But seriously. Let's do this.
We first thought that we would replace the kitchen cabinets with ones from Home Depot. We met with a kitchen planner to narrow down our choices. I knew I wanted a simple, white shaker style cabinet, which Home Depot had. The cabinets had a lot of bells and whistles in terms of what you can put inside them to organize all your kitchen crap.
At the same time, we (with the help of a family member who actually knows what they're doing) bid out the cabinet job to several local companies just to see the range of costs because we were both really wary of IKEA.
Then I started to do a bit of Internet research particularly this: Little House Blog from which the following drool-worthy pic is from:
I learned that the cabinets are particle board (MDF) cheap crap with real wood fronts. I also found that you can buy the IKEA cabinet boxes, but order from a secondary company wood fronts that are cut exactly to fit the IKEA cabinets. Going this route would save us thousands of dollars (spoiler alert: we ended up just using the IKEA cabinet fronts - they look good). Also, we would use our own team to hang them, bypassing the per-box hanging fee that Home Depot charge (IKEA does too - I think it was something like $120/box to hang. This does not include box assembly).
We took our Home Depot design down to IKEA and replicated it by ourselves (you can see where this is going).
The planner is pretty annoying to use, and as you can see, there is not a lot of customization (for example, the cabinet that appears brown (that's how glass-front cabinets appear in the planner), I want to create a cook book nook, similar to this one I found:
Then from there, I basically just looked at stuff on Pinterest that I liked to get ideas for the backsplash and other details. I had originally wanted to do a big wall of stainless steel open shelving, but decided against it because that really only looks amazing if all your kitchen stuff matches. As you will see from future posts, this small decision ends up working really in my favor.
Next time, I'll tell you about why you should always measure everything yourself...