IKEA Mania

Last weekend, Sheryls and I had an awesome girls’ afternoon o’ shopping up in Michigan. First stop: IKEA.

Now, I’ve mentioned IKEA before, and had grand plans… and they didn’t quite work out. But now I have ideas for the kitchen that don’t involve very much money. At all.

The IKEA store features a showroom, where you look at the furnishings and textiles and accessories and fixtures in their native environment. You can see how everything fits together, how it actually looks in a room, and how it would function. The kitchen setups were great, because I could stand in the middle of a kitchen setup and say, “This is exactly the size of my kitchen!” And I could see how they put cabinets and shelves and everything together, and get ideas for how to maximize my own kitchen space with IKEA products.

Let’s back up a bit. The duplex apartment Aaron and I rented before we bought our house had a truly indecently excessive amount of storage and counter space. We had cupboards that remained empty the whole time we lived there. This kitchen, not so much:

We have appliances that remain on the counters, unused for months; we have a crapload of stuff on top of our refrigerator (not shown); our drawer of pots and pans is in constant disarray; and I’m always afraid that my rummage sale spice racks are going to fall into the sink.

Being that IKEA is made specifically for small spaces, I think I can seek solutions there:

This is my Photoshop representation of what our kitchen could look like with a $50 investment. If that. The Grundtal system includes a wall-mounted rail with various sundry items to hang on said rail: spice rack, dish drainer, S-hooks for pans and utensils, and a whole lot more. We could make use of our wall space — and have a much sturdier (if slightly smaller) spice rack. (But we could get *two* racks…) I also see some under-cabinet task lighting, a new overhead fixture, and a dishwasher in our future. (Dishwasher sold separately.)

Where will the countertop appliances go? Hell if I know. The kitchen will get rearranged somehow, and counter space will be had. I haven’t used my flower vases in forever — maybe an appliance or two would fit in the drawer currently occupied by my multiple vases. I really only need one or two. I could also relocate my candle supplies to a space in the dining room and free up one more small corner cabinet. Install one of those neat organizer racks that pull all the way out, and we’ve got even more storage. Install one of those in the drawer of pots and pans, and we’ll have easier access to what we need. I don’t think IKEA sells the pull-out organizers, though. Meh.

One step at a time, though. First, I have to buy or borrow a stud-finder, so I know where I can install my rail.