We are starting to put stuff back into the cupboards. Deciding where everything is going to go and finding that there is room to spare is such fun! Of course we are jumping the gun again, you are probably supposed to finish the whole kitchen before you put your things away, but it’s impossible to resist. I am also trying to do a Mari Kondo, but I have so much storage space now that I can afford to hang onto a few things that don’t spark any joy but may come in handy one day. — Spoken like a true hoarder. 🙂
Mr Rivergum, that prince amongst husbands, has installed my sink and it is now fully operational! I can’t tell you how wonderful it is for normal standards of domestic hygiene to be reinstated because I don’t have to run to the laundry to rinse every little teaspoon. And I now have this uber-sexy tap that has a hose attachment so I can spray water wherever I want. Well, around the sink anyway.
So here is my new sink, with a very attractive pile of empty cardboard from the flatpacks as a backdrop outside the window. 🙂
Last weekend we spent a good chunk of Saturday picknicking with family, but we still managed to make a lot of progress. The hallway wardrobes now have doors and are finished except for the handles.
In the kitchen we fixed almost all the cabinets to the wall rails, and clamped and screwed the lower ones together. The wall cupboards are in place, but the middle one still needs to come out again to have the exhaust fitted. In the meantime it has become a spot for a few things Mr Rivergum likes to have to hand. 🙂
We built and installed all the drawers and put on most of the doors. Last night we installed the carousel in one of the corner units and put the double hinged door on. The sink cupboard now has two joined drawer fronts that pull out the single drawer, with the garbage and recycling bins behind it. It even has handles!
The best things is that everything works, everything fits and it perfectly aligned. That is what makes this reno so enormously enjoyable, and it is very much due to the clever engineering that has gone into these cabinets.
Most things are perfect out of the box, but if they aren’t there are inbuilt adjustments. All the hinges and draw fronts have screws that allow 3-way adjustments: in-out, right-left and up-down.
I know this is pathetic and I should get a life, but I am totally blown away by this ingenuousness. Mostly because I am very much aware how much the alignment matters in the final look of the kitchen and if it is even a little bit off it will look shoddy. So when the joined drawer fronts in the sink cabinet stuck out a bit at one side and also did not line up perfectly parallel with the dishwasher next door, Mr Rivergum and myself were really worried. But after a minute’s search online we found the answer (thank you, YouTube!), that all we had to do is adjust some screws in the side of the drawer mechanism to fix it. How good is that! It is probably somewhere in the instructions too, but YouTube and other online resources have been an invaluable help with this project. IKEA’s pictograms are ok, but there is nothing like being able to see something in a video or in real photos to help you when you are stuck.
That said, not everything turned out perfect. Mr Rivergum’s DIY building and carpentry skills have been immensely helpful with this kitchen build, but sometimes a bit of extra research can make life so much easier. We were nervous about drilling the hole in the sink for the tap, so we researched it carefully and it went without a hitch. But when it came to cutting the hole in the benchtops for the sink it seemed pretty straightforward, so we didn’t bother to look for advice online. We did get it done ok, but we rushed because it was getting late and did not stop to work out how to attach the reinforcement rails underneath. Bad mistake, because the hole is large and weakens the long and heavy benchtop, so when we wrestled it into place, with the sink and big tap in a confined space, we managed to produce a hairline crack. Thankfully it is small and in a spot where it won’t be visible, but it still upset us. It will need to be sealed so water doesn’t get in and this seal might wear over time, causing the chipboard to swell. The benchtop is only $90 and we could replace it, but decided to leave it for now because I hate waste and throwing out an otherwise good benchtop that can be repaired does not sit easily with me. Mr Rivergum is not that keen on having to do the work all over again either, so we will chalk it up to experience and try to learn from our mistake when we cut the hole for the hob.
Here are some pictures of what the kitchen looks like now, still with the protective blue covers and with lots of stuff on the benchtops still waiting to be put away. That kitchen is being used! I promise I will tidy up for the big reveal photo shoot at the end. 🙂
The dishwasher is not in properly yet, and I have a towel on top to prevent steam getting to the underside of the benchtop when it is opened. This is not a permanent feature, there is a filler piece waiting to be fitted.
Mr Rivergum fleeing the scene because I am taking photos.
There is no denying that painting the walls would have been good before installing the cupboards, but who wants to do boring stuff when there are exciting flatpacks to be installed. The backsplash will cover a lot of it and painters tape will be our best friend for the rest. I am picking the backsplash up today!
Mr Rivergum is planning to install lights behind a white perspex cover to infill between the top of the wall cupboards and the ceiling. This should produce a nice soft light to wash across the ceiling, but we’d better patch and paint the bits that won’t be hidden behind the perspex!
The oven is in, but not yet connected. The sparkie has to come back because we didn’t realise that we needed 30 amps for the induction cooktop, not 15. So he will connect it all up once the cooktop is finally in. The oven cabinet was a bit of a challenge too, to get everything to fit neatly. Once we had found the right page in the instructions it was easy, but trying to wing it first cost us a bit of time and frustration.