kitchen reno – ikea cabinets assembly and installation + kitchen sink

Kitchen Reno - Cabinets

Perhaps the title of this post shouldn’t be Ikea Cabinets Assembly and Installation, but instead, Ikea Cabinets Assembly and Installation: Serenity Now. Also, as a bonus, and for your reading pleasure, I’m including some of the kitchen sink bullsh*t (to be continued). Perhaps, the title should be, “Everything BUT the Kichen Sink”.

Let’s go back a few weeks, shall we?

Kitchen Reno - Cabinets

Work is scheduled to start Monday, January 6. Miraculously (as it now seems), the contractors show up on time, tools in tow, and get to work. For a good portion of the day, they are managing the demolition of our old kitchen and the noise that is the demolition actually sends me out of the apartment and into my husband’s city office where I hide out and try to get work done. I am somewhat successful (not really), but afterwards, I head out to my monthly book club meeting.

While at book club, I get a call from the foreman who informs me that the guy responsible for assembling the cabinets will be at our place around 1pm because he has a court date and can’t come earlier. The phrase should probably immediately alert me, but when you have part time work and two books on the docket, you’re just swatting the flies away. I say, fine, our super will let him in. Then I have to get hold of the super and make sure he is going to be around. I already have a bunch of meetings scheduled that I can’t change, (and now it takes me twice as long to get to my meetings and back – yay for moving to a more remote part of Brooklyn)! Super says okay. I text the contractor that we are on for 1pm. When I get home late that night, after meeting with my book club ladies, I find the kitchen devoid of any cabinets, walls in disarray, and some cabinets assembled and left in the kitchen.

Kitchen Reno - Cabinets

Tuesday, late afternoon, I finally get home, and the apartment is totally empty. As in no one was there since I left in the morning. I text the contractor – nothing. I call – and it goes to voicemail. The foreman does call me back – around 5pm – to tell me that apparently no one is coming that day. Yeah, I figured that one out, thanks.

Wednesday morning, January 8, I get a call from the foreman at 8:50am. “We’re running late,” he says, “one of my guys is sick and I’m going to come around 11am with the other guy.” At 11:55, there was no one at my apt. At noon, I make a call.

“We’re coming,” he says, “we’re going to be there by 1pm.” Fine, I said, exasperated and defeated.

Then the ADT guy shows up, and that takes some time – you know, showing him where all the sensors are going. Also, try doing work when ADT is being set up in your home and all kinds of ungodly beeping is unleashed on your ears.

At 12:40pm, I get another call from the foreman. “We’ll be there tomorrow, so sorry.”


At this point, I lose it, and read the guy the riot act “How can I trust you,” I say to him, “How can I know you’ll be there? You’ve let me down two days in a row.”

“I know and I’m sorry. You have my word that we’ll be there tomorrow. I can see how frustrated and let down you must be. We will be there, without interruptions, tomorrow and Friday to finish what we’ve set out to do.”

You have my word.

With that we end our call.

Kitchen Reno - Cabinets

The above, by the way, is how our living room looked that week (and still sort of looks to this day).

On Thursday morning, one of the workers shows up, looking about ten pounds thinner than a few days prior. I am sympathetic; I feel truly bad. He says he’s fine, and I hand him some water, point him in the direction of bananas and some citrus. He tells me they will have all the cabinets assembled and installed by end of day Friday. I tell myself not to hold my breath.

Friday, of course, was D-day and the cabinets weren’t done. They were close, but not where I was told they’d be. But at least there’s progress, so I’m happy.

Kitchen Reno - Cabinets

Happy until the marble guy comes over and shatters my world with his verdict of our sink.

As a quick aside, when we were researching sinks, I only considered farm sinks. There are many reasons for that, and I’ve thought long and hard about this. It’s also a look I love and for years when I dreamt of my dream kitchen, it always involved a farm sink. So the look and feel were not negotiable. After a lot of research, I set my heart upon this DOMSJÖ sink. Isn’t she a beauty?

Of course, everything becomes negotiable when you’re told the sink you have (and love) isn’t going to work because of space/dimensions consideration. So you listen up – these people know more than you, and if they tell you that the sink is a no-go, you heed their warning.

You are sad; you’re crying on the inside. But, as they say, the show must go on. And you still have to get a new sink. Besides, the one Ikea sold you is cracked, so either way you have to go out for another sink. Well, smaller sinks are shallow sinks, and if you plan on cooking a lot and using the sink as the workhorse you hope it’ll be, shallow sinks don’t work for you. Except they’re all you’ve got. And the deepest ones are nearly $700, which is stretching your already over-the-budget budget. And you don’t even like those expensive sinks.

And you’re totally limited in the sink dimensions because the sink is in the corner and that just complicates everything. Because then right next to the sink is the dishwasher, and right next to that is the fridge, and then the wall. So there’s no wiggle room to think of — at all.

And only after you spend a few hours looking for another sink (time you could be spending say writing a book with a March 1 deadline), does your foreman show up, and figure out a solution where your dream sink can work! Marble people – you were wrong! Our contractor saves the day!!

Kitchen Reno - Cabinets

At which point, we take a breath; and figure we can pick things back up when we get back after a week in Mexico. The sink can wait. It’ll be there when we come back.


We return determined to move on this kitchen thing as fast as humanly possible. We order the light fixture for the kitchen. We make a list of things to get at Home Depot. We research under cabinet lighting.

And we think we’ll just rent a car, take a quick drive to Ikea, pick up a new sink and come home. So easy, right? Right?!??


So, so wrong.

In fact, you couldn’t be more wrong. So naive of you to think that it’s going to just that easy. That you could rent a car, drive it to Ikea, pick up a new sink and return home with it. I laugh at your naivete. I mock it. Worse yet, Ikea, clearly, mocks it too.

The one smart thing I do is check, online, if the sink is in stock at our local Brooklyn Ikea.

It is not.

But I’m not worried. It’s their most popular sink, why should I worry? They’ll have it back in stock in a day.

Except they don’t. And I get antsy. And so I call Ikea and am placed on hold for forty minutes. But that’s okay because the music is in the background and I’m working through it. No worries.

Finally, a real human voice picks up. I think to myself, “Solutions are just a few minutes away.”


Turns out Ikea is completely and totally out of stock when it comes to this very sink. And not just out of stock. Ikea, as customer service tells you on the phone in a tone shrouded in mystery, is having an issue with the sink supplier. They’re not sure if and when this issue will be resolved. What kind an issue? Oh, they don’t know, except – and you’re not that surprised to hear of it, because they sold you a cracked sink – but all the stores are currently out of that sink. So you can’t even order it online.

Kitchen Reno - Cabinets

Meanwhile, the marble measurements were done precisely for that sink and because it’s a tight space in the kitchen, we’re kind of beholden to those dimensions. Tomorrow, I will speak with our contractors to see what he thinks. It’s Ikea’s most popular kitchen sink. Whatever supplier issues they’ve got, they need to solve them — and fast. This is a popular item and I’m sure I’m not the only one who is itching to get my hands on that sink.


  • Elissa

    So sorry about all the aggravation! Hope that the sink situation can be resolved in a somewhat timely fashion. And hope you had a great time in Mexico!

  • olga

    Elissa – thank you! We had a marvelous time despite the fact that I came down with a horrible cold day 2 and only felt better the day we were leaving. :( But it was still amazing!

  • KJ

    Nothing ever goes according to plan but it always works out. I hope for your sake that it works out soon.

    If you are renting a car, don’t forget that there is an Ikea in NJ near the airport. Oh, and you might want to look for someone selling that very sink when they found it did not quite fit into their kitchen.

    Looking forward to seeing the finished kitchen.

  • Jessica

    I’m slowly learning that anything construction based is always going to take forever and a day. So frustrating for you! We went to Ikea here in Denver a few weeks ago and the silverware I wanted was no longer available and the staff told me they were having issues with shipments. I’m guessing that there must be much more to the story, now!

  • lisa

    Doing any kind of reno with Ikea is a headache. I can’t tell you the number of trips we made to return things that were damaged, or wrong items we bought because the clerk said we needed them and put them on our “shopping cart” list — only to find out later that it was the wrong size, color, hinge – whatever. I feel for you! It will be beautiful when it’s done, though. You’ll see!

  • Milda

    Oh no! You poor thing! If it makes you feel any better, renovations are pain and stuff like that ALWAYS happen. In fact, I have a similar crisis with my butler’s sink but I stuck to my guns and it was worth the extra stress! Good luck!

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