The Learner Observer

You know when you start something (like a kitchen renovation) and you think you have it all figured out and then you make all these grand plans to paint and build shelves and put an entire room together, then you realize you have twin babies who are on the brink of toddlerhood and you haven’t even showered for 3 days, so what the heck makes you think you have time for anything else in life? Is that just me? Say it isn’t so!

We decided to do an IKEA kitchen (specifically using the new SEKTION cabinets with the LAXARBY doors) and thankfully we didn’t install it ourselves. That would have taken us until 2019, I’m sure. You can see where the plans started in this post right here.

Ok, back to the issue at hand…

You guys. This kitchen. I wanted it done like a month ago. Then I wanted it done for the boys’ first birthday party (December 11th), then I wanted it done for Christmas. None of it happened, and really, it’s not anyone’s fault but my own. I should have done things sooner. But babies, you guys. BABIES!


If you have successfully gone through any kind of renovation while raising little kids, I worship you and I need you to contact me immediately and tell me all your secrets!

Ok, but for realies, let’s get down to what I started this post for (because it wasn’t for venting about how I’m just so busy. Barf. No one wants to hear about that and I’m all for not ever ever glorifying ‘busy’. I’m just saying. Babies!).

Wanna see what the kitchen looks like right NOW?

Ok… here it is! (note the balloons from the boys’ first birthday party. Yep. They lasted forever.)




Do you remember what it used to look like?


Or what it was like even before that?


I mean, that’s not even the kitchen anymore. It’s  now the laundry room (only a bit smaller) and the kitchen is where the dining room used to be.

Here is that space during the renos, as it was about to become the laundry room. That wall with wires hanging above it is where the range is now, to give you some perspective.


Then there was the time we lived with plywood as the island butcher block for a few weeks. That was super fun!

The Learner Observer IKEA SEKTION LAXARBY kitchen makeover

We started out with plans to make this entire side of the house into a living room, dining room and kitchen combo, but re realized we don’t need two living rooms. Then I designed the world’s most unnecessarily large kitchen, like so:

Rough kitchen plans - The Learner Observer

That’s when we decided on the laundry room in the back and the kitchen and dining areas at the front, like this: (you can’t see the laundry room here because it’s behind the wall with the range hood)

The Learner Observer IKEA SEKTION LAXARBY kitchen makeover

And that’s essentially where the plan has stayed, with the exception of the table – we don’t have that table, and I don’t think that’s the one we’re getting, but that’s a whole other post!

The cabinetry is exactly as it shows here and we’ll be getting floating shelves for the corner between the sink and range as well as to the right of the range.

The Learner Observer IKEA SEKTION LAXARBY kitchen makeover

The green tape? Well, when you get hardware and it comes to your door but it’s completely the wrong colour and you have to return it then look for new ones, you end up putting up painter’s tape so you can open up drawers and doors. Desperate times.

And here’s the view from the dining room. Pardon all of the clutter and lack of countertops. Things will change soon. I hope!

The Learner Observer IKEA SEKTION LAXARBY kitchen makeover

Up next: we’ll be finishing up installation of all of the hardware, countertops should be in (with this gorgeous Blanco sink!) in the next 2 weeks, and we need to choose appliances. Appliances are hard, you guys. So much to choose from, and so darn expensive! A kitchen reno is no joke and will literally eat up all of your budget. You’ve been warned. As if you needed to be told that, right? Ha!

But we’re doing our best to be smart about it all and choose things that will be useful for our family and with lots of longevity! That’s important with two growing boys, I think!

Here’s a short version of where we started and where we hope to go!


Anyway, things are coming along. I’ll be back to update you soon on all things kitchen since this is our big focus for the next month or so! Have you ever done a kitchen reno? Any tips for this amateur?



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