Tag Archives: ikea

Living Room Remodel Reveal!!

n am terribly good at being extremely hard on myself.

I look around our house that we have been slowly renovating for the past 10 months and all that I see is what we have left to do.  The dining room is still pumpkin orange, the spare rooms need flooring to be laid, my master bathroom needs to be painted and currently also needs a toilet since we have been working on the flooring in there.  Baseboards and doors and doorknobs (oh my!) all need attention.  The list is endless and some (*most*) days the list of what still needs to be done feels insurmountable in a thousand different ways.

It is easy for us to focus on how much further up the mountain we have to go rather than to focus on how far we have already climbed. (This is obviously a metaphor, I don’t do hiking.)

So I decided to take a moment today to show you the before and afters of one of the most “done” rooms in the house.

Living Room Remodel Banner


Ladies and gentlemen, I cannot tell you how much this picture helped my self-esteem and the feeling of actually having progress!

Lets take some closer looks, shall we?

Living Room - Before


Here’s a reminder of what the Living Room area looked like before we cleaned the tile (gross!!) and with one coat of primer.  Oooohhhh the coats of primer that it has taken to turn this rainbow colored house into a Coastal Themed sanctuary.

Living Room - After

I personally think this is MUCH better!

A couple things to note in this picture…

-Chairs:  These are the Ikea Poang Chairs.  We followed this tutorial to paint them. (they were $100 each when we bought them.)  Brandon was super skeptical when I first said that I wanted to go check them out.  But they are now his favorite place to sit in the house.  They are surprisingly comfortable!

-Rug:  We got at “At Home” (formerly Garden Ridge).  It’s 12×10 which was very difficult to find without having to sacrifice your first born as payment.  I believe we spent ~$400 for this rug which is a BIG WIN in my book.

-Couch and Love Seat:  We searched long, high and low to find white leather couches, and ended up with these.  They are stone grey and I love them!  Jury is still out with Brandon though.  They are Ashley Furniture (Discontinued), and we special ordered them from a place that Brandon found online that felt super ghetto.  Love the couches though and am still just so happy to have places for company to sit! (since we went several months before that was a thing)

-Floating Shelves:  Are the Ikea Lack Shelf.  They are 72 in. long and took FOREVER to level out… but it’s totally worth it!  I spent months agonizing over how to bring height to the room (and even left my Christmas tree in the corner until February) and we LOVE this solution!  At $20 a piece, I highly recommend these!

-Pillows:  These are actually pillow covers that I got from Hobby Lobby!  Every couple weeks they have them half off.  They are great AND machine washable! I have these and these and stuffed them with old pillows that were too ugly to use. (I spent ~$4 each on them)

-Ceiling Fan:  We got the Hampton Bay Escape fan from Home Depot.   We spent $181.00 on it on sale.  More than we would have wanted to spend on a fan, but we decided that it was a statement piece that would help bring some of that coastal/beachy vibe into the room.

I will be doing a upclose and personal Kitchen post at some point, when it’s actually done and I have actually painted all the doors…. but here is a teaser for you!

Living RoomKitchen - Before

(Gosh that red is awful! )

Living RoomKitchen - After

Since the Kitchenette isn’t technically part of the kitchen, I’ll throw in some of those updates.

Curtains:  From Kohls (another discontinued, that’s what happens when you search for bargains!)  They are Eclipse brand.  We really needed something that would keep the heat out (#floridaprobs) and these do a great job!

Chandelier:  This guy we got for a steal at $68 when it was on sale!  I love it and it is SO much better than the last one… which cast an orange shadow through the room every time we turned it on.  No thanks!


It’s so much better you guys!  It’s amazing how quickly I forgot how odd the house looked when we first bought it and that it truly is (slowly but surely) becoming our home!

Ok, one last picture!

Full Kitchen Living Room

(I’d like to interrupt this regularly scheduled program to point out that in this picture you can notice that the tile on the right side of the carpet looks different than the tile directly in front of the carpet.  That is because I have spent HOURS refinishing the grout.  It looks SO MUCH BETTER!  I will definitely do a before and after post on that when it’s done because it is the cheapest, most effective update we have done so far!)

Now that I have taken a moment to look back, I am so incredibly happy with the progress we have made!  It’s been a process, a process that I will rejoice heartily when it’s over, but a process none-the-less.

So tell me, have you ever had the problem of looking at how far you have to go instead of taking the time to reflect on how far you have already come?

How To Paint Ikea Cabinets…

Sure enough, my worst fears were realized.  I had hoped, wished, crossed my fingers that it wouldn’t happen but alas it did.  I had seen all the peoples on the internet say “Ikea Ramsjo white doors are PINK.” PINK!  Some people said “oh but it only depends on lighting” or “if your kitchen isn’t painted with red undertones you’ll be FINE.”  I began to look at zillions of pictures and sure enough, there was a pinky hue to the ramsjo doors.  I told my dear, sweet hubby about this dilemma concerning our newly ordered kitchen cabinet doors, but we both decided that we liked the overall look of the doors and that it would be okay to paint them.  *sighs*

So that’s precisely what we did.  Upon arrival, I quickly held one up to our newly installed Quartz countertop and realized that the pinky hue was quite evident and they would need to be painted.  After reading lots of tutorials that said many different things, here is the process and products that I used to paint our Ikea Ramsjo “white” cabinet doors white.

How to Paint Ikea Cabinets...


Products I used:

-Paint brushes (I used ones from the dollar store) = $1

-High density paint rollers (2 pack from Home Depot) =$2.67 (11% off using Raise Gift card)

-1 Gallon BIN Zinsser Primer -White (Home Depot) = $37.36 (11% off using Raise Gift Card, used about half)

-1 Gallon Sherwin-Williams Cashmere Flat Paint -White = $35.69 (30% off using a coupon in the mail, used about half)

-1 Qt General Finishes Polyurethane Satin Finish = I had this on hand, but it can be ordered here.(affiliate link)

Total for the project:  ~$76.72

Step 1: Prime.

First, I laid all of the door fronts on their front so that I could start by priming the back of the cabinet doors.  I found that the best way to get an even finish was to brush on the primer and then go over the brush strokes with the high density roller.  This eliminates the streaks.  Let dry for 4 hours.  Flip them over and repeat the process on the front.  I definitely think this is the primer to use for the project.  It sticks really well to doors (even though they aren’t “wood” doors).  It will also stick to everything else, so prepare accordingly.

Disclaimer:  I used the cardboard boxes that the doors came in to paint.  This worked well, HOWEVER, when I painted the sides the paint inevitably caused the doors to stick to the cardboard. 🙁 blah.  So, when you paint your cabinets, make sure that you use something to elevate the cabinets when you paint the sides.

I did two coats of primer.

This is the cabinet after two coats of primer...

This is the cabinet after two coats of primer…

UPDATE (8/24/2015) – I had to paint a piece of ramjo siding for some finishing touches the hubs is making to the kitchen.  I was lazy and decided to skip the primer step.  The paint peeled off in a week.  So… definitely 100% decided that Zinsser primer is an absolute must for this project!

Step 2: Paint

After the two coats of primer, we decided to paint the cupboards white.  The primer is kind of an off-white color.  I chose Sherwin-Williams Cashmere paint because it is self-leveling, meaning that it will help eliminate brush-strokes/roller marks.  I used the exact same painting process with the paint that I had with the Primer (Paint and then roll over the paint).

You can see here the color difference between the Paint (on the upper part) and the primer

You can see here the color difference between the Paint (on the upper part) and the primer

After a full coat of paint...

After a full coat of paint…

I didn’t find it necessary to do a second coat of paint, but you can definitely do that if you so desire/find necessary.

Step 3:  Poly   

This step I wasn’t sure was necessary until we put the hardware on the drawers and realized that we needed SOME kind of protection.  Now here’s the thing, we Really didn’t want the cabinets to be shiny. Something we didn’t like about the other Ikea door options is that they almost looked “plastic-y” because of the shine.  The internet was also very unhelpful in finding a solution.  So really, the reason that I decided to try the Poly is because I had some on hand and I knew that it worked.

To apply, I used a rubber glove and an old sock.  Yes, really.  Simply wipe the polyurethane on and you’re done.

Tips:  I let the paint dry for 24 hours before putting the poly layer on.  If you are painting your cabinets white, I highly recommend holding them in natural light to make sure that you got an even layer of poly on the door (I found it really hard to tell what areas I missed otherwise!)

You can tell there is a slight sheen to the door now...

You can tell there is a slight sheen to the door now…

I’m not gunna lie, it took me about a week to get the doors completely done because after each coat, I waited until the next day to do the next coat (even though Zinsser says it’s totally cool to go ahead and paint after a couple hours).  Overall, I’m pretty happy with the end product… especially since I was able to paint them all for less than $80 (even less if you consider I only used half of my paint and primer).  But I really wish Ikea would make a cabinet door that was true white… (please Ikea?  Please?!)

So there you have it!  This is the process I used to paint my Ikea kitchen cabinets.  Let me know if this helped you out or if you have any of your own tips in the comments below!

To see a sneak peek of the whole kitchen, click here!


Ikea Should Have Frequent Flyer Miles….(And Ikea Kitchen Guide)

 Orlando Ikea

(The Mothership)

 You know how airlines have frequent flyer miles based on how often you travel with them? Well, I think Ikea should have “frequent flyer miles” just based on how many trips we have made to “The Mothership” within the past two months. We have been so often that we have navigated the way to get to the kitchen section backwards in order to get there faster. This is no easy feat, but when you have spent multiple trips winding through couches and desks in order to get to your destination in the middle, desperation will grip your soul and you’ll do kooky things in order to maximize your time in the Mecca of home décor.

Nevertheless, the many MANY trip to Ikea and the hours spent moving tiny digital cabinets on the website are quickly coming to the end goal of being placed into our kitchen (huzzah!)   We are planning to build and install the cabinets ourselves in order to save upward of $2,000. So I will certainly be sharing the things we learn as we install our Ikea kitchen. But for now, I thought I would share some of the reasons we decided to go with Ikea over other cabinets.


  1. Cost.

Obviously, a new kitchen can be done in anything from less that $10,000 to “I’m-pulling-out-a-second-mortgage-just-to-redo-my-kitchen.” Being the economical people that we are, we went closer to the first option. Not only is Ikea more affordable in general, they are also holding a 20% 4,500 sale. So for us, getting all our cabinets as well as a couple of appliances for 20% made Ikea extremely cost effective.


  1. The Reviews for the Cabinets are STELLAR!

As I have mentioned before, both my husband and I are very frugal and we enjoy finding a good deal. Ikea is the most cost effective cabinets that we found, but really that is not what caused us to choose them. We are all about the good deal, but only if the quality is still high. So when we started researching Ikea cabinets, we were pleasantly surprised by how highly they were rated by others. Of course, my research looks more like “how do other bloggers like their cabinets” (like Involving Home and Little House blog). These blogs have super helpful tips about Ikea kitchens and cabinets. My Husband, however, went more of the J.D. Power cabinet study route. Basically, both of us found that Ikea had a great product and we should jump on the deal!


  1. Look and Functionality

There are a lot of what I consider upgrades in the Ikea cabinets that would typically cost extra in other cabinets places. Things such as soft close drawers (oh how I LUH-UH-UHVE soft close drawers!) We also customized a lot of the kitchen to fit our preferences without busting our budget.


Once we have officially begun our kitchen process I will let you know about ALL our selections (countertops, sink, faucet, appliances) and why we decided to go with those things. But I thought that I would leave you with the reasons we chose to go with Ikea over other options (Lowes, Home Depot, Local Cabinet builders, etc.)