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In My Home Tour/ My House

Eat In Kitchen – What we decided for lighting

Remember I was debating lights? I really was leaning heavily to this light but ended up choosing…..

Potlights. Crazy. I know. After some back and forth – I decided on the least expected lighting option and that was to go with pot lights.

Here is why. This area is a deceptively small space. The ceiling is low, and any light that would hang over the table would obstruct the view of someone at the table, and the view outside. Having already had a chandelier hanging here before, I was sensitive to the light being right at my eyes while eating and that the light would be really focused on the table. This room gets awfully dark in the Wintertime – so I really wanted LIGHT. Not just a decorative feature. But light.  I ran it by my Mom and she was the final vote (like they do on Survivor) and voted without hesitation for pot lights.

And you want to know something? I LOVE IT!!! It’s totally the right choice for our style and our house. It makes the room feel bigger and now Oscar can be found drawing and painting at this table at night because he can actually see. Ha.

We didn’t want to tackle this ourselves so we called Mr. Potlight. Yes. Mr. Potlight. I checked with HomeStars and was really impressed with their reviews. Needless to say, they were AMAZING and the project was done within a few hours. I’d hire them again in a second. (They charge per potlight they install, so it’s super easy to determine a budget. Plus, they were amazing at helping suggest bulb placements)

Here is one snag that I ran into. We had to go with LED pot-lights because this part of the house is an extension and the ceiling has insulation as it’s an exterior area above. (There is no second floor above this area) LED pot-lights don’t need big boxes around the bulb as they don’t heat up like Halogens do. I’m pretty picky when it comes to light so I was petrified that the light in this room  would differ from the rest of our house but Aubrey and I pre-purchased some LED bulbs from the Home Depot and compared them and they were close enough to make me feel comfortable with going ahead.

So although I do lust after some gorgeous chandeliers that I wrote about in this post – for our house, the choice for simplicity and function won over grandeur.

Plus, I seriously LOVE how it looks at night when the rest of the home is dark. Success!

In Decorating

kitchen updates

Back when we wrapped up the kitchen renovation, it looked like this…. 

Fast forward to today, and a few things have changed. The first, we removed that round table  and replaced it with this harvest table that I bought at an auction for $75. I kept the chairs from the old set, and painted them out in a soft grey. 

The table is uneven, it’s far from level, and yet, it’s perfect. I don’t care if Oscar or his friends have paint on it, ink, or scrape it. It’s terribly imperfect at right now, I love it. I fell in love with the legs, and well – it came home with me.   As you can see, two other things are missing. The chandelier is gone and the pillows are missing. 

For the light – the shade was yellowing, and being so sensitive to colours, and when whites changed, I had Aubrey take it down, which has let us, without a light. The pillows were removed some time ago, when Oscar and his buddies started climbing and I didn’t want the pillows to get messy. And so, they got removed. 

So now I’m looking at this room, debating what needs to happen to really finish it off. 

I don’t have any answers yet, but I’ll be posting some of the ideas here over the next few weeks and hopefully over the summer it will come together. Ideas as always, welcomed. xoxo 

In Renovations

Ikea Hack – How to make a cookbook shelf

Ikea Kitchen Cookbook Shelf

The cookbook shelf is one of my favourite elements of the kitchen. I really do think that it it is one of the main details that makes our ikea kitchen look custom. Up until now I haven’t had an chance to describe how you can recreate this look – but thanks to some vacation time and Aubrey helping me with some “how to” details, I have put together this post just in time to end 2012. This post is long with diagrams … I’m really hoping that it is clear and helps you design your own Ikea kitchen in the future. xo Lindsay

If we had gone with a custom kitchen this kind of element would have been easy. But when you’re working with big box cabinets, something like this takes a wee bit of “hacking”. The easy way to create a shelf would be to put up an Ikea cabinet in that space above the sink and just leave the doors off. The problem with this method is that you would see all of the fronts of the cabinet`s walls and also all the holes on sides that are supposed to allow for adjustable shelves. In our case this way defeated our hope of making our Ikea kitchen look custom. So although it was the easy route, it wasn’t the right route for us.

Diagram of the Kitchen 

Before diving into the instructions, I wanted to show you a diagram that shows the basic measurements that we were working with. This will hopefully help you with understanding the instructions that follow. Keep in mind that your measurements will differ as each home has different ceiling heights.

Ikea Kitchen Cookbook Shelf

How to Make The Shelf

You need two larger cabinets [Fig A and C shown below] on either side of a shorter upper cabinet [Fig B]. We used the tallest cabinets possible for our main cabinetry [A and C], as our ceiling height allowed for it. You don’t order any additional cabinetry for beneath the middle (shorter) cabinet [Fig B].

The shelf itself is nothing other than an Ikea cover panel. Cover panels are sold for the purpose of adding to the end of cabinets. The cover panels were the perfect colour – they are made to match the colour of your cabinetry (so no extra painting required) In addition to being the right colour, they were the right depth as they are already designed to fit the depth of cabinetry.

Ikea Kitchen Cookbook Shelf

Installing The Shelf
Ikea Kitchen Cookbook Shelf

We cut both panels to the right width which was 30 inches in our case (the width of the cabinet in figure B above). One panel was attached to the bottom of the upper cabinet to hide some of those fasteners that are exposed on Ikea cabinets. This was done by screwing down from inside the top cabinet with the right length screws (too long and they`d show and ruin your custom look, so be careful there.) The other panel became our shelf.

Supporting The Shelf

To support the shelf we installed supports along the back wall (small `L` bracket`s) and along the sides (neatly cut strips of scrap cover panels) so that the shelf sits 5-6 inches higher than the bottom of the high cabinets to the left of right of the sink area. [Picture below shows a view from under the shelf]

One thing we didn’t account for was that these cover panels are not very sturdy because they aren’t very thick. In order to make sure the shelf didn’t sag in the middle because of the weight of the cookbooks we used a solid piece of wood (1×2 inches that was not finger-jointed) as our valance.

Since we had chosen a valance profile that was more traditional and not from Ikea it worked very well and added to the overall custom look. If we had chosen an Ikea valance (that also wouldn’t be too sturdy) we would have had to add in a supporting beam behind it.

Ikea Kitchen Cookbook Shelf

How to figure out the height of the shelf

Aubrey and I held up books that were the size we needed the shelf to hold and made sure they`d fit and that there was enough space above them.The space that we ended up with (the height of the inside of the shelf, ended up being 15 inches.

Ikea Kitchen Cookbook Shelf

The Back Of The Shelf

As for the back of the shelf, you have a few options. You could extend your backsplash up so it becomes the backdrop for whatever you put on your shelf. However we elected to go with another cover panel that was a bit larger that we cut to the right size and glued to the wall with PL. Although you can hardly see it, it`s that little detail that makes it seem like custom built cabinetry.