Monday, April 13, 2009

An IKEA kitchen by Jonathan Adler

The kitchens typically showcased in design magazines are bespoke and, as a result, prohibitively expensive. While it's sometimes fun to dream, it's more fun to be inspired by kitchens (and other spaces) that are actually attainable for the average guy or gal on a more modest budget.

Imagine my delight then when I opened the May issue of House Beautiful and saw maternity-wear guru Liz Lange's country house kitchen (designed by one of my favorites, Jonathan Adler) done up with at least some nod to frugality. While Liz Lange's kitchen looks like a million bucks (and I suspect the Carrera marble both on the counters and back splash weren't inexpensive), the cabinets are from IKEA:

AKURUM kitchen cabinets in Adel white

Typically, up to 60% of the costs of a kitchen renovation go towards cabinets, so by going with some inexpensive IKEA cabinets, you could end up with serious savings, which could enable you to splurge on other items, like Carrera marble countertops or high-end appliances. I think this route works best though when you're using white cabinets -- after all, paint can hide a multitude of sins (and inexpensive MDF).

I've cut the spread in half in order to display the images in a larger size:

For accessories, Adler used mostly his own work (as he always does), much of which is still available for sale on his website. For a similar look, I'd try Adler's new Acapulco melamine dishware, which are reasonably priced from $10-$28. For some drama, I'd go for Adler's Giant Bird Bowl, which is currently on sale for $269.50. Fill it with lemons and limes, as Adler does, for a fun pop of color on a kitchen island or countertop.

The kitchen table is, of course, the classic Saarinen pedestal table, which is pretty pricey new, but great vintage versions can be found via Craigslist. IKEA also makes a decent copy for a fraction of the cost.

The pendant lamps over the island and the kitchen table remind me a lot of the large drum pendant lamp ($363) by Thomas Paul, which comes in a wide range of colorful patterns. I'm not a huge fan of drum pendants myself, so I would probably go with something more along the lines of Thomas Paul's Zed Green Tree Pendant Lamp ($350):

While I'm sure some will consider it too "matchy-matchy", I actually like how the pendants match the fabric on the bar stools and seats. Fortunately, Thomas Paul has recently come out with his own (very reasonably priced) fabric line, available to the trade from Duralee. If you don't have access to a designer, you can find many of his fabrics at Calico Corners, including the one shown below (for only $24.99/yard!), which I think is a very close match to the one Jonathan Adler used:

For those of us who like to coordinate, Thomas Paul sells a drum pendant lamp in the same fabric (available HERE). Adler wisely laminated the fabric prior to upholstery, making the seats extra kid-friendly. I'm actually not sure what the process (or costs) are for doing that, does anyone have any idea? If so, please share!

What about you? Any tips for renovating a kitchen on a budget?


Kristina with a K said...

I wish I could give tips about renovating a kitchen. I sort of hate mine but love this one.

I love that green and white pendant lamp! Matter of fact I love every stitch of his fabrics too. They're so bright and I can see them! (70% color blind, sad)

Daniela said...

I LOVE that bird bowl!!!!!!

Christy said...

We haven't renovated a kitchen yet - replacing knobs and cleaning cabinets does not a new kitchen make! But I loved reading this post and just love that those cabinets are from Ikea - I love that store!

Courtney said...

What a great kitchen and I love the cabinets! That IKEA is so so genius!

Thanks so much for introducing yourself to me and check out some of those Houston restaurants on my list if you haven't done so just yet. Someone has to take in all the goodness while I'm away :) xx

Averill said...

Courtney: I have in fact sampled many of the restaurants on your "can't miss" list and I can't say I disagree with any of your choices! The few I've missed, I can't wait to try. I was driving down Westheimer yesterday night and saw that Anvil was open -- I'm hoping to go this weekend!

KatyO! said...

Just found your blog while searching for our Ikea Cabinets. It's great to see Liz Lange went with IKEA!!

My husband is on day 4 of installing these exact same cabinets (over 2 weekends). He is extremely handy and even he has run into a few snags during assembly. Nothing he wasn't able to figure out though! Most problems have occurred b/c some of the instructions are 100% clear (hence my online search!). But we are loving our cabinets and by going with Ikea we were able to upgrade on areas we normally would not have. Such as lighting, hardwood flooring and counter tops. I researched every kind of cabinet from custom to Home Depot/Lowes and Ikea was, by far, the best value. I was convinced to go with Ikea cabinets when I went into one of the big-box stores and checked out their lower-end priced cabinets and found out that all the upgrades you can get (and pay more for) are standard on Ikea kitchens!

If you wanna check out our progress I have been blogging about it here:

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