IKEA® kitchen renovation: our beloved Ravine House.
After living in and renovating our home for almost 3 years, the last space to tackle in the beloved Ravine House was the kitchen. For a lot of people, that is the most daunting project, and yet, I couldn’t wait to have this transformation realized. Being an interior designer and house flipper, I had seen my fair share of before and afters, but this would be the first time I got to tackle a kitchen renovation for myself and my family.
My contractor and husband Ryan and I had purchased what we quickly dubbed the Ravine House due to its Edmonton river valley location, in the early Spring of 2016. As soon as we moved in, we tackled the upstairs floor, then renovations slowed down so we could welcome our little one, Jack. But after getting settled in a new routine, we kicked off the main floor, gutting the living room and changing out the powder room, then saving the best for last.
With dated decor and an awkward layout, we knew this was more than a quick facelift. So we got to planning — taking care to utilize every inch of space available in this small footprint.
Taking into consideration we were on a strict budget and because we were so familiar with IKEA kitchens and loved their functionality, we decided this was the way to go for our cabinetry. And yet, I had a distinct vision and aesthetic that IKEA would never be able to match. Function is one thing but the amount of choice in their cabinetry finishes is another.
I wanted to keep the palette light and warm — a true nod to my Scandinavian roots — and no option from IKEA was going to translate that style. With white oak engineered floors continuing throughout our home, I knew that a combo of white and light wood would compliment the flooring (and my vision) perfectly. So I turned to Kitch.
Our kitchen inspiration
A light and warm palette, IKEA boxes + Kitch cabinet faces.
After using a combo of IKEA and Kitch on several previous projects, I knew I would be happy with the product. Their door quality is exceptional — a noticeable difference in thickness, weight and durability from IKEA’s. Besides ticking all those boxes, Kitch has a multitude of finishes from matte or glossy to wood veneer, offering so much choice for this Scandi-inspired designer. I settled on a combination of Premium White (matte finish) and European White Oak (wood veneer) in a flat slab panel — modern and clean!
After completing our IKEA drawings and sending them to Kitch, they helped us coordinate all the appropriate pieces like toe kicks, fillers, trim pieces and, my favourite part, our floating shelves.
At the time I didn’t know what to expect from the shelves, but I was pleasantly surprised when they arrived. Beautifully crafted and sized perfectly, they were exactly what I needed to complete the kitchen design. The fact that they are the same finish as the upper cabinets makes it feel cohesive and completely custom. And no one would know they aren’t solid wood shelves!
Above the fridge, my husband and I got a little creative with basic panels in the same wood veneer to create an open cabinet to house cookbooks and wine. It was as simple as cutting down longer pieces to create the cubbies for each bottle with a longer shelf above. As long as you’re willing to get creative, there really are endless options using the Kitch components.
Some may think we compromised on this kitchen, by not doing a custom cabinetry option, but I see it differently. I see it as a smart investment that achieves the same quality and look as custom, without adding in extra dollars. After living in my new Ravine kitchen for a few months now, I can honestly say I have zero regrets. The cabinets look beautiful and I am so proud of what we achieved by doing this renovation.
Kristina is an Edmonton based interior designer, blogger and house flipper. She launched her own design and lifestyle blog Kristinalynne.ca, mainly as a way to document her multiple house flips and the unique challenges of designing and renovating her own home. As her audience grew and after receiving a diploma in Residential Interiors, she decided it was time to turn her passion into a career, launching Kresswell Interiors with her design partner Diana. Kresswell Interiors has now been providing both online and in person design services for residential and commercial projects. Clients are drawn to her aesthetic which has Scandinavian roots with a modern edge. She loves using a mix of old and new, adding pattern and texture to create unique spaces that tell a story.
Her work has been featured in Avenue Magazine, Domino, Apartment Therapy, The Everygirl, PopSugar, My Domaine, Chatelaine and more.