDF stands for medium-density fiberboard, which is an engineered wood composite made up of wood fibers. Because the MDF is composed of small wood fibers, there is no visible wood grain, rings, or knots. The making of the composite uses the fibers, glue, and heat to create a tight bonding board. Both softwood and hardwood are used to manufacture MDF. Generally denser than plywood, this composition creates a strong material for building. Use a veneer sealant to prevent water damage. Two types of fiberboard are moisture resistant (which is typically blue) and fire retardant.

PROS

  • Low cost
  • Smooth, no splinters
  • Easy to paint
  • Easy to cut
  • Denser and stronger than particle board
  • No wood grain

CONS

  • MDF is heavy
  • Cannot be stained
  • Can dull cutting blades quickly

What is Plywood?
Plywood is an engineered wood product made up of sheets of wood veneer. The wood veneer boards are pressed and bonded together to create one solid piece. This manufacturing process reduces shrinkage and expansion while improving strength. Different grades of plywood are used for different purposes. Plywood grades are affected by many variables including the type of wood, thickness, adhesive, and manufacturing/compaction process. Lower grades are perfect for subflooring in buildings and homes. High grades can be used for cabinets and shelving.


PROS

Very Strong Material
Less susceptible to water damage
Stainable and paintable
Holds screws well
Possible to purchase with low or no VOCs.

CONS

More Expensive
Have to Finish Edges 
Difficult to Cut

Conclusion: When buying cabinets you could choose any three of these wood composites. Most people will prefer plywood, although it costs more, for the cabinet frame because it holds screws well and takes paint and stain well. The plywood's multiple wood layers make the cabinets lightweight, yet strong and durable. Lower quality home items, such as a shelving unit, could be built with MDF to save money. Particle board is the last choice. It's cheap but for a major project, it's not recommended. 

If you want the most for your money, an elegant kitchen for the lowest cost, call or write for tips and info on professional design, which is the key.

Susan


P.S. I am happy to talk with you. I can usually offer guidance and tips that save time, money and stress. We offer a FREE 30-minute IKEA kitchen planning consultation


Tuesday, March 01, 2016

IKEA Kitchen Sale Dates


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The sale for Spring 2015 in the US has been announced. It's not our favorite sort of sale but it's something:

Starting March 4, 2016 and ending April 17, 2016, if you are an IKEA Family Member and you spend $4000 on an IKEA kitchen you get a gift card back for 15%.

If you want the most for your money, an elegant kitchen for the lowest cost, call or write for tips and info on professional design, which is the key.

Susan

P.S. I am happy to talk with you. I can usually offer guidance and tips that save time, money and stress. We offer a FREE 30-minute IKEA kitchen planning consultation

2016 IKEA Kitchen Catalog


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The new 2016 IKEA kitchen catalog is out. Since the SEKTION line itself was new just last year, we didn't expect many new things. But there is new door style with integrated handles as well as a new sink offered. These are not fabulous changes but they add to what can be done with this cabinet line.

I have to admit that after designing beautiful IKEA kitchens for many years, we are startled to notice that there are other ways to create wonderful modern kitchens that cost LESS and get you more. You have to see past the familiarity of IKEA's showrooms and the utter popularity, and you have to be willing to consider alternatives, but I can tell you confidently that there are OTHER brands of cabinets you should consider. For the same money.

Meanwhile, we're happy to design a custom IKEA kitchen for you. You will never get the same result from the IKEA Home Planner, even if an IKEA staff designer uses it for your design. The software limitations are the limitations of your new kitchen. Our pros know how to bypass many of these with our sophisticated design software.

Alternately, work with us to create a truly custom kitchen using the thermofoil cabinets I've wrote about elsewhere. You really should consider this line, or compare at least.

Susan

P.S. I am happy to talk with you. I can usually offer guidance and tips that save time, money and stress. We offer a FREE 30-minute IKEA kitchen planning consultation

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Beautiful WOOD Cabinets at IKEA Prices

That's right. There are other brands but that giant IKEA store seems to be the EASIEST place to go for cabinets. We DO love IKEA cabinets, but too many people think it is as cheap and as easy as IKEA makes it look.
First, years of experience have proven to me that the difference between an IKEA kitchen and a PROFESSIONALLY DESIGNED IKEA kitchen is HUGE. Don't think that the free online software is an adequate tool to create your ideal, affordable new kitchen. That's a mistake. Also, designing a great kitchen is a process, it isn't done in a day by anyone who can choose a password and username, or get a row of cabinets to fit. Fit is good. But elegant, functional fit is better.
Second, DO consider ALTERNATIVES to IKEA for your cabinets. Yes, IKEA is easy and familiar but it's a giant, foreign-owned warehouse and the cabinets are all fiberboard. This is fine for many, and surely it's an affordable way to go.
But after years of working on IKEA kitchen projects, we are so happy to find alternative lines that are priced the same or lower than IKEA, have the options (like customized cabinets and more sizes) and accessories (like slide-out spice cabinets) so many of our clients have wanted.
I admit to being an Amazon shopper. I buy things online. I buy shoes and clothes online. I even buy some food items online. Why? It's cheaper and often the brand I want is available for a lower cost. But the one negative is that I can't see or feel the item or try it on, before buying. But I realize that it's the fact of mail order that makes it cheaper. The seller doesn't have to pay for brick and mortar.
So we help our clients to get color samples, sample doors and even whole cabinets so they can see the quality and beauty of the cabinets we now offer. Frameless, thermofoil (which is known as gloss but can have a matte woodgrain finish, too) which come PRE-ASSEMBLED, and traditional framed wood cabinets, at amazingly affordable prices (for the quality). You save a lot buying online.
We are also able to offer our professional design service at a lower cost when the goal is to use one of our cabinet lines. Thus, with better quality cabinets AND professional design, I think we have it nailed as to how to proceed with what you might have thought would be an IKEA kitchen.
But let's talk. I am happy to help you, give you data. I've been through MANY IKEA kitchen projects. We offer a FREE 30-minute IKEA kitchen planning consultation
Susan
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These articles (links below) were written by two different design clients of ours and although the mentions of us (www.modernfamilykitchens.com) are nice, the data in these articles will be useful for anyone planning an IKEA (or any affordable) kitchen remodel.