Been in Denver enjoying the cool and The Yard Mahal. And Sweetie of course. And serving the cats. In my absence, progress has been made!
- Tony and the block guys finished the walls.
- Haul 'N' Otis finished rough grading.
- CtC has sorting things with Mark the New Framer (henceforth to be known as MNF, I suspect he'll be getting a good bit of press here for awhile) to start next week.
- CtC has also scheduled the concrete guys to return next week to finish:
- the front porch slab
- stairs from the house to the garage
- stairs from the front courtyard to the driveway
- stairs from the back courtyard to the vicinity of top of the concrete waste stairs SWITBO and I built last week.
Your humble Musist (decided I prefer Musist to Muser) noticed in my hacking around that IKEA was having a 20% off kitchens sale. Humm, we need one of those. So we cleaned up the design and ventured forth.
Say what you want about IKEA. This is the second kitchen we've done. Granted the first one was 20 years ago, but seemed to be a much more painful process. The IKEA sales model was pretty freaking easy. The design software is quirky but works pretty well (as long as you use Internet Explorer, the Microsoft one, real flaky in any of the other browsers). You know how everything fits together and have a reasonable approximation of how it will look in 3D. It won't let you do invalid configurations. It generates a complete parts list and budget.
We probably spent 3 hours in the store.
First we looked at every cabinet spec to be sure the drawer and door configurations were what we (Ann) wanted. We looked at knobs, counter tops, colors (we're committed at this point to the floor so everything has to match). We schlepped samples back out into the showroom to confirm how it looked in real life in a constructed kitchen. This took like 20 minutes max.
Confident, we presented ourselves to the purchasing process. This took 3 hours. The sales folks were incredible. Know their product. Know the software. Impressive. Now (I know this is shocking) we're pretty organized and the sales guy (our sales folk was male) could tell that. Most people trying to sort out the software, we had a pretty firm design.
- We go through the design, tweak some things. Go over implications, tweak some more things. For example, the 4 drawer stack I had speced is very functional, but none of the drawers is big enough to have a raised panel like every other cabinet in our kitchen. Works great, but looks funny to some folks. We decided it might look a little funny and replaced it with a 3 drawer stack. This process took maybe 30 minutes.
- Now the truly impressive stuff commences. He starts messing with the parts list. If you've every been to IKEA, they make up words to confuse us. Everything in the store is named something that to my ear sounds like what the cats hear when we talk to them. Gibberish. The IKEA folks speak part numbers. Each cabinet is like 43 parts and they know all of them. For example, the pull-out trash thing comes with a middle drawer that renders it unusable as a pull-out trash thing. He knows this and deletes the middle drawer...don't need that. On he goes.
- I knew I'd skipped over toe kicks and the filler panels (like to create a gap at the wall so a drawer will open without rubbing) are confusing in the software. He spins through this stuff without thought.
- Gets interesting on the side panels for the exposed ends of cabinets. Couple of ways to go about it. We're laying out sheets of plywood to minimize the number of sheets of matching color plywood (really particle board, this IS IKEA) and to be sure we have a finished edge. He's REAL GOOD at this!
- We check stock and decide to have it shipped to Denver from California. We'll store it here until we need it there and then load-up a U-Haul to schlep the kitchen, furniture and some fence that Dan scavenged from a DBG remodel down to Tucson.
- Further, the discount is 20% if you buy more that $4,500 of stuff. We can't buy the counter top here. Need to do that in Tempe (Phoenix). But we picked the color and style here so I can do that unsupervised. There is some risk I'll screw something up, but we feel it's manageable. So our guy figures out if we defer buying the cook top, that and the counter top will go over $4,500 in Tempe and that will be discounted too! I like this guy.
- He and I check every part and color. At this point Ann has gotten a little distracted and takes to milling about the store. But never for long...
- Now it get's even more impressive. A second person does all this again. Independently to confirm everything.
Now I'm sure something will be a problem (I think we may not have put side panels around where the refrigerator goes, it'll be finished but not in our cabinet color. Decided to wait and see if an issue and fix if necessary at install time), but pretty impressive in my book for 20% off what is already a dirt cheap kitchen. So, what did we get? Here is the design and spec created by the IKEA software.
Here's an idea of the cabinet front style and color. It's called Lidi Gray or Lindingo Gray interchangeably and in the Akurum cabinet line. As I was saying, sounds like what a cat hears. Mom observantly noticed it was featured in an IKEA commercial this year. If you follow the link, click play and stay with it to the end, you will see a good representation of the Quail Manor guest room.
Here is a picture of the Shitake Quartz counter tops we (Ann) picked. Research indicates that IKEA quartz counter tops are actually from a company called Caesarstone. Further, apparently (it was on the Internet so it must be so) IKEA sells more Caesarstone that Ceasarstone does.
Back into the fray down in the inferno that is the desert in the summer time mid next week. So there should be a flurry of muses and pictures where you can tell without studying that something actually changed.
Thanks for reading!