Shopping for Kitchen Cabinets

Below is our latest post for BrickUnderground.com containing our advice on buying kitchen cabinets.

But first, here is a bit more detail on our shopping experience at Home Depot and IKEA for those trying to decide where to purchase cabinets.

We started out first looking at IKEA cabinets and for the rental unit and although the price was right there was little design assistance, their computer software (which you can download on ikea.com) is rudimentary at best (but good for planning) and there was a limited selection in cabinet sizes.  With our irregularly high ceilings we couldn’t design them to fit.  And don’t forget, the cabinets do not arrive assembled.

That being said, we have friends who installed IKEA high gloss cabinets in a very modern newly constructed kitchen and ten years and two children later they’ve stood the test of time with only minor replacements, so whether IKEA is right for you is relative.

When we renovated the kitchen in our previous apartment we went to the 23rd Street Home Depot in Manhattan to check out several kitchen designs and materials in person We dealt with a different person at each process.  Someone who is not the designer came to our home to measure the space and later when we needed a cabinet door replaced because it was warped we dealt with someone completely different in customer service.

Also they subcontract installation to a third party, which lead to a problem when we installed our cabinets because our kitchen was measured with the old cabinets and drywall in place.  We handled demolition and had the room re-drywalled.  During this process one of the dimensions of the room increased by two inches.  As a result our cabinets did not fit the space as designed.  Thankfully, the installer was able to add filler pieces to solve the problem but it did not look exactly as we designed.

We purchased full-overlay cabinet doors but see the gaps between the cabinets on the right and left below.

Cabinets from Home Depot

Cabinets from Home Depot

While we were satisfied with the cabinet quality and service overall, we chose to go the small shop route this time because we wanted to work with one person for the entire process.  For both our kitchens, the designer at Park Slope Kitchen Gallery came by and measured our space twice to make sure it was accurate before finalizing the order.

For more information about what style and type of cabinet to buy see our post below.

BUYING NEW KITCHEN CABINETS? WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Our kitchen cabinet odyssey involved a lot more decision-making than you might imagine.

Longtime New Yorkers Angela Tiffin and Andrew Nichols bought their first brownstone in South Park Slope in May 2012, and have spent two years renovating—first, their own duplex apartment and in recent months, a third-floor rental unit—much of it with their own hands. You can read more about the project at their blog,Brownstone Cyclone.

We recently purchased new kitchen cabinets for the rental unit in our brownstone, after buying them last year for our duplex, which may seem like an easy decision. In truth, however, there are a dizzying array of choices when it comes to picking the style, the substance and the construction methods, not to mention where to shop in the first place. Below, what we learned in the process:

 

 

Soundproofing Floors

We recently wrote a post for BrickUnderground.com on our experience soundproofing the floors on the third floor rental unit.

SOUNDPROOFING FLOORS: A BROWNSTONER’S STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 2 x 8 stock lumber
  • ¾ BC plywood
  • sound insulation
  • subfloor construction adhesive
  • coarse thread wood screws
  • sound dampening underlayment
  • finish floating flooring system

Check out the full post on BrickUnderground.com.

 

The Little Reveal

When we first started our renovations we pictured the big ta-da moment when everything would be done and we’d move into our perfectly designed, painted and furnished home like on Houzz or HGTV.

The reality is that we moved in when there was not even a kitchen and now that we have been here for over a year, there is still a punch list that needs to be completed and an endless list of ongoing projects not to mention the rental unit upstairs.

We thought we’d take advantage of our clean house to show all you faithful followers a few good before and afters with at least a little, ta-da!

Parlor facing south before.

parlor facing south

After.

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As for decorating we pretty much just have our old furniture because we can’t financially justify buying any new furniture until the house is completely don’t and we have a tenant paying rent.

Parlor facing north

Parlor facing north

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parlor facing south

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Here we took out this door and partial wall to make the living area a bit larger since it is only a 16ft wide building.  We did not need the hallway behind the door because we were closing it off to separate the our unit from the apartment upstairs.  The building was a two family shared by the same family so they never officially block access between the two.

This awkward chair will be moved once we give it a design update some day.

This awkward chair will be moved once we give it a design update some day.

A little vision and a lot of patience (plus money) can go a long way.

Back facing north before the extension.

Back facing north before the extension (with the realtor).

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My dream kitchen

We love that we were able to save the ceiling because they don’t make that pattern of tin anymore.  Ours is a modest kitchen compared to some “dream kitchens” but for NYC and for a small family, it is perfect.  We will write an update on the drawbacks to marble counter tops and white cabinets later.

The closet on the left was built out and is  now the powder room.

The closet on the left was built out and is now the powder room.

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