Kitchen Renovation | Special Features Cont’d

I talked about the Ikea features, but I also wanted to highlight the other details of our kitchen.  Many are design choices, but some of function as well.  I also have one of the nuances that we discovered later in the remodel that we had to account for, and I had to compromise on my design a tiny bit.

First up is our sink. We went back and forth between a single or double sink, but am happy with our decision to go double. We always knew it would be under-mounted though.  We bought an under-mount stainless steel Kraus sink, because we’ve been happy with the Kraus sinks we got for the upstairs bathroom.  They came with these grate thingies and the left side which doesn’t have the garbage disposal has a little strainer so crumbs don’t go down the drain. 


We also went with a Kraus faucet. We definitely did not install the soap dispenser though. I’ve read to many poor reviews to cut a hole into our counters for that. Also, I like my little soap dish next to the sink!

The faucet does not have a spray feature which we knew before purchasing, but we liked this design better so we were okay with it. The design does make the water stream pretty close to the back of the sink, so the back counter gets wet quite often when we wash our hands, but it’s something I’m aware of so when I clean up I make sure to wipe up any water.


The pull-out head is really nice and I’m able to fill a pot sitting on the counter, (so nice!), or rinse off all sides of a large dish. I tried to pull it down and take a picture, but it’s weighted so it retracts without a little pressure.


I don’t like kitchen counters cluttered with a lot of things, so I tried to create little vignettes to keep all the clutter organized.  At least that’s what I tell myself. 


I wanted to balance the wood tones so I placed a cutting board leaning on the wall.  We don’t really use this one, but it’s there if we ever needed it.


I found the little bowl at the thrift store along with a muddler Mike made, and the marble cheese cutter was on sale at World Market.  The bowl’o succulents was actually made with one of the M&M bowls from our wedding!

You’ve seen the little liquor collection along with the house watercolor and recipe card


I’m happy to report that it’s again manageable since the addition of the cabinet in the dining area.

No one can get away from the clutter than accumulates next to the oven.  It’s just easier to have things out on the counter for easy access.  I found a copper-like tray from Target in the outdoor section of all places.  It was perfect for our old utensil holder, salt and pepper grinders also from Target that I received from my bridal shower and an olive oil bottle from World Market.


On the other side we treated ourselves to a Keurig with some of or wedding gift cards, (even though we don’t drink coffee, we’re loving us some chai tea!).  I also added a toothpick holder my grandma gave me and a little wooden box from Target that holds black salt.


Yep, black salt.  I saw it a Home Goods and grabbed it.  I’ve yet to use it, the grains are really big.  But, it was cool looking.


One of the design aspects we thought a lot of about was the lighting.  We knew we weren’t going with under cabinet lighting so we wanted to create a lot of lighting options.  We also only had one over head light in the old kitchen so we wanted a lot in the new one.  We used LED recessed lighting, as well as pendant lights over the sink and peninsula.  Fancy blogger photos don’t usually show rooms with the lights on, but here she is.


It’s very bright with all the lights on.  The nice thing about the LED lights though is they have a dimmer.  Here they are dimmed to the lowest setting.


It’s a more like a cool natural light.  They’re actually the same ones we used downstairs in the basement.  They’re a little pricier upfront, but they are more sustainable in the long run, and really easy to install.  Without those, it’s a really nice glow from the pendants.  If we’ve finished dinner and the dishes are all done, I’ll sometimes leave it like this so we can get in and out kinda like a nightlight.


During the day we’re lucky to have three windows including the one on the door in the kitchen and three more in the dining area so we don’t need lights at all. 


The only thing I regret with our kitchen that translated into a noticeable design aspect is this backsplash termination.


It’s not a big deal, and not something anyone would notice on their own, but ideally it would have ended below the upper cabinet and wouldn’t have the silly little square tile at the top.

We had to to it this way because of the stud location the outlet was added and we didn’t realize it would line up like it does.  We should have moved it to the other side, but that was such a long time before these small details came into play that we wouldn’t have known.  And, you can’t have and outlet over half on tile, it would have a very noticeable gap. 

This outlet actually was a hassle throughout since our friend actually drywalled over it forgetting it was there.  Mike had to find it based on stud spacing and hoping he hit it when he cut into the wall.  It’s funny because it’s probably the most important outlet in the whole kitchen since we use it to charge our phones every night and plug our computers in when we need to work from home.


The square tile is a corner edge piece that is used to create a finished edge.  Since we had to take the tile out a couple inches for the outlet, we had to figure out a way to create a clean corner.  Due to the size of the tiles, we felt it looked more proportionate to have a small corner piece above the cabinet line. 

It’s also important to note that because we extended that up, we had to make sure to continue that line along the rest of the wall.  You can see below that we had to add an additional tile between the cabinets and windows so that the line matched up.


It’s not the biggest mistake, just something that we couldn’t fix since it would have created more of a mess than just figuring out a solution.  I never notice it now, but I figured I would mention it now so that people know that even with all the planning things happen that you have to figure out after the fact how to remedy it.  

I’ve got our list of tips and tricks for Ikea kitchen designing, purchasing, and installing coming up next week.  And then, hopefully we’ll have gotten through all our receipts for a budget breakdown and I’ll add a source list as well.


  1. You put a lot of thought into the kitchen design and it shows. The double sink was the right choice. Beautiful kitchen.

  2. Love your kitchen! We did ikea cabinets with a deep kraus sink also. Wondering what front you used for the sink cabinet? I bought full height doors at first but the countertop guys installed the sink too close and now the holes for the door hinges are covered. So I'm exploring options.

    1. Thanks SC Mama! I just wrote a new post about our faucet which has a good picture of the sink cabinet ( We bought a sink cabinet which has two faux drawer fronts. Because we used the AKURUM system, I'm not sure the exact equivalent in the new SEKTION line.

      We have the exact same situation that you do though and the drawer fronts are very close to the sink, but they are attached to a flat front so everything fits!

      My suggestion would be check with an Ikea Kitchen associate and get the faux drawer fronts with short doors. Hope this helps!