Tag Archives: ikea

3 Tips for Selecting Kitchen Cabinets

Do you ever find yourself scrolling through your Pinterest feed pinning inspiration pictures that you like left and right?  Many of them don’t have anything in common but yes, that pic of gorgeous pendants is amazing…

and if you were designing your dream kitchen you would have to have a hidden dry erase board in it.

On Pinterest it’s fun to dream that you CAN HAVE IT ALL. Pinning and dreaming are free and your boards have all the space in the world to build your dreams.

But what happens when it’s time to take a good look at your Pinterest board actually make these dreams come to life? Within your budget, your square footage, and without looking like a hodgepodge of individual good ideas.  You may find yourself feeling much like how Esther does about selecting a theme for her sixth birthday party… overwhelmed.

Use these 3 Tips for Selecting Kitchen Cabinets to help avoid that feeling.

Think Long Term

Cabinetry and flooring are two of the harder and more expensive finishes to replace in a house.  So just like we did with our flooring we wanted to select a cabinet style and finish that wouldn’t date itself in five years or that might not be great for resale value.  So while I do love colorful kitchens like this one…

I plan to bright spots of color in barstools, flowers, and artwork like this kitchen.

But you know if yellow is your favorite color and it has been for twenty years and your pretty sure it will be for twenty mores years go ahead and use yellow cabinets.

For this reason I also stayed away from selecting gray cabinets.

I love them but grays have so many different undertones like red, blue, and green that i didn’t want to be restrained to using only accent colors that worked with the undertone of the gray.  I do however love gray cabinets and still think it looks beautiful in our townhouse kitchen.

Think Cohesively

One of the biggest things to keep in mind is making sure the style and color of your finish work with everything else you have selected for the kitchen.  I knew from the beginning that I wanted a white subway tile backsplash like in our townhouse kitchen.  It adds a clean and classic look to any kitchen and is also inexpensive. You may remember from one of our earlier posts that we are reusing the black granite counters that were in the kitchen.

These counters are really what the entire kitchen design revolves around.

So while I love the white on white on white look…

I needed to know how white cabinets and a white subway tile backsplash looked with black granite.

I liked what I saw. So now the decision remained… which type of cabinets to use.

Think Budget Wise

We have a set budget for the entire Whistle Haven project.  After working five years as an interior designer in healthcare design I learned a thing or two about making spaces look beautiful on a budget.  It’s easy to create a beautiful space with endless amounts of money but good design happens when you stick to and work within a budget AND create a beautiful space at the same time.  That’s been my goal with Whistle Haven.

So while we could afford to have custom cabinets made and installed I really felt like we would have missed out on some of the bells and whistles that I wanted in our kitchen. Like soft-closing cabinets, huge pull-out drawers, and under cabinet lighting.  Michael Luke and I are also a couple that loves tackling a good DIY project.  After reading several reviews on the quality of their modular cabinets and with the opening of their store here in Memphis in December we just couldn’t resist going with IKEA cabinets.

We chose the Bodbyn style in off-white… which really reads more as a white.  I’m absolutely in love with the detailing on the doors and look forward to seeing my kitchen surrounded by beautiful white cabinets.  IKEA offers so many options that there are virtually limitless ways you can customize your kitchen design to fit your lifestyle. If you haven’t ever visited an IKEA showroom before you are really missing out on all the fun of walking through living space after living space and testing out all the drawers and doors and finding neat storage solutions hidden within.

All the parts to our kitchen cabinets were delivered almost two weeks ago and are waiting on ML and me to tackle them once our flooring gets installed.  By choosing IKEA cabinets with their 25 year warranty… which we are really excited about, we are saving thousands of dollars vs. custom and semi-custom cabinets from other brands! Plus, I get all the bells and whistles I wanted with my cabinets.

I promise another post soon with all the details on how we designed on our IKEA kitchen and what the whole process looks like from the first sketches to cabinet delivery. In the meantime, what is your one board that you pin the most to?

For me it’s my crochet board.  I’m always looking for cute crochet patterns and stylish ways to incorporate crochet into my home design.


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I Chose the Chosigt

This week something exciting is happening here in Memphis.  It’s an event that I was excited about even before we made the move here almost two years ago.

This Wednesday IKEA is opening their doors here in Memphis!!!

Our family loves IKEA.  When we lived in Birmingham we would travel to Atlanta a couple of times a year and we always made sure we included a stop at IKEA. And now we are going to have a store right here.

IKEA is known for their small space solutions, and low budget good quality furniture.  They have a serious following of people. Blogs have been created that are devoted to sharing  IKEA hacks.  We are pretty big fans ourselves and have even hacked a few IKEA items like….


Esther’s Kitchen we gave her for her third birthday.

So I thought it would be fun to share a few of our favorite… but random IKEA purchases.




This is seriously  my favorite IKEA product. I love it so much that I’ve given it as a gift. Why do I love it so much?  It’s one of my favorite kitchen gadgets because the cheese is shredded directly into the storage container.  Less mess for me and my freshly shredded cheese (without all those chemicals that are in pre-shredded cheese) stays fresh for a long time.  And at five dollars each I’m pretty sure I’ll find myself purchasing a second one because this is one product we use almost daily.

Mattress Protector


My friend told me about her love for IKEA mattress protectors so a couple of years ago we bought new mattressprotectors for all our beds.  We got waterproof ones for the girls that have definitely come in handy.

I fallen in love with IKEA mattress protectors now too because they can withstand being washed over and over again. Ours also haven’t torn at the corners of the bedding where it receives the most stress.



We bought two Astrids a few years ago to hang above our night stands.  They are perfect for integrating wall mounted lighting into an older home… plus they helped to free up extra space on our nightstands.

Sherwin Williams Rain

The Astrid is $15 each… which is a bargain for nice looking wall lamps.  The head pivots so that the direction of the light can be adjusted.  I think my lamp gets more use than Michael Lukes because I’m the one who often stays up late reading.  The nice part is that when I’m ready to fall asleep I don’t have to get out of bed to turn the light off.


fejka-artificial-potted-plant-lilac__0367989_pe549550_s4Flowers are beautiful placed throughout the home.  Not so much though when you tend to forget to water them, have a cat that eats them, or lack the needed sunlight.  I do not have the sunlight needed for orchids. So when I came across FEJKA near the end of one of my IKEA shopping trips I just had to have it.  The color is vibrant and it honestly doesn’t look fake and the best part is that the only maintenance required is the occasional dusting.

We have several faux plants displayed in our apartment with plans to add more soon.

Ok, so that’s a wrap on a few of my favorite items at IKEA.  It’s by no means my exhaustive list and I’m sure by this time next week I’ll have even more favorites but hopefully it has given you a little insight into why so many people love IKEA.

So tell me… whose planning on visiting their local IKEA this week?  Are you looking for specific items or just to browse and see what all they have to offer?

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Keeping the Girl Happy

Michael Luke, Noah, and I took a little trip to Atlanta this past weekend. My birthday (#28) is coming up this week, so I requested a trip to IKEA. We decided to make a little mini vacay of it.

We left Birmingham Friday morning just in time for Noah’s first nap. The drive from Birmingham to Atlanta is only two and half hours, but it ended up taking us around four and a half. Throw in a stop for gas, another for feeding Noah, and our stop for lunch, and it all starts to add up. No complaints though. Michael Luke and I enjoyed the time we got to spend together as a family.

We stopped for lunch at a small town called Villa Rica. The original town was built around the railroad track. After googling the local restaurants, we decided to try the Tin Roof Cafe. That plan backfired a little when we pulled into the parking lot and found Los Cowboys in it’s place.

Mexican sounded good though, so we decided to give it a try. Mine was excellent, but ML’s was a little on the spicy side. He ordered Huevos Rancheros and ended up downing two glasses of water to go along with it! After removing most of the sauce, he did enjoy it. Stopping for lunch was great because Noah got to play and stay on schedule. Afterwards, I told him we should have let them know we were celebrating my birthday. I could have worn the embarrassing sombrero hat and gotten some fried ice cream!

After hitting the road for another hour we finally made it to IKEA.

I was a little nervous of how long Noah would last in a store that big, but she did great.

We spent around three hours there, and she didn’t cry once. We did take a break to give her a bottle about half way through though. Gotta keep the girl happy.

Speaking of keeping the girl happy, I was happy to stroll through the showrooms. And what’s a shopping trip without picking out a few things to take home?

We scored this cream-colored garbage can for Noah’s room. It’s large enough for two bags. One for her dirty cloth diapers and the other for trash.

I also found these cute placemats for my table. I love how colorful they are, and since they are vinyl, they wipe clean easily.

They also had these cute glasses to match, but I refrained and only brought home the placemats. I just grabbed four though… so I am thinking I may have to order a few more. At only a $1.49 who can resist?

The placemats look beautiful on our white table. I owe you a picture!

After eyeing these wall sconces for a few months, I finally broke down and bought them for $15 a pop. Michael Luke is not so sure about the finish, but we can always change that if needed.

I plan to hang one above each of our night stands and eliminate our candle holders and my lamp.

Side note: I love the lamp on my night-stand, so I will need to find another place for it. I always had to get out of bed to turn it off (no fun). It didn’t look great right next to our bed either, so that’s why I decided to go with something a little bit smaller that can be turned off while I am still in bed.

We also bought this little guy to go along with the wall sconces. He will look great on our dresser and add a little more mood lighting to the room.

And in boring news I also got a cheese grater to add to my kitchen gadget collection. I wonder if I am starting to have a cheese grater fetish. This is my third one! They all serve different purposes though.

After leaving IKEA we headed downtown for a little supper at The Front Page News for some cajun cuisine. I had some amazing crab cakes and unfortunately was too full to have any bread pudding for dessert. We enjoyed a romantic dinner (with the baby) eating outside next to the water fountain.

To save a little money and to cut down on the amount of driving we would have the next day, we headed out of the city to spend the night in Douglasville. And thanks to Noah, we received the Cute Baby Discount, which amounted to an extra $10 off the price of our room. She’s already learning how to be a smart spender!

The next morning we slept in (only because we were on Eastern time), ate breakfast, packed up, and left. Then, we did a little driving around Douglasville.

Yep, we took the dog with us!

Then we headed back to Villa Rica to eat lunch at the Olive Tree.

I had a wonderful falafel wrap with Greek potatoes. This meal was also outside by another fountain. The best part was that we were the only ones eating outside, so we had private dining. After lunch we walked through the downtown area and visited some of the gift shops. I was even able to find my sister something for her birthday!

We enjoyed having a weekend to get out of town and spend a little time together. I was also excited to knock a few things off of my IKEA list. Did anybody else do anything special this past weekend? Did you get some shopping accomplished? Or spend some time relaxing?
Linking up at: Imparting Grace

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