A Designer’s Perspective on the Pros and Cons of IKEA Sektion Kitchens

A Designer’s Perspective on the Pros and Cons of IKEA Sektion Kitchens

Are you thinking about a new kitchen from IKEA? Have you shopped around a bit only to find out the Swedish Giant appears to provide incredible value for the price tag? I’m a loyal ‘old-timer’ when it comes to IKEA kitchens –  In fact over the past 12 years or so I’ve installed at least 14 kitchens from IKEA, not to mention using the components for all kinds of other projects. Last year IKEA retired their Akurum kitchen and came out with a new, re-designed system called the Sektion. I was both excited, and a little nervous about what these changes would bring. Why change? what could they possibly make THAT much better? In anticipation of what was to come, I  combed European websites (where the system was already being sold as the METOD kitchen) for information  – this is where I reveal what a dork I am about IKEA kitchens.  It looked fancy! Lots more drawers. Lots more sections (wait a minute…SEKTION, SECTION, get it?) But the real differences revealed themselves when I actually started installing them in my own design projects where I discovered that – like most changes – there are pros and cons. One of the obvious differences is the huge amount of customizing on the configurations, and another is the 15″ deep upper cabinets. Both can be great new features — or not.  Read on for the pros and cons of IKEA Sektion kitchens… 1. Deeper upper cabinets Pro:The upper cabinets are not the standard 12” deep but 15” deep. This has the benefit of holding a lot more stuff. They’ve also introduced quite a...
Love Your Home 365 Days of the Year – a New Year’ s Resolution You Can Keep

Love Your Home 365 Days of the Year – a New Year’ s Resolution You Can Keep

Like many of us at the start of a new year, I recently started a list of my New Year’s resolutions and realized that it was actually depressing me. Why? There is no way I am going to conquer all the clutter in my home, exercise 5 days a week, put home-cooked dinner on the table every day, and no way I will suddenly become a super-tidy person. It’s just not me. Then I thought back to last year’s list: One of my resolutions made a big difference for me, which was to “do something nice for my body every day” – it could be exercise, it could be spending some extra time on my hair or personal grooming, it could be a massage or getting my nails done, or even just eating clean, good food. (Okay, if I could have just done the massages every day I would have!) Leaving it general gave me permission to adjust what I did so that if I was super-busy, or didn’t have time to go to the gym I could still stick to it. This felt good — I wasn’t ‘failing’ at my resolution, instead, I was building the good feeling and strength that comes from sticking to it. Plus my hair looked better! What I learned was that resolutions and goals do not need to be the same thing. A resolution can encompass a shift in outlook or be one daily habit that you incorporate. The goals you create out of that ‘sit under it’ but the resolution can be more general. It takes some of the pressure off to know that as long as...
Renovating? 5 tips to a hassle-free renovation

Renovating? 5 tips to a hassle-free renovation

OK, so I exaggerated. There’s actually no such thing as a hassle FREE renovation because let’s be honest, your home is getting shredded and rebuilt, you’ve likely moved out,  there’s dust and debris, and quite frankly, there are always surprises (and I don’t mean surprises like finding a $20 bill in your pants pocket). But there ARE some things you can do to reduce the chance of problems, and I learned all of these on the job. How? Let’s just say I’ve been doing this long enough to make every mistake possible, and even when I think I’ve got it down pat I discover that there is yet another thing that I didn’t think of. #1.Communicate.  Ninety-Nine percent of problems are caused by breakdowns in communication. Don’t overwhelm your contractor with bits of paper and random suggestions. Instead, organize your thoughts, schedule a time, and go over any questions point by point. Then send a line-item list of what was decided upon so there is a clear paper trail.  #2 Be prepared with your design and be flexible with your design. You probably have an idea of what you want already.  The more planning you have done, the better, but be open to the idea that sometimes modifications need to be made, especially after walls are opened.  #3 Measure before you make final choices. For example, measure your doors before you order your appliances.  Check for any tight turns, measure every opening, and leave room to spare before you get your heart set on that 36″ range. Some retailers will do a site survey to double check – not a bad idea if you...
Inspired by Emily Henderson – 5 tips to great style

Inspired by Emily Henderson – 5 tips to great style

I’m a big, and I mean BIG fan of Emily Henderson. In case you don’t know who she is, she was the winner of HGTV’s Design Star, hosted her own show, and is now a partner with Target and others on her fantastic blog, stylebyemily.com. Now to be honest, I didn’t always love Emily as much as I do now. In fact I have a confession to make… I thought she won Design Star because she was blond and pretty. So shallow of me (um, a little envy do you think?).  Truth is, Emily is a pro stylist, her background is in prepping photo shoots so they look lived in, natural, and of course super stylish.  She’s expanded to other aspects of interior design, but her roots are in making spaces look great with the placement and choice of accessories and furniture. The reason I’m a fan is because Emily SHARES and she shares big. Her blog is full of great tips and sources. A book was a natural step and STYLED: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves by Emily Henderson came out last month. I snapped it up and did some studying so I could apply some of her great tips to my next project photo shoot. This project was a townhouse, and the living room before I touched it looked like this:   There were some obvious things, like the painting, and some less obvious things to bring it around to where it would be a good starting point for decorating. Redesigning a space comes a lot easier to me than the styling so first I tackled...
Should You Hire an Interior Designer or Do It Yourself…?

Should You Hire an Interior Designer or Do It Yourself…?

  If you haven’t worked with an interior designer before and you have a space you want to redo you may be wondering if you need a designer or can go it alone. When asked this, I tell people that there are some projects where it makes perfect sense to do it on your own, but other times, you should definitely get a professional designer on board. So how can you know when it’s in your best interest to hire someone and when you should go for your redesign on your own? Take a look at my newest Design Coach Tips Video and I’ll share the real-life pros and cons of working with a designer on a project.   Hopefully you got some clarity watching the video. Now take a look at this checklist to help you confirm you’re making the right choice. Check the answers that best reflect your situation.   I don’t need to hire an interior designer because: I’m a do-it-yourself kind of person – if I don’t know how to do it I’ll figure it out. I love the idea of being creative with my design and letting my personal artistic flair show. The money I’ll save on design fees are worth the extra time I’ll spend on the project. I’m ready to tackle the real life version (not the HGTV version) of a redecorating project. I’ve got the patience, time, good organization and planning skills to see this project to the end.   I do need to hire a designer because: I don’t have time to look for furniture, coordinate deliveries, install items, find and...
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