Monday, April 20, 2009

Vacationing at Ikea

What I love about the Ikea in Phoenix is all the palm trees. Makes it seem like a destination resort or something....

Well, after all the thinking about whether to save our old kitchen cabinets or not, we decided to get rid of them. Even I had to admit, once they came down, that the old ones were in terrible shape. It's too bad because they were a cool Eames-ish sliding door style that would have been pricey to replace. So we went with contemporary Ikea cabinets - the Akurum cabinets with a Nexus birch veneer. Here's what they look like in the showroom -

Anyway, we drove to Phoenix on Thursday and did a bit of shopping. Friday we hit some mid-century furniture stores but didn't find anything. So we grabbed some lunch and went to pick up our Penske rental truck. We had figured out we would be hauling 3500 lbs. of kitchen stuff home so our earlier plan of using our old LandCruiser to pull a trailer fell through. Even renting a 16' long truck, we had to have the one that was rated for 5000 lbs., not their other 16' truck that was only rated for 2000 lbs. The truck was lovely, it only had 2000 miles on it so it was practically brand new. It was really huge inside-

Then on to Ikea, with all the paperwork from the handy little Ikea kitchen planning program in hand. We had a list of every single item we needed and we reviewed it carefully before leaving the hotel. It was nerve-wracking - we had just driven 500 miles to buy our new kitchen and we hoped that we had not forgotten anything that needed to be on our list. And we hoped that they had everything in stock. Well, Ikea was great. The kitchen people took care of us and were happy we were so organized and asked us about all those little things you hoped you had not forgotten. Felt like we were in good hands. They sent the order for our kitchen down so that it was brought to us at the loading area on a pallet - you do not have to go individually go pick out every box (there were over 100 boxes because some of the items like a cabinet with drawers came in many different boxes). We also picked out some drawer organizer-type things and then we had to go over to the bedroom section to buy Pax wardrobes, which we are using for the entry closets.

We paid for everything and then John spent a long time arranging the items in the truck and I inventoried everything yet again to make sure we had everything that was on our receipt. The truck was so huge and the pack-flat Ikea stuff was so small that John was able to lay the Ikea stuff all on the floor of the truck - that way, we didn't have to worry about the weight of everything shifting so much for the long ride home. It ended up taking up very little space in the truck, even though the final weight estimate was over 4000 lbs.

Saturday we began the long ride home. We took the interstate, which is not the most direct route, and it took 10 hours. Now we're back home. They aren't ready to put the kitchen together yet. The electrician is redoing the wiring now and tomorrow they will be spray painting the ceiling. And they'll still have dry wall to do so it'll be awhile before we get to see our new kitchen.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


My friend Janice came over the other day and told me that I hadn't told her that we were going to gut the whole front part of our house. I guess that's because I had never thought of it that way. We moved some walls, took down cabinetry and dry wall to get to the electrical.... but she's right, our house is gutted. Down to the 2x4s. Doesn't get any more gutted than that. Kinda scary. Here's what remains of the kitchen, the cabinets and sink have been removed. We still have a working refrigerator and stove though.

All of the subfloor in the entry had to get torn out too. When the weight bearing wall came out, we discovered that the floor in the carport-turned- entry area was not level with the floor on the other side of the wall in the living room (which is on a slab). So the entry floor got pulled out and redone.

But things are starting to go back together. The pantry and laundry areas got framed yesterday, yeah!

And things keep getting added to the list. The plumber came the other day to check things out and he pointed out that our gas pipe runs through our slab. About 2 weeks ago, he had been called out about another house on our street - their gas pipe in their slab had rusted out and there was a gas leak in the house and the whole house had to have the gas shut off. He suggested that we shut off that line through the slab and run everything over the roof to the furnace and our new gas fireplace insert. We have seen this on other houses on our street so we are going to go ahead and convert to this to avoid problems down the line.

Tomorrow we drive to Phoenix to pick up 3000+ lbs. of kitchen cabinetry and wardrobes from Ikea. Wish us luck! ;-)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Austin Show

I'm back in Texas this week - went to a fab show at the Blanton Museum in Austin called Birth of the Cool: California Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury. If you're in the area, check it out. It's got furniture, paintings, great graphic Art and Architecture magazine covers, art pottery, album covers, photographs of those wonderful Case Study houses (including this famous photo by Julius Shulman of Case Study house #22, my dream house)..... even old cartoons of Gerald McBoing Boing. A lovely museum and a great show.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday Fun

John gives us a little tour of the new empty space!