22 In our home

a gray and white IKEA kitchen makeover

The kitchen in our post-reno house is finally getting pretty damn close to the finish line. It’s that pesky 5% left. You know – the small details like caulking and painting the trim that you just can’t seem to get around to doing. On the whole though, we can pretty much call this one done. It came out just the way I wanted it to: a gray and white kitchen with a largely classic and timeless look.

A gray and white budget friendly kitchen makeover using IKEA cabinetry, marble like quartz countertops, subway tile backsplash, and gold hardware. A timeless, bright and classic kitchen design / renovation! Click through to the blog for the full source list and DIY how-to's!

It’s pretty hard to believe that it was almost exactly a year ago (January 2015) that we were moving back into our home. One that had been a happy wee little bungalow and served us well for 5 years, before we took it all apart to create the larger family home of our dreams.

Should we take a little step back in time and see where this room came from?

This was demo day. When our bungalow was about to be no longer (and Dan and I were having serious heart palpitations). Here is our blast from the past kitchen…

A gray and white kitchen makeover using IKEA cabinetry, quartz countertops, subway tile, & gold hardware. Click through for the full source list & how-to's!16

And the living room on the other side of the wall (to the left when standing in the hallway where the pic above was taken).

A gray and white kitchen makeover using IKEA cabinetry, quartz countertops, subway tile, & gold hardware. Click through for the full source list & how-to's!15

Once it had been demo’d, the wall between those two rooms had come down, and the front door re-positioned onto the other side of the front of the house, this is what we were starting with. All of a sudden it felt so, so open.

A gray and white kitchen makeover using IKEA cabinetry, quartz countertops, subway tile, & gold hardware. Click through for the full source list & how-to's!18

Drywall went in…

A gray and white kitchen makeover using IKEA cabinetry, quartz countertops, subway tile, & gold hardware. Click through for the full source list & how-to's!19

And then flooring, cabinetry and appliances were up next. Woah – hey, kitchen!

A gray and white kitchen makeover using IKEA cabinetry, quartz countertops, subway tile, and gold hardware. Click through for the full source list & how-to's!9

After moving back in, we lived with plywood countertops for a while…

A gray and white kitchen makeover using IKEA cabinetry, quartz countertops, subway tile, & gold hardware. Click through for the full source list & how-to's!11

And then our marble-lookalike quartz countertops went in, which felt like a huge victory.

A gray and white kitchen makeover using IKEA cabinetry, quartz countertops, subway tile, & gold hardware. Click through for the full source list & how-to's!12

After backsplash, hardware, and other odd jobs, we landed here for a while…

A gray and white kitchen makeover using IKEA cabinetry, quartz countertops, subway tile, & gold hardware. Click through for the full source list & how-to's!14

And then one of the more recent things I checked off the list (back in late summer) was to paint the molding around that large window a very close gray to the bottom cabinetry (the same gray I used for all the interior doors on the main floor of the house), switch out the runner below the sink, and a few of the elements on the countertops.

A gray and white kitchen makeover using IKEA cabinetry, quartz countertops, subway tile, & gold hardware. Click through for the full source list & how-to's!10

More than a year after getting started, and 95% complete, we are here. Other than removing the dry rack that usually sits to the left of the sink, this is the real-deal kitchen. Appliances, bowls, and trays on the countertops – exactly how we live in it every day.

A gray and white kitchen makeover using IKEA cabinetry, quartz countertops, subway tile, and gold hardware. Click through for the full source list & how-to's!2

The layout of the room works really well. Despite having originally wanted an island, the peninsula we ended up with is wonderful and offers so much counter space. The solutions we used for the weird nooks and crannies that we had to deal with (like the angled bottom cabinetry beside the fridge, or the duct work we needed to hide beside the hood vent, or the narrow bookshelf we created to deal with the lack of symmetry) all seem to work. The triangle of appliances is great and having the dishwasher close to the sink is perfect.

View More: http://laurakelly.pass.us/sweetestdigs

View More: http://laurakelly.pass.us/sweetestdigs

I am happy to report that there aren’t any decisions that I’m bummed about. I love the two tone cabinetry and like that we went with uppers, even though I know having open shelving is nice in an open concept space. We can pack SO MUCH into this kitchen and totally don’t need a pantry or other space to store anything. Plus, the glass-fronted uppers keep it feeling a bit lighter.

I’ve been super pleased with the IKEA cabinetry and other IKEA elements in the room. Having lots of drawers (particularly the big deep ones for pots and pants) was worth the extra expense, and we love the pull-out recycling cabinet and integrated dishwasher front so that you don’t even know it’s there.

Having one big sink has been great for washing pots and pans. Tip if you’re going with a big sink – get a faucet that pulls out so  you can easily wash the corners. We have that with our Delta faucet, and it’s been awesome.

In my dreamiest of dreams I still would have loved one large slab of marble as a backsplash, but the elongated subway has a classic and clean look that I’m super happy with. I also would have loved to get a custom range hood made, probably all in white, that would have been designed to hide that duct work we were working with, but our budget IKEA hood and DIY’d box out of cabinetry material totally works.

View More: http://laurakelly.pass.us/sweetestdigs

View More: http://laurakelly.pass.us/sweetestdigs

A gray and white kitchen makeover using IKEA cabinetry, quartz countertops, subway tile, & gold hardware. Click through for the full source list & how-to's!13

We are keen DIYers as you guys well know, but when doing an entire house like this all at once and with the kitchen being a pretty major priority to get done in order to be able to move back in to a space, we didn’t truly DIY too much of this room. Sure we designed it, picked out all of the features ourselves, acted as the general contractor for our own renovation, and handled the finishing stuff (hardware, etc), but it is thanks to our great guys who installed the cabinetry, flooring, tile work, countertops, and appliances that this bad boy came together.

View More: http://laurakelly.pass.us/sweetestdigs

Because the budget for this kitchen was so inter-twined with the budget of the rest of the reno (for example – separating out labour costs for the cabinetry install, tile work, hardwood floor install, and electrical for this room from the rest of the house would be next to impossible), it’s hard to say what the bottom line was in terms of cost. Ultimately though, we chose budget-friendly options pretty much everywhere possible. Cabinetry, sink, and hood vent were from IKEA. Hardware was $5.25 a handle. The lighting was a mixture of pot lights with a few budget-friendly pendants thrown in. The appliances were all new, but purchased on a great bundled sale. I would consider the countertop the biggest splurge, but even still, it was on the lower end when compared to other quartz options.

Overall, this is a very budget-friendly kitchen renovation. And maybe I was just used to living with 80’s oak strip cabinetry for too long, but I think despite the tight purse strings, it looks pretty darn high end. As you know, I’m all about creating a home and life you love and doing that with the means that are available to you. Maybe you’re in a spot to splurge on some super high end kitchen, and others are renting an apartment where only small, budget-friendly switch-outs are possible. Either way, it’s about creating a space that feels like YOU and makes you happy. You want to get a big hug from your pad when you walk through the door, and that’s what this house and room does for me.

All the kitchen related posts:

Planning & Designing the Kitchen
Installing IKEA Kitchen Cabinetry
Choosing Marble-Lookalike Quartz Countertops
Choosing Gold Hardware & Installation How-To
Choosing the Right Subway Tile Backsplash
Planning Kitchen Lighting

Want the full source list so know exactly where each item in our kitchen came from in one handy PDF? Click here to download! All product names and links are included. It’s a one-stop shop to get a similar looking kitchen in your own pad!

kitchen design guide

 

A big thank you to Laura Kelly Photography for shooting the majority of these “after” photos of the kitchen. Thanks, girl!

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  • It looks beautiful and high end! You guys did such a great job pulling everything together. What color did you use for the grout? I love that it has a light contrast but isn’t super dark or light.

    • Thanks so much, Whitney! Man… I’m so sorry, I don’t remember the grout colour. You’re not the first person to ask! It was one of those decisions I made quickly when making the zillion other reno decisions that was going on at the same time. I want to say “silverado” but that might have been from another room. Either way, it was definitely a medium tone gray grout – nothing TOO dark, but not just an off-white either.

      Thanks again!

      xo,
      gemma

      • Thanks for the reply and just knowing its a medium grey is great for future reference!

  • Samantha Horseman

    Stunning!! I love everything about it :) Could you share what the flooring is?

  • Amy Howard

    Holy counter space!! I would adore cooking in this kitchen; perfect use of colour and space. So gorgeous Gemma!!

    • Thanks girl!! The counterspace is still unbelievable to me too, having come from a teeny tiny cramped kitchen. I don’t know what to do with it all! Ha.

      xo,
      gemma

  • Kristy Chapman

    So beautiful. What is the flooring you used??

  • Jenn Whinnem

    I’m absolutely in love with your light fixtures. Your kitchen is beautiful too but it’s the light fixtures I want!

  • Amanda Risius

    It’s so bright and airy I love it!! You guys did an amazing job! It definitely looks high end. My goal is to renovate our kitchen this year and we will make budget friendly choices as well. I never considered IKEA cabinets before. How would you say the quality is?

    amandakatherine.com

    • Thanks Amanda! We have LOVED the IKEA cabinetry. No complaints at all. They look and feel awesome and about a year in already, they have shown no wear or tear. Totally recommend! Good luck with your reno!

      xo,
      gemma

  • Oh – that’s super weird!? We find ours to be pretty bang on, and the elements heat up super fast which is nice (advantage of gas, obviously). Have you called the manufacturer? I would look into it, especially if it’s still under warranty.

    xo,
    gemma

  • Jan Worrall

    Hi your kitchen is beautiful, can you tell me the color and brand of the grey paint around the window that you used? Thanks

  • Savannah

    Hi! Question-what do you think about doing this same(ish) kitchen with the bodbyn off white and gray from ikea? I like the bodbyn cabinets but the off white is confusing me!!! Thanks in advance

    • I’m not sure I know what you mean? We just chose the only white option from IKEA in that cabinetry style … so we didn’t have a choice of white or off-white. Do you mean mixing cabinetry style?

      xo,
      gemma

  • Ahh – got it! :)

    So I haven’t compared the exact whites of old line vs. new line, as I had used the Lindigo cabinets from their old line. I have a feeling though that they are extremely similar. Is the Bobdyn white whiter than the Adel cabinets (if that’s still what they are called)? If so, then that is similar to the Lindigo. I remember comparing Lindigo to Adel and the Lindigo were whiter than Adel, but not pure crisp white.

    Hope that helps!

    xo,
    gemma

  • Raymond Li

    Just found your site and it’s amazing! We got the same cabinets at Ikea however I’m a really hard time with adjusting the drawers. i keep turning the screws back and forth but can’t get the top corners to align with the bottom ones. any tips or special tricks to adjust them to be straight and aligned? thanks!

    • Shoot we didn’t have this issue?! I’m not sure what to suggest. Maybe keep google searching to see if others had the same issue, or I would call IKEA and see if they can troubleshoot. Sorry I can’t be of more help!! Good luck with the kitchen – it’ll look great. We LOVE how ours came out and it’s holding up beautifully.

      xo,
      gemma

  • They are from Lamps.com. If you search “kitchen lighting” on my blog, you’ll find a blog post all about them.

    xo,
    gemma