Archives for posts with tag: Cabinets

The biggest question mark that remained, literally, hanging over our heads after we finally purchased our new Ikea kitchen cabinets was, What is behind the soffit? We bought 39” tall upper cabinets, and the crown molding that would bring them visually all the way up the ceiling. We had the doors, the frames, the plans for the under cabinet lighting. We were in it. That soffit had to come down.


But what was inside it?

For months, I had been doing research online, asking the Gods of Google to show me what was tucked inside that 12×12 box above my cabinets. It proved surprisingly unhelpful. I read stories that detailed everything from the comforting—“There was nothing but insulation in ours!”—to the terrifying—“We opened them up and realized that we would have to replumb the entire bathroom and kitchen, as well as change all HVAC in the downstairs. Our contractor took the ceiling down in three rooms.”—to the underwhelming—“We opened it up, saw that it was full of stuff, and just shrugged and closed it all back up again. It wasn’t worth it.”  We knew that the master bathroom was directly above the kitchen, and I had nightmares about opening up the soffit, only to discover the down pipe for the toilet (what my uncle affectionately calls the “shitter stack”), winding its way through my kitchen, the horrors of its raw sewage mere inches and a thin PVC pipe away from my daughter’s fajitas.

It gave me more anxiety than anything else in the kitchen. I thought about it constantly. What is in the soffit?  I begged Honest Husband to let me just drill a small hole in it, from the inside of one of the upper cabinets.  Just a little exploratory hole, into which I could shine a flashlight. Just to see. Just to know what was in there. Just to prepare myself a little bit for whatever it was that we needed to do.

“What if we open it up, and there’s plumbing in there? Then, when we try to move the plumbing, rivers of poop spray all over my kitchen? That’ll never get clean! I’ll never feel clean again! Rivers of poop!”

Honest Husband, whose blood pressure is usually much more prone to dramatic spikes over home renovations, was surprisingly calm about the whole soffit situation. He shrugged, “Whatever is in there, whatever we find, we’ll move.”

“Rivers of poop!”

“Seriously, do you really think that we’re going to find something that is just impossible to move? Do you really think that wires, ductwork, and pipes can’t be moved? They’re not concrete. They were put in there. They can be put elsewhere.”

“Rivers of poop!”

“There will not be rivers of poop in your kitchen. I promise.”


No matter what I did, I could not excite his agitation. He made me wait, until Sunday, May 18th. The day before Memorial Day. My mother-in-law watched the girls for the night, and Honest Husband and I woke up revived, both having gotten a full eight hours’ sleep for the first time in months. We woke up, and he looked over at me.

“Wanna see what’s in that soffit?”

You give the guy one solid night's sleep...

You give the guy one solid night’s sleep…

By noon, the upper cabinets and the soffit were almost entirely taken down, the girls were loving the noise and excitement, and I was breathing easier.

Not because the soffit was empty (because it wasn’t), but because I now knew what it was hiding all this time. I had a clear adversary:

From left to right: 1. House wires, 2. Ducting for Vent Hood, 3.  4” insulated duct for master bathroom vent, 4. House wire, 5. Overflow pipe for master bathroom, 6. Phone line.

From left to right: 1. House Wires, 2. Ducting for Vent Hood, 3.  4” Insulated Duct for Master Bathroom vent, 4. House Wire, 5. Overflow Pipe for Master Bathroom, 6. Phone Line.

And this is how we defeated the adversary.

1.  House Wires, Stove Side: The stove side of the kitchen was a pretty easy fix. The wires were fit inside pre-existing slots along the headers, and a small notch in the drywall was made to accommodate them. Honest Husband was determined to fix everything according to code, so that our “DIY” project wouldn’t reek of amateurism. So no floor joists or headers were cut or moved in any way. The structure of the house was in no way compromised by any of his work. Mud and drywall tape covered up where the wires went seamlessly (we just had to make sure we marked where they were so that we didn’t accidentally run a screw into them while installing the upper cabinet to the left of the stove).

2.  Ducting for Vent Hood: The vent hood didn’t require a fix at all. We were pleased to discover that it was already fitted between the upstairs floor joists and vented outside of the house on the second floor. Based on manufacturer’s recommendations, we did replace the flexible vent ductwork with solid ducting, but no structural changes had to take place. Easy peasy!

3.  4″ Insulated Duct: The ductwork for the upstairs bathroom appeared to be our biggest issue (it was a giant black snake, after all!), but even that ended up being fairly simple. The duct went all the way across the kitchen, laying on the ceiling drywall, before making a left turn in what was once the soffit and going up into the floor of the master bathroom, underneath the double vanity.  It’s kind of hard to imagine, so I made a crappy illustration in PowerPoint to show you all what I mean:

The duct went across the ceiling, behind the drywall, then swept over and up into the master bathroom above.

The duct went across the ceiling, behind the drywall, then swept over and up into the master bathroom above.

To fix this, we simply cut the duct shorter, and routed it up through the floor of the master bath. The vent moved from being underneath our vanity to being behind the closet door.

Before. The vent came out underneath our double vanity in the bathroom.

Before. The vent came out underneath our double vanity in the bathroom.

After. The duct was already located between the floor joists just behind the bathroom closet. It was a pretty easy fix.

After. The duct already ran between the floor joists just behind the bathroom closet. It was a pretty easy fix.

I’m actually very pleased with this change. The old vent blew hot and cold air on our feet, and spilled haphazardly into the bottom of the cabinet. This new one looks nicer, is easier to control, and doesn’t make my toes chilly after a shower! The new white vent looks nice, and I don’t mind seeing it in the bathroom. (It’s a bathroom, after all)

4. House Wires, Sink Side: The second wire actually went from the light switch next to the sink, to the single floodlight above the sink. We rerouted it, and will use it to control the under cabinet lighting. It now goes from the switch next to the sink to a junction box that is hidden behind the large upper cabinet.

6. Phone Line: The phone line was disconnected and placed in the ceiling. If someone in the future really has a craving for a landline, they can access it through there. (I have to admit, it was a little thrilling/nerve wracking seeing our one phone line cut and removed. It felt taboo. Almost wrong. It always seemed like a necessity growing up, such a sign of home. And we cut it out, making jokes that a future homeowner is going to find it and have no idea what the hell it is!)

5. Overflow Pipe for Master Bathroom: Ahhh, the pipe. It was my worst fear: the gateway to the River of Poop. It came down from the master bathroom, twisted out around the headers holding up the second floor, and went down into the crawl space. It was definitely not what I wanted to see.

The "Shitter Stack."

The “Shitter Stack.”

It came from the bathroom. The toilet, no less.  It jutted out into what was going to be my new upper cabinets. If we wanted to move it completely out of the way, we’d have to replumb the whole bathroom, rip out a bunch more of the ceiling, or even try to adjust the second floor header, which would be major money, and would probably require an engineer, architect, and permits.

Luckily, though, Honest Husband is a bit of a Houdini. But, like Houdini, he wasn’t going to need real magic. Just cleverness. Instead of making the pipe disappear, he was going to create the illusion that it was, in fact, gone. Trick the eye. Employ some sleight of hand. He decided to slightly adjust the pipe so that it pressed against the header, keeping it as close to the wall as possible.

Instead of a hard 90* turn, Honest Husband made the pipe follow the curve of the structure beneath it.

Instead of a hard 90* turn, Honest Husband made the pipe follow the curve of the structure beneath it.

Then, he cut out a hole in the back of the cabinet to accommodate the plumbing as well as the electrical boxes needed for the under cabinet lighting.

He notched out the back to make room for the pipe.

He notched out the back to make room for the pipe.

And cut a wide hole to have access to the electrical.

And cut a wide hole to have access to the electrical.

This is a 36" wide cabinet. The hole is about two feet.

This is a 36″ wide cabinet. The hole is about two feet.

Finally, he installed the junction boxes and transformer for the under cabinet lighting next to the pipe, and patched up the drywall around it.

After drywall.

After drywall.

After that was all done, he took a scrap piece of melamine shelf, cut it down, and made a false back on the upper cabinet that was screwed into place and could be removed after the cabinet was installed.

The false-back shelf.

The false-back shelf.

This false back could be removed to have access to the electrical components in the kitchen, is virtually invisible once the cabinets were installed, and only eats up about 1 inch of shelf depth on the upper cabinet.

The pipe, junction boxes, wiring, and transformer for the LED under cabinet lighting inside the cabinet.

The pipe, junction boxes, wiring, and transformer for the LED under cabinet lighting inside the cabinet.

The view from below.

The view from below.

Oh, and the Rivers of Poop? Turns out I didn’t have to worry about it at all. We cut into the pipe, and found that it was perfectly clean inside. It was just a vent pipe. Insurance for any flooding or backups we may experience. It had never been used, so far as we could tell.


So, there you have it. Everything that was in our soffit, and how we dealt with it. I’m not saying that the rest of the kitchen has been easy to deal with, or that it hasn’t been stressful (YOU try having no appliances or floor for ten whole days and see how well-adjusted you are by the end!), but if there’s one thing that taking the soffit down has taught me is that Honest Husband and I can tackle anything together. Nothing is impossible. And, even if we have to make some adjustments along the way, odds are good that we can make some magic happen.

Or at least chuckle at the illusion.

Once Honest Husband and I finally decided to dive head-first into a kitchen remodel, the question of what to do with the cabinets was (understandably) the very first concern we needed to address.  We wanted the remodel to be significant enough that we wouldn’t feel compelled to do it all over again after ten years, but we needed to stay within a pretty modest budget (right around $6,000—$5,000 for the cabinets, and $1,000 for the flooring. We’ve managed to stay pretty close to that budget. More on that later.).  All of the labor and work would be done by my husband, with me providing modest backup support (we’ve been really lucky and had lots of babysitting by my mother-in-law during this project, so I’ve had several days where I was free to actually help—sweep, vacuum, make food runs, supply paper towels, hold tape measures, give feedback), and it had to be work that could be completed either on the weekends, or in that glorious hour in between when our girls went to bed and when we did.

Knowing that my favorite style of kitchen cabinetry is a simple Shaker, Honest Husband (who is in love with his router, and seriously tried for months to talk me into a more complex design, I think just so that he could use it more. To be fair, it is a pretty sweet tool) at first suggested painting out all of the cabinet boxes, then building new doors for all of the cabinets.  He figured the doors would be a project that he could tackle himself, with the help of his dad’s old table saw (having a mechanic/contractor for a father-in-law is a really big advantage) and some relatively cheap (but still better than builder grade) lumber.

But then I told him that I’d really like the old pantry to be removed and the entire kitchen opened up to the family/play room.

The pantry obscured my view from the kitchen to the playroom when I stood at the sink.

The pantry obscured my view from the kitchen to the playroom when I stood at the sink.

And the cabinet box under the sink needed some serious rebuilding after we discovered old water damage (and a little bit of mold. Again, more on that later.).

Also, the (empty) cabinet above the microwave needed to come down to make room for the new range hood.

That awful microwave. It was only 9" above the cooktop!

That awful microwave. It was only 9″ above the cooktop!

And the sink that we both fell in love with (an Ikea farmhouse/apron front sink. The only one we found that had the attached drip rail in the back where I could set sponges and soap—a major advantage for finding cheap countertops, too. Without the necessity for a large hole cut into a single piece of countertop, the square footage needed for the kitchen countertop was cut way down) was 36” wide, not 33”.

ikea domsjo sink 045

Image Credit

And, well, so long as we’re talking about what we’d ideally like to see, there’s the issue of that soffit . . .


“You’re never going to be fully happy with this kitchen until that soffit comes down, are you?”

“Well,” I was willing to be flexible.  I was at least willing to look like I was flexible.  “I just don’t know.  I’ve heard horror stories of people who tried to take down their soffits and wound up needing to do some major work because it turned out that all of their plumbing went through there.  So maybe we just don’t even want to touch it.  And, I mean, I’ve seen some soffits that are painted beautiful colors and designed to go with the cabinets that have been installed.  My cousin just remodeled her kitchen a few years ago, and they kept their soffit. You barely even notice it because everything else is so great.”

He looked over his glasses at me. “Rachel.”

“No, no, no. We can work with it.”

“Rachel . . .”

“Okay! Okay. I hate it and always will.”

He sighed. “I guess I’ll just have to build you some new upper cabinets then, huh?”

That was when I started to suggest Ikea cabinets for the whole kitchen.

My husband immediately balked.  “No. I don’t like them. They’re frameless. It looks cheap.”

“Really?  I think it looks really modern and clean.  And they don’t have any stiles or rails in the middle of their big cabinets. I’d be able to put everything in there. Now I have to wiggle and force it all.”

“It’s cheap. It covers up the boxes because the boxes are just MDF. Having some space between the doors shows off the real wood. I don’t want this to look cheap.”

“You just want it to be cheap.”

“Exactly. Besides,” he said, “I’ll be able to do this cheaper on my own.”

So, we started researching all of the different cabinet styles and options that we found and liked.  We wandered through the kitchen sections at big box stores, snapping photos and grabbing cabinet samples that we liked. He leaned towards a more traditional, raised panel design, worried that my simple Shaker style would look too clean, too plain. We compromised after finding these cabinets on display at our local Lowe’s.  They were Shaker with a twist. An extra detail of routing around the inside frame. Shaker and stirred. It was perfect.

KraftMaid Sonata cabinets, available at Lowe's.

KraftMaid Sonata cabinets, available at Lowe’s.

“Take a ton of pictures! Like, a ton!”

But I was still unconvinced that having my husband build the cabinets was really the best solution.  Please know, I wasn’t in any way hesitant about his abilities, or about the quality of work that he would generate.  I knew anything that he built would be incredibly durable, overbuilt, even.  I knew that it would be measured precisely, and give the whole room a custom look, fit, and feel.

But I also knew that I didn’t want to live with him while he was building these cabinets.

I know the level of perfectionism and obsession that my husband possesses. I knew that every not-entirely-square corner of the kitchen walls will be discovered and thoroughly cursed.  I knew that he would break out his calipers in order to build cabinets with indistinguishable uniformity.  I knew that he would spend hours in the garage, leaving me to watch the girls while they scream for daddy, and telling them that they just can’t help daddy right now because he’s working with nails and glue and saws and heavy lumber and all kinds of dangerous things.

I knew that I’d start to resent him. Even while he was working to give me this incredible gift.

So I kept saying it, “Ikea.” I pointed out every kitchen I saw on the television (most of them are made with Ikea cabinets. Just about every advertisement that is filmed in a kitchen is filmed in front of Ikea cabinets. Also, even high end remodeling shows like “Property Brothers” use Ikea cabinets).  I looked up pictures on Houzz.  I found every DIY, lifestyle, remodeling blog I could find.  I slipped the suggestion into every conversation we had about the kitchen. “Ikea.” He started reading a few of the testimonials I had talked about. He looked through Ikea Hackers, and Ikea Fans.  He read articles on how Ikea constructs their cabinets.  Suddenly, he started talking to me about how the construction of the boxes for Ikea is the same as for the big box stores, as for custom cabinetry.  He started to research hardware, and found that the hardware Ikea uses is considered some of the best around. Especially for the price.  He started to think about ordering doors from some of the companies that specialize in replacement doors for Ikea cabinets.  But after pricing those out, we started to look at the options available from Ikea itself.

“I’m coming around to Ikea cabinets. Really, I am.”

Finally, we took a day trip over to our closest Ikea (about a two and a half hour drive away). When we saw the Ramsjo cabinets in white, it was all over:

Shaker, and stirred.

IMG_20140323_143436260 IMG_20140323_143429586

In the car that day, my husband concluded, “They’re not the best looking.  They’re not the cheapest.  They’re not the highest quality.  But they do seem to have a really good balance of all three.”

I had him.

It had taken months of convincing, cajoling, arguing, suggesting, needling, guiding. But I had him.

Now all we had to do was design the damn thing.

The Year of the Kitchen

Honest Dad and I moved into our home about a year ago. I love my new house. It’s spacious. It’s quiet.  It’s comfortable.  It’s not too big, nor too small.  Not too open, nor too closed.  And my father-in-law found it for us! True story. Honest Dad and I were starting to kick around the idea of moving back to his hometown, when out of the blue, my father-in-law called us. “I found your house!”

“Was it missing?”

He had been talking about the prospect of us moving back to town with a friend of his who is a realtor, and she told him about this property. He said that it sounded perfect. Skeptical (and still not entirely sure we were ready to make the big move across state lines), we came over for the weekend, “just to look.” It was the first home we had ever toured together (my husband had purchased our first home fresh out of college), and what can I say? The old man was right. It was our house.

Located in a premium school district, along a cul-de-sac, the house is a South-facing brick front home built with a nod towards a classic “four square” design. It has four bedrooms on the top floor, one on each of the four corners. Each bedroom is separated from the other by either a closet or bathroom, so even with two small children, all of the bedrooms are quiet and peaceful.  But, because it also has an attached garage, it has a large bonus room above the garage and a large family room behind it, open to the kitchen.  It had a fenced-in backyard with room for a swingset, and a deck that stayed cool and shaded in the summer.  It was perfect.

The classic Four Square home.

The classic Four Square home.

After that first tour, my husband asked me to rate it on a scale of 1-10.


“Where does it lose points?”

“The kitchen. But not because of function. It’s aesthetics. I’d say that, compared to the kitchen we have now, this kitchen is a lateral move. Everything else is a move up.”

It really was. The kitchen in our current house is very functional.  It has a small island, a great work triangle, good prep space, and plenty of cabinets (at least for my purposes. We do have a large buffet in our dining room that houses all of the bigger serving platters that usually only make an appearance around Thanksgiving and Christmas. But even that isn’t packed full. If push came to shove, I could certainly store all of my kitchen accoutrement in the actual, physical kitchen).  But it was clearly getting a little dated.  Built in 1992, it is a shrine to the dark, heavy oak and brass fixtures that were considered the height of sophistication at that time.  Honest Dad and I have an aesthetics of mid-century modern with a splash of old-school.  He loves large, shiny, clean black surfaces, and I love to dress them up with bright, patterned fabrics. We prefer grey and white to beige.  I think that certain shades of purple and blue can be considered “neutral.” Ikea has had a hand in the furnishing of every single room in our house. Dark oak, cathedral style cabinets with beige laminate countertops just ain’t our thing.

But it worked. It had a breakfast nook, and opened up into a sunken family room with a large, brick fireplace and 16-foot ceilings. The girls could play in that room while I cooked, enjoying the brand new, state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances, while Honest Dad and I saved up for the eventual inevitability of a fix-up/remodel.  And when we moved in, that was our plan. Live with the dark kitchen for now, and in a decade or so, as the girls grow, look into remodeling.

But we weren’t in the house very long before some very real concerns arose in the kitchen. The first thing that I noticed was that the countertops felt sticky.  All the time. No matter what I did.  No matter what cleaners I used. Sticky. Or at least, tacky. All over. I told Honest Dad about it. We scrubbed.  He brought back industrial strength cleaners from work (he works in aviation, so these cleaners are designed for some serious grime!).  I coughed and wheezed from the fumes, and worried about Honest Baby, swimming around in my womb and absorbing all of these horrific chemicals. Nothing worked. Tacky. Sticky.

And stained. For some reason, these countertops would stain within seconds. Red wine.  Fruit juice. Indian takeout. If any sauce or fluid dripped on the counter and sat for longer than 30 seconds or so, I had a new stain to add to my growing collection. I once set a bag of tortillas down on my island while putting groceries away, and when I picked the bag back up, there was a perfect mirror-image of the label. Emblazoned across my kitchen island.

Desperate, we started scraping and polishing. We scraped the entire top layer of laminate off.  The top layer of laminate was destroyed.  Melted, for all we could tell, probably by some kind of harsh cleaning product not intended to be used with laminates. Suddenly, my functional-yet-dated kitchen was depressing. As a stay-at-home mother, I spend about 80% of my time in my kitchen, and these countertops were making my time much more difficult and distracting than it needed to be. And potentially dangerous. Without the protective coating on the top of what is essentially pressed paper, I can only imagine the bacteria and diseases that are now setting up shop on my countertops. How could I keep Honest Girl safe while we baked brownies?  What about when Honest Baby starts eating solids? Every time I slice chicken or crack an egg, I just think about the horrors that are slowly seeping into my family’s space.

Then, there was the microwave. The old owners, in an attempt to make the house more appealing in a difficult housing market, had purchased an entire suite of beautiful stainless steel appliances. Including an over-the-range microwave with a built-in vent. But, in order to save money, the owners didn’t replace the upper cabinet on top of the microwave. So it was low. Very low. I only have about 11 inches of clearance between my stovetop and the bottom of my microwave. On one hand, that works great for me when I use the microwave. I’m only 5-foot tall, so if the microwave was six inches higher, I wouldn’t be able to even see inside it while trying to use it.  On the other hand, it means that cooking on the stove is a continuous challenge.  My tall stock pots fit, but not with a spoon and my hand.  Also, the bottom of the microwave gets splashed with grease and sauce no matter what I do. Finally, because it sits so low to the steam and heat of the cooking, the stainless steel has actually started peeling off the bottom of the microwave. Seriously.  There’s a little flap along the bottom of the buttons that has lost its ability to stay attached to the face of the microwave.  On a side note, I have to say that I have also always been less than impressed with the built-in ventilation capabilities of over-the-range microwaves. They’re just not powerful enough to actually move the smoke away fast enough.

Right off the bat, then, we realized that the countertops needed to be replaced. And the microwave. And a dedicated vent hood installed. Which would mean taking down some cabinets (that are not being used anyway). Just these two issues—countertops and the microwave/vent—made us realize that perhaps we didn’t have the luxury of the next 10 years to “just live with it.”

So, we started talking about what we could do to improve it. First, we said that we could just paint out the dark oak, replace the brass hardware, and replace the laminate.  These were all jobs we had done before in our kitchen at our old house.  But as we discussed our needs and wants for our kitchen in this new home, in this place that would see our children start and finish school, in this place that was no longer a “starter home,” but where we will be for the foreseeable future, things changed.  As we discussed budgets, time, DIY projects, and, of course, style, it became clear that just a refreshed kitchen wasn’t going to give us the kind of return on investment we were seeking.

Thus began the planning of our full, floor-to-ceiling kitchen remodel.

For months now, Honest Dad and I have discussed and researched cabinet boxes, cabinet doors, floor tile options, backsplash tiles, paint colors, layout, countertop options, drawer inserts, hardware, sinks. We went back and forth on every aspect at least three times. We discussed, agonized, scaled back, then charged forward again, only to creep backwards.  We created 3D models.  I placed sticky notes on my cabinets, trying to decide where the optimal locations would be for spices, plates, spoons.  Would the optimum set up be something highly functional and streamlined, or should I try to shove the maximum number of cabinets in?  What was the best balance?  For months now.  Just last week, Honest Dad and I sat down and ordered samples of high quality laminates (the biggest bang for our buck, in my opinion. Sturdy, durable, able to handle two young girls who love to “help,” and cheap enough that in 10 years, if we decide to rip them out and install a beautiful granite or quartz, we can).

How much have we been working on this?  The other day, I was going for a walk with my next door neighbor and good friend.  I was talking about the kitchen.

“We’ve made a command decision!”

She just looked at me. “You know you make a ‘command decision’ like every week, right?”

Oh. Right.

And now?

Our laminate samples! The official start to everything. The bottom center sample is the clear winner, in my mind.

Our laminate samples! The official start to everything. The bottom center sample is the clear winner, in my mind.

It. Has. Begun.

2014 will be the Year of the Kitchen. We are giving ourselves an entire year to complete this remodel (I think that’s reasonable for a complete DIY project of such magnitude). We have things organized into stages. First, we need to level the floor.  It has to happen before anything else can be done (There is a noticeable slope from the island to the dishwasher). Then, we will rip out the floor-to-ceiling pantry that’s currently blocking the gorgeous natural light from our 6-foot windows in the breakfast nook.  We’ll convert the closet in the adjacent laundry room into a walk-in pantry.

Then, the real construction begins.

The uppers will come down. Then the soffit. The ceilings will need to be repaired.  Plumbing, electrical, and ventilation all moved. Recessed lights installed throughout (right now, we only have one ceiling light for the entire kitchen).  Ikea cabinets purchased, arranged, and assembled.  Countertops built. Drywall repaired.  Cabinets installed. Backsplash. Paint. Electrical outlets. Grout. Sealers. Plumbing. Gas. Water. And a million other little things that I’m sure we’ll discover as we go along.

So don’t be surprised if this blog suddenly transforms into a mostly-DIY blog.  I will still be writing about kids, current events, pee and poop, to be sure.  But I’ll be doing it from a construction zone.  I’m sure that I’ll need to get on here and scream a few times throughout this process. Or cry. Or justify. Or explain. Or lament. And I’ll need some encouragement. And maybe even some advice. This won’t just be a terrifying adventure for me and my family, but for you as well, my online community. So, get ready.

The Year of the Kitchen is here.

A little inspiration. This kitchen is almost exactly our layout. They also used the Ikea Ramsjo (Shaker style) cabinets we selected.