Which kitchen are you?

Kitchens... Not exactly the top of every man's need to buy list but most will be surprised when it comes to the time when you get the keys to your brand spanking property and walk over the what was in the brochure supposed to be your kitchen only to find a flimsy sink bowl and basic tap. And that's it. That is your kitchen! Hahaha... only in Malaysia can developers sell you a brand new house that is not partly furnished - as far as I know that is. Developers in other countries let you choose from a selection of basic furnishing so that when you get the keys to your house, it is ready to be moved in to.

So, since I live in Malaysia right now, I guess I need to consider how to furnish my kitchen. It's not that I'll be using it much but still, a kitchen must be well planned out, as with the other rooms in your house. After asking around friends who have actually furnished their kitchens (my last one had it pre-built which was a good selling point for the developer). I was/am keen on going Ikea as I am the DIY person and the idea of being able to buy the kitchen bit by bit and slowly building it up is a very attractive proposition to me. But word on the street is that Ikea kitchens are rather expensive but without doing any comparisons for myself, I will reserve my judgement till I get a chance to do so.

Once that was straightened out, the natural thing to do I pay the good 'ol Ikea website a visit. It is here that I stumbled across a buyers guide to kitchens which while going through it myself, I will share my experience with you my faithful readers. Think of it as me thinking out loud.

Okay. Basically the first page is the what Ikean call Step 1 of their guide. It is this page (pic above) where it asks you to choose the kitchen style you want/like. Clicking "View all kitchen styles" gets you the menu below:

I couldn't be bothered to print screen all of the choices but the design below surely hits the right spots. I doubt Ikea do any stainless steel work tops but if they do, stainless steel is a very hygenic work top surface and is also very durable. The dark brown wood veneer also goes well with the stainless steel/aluminum look. Also, in this example, it seems that the walls are painted rather than tilled which to me is a very way to save cost and makes this build very DIY-able. A can of the most expensive paint is way cheaper than hiring workers to install tiles to your wall! The new place will only have a small area for the kitchen so I'm looking for a bar to help extend the kitchen area which can also double as a desk for working as well as for cooking, like in the pic below.

Step two is measuring the space you have for the kitchen. This is where I struggle abit as I do not have a physical building to measure up. The best I can do is go home and check my S&P agreement and use the floorplan on there to do a rough measurement.

I won't know how high the doors will be nor what size and positioon the windows will be at so that'll hafta wait too....

I won't know where all the sockets, pipes, drains etc will be either!

Tab D sets out the kitchen elements you will need to consider. They name Door, Legsand Plinths, Sinks and taps, Interior fittings, wall accessories, knobs and handles, worktops and cabinets as the kitchen elements. It was rather surprising to find cabinets at the bottom of the list as I have always tought as that being the most important! Anyways, door type basically sepends on pricing as I personally don't mind. Ikea particle boards are of good  quality too. I prefer plinths over legs as they add to the feeling of solidness to the cabinets. Sinks and taps... hmmm... a single sink might save some space but I will also need to figure out where the dish drainer will be. I was my cutlery by hand so that is very important. Ikea taps are expensive so I'll probably buy mine from another shop. interior fittings will need to be thought of later. It's not that I have any cutlery at the moment anyways. Knob and handle design will depend on the style of kitchen I decide to go for later. Worktops... I like the stainless steel ones but I think Ikea don't do them but if they do, it'll be expensive. Stone tops are good but I guess realisticaly, it's gonna be one of them laminated surfaces, stainless steel look... hehehe...As for the cabinets, I don't think I'll need many to start off but I will have to bare in mind that my cutlery and cooking utensil collection will grow over the years.  

Lastly they have a tab for Fagor appliances. Again, Fagor appliances are rather on the pricey side so I'll get my appliances elsewhere. I'll probably get one of those glass topped hobs. The hood type, will depend on how the condo management rules are for the placement of exhaust fans are like. Ideally I would like a built in microwave and oven. Since both are not essential so I won't consider them yet but will incorporate them into the final design of the kitchen.

 Step 3 is the actual planning of the kitchen design. For this Ikea has a free software you can download and use to help you design your rooms (not just the kitchen).

There are three things to consider, the first being your work zones which comprises of storage, washing up and cooking zones.

Kitchen layouts will depend on the space available but like I said above, my kitchen is quite small so it'll probably end up as a simple single line kitchen but I like these two types of kitchen layouts:

1) U-shapped kitchen

2) A Galley kitchen

Ultimately the choice will depend on the space and shape of the kitchen I have.

Storage solutions will be a later add on as I do not have much stuff to store yet anyways. I will get the storage solutions as and when i need them.

The last practical step is one i feel rather not so important: Perfecting the kitchen. Apparently there are lots of things you can do to make the kitchen a much cosier place to be in. I will not discuss this as it is rather irrelevant to my very very early stage of planning but I will definately consider the right lighting for my kitchen.


at the last page you are introduced to Ikea's last bid to convince you to buy their cabinets. Design wise, they are very attractive but in Malaysia, at the end of the day the wallet speaks loudest. For me, quality is also a very important factor and I am willing to pay a small premium to get just that. If I can get away with DIY and getting stuff in stages and installing them upon need then maybe, just maybe Ikea will be my choice.

That kinda wraps up my kitchen adventure from 5pm to now. The take away from this little experiment is: 1) I can't do very much without the measurements of the kitchen area. and 2) I need to prepare quite a substantial financial budget for this...*sigh*...

Right, I have to rush off to KL for my TKD class now. I hope the roads are clear. I usually go straight after work and read a book till 7.45 but I already got carried away with the kitchen stuff... Till the next post....