This post is long overdue. Our kitchen is not actually done, but I’m at peace with the fact that it may never be perfect. When we started this process in January 2020, I could not have predicted a global pandemic. It took a village of contractors and friends to get the kitchen to functional status. You can find part one of the remodel here.
As I write this, I’m on hold with the Whirlpool hotline. Almost a year later and our new oven does not heat past 250 degrees. You might be asking, “Why are you just now realizing this?” Well, we didn’t find anyone to install our appliances until a few months ago and I put off the oven because of the new oven smell. I didn’t want to breathe in the chemical fumes that burn off when you first use the oven. There’s also a warning from IKEA in the manual that the fumes will kill a pet parrot, so I’m assuming it can’t be a good idea for anyone, especially a newborn baby. In case you’re wondering, Whirlpool’s hold music is way better than IKEA’s. At one point I had memorized IKEA’s phone number and all of the extension numbers to get directly to the kitchen department.
The oven aside, I’m content with the final result. It’s not totally fair to critique the IKEA kitchen remodel process with the challenges that COVID created. We were lucky to have Traemand install the cabinets prior to IKEA’s shutdown of stores and services. The main problem we had due to COVID was the installation of the quartz counter top. Traemand stopped providing in-home services and we were left without a counter top, which also meant no sink. I ordered a farmhouse sink from IKEA that is overmount (most are undermount). This required a counter top for the sink to be installed over. At this point, I needed running water for my own sanity. You can’t keep dishes in your bathtub for too long without feeling like the town hillbilly.
So, I cancelled the quartz counter top and called five local companies for quotes for quartz and butcher block (which had been Nick’s first choice). I ordered butcher block and we had it installed within two weeks! A friend installed the sink and disposal and we were in business. I felt like a real person again. IKEA required me to go into the store to receive a refund for the counter top, so I did have to wait a few months for the stores to open back up.
Also, IKEA was very helpful when I noticed our appliances had gone on sale within the allotted time frame for a price match. I called IKEA and they refunded the difference over the phone. The representative was even kind enough to scan my very long receipt to find other items that had gone on sale. She went cabinet by cabinet, checking drawers, pulls, etc. The unexpected money back helped with morale while we waited to find someone (anyone!) to install the appliances.
The functionality of the kitchen configuration is a huge improvement. We were able to maximize the space in our tiny 1880’s home. We’re happy with the quality of the materials – they’re durable and should hold-up well. This house will forever be an on-going project, so if I had to do it again, I’d still recommend IKEA. Definitely check with IKEA to make sure they have dates available for your timeline (dates for a planning appointment and installation). Without COVID, the turnaround for installation would have been fast. I would also have a better game plan going forward. Have your team of contractors ready to go to prevent delays and unexpected hiccups. As a planner, the constant “Who’s on first?” made me crazy. Being pregnant and a little helpless made this worse.
I kept a binder with all of my IKEA documentation, contractor phone numbers, and invoices so that I had everything in one place. DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR IKEA RECEIPT. You have to have this to make any returns. Mine rivaled CVS receipts in length, but I had to refer back to it many times. IKEA also required the paper receipt when I went to the store to “return” the counter top that I had cancelled.
Comment below if you have any questions! If you’re organized, resourceful, and you want a quick turnaround, I’d still recommend an IKEA kitchen.