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MORE Ikea Tales, Part Three


    Continuing on the theme with tales from IKEA, I want to show you a kitchen that was completely updated, all in IKEA appliances!   Did you even know that IKEA sold appliances?  I didn’t.  But apparently, they are Whirlpool product, which is quite a reputable firm, plus they have a  5 year warranty.    The homeowner Christy writes a blog Beach Brights HERE where she detailed the remodeling of her entire house.  The couple and their child moved to Houston just one year ago when they bought this older home in need of much cosmetic updating.  Beside all the surface renovations, the kitchen and one bathroom needed major updating.   I was going to only show her kitchen for the Readers Kitchen Series, but I really thought you would love to see her decorating.   She obviously loves black and white as you will soon see.  Enjoy!



    Here is how the owners found the house, hiding behind overgrown bushes!



    And today – the house looks completely different with the windows and front porch exposed.   All new landscaping was installed, as was the stone walkway.



    BEFORE:  The entry hall was pretty dreary with the wallpaper, chandelier, and dated flooring.



    AFTER:   The wallpaper is now gone and so is the tile floor – hardwoods now lead into the adjacent rooms.  I love the curtain – it softens the room and is a great inexpensive way to add drama.  The light fixture was also updated. 



    Looking the other way, the owner added new front doors and a barn style door to close off the hobby room.



    What I love about Christy’s blog is she gives you her inspiration pictures.  Here is one of her pictures of a dream entry.  It really does look like what she ended up with!  With the Pinterest craze – there are so many images on the web that can give you a direction to go on.  With a little imagination, you can take those dreamy pictures and change your own house!




    BEFORE:  There was a living room/dining room combination which is a typical floor plan for Houston houses built in the 50s –70s.  I’ll bet 90% of houses built in Houston during this time frame have this same exact layout.  Today, many people are turning the unused living room into the dining room – and turning the smaller dining room into a library/study.   This homeowner did something different: 



    AFTER:  Instead of a wasted living room, the owner opted to make this her craft room/office. 



    Here’s another view of the craft room.  What a great space to spread out and sew in.  It’s all so organized and neat with the built in cabinetry.   I would love a space like this for my design office!



    AFTER:   The dining room is off the craft room and the kitchen.  




    The family room is off the entry way.  The kitchen is past the fireplace.  I’ll show the kitchen last.   As you can see, the homeowner really loves black and white and she used these two colors throughout the house with helps to unify the rooms and create a strong design theme.




    Curved fireplaces like this are dated and hard to work with.  The homeowner chose to ignore it rather than place her furniture around it.  This helps to make it disappear.   Notice the art work on the wall.




    The homeowner created the art work herself after seeing this picture – again, a great way to get real inspiration from a magazine – and use that inspiration!



    Another inspiration picture.  The homeowner loves stripes and wanted to incorporate them into her new home.



    First, she considered painting an accent wall with stripes.  She created a mockup image on her computer and asked her readers for their opinion.   In the end, she used the striped walls in another area of her house, see below:



    BEFORE:   The hall leading off the bedrooms looks fresh with the striped black and white rug. 



    AFTER:   But, after painting the hall with the black and white stripes, it becomes a fabulous decorative space.  The family room – through the door on the right – looks out on the striped walls. 



    And looking the other direction.   Large contemporary canvases line the walls and break up the stripes.  The homeowner created the canvases herself – I think she did such a great job.  This looks like a house that could be in domino or Lonny!! 



    BEFORE:  The children’s bathroom needed total gutting to update it.



    AFTER:   Look how cute!!!  I love those light fixtures and the sink consoles.  Christy doesn’t say where she got the sinks but they really make the room!  Before there was just one sink – now they have two which is so much better.  Love the tile floor and the small flat screen too.



    Here is the new tub.  Great door.


    The inspiration picture.   While the homeowner went light, not dark, the tile floor is the same. 




    BEFORE:  The master bedroom was a sea of green carpet. 



    AFTER:  Now, the master bedroom is sophisticated with a dark gray accent wall.  Love that.   The chests and bedding came from IKEA.   I think that using chests is a great idea instead of small nightstands, plus they are so practical.  But, besides that, they just look better – nice and big and tall like that!





    BEFORE:  The master bathroom.



    AFTER:   The homeowners didn’t do much more than paint and add white shades – but doesn’t it look different?!  Amazing what paint will do to a room.  At first glance, I had thought this was completely updated.  



    The son’s room is so cute – IKEA bunk beds and drop cloth canopy or “fort” as he says.  Love the light over the top bunk.



    Look how cute it is closed!   No hemming or sewing was done – just hanging!



    ok, ok, I know this is what you really want to see:



    Here is the kitchen that IKEA built.  Before and after.   The entire kitchen was gutted.  New floors, new cabinets, new lighting, new appliances.    The owners did most of the work, the installing, etc.  Here is the cost breakdown per the homeowner:  The cabinets & appliances cost $6,200 (tax & delivery).  The counter top was around $62 linear ft.  The flooring was around $4-5 sq. ft.




    The black hutch and striped rug continue the design scheme. 



    Before and After


    Here is how the homeowner ended up at IKEA in her own words  No one wanted to take her money:


    It started with my appointment with Lowes.  I told Ben, my kitchen designer, that I was not crazy about Kraftmaid cabinets. The price is a little high and the finish for what I want is not great.  So, what does Ben price out for me? Kraftmaid.  When I ask him to re-do the quote, I received a lame attempt of re-working my design and quote.  He also would not help me with appliances.  So, I left frustrated, rushed and without a firm quote.

    So next up is Home Depot.  I call my nearest Home Depot to make an appointment with a kitchen designer and I am told by the person answering the phone that they can't make me an appointment.  I was like, "What?"  I just want to make an appointment...for you know, a future date, to design my kitchen and spend my money.  He told me that the kitchen designer was not in today and he did not know when he would return or how to make an appointment. Really?  So, I tweeted Home Depot, got a response to the effect that they were sorry and would make the appointment for me. I never heard another word.

    Ok, 0-2.  Next up is Best Buy. I thought that surely with all the advertising dollars being spent by Best Buy to describe their stellar appliance knowledge and customer service, that I would at least be able to get my appliances ordered. That was a huge debacle.  Let's just say that the kid working in cameras who covers appliances doesn't know squat.

    This leaves me with Ikea.  Not because I want to save money but because I am better off just doing this myself.




    BEFORE:   The view towards the family room and the dining room. 



    AFTER:  I love the light fixture and the white shades!   The light fixture, table and chairs and rugs all came from IKEA.  The shades throughout the house are from Payless Décor.



    AFTER:  The view overlooking the family room.



    I really love the sink and faucet!    The faucet is from Overstock and the sink is from IKEA: (not on internet, it's called DOMSJO) @ $299.

    DETAILS – in the homeowner’s own words:

    When I was appliance shopping I went to Home Depot, Lowes, Sears & Best Buy.  Home Depot & Lowes sometimes have great prices on appliances that have been returned or when a special order goes wrong etc.  So, I was shopping the bargains. I found several great deals but then it was always a hassle. They would not load or deliver etc. etc. So I gave up and ventured over to Sears. I felt that the prices were high and delivery was going to cost me around $500.  Really.  Also, several of the appliances I was interested in had to be special ordered.  The salesmen work on commission and one day "my guy" would be there, the other day he would not. It was just a pain.  This led me to Best Buy. WHAT. A. JOKE.  I don't know how these places stay in business.  I waited around for a full hour for someone to help me.  Then the manager sent the kid from cameras to help me. Yes, you guessed it. I walked out of there vowing to never return. 

    Enter IKEA. It was easy. It was fast. Everything is in stock. Delivery was $30 (including all the cabinets). It was priced right. After about a 15 minute wait, I had the BEST sales person in the world helping me pick my appliances. (Note from Joni:  so glad her experience at IKEA was easier than mine!  Don’t judge IKEA by me!!)

    (And one other NOTE from Joni:  I ordered all my appliances from Best Buy – but online.  No hassle.  Except that they didn’t tell me that in Texas they don’t install, just deliver.  So, that night I had an oven, a dishwasher and a refrigerator just sitting in my kitchen.  I wanted to cry!  I had to find an installer fast – which I did, online, – and thankfully he came out that night and did the deed.)


    More IKEA details from the homeowner, in her own words:


    1. What's online is in the stores. In-stock. Can you say "same day!!!"?

    2. Ikea appliance are made by Whirlpool.

    3. Ikea appliances come with a 5 year warranty. 


    4. I did have an issue with my stove. The clock was not keeping time correctly. I called the 800 number that came with my paperwork (it was actually Whirlpool). They sent A&E appliance repair to my house within 2 days. The repair man had to order a part that arrived at my house within 2 days and he came back on the third day and replaced the clock. It cost me nada.

    5. It has been six months and my refrigerator water filter needs to be replaced (at least that is what the indicator light tells me). I am not sure where to buy one. I will have to research it but I am not worried.



    Dishwasher $649: I am telling you, you can fit anything and everything in this baby. I have never owned a dishwasher that can take this many dishes. My only complaints for the money, I would expect it to be quieter and the silverware basket could be taller.”

    NOTE from Joni:  I love the handle on this dishwasher, along with the hidden dials.  I am attracted to the handles on appliances and use that as a reason to buy one appliance over another.  Stupid, I know!  But this is really a pretty dishwasher, IMHO.



    Refrigerator $1399: This is counter depth. I dare you to find a refrigerator that is counter depth for this price.”

    Another Note from Joni:  Great handles again!  I would have ordered one without the water dispenser to keep a cleaner line.  But then of course, you have to have that awful looking water dispenser from Ozarka like we do!!



    “Built in microwave:  $649: I love the look of this little beauty. It's a little complicated to use. I have to post a cheat sheet inside the cabinet door above.”

    Note from Joni – another pretty handle.   And notice, recently the pantry door got a coat of blackboard paint.  Great idea, plus it adds just one more touch of black and white. 



    Ceramic Glass Top Slide-in Range $799: I think the oven cooks a little high. But then again I tend to over cook everything anyway. But this is my story & I am sticking to it ;)”


    Note from Joni:  I’m not even going to mention the good looking handle.



    “Countertop: Corian (Home Depot, includes installation)”

    Note from Joni:  I love the countertop – this is a great alternative to white marble – especially for those scared of marble!



    The laundry room, behind the cute Dutch doors. 


    MORE Sources: 

    Cabinet Hardware: Ikea, ANTIK & GREJ
    Flooring: Armstrong
    Breakfast Light Fixture: Ikea
    Breakfast Table: Ikea, Table, Chairs, Chair Pads
    Rugs: Ikea (older, not available)
    Cordless Roman Shades: Payless Decor
    Appliances: Ikea (Micro, Fridge, Dish, Stove)
    Cabinets: Ikea


    WOW!   I love what they did with their kitchen and house.   A huge thank you to Christy for sharing this story of their renovation.      It’s amazing to realize they have only lived in this house for one year!   

    If you live in Houston and surrounding areas, be sure to visit her blog HERE to see all the tradesmen who worked on the house – the landscaper, the painters, the electricians, the plumbers and more!   It’s a great list to have if you are getting ready to remodel in this area.    To see more pictures of her house, be sure to visit Christy’s blog Beach Brights

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    Here’s an update on Elisabeth’s apartment:   We made it to Florida and thankfully for us, but not for them, the hurricane is headed up the east coast, although it was so windy and rained so hard,  it felt like Irene landed here.  Can I just say something right off?  I HATE IKEA!!   How they stay in business I will never know.  Yes, I know.  They are extremely profitable worldwide and even on a  Tuesday night, they were so packed it was like the Russians were in the Bahamas, but boy, they don’t make it easy on their customers.  What an ordeal!!!  OMG!  I had no idea how awful it was going to be.  We should have been filmed for a reality show.  By the time we made it to the checkout, Elisabeth and I were cussing each other out – “I hate you!”  “Go back home!”  “Fork you!”  and other such niceties. 


    Women Fighting

      We almost tore each others hair out we were so aggravated with each other!

    Seriously, when you are buying a lot of furniture at IKEA, it gets pretty awful.  Here’s what we ended up buying:   sofa with chaise, chair, ottoman, dining room table, 4 chairs, chest of drawers, and an armoire.   When we first got there, Elisabeth looked up our order on their computer and declared that everything we wanted was out of stock.  I almost blew a gasket because it took us over an hour to get there during 5:00 rush hour traffic – and then to find out it was all out of stock??  Well,  I was not a happy camper.   But, the nice man (and he was really nice) at IKEA told us she was wrong and it was all in stock.   So, armed with our helper that we brought from home,  Ben’s trusty 300 pound, 6’4” employee James, we tried to load all these huge boxes on the carts.  The boxes were so high that even James couldn’t see over the top of them.  Nor, could he lift them on the cart they were so heavy – of course we had to ask for help.  I kept thinking if James couldn’t lift the boxes, who on earth could?  I mean, James is built like a wrestler and he was beaten down by these huge IKEA boxes.   Ben, as predicted, stayed at the hotel with the puppy, who by the way, was extremely well behaved on the plane ride. 



    Poor Lucy.  Poking her head out from her carry on case, under the seat during the plane ride.  She did really good though, after we tranquilized her with pills from the vet. 


    After three hours at IKEA,  we finally limped out, having arranged for everything to be delivered two days later.  Elisabeth was mad at me for not trying to load up our car with the boxes.  How in the world she thought we could carry those behemoth boxes into her apartment, I have no idea.      Once the boxes were delivered on Thursday, much to my shock, Ben and Elisabeth quickly put together the sofa and chaise, chair, and ottoman.   Elves found on Craig’s List came on Friday to put together the table, chairs, chest and armoire.   On Wednesday, Ben, James and I did the Home Depot run and  on Thursday night Ben and Elisabeth did the Target run.   Can I say exhausted? 


    Cartoon Clipart


    Everything is slowly coming together.   All the slipcovers we ordered came in so wrinkled, but thanks to the advice of Julia from Hooked on Houses, we bought wrinkle remover at Target and boy, that stuff really works.    Her apartment doesn’t have a pantry or utility closet and the clothes closet is miniscule, hence the IKEA armoire.   She may even need to buy another armoire if one isn’t enough.   And she plans to buy a buffet to store her dishes in.    I totally misordered the dishes from Cost Plus.   She is now the proud owner of a service of 48 plates, 48 bowls and 48 salad plates.  Oops!!!!   But I must say, Delray Beach, which is where her apartment is, is the most charming little beach town.  What a huge surprise.  Her street is lined with cafes, coffee shops and bars – all with open, outdoor seating.  It’s like a bit of Paris – except with surfers instead of fashionistas.  She’s about 1/2 mile from the gorgeous beach and she’s right next to a Starbucks.  How she is ever going to make it to school and study, I have no idea.  Personally, I want to move here myself – I might send her home and trade places with her.  Here’s a few pictures of her apartment:



    The living room with all the Ikea furniture.



    Can you see Lucy sleeping on the dhurri rug?  It’s like she’s camouflaged there.  She’s sooo tired from all the action!   The linen pillows are from Restoration Hardware – word of warning, they shed more than the puppy.


    This is the coffee table that hasn’t arrived yet.  It’s from Zentique.  Once it comes the ottoman will be put across from the sofa.



    The side tables and mirror are from Wisteria and the lamps are from Ballard Designs.





    The dining room area – it all came from IKEA.  The stain is a gray color – IKEA goes Belgian.   The table actually gets bigger when you pull the top out.    The clock is from Restoration Hardware. 



    Elisabeth resting!  Ben’s in the kitchen doing something, not sure what.  Probably adding up all the bills, getting ready to shoot Elisabeth and me.


    HEMNES Glass-door cabinet with 4 drawers, gray-brown Width: 35 3/8 " Depth: 14 5/8 " Height: 77 1/2 " Max load/shelf: 66 lb  Width: 90 cm Depth: 37 cm Height: 197 cm Max load/shelf: 30 kg

    She’ll probably buy this from Ikea to put in her dining room to use as a pantry. 


    HEMNES Wardrobe with 3 doors, gray-brown Width: 59 7/8 " Depth: 22 7/8 " Height: 77 1/2 "  Width: 152 cm Depth: 58 cm Height: 197 cm

    And she had to buy this armoire from IKEA – the Hemmes line which is a great gray color – because the closet is teeny-tiny.  This piece actually looks cute in her bedroom.  Unfortunately, I can’t show you pictures of her bedroom because the bed wasn’t made (putting it nicely) and there were suitcases with clothes thrown everywhere.   Maybe next time!



    After finishing up with Elisabeth, I went to meet up with two fellow bloggers Renee Finberg and Claudia Strasser.    Renee lives in Boca Raton and is getting ready to open up a showroom  that is located very close to our hotel.   I set off to find it and almost stopped off here – the shop right next door - for a quick little botox treatment.   hehe.



    Actually, here is the showroom – The Trade – located in the Mizner area where there are the cutest shops and boutiques all around.




    Renee, on the left, recently teamed up with Claudia who lives in Miami.   They’re now partners in The Trade which is set to open up October 1.



    Renee Finberg writes the blog Tells All HERE which is about fine design.   She’s a great interior designer, so opening this shop will be a wonderful asset for all the people who live in the area. 




    Claudia writes the blog, The Paris Apartment HERE.  She’s a published author, designer, and travel guide – she takes groups of shoppers to Paris and is getting ready to leave on a trip next week!  Some of her guests stay at Paris Perfect apartments – the same ones that I featured a few weeks ago.  I wish I could go on a trip with Claudia, but I just hate flying over a large body of water like the Atlantic.  Plus, such a long flight, I think I would get claustrophobia. 



    Inside The Trade, the furniture is trickling in.  Look how cute those curtains are!  Renee designed them.  The chandelier is beautiful.



    These gorgeous antique French bergeres were found by Claudia in Paris – she told me they are in the movie “Midnight in Paris!!!”  I’m going to watch it tonight in the hotel, so I’ll keep an eye out for the chairs.  They are in a scene that takes place at a market.  God, these chairs are so beautiful, I was drooling the entire time I was there, just wanting them sooo badly!  Their lines are so feminine, so curvy, so French!



    The showroom’s floor is painted in bold black and white stripes with café colored walls – such a great combination.  All the chairs were upholstered in white with black accents so that they really popped in the space.  The three of us sat around this “skirted roundtable” and had a laugh.  Then we went shopping in the area.   Costly idea.   Renee described for me all the custom furniture she has designed for the shop and it alll sounds fabulous.   I going to come back and see it the next time I come to visit Elisabeth.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the best thing about blogging is the friends you meet, online and in real life!   Renee and Claudia and I have all been blogging for about the same amount of time and it felt like I was meeting old friends.




    You can buy Claudia’s famous book on Amazon HERE.

    Thanks girls for meeting me today!  Can’t wait to see you next time I’m in town.

    If you are visiting the Miami, Boca Raton, Palm Beach area, be sure to stop by The Trade and say hello to Renee and Claudia!!!  For directions, contact Renee on her blog HERE or at 561-613-6800.




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