Monday, May 25, 2015

good advice + IKEA ISLAND on WHEELS! + personal stories

Chapter 2 - A Rolling IKEA kitchen island.

That's right - a rolling IKEA island. This is not full reveal yet, Chris asked that I don't publish any more images of the work until it is fully completed - I asked that once finished - if he could provide an image, he's a professional photographer.*  Chris has a beautiful space, tall, tall loft, giant windows, a gorgeous view of the city of Toronto. Loft spaces always have their own quirks - and his is no exception. He commissioned a craftsman to build him this really cool storage - he's got his library built into these heavy stone stairs - what a great, creative, original idea! Each stone step flips up, revealing storage.

He wanted the flexibility of tucking his kitchen island away from the center when he was entertaining. That's a smart solution! Why not? He got the cabinets himself last year - they are the vintage AKURUMs - I shed a single tear for the good old AKRURUMs - had a custom steel base fabricated and powder-coated in white. Did the box assembly himself, and wanted everything ready for the stone countertop /w waterfall on both sides - island wrapped in stone - nice!

Nothing, but to wait for the stone guys.....
It's gonna look gorgeous. 


I Got the pics! I got the pics!

Here is the island. Beauty and Function!

* Hey! 'Life's like that!' - Avril Lavigne, my 'go-2-girl-4-quotes'. Talk about a small world! He's the photographer for Nienkamper - an amazing contract furniture company. When I was in design school - it's got to be like 10 years now.... -  I won the scholarship to work at Nienkamper - I was there when Karim Rashid designed and prototyped the Kloud Chair - yea, that thing started as a giant cube of pink foam that was carved down, filed, sanded until it became the Kloud Chair! At the end of my stay at Nienkamper - for the last 3 days there - I talked to Gus, the GM, and managed to convince him to let me transfer to the upholstery department.  I wanted to see how great, commercial upholstery gets done - it's an incredible skill-set. I met some incredible, talented people there. Under their careful guidance I stretched some webbing, and, I guess it is safe to admit now that I tried/tested all their high-end sofas that they had ready for shipping....Anyways, for the exciting part, during those last three days they were upholstering the first ever KLOUD CHAIR - like no. 001 - first one ever in design history. And...I....upholstered....the....base.....!!


If you google 'KLOUD chair red' - you will see a picture of contract club chair. And if you look closely - barely noticable, barely visible, you will notice underneath, is a round, dome-shaped base. I did it! And Chris took pictures of my work for Nienkamper..... ;)

Chapter 3 - How to do a SEKTION well - why you should hire me to design and install your IKEA SEKTION kitchen. 

There is much to be learned from the recent sale of SEKTION at IKEA. The sale was massive. IKEA could not keep their new kitchen cabinetry stocked. To this day people are still behind on some items from the first ever IKEA Kitchen Event. It was so large that they let people pick up straight from the warehouse - bypass the distribution point. I have witnessed people exploding on IKEA managers because by the time they finished calling IKEA and actually went to the store to pick up - say next morning - the product was already sold - out of stock and another 2 weeks delay.  So pay for your kitchen and get it delivered early - you might have to wait for final few pieces - up to 4 weeks and that's very annoying, given that you are buying from IKEA. IKEA should always have everything in stock. 

Dear reader, you cannot imagine the flexibility of the IKEA kitchen system. You can have a very well designed kitchen with no lead time - you are only limited by your delivery method - if you can haul it that day then you can start it that day. That is amazing news for anyone who needs to do a kitchen reno fast - like when you are selling or buying a home - and it needs a kitchen. Those are your best times to do it. It never takes 2 weeks - you will likely be out of your kitchen for 4 weeks. Tons of well - ideally coordinated - tradespeople like plumbers and electricians, painters, flooring, tiles, likely drywalling and taping [least favourite things of mine to do, and boy! do I have a reno horror story that is so bad that is great!*] will go through your house. If you are deciding to do some of the work yourself, you are only adding extra days onto the project. If you've got the flexibility and you are a semi-pro than sure, try doing some of the things yourself - you will save money. But then again, how much do you value your time? Good ethical professionals - like myself - will come in, know exactly what to do and how to resolve things. My services come with a bonus that I am also a designer - I build nice things - I pay attention to details - I source most of materials at IKEA for cost. And it ends up looking like a million bucks. 

I am coming to the discovery of another IKEA SEKTION deficiency [the first one is the systems complexity, great for designers and challenging for twice in a lifetime users of the planning software] - it has a very rigid install system. The planning software is a great limit - I have never had a positive experience with IKEA kitchen planner, when I work from home. And apparently I am not alone in my experience - people universally hate it. Once I take note of the measurements I go to IKEA off-peak - usually off-peak - breakfast+design. 

Example - IKEA planner would not let you do anything with this wall. Because the main floor was opened up, there had to be a beam that was put running the length of the house - that put a limit on the height. There is also a box at the bottom - that box is required there for the headroom - stairs going into the basement. To IKEA planner that was is useless - the key is being creative with the SEKTION box. 

Want a tear-jerker story? Computer not-savvy seniors are being taken advantage of by unscrupulous unsavoury 'designers' who charged in the range of $120 dollars to convert their on-the-paper designs into the digital design - I got ethics, I don't do that.  If you are computer illiterate, then my advice is as follows - go to IKEA on a Monday morning for 9:30. Get yourself the $1 breakfast and free coffee - you want to be well caffeinated.  They open at 10am. Register for a computer - you are in the system now, eligible to receive IKEA Kitchens Associate's help - and just do it with their help, on a clunky black computer - yea, the early 90's first paged and then called - they want their computers back.  Mondays are the slowest [as opposed to the weekends when every IKEA turns into a ZOO]. Added benefit is that you can test your ideas right away in the store, they've got all cabinetry and hardware on display. 

Anyhow, what you get with my service is great flexibility - that SEKTION box is like putty in my hands. I can put it anywhere, anyhow, at any height, in any configuration I desire.  Pair that up with the flexibility to add any custom elements that your heart desiers.....and you got a custom kitchen.

Only nicest designs coming out of Studio Kosnik. 

on the picture - IKEA planner would not allow us to squeeze in a full size gable, so instead of adding full 3/4", I laminated the gable in matching high gloss laminate from ABET. 

Custom solutions for challenging space - on IKEA budget. This is a 3-piece base-kick for my last kitchen project - because it made more sense to built the vent into the kick than to rip out the basement ceiling to move it. Savings $$$!

* so the funny story goes like this. A reno is being done, the owner is thrifty and hires 2 guys who do it 'after-hours' - like they have full time jobs and do side gigs. These guys take their sweet-a** time and take 62 [sixty two!!!] days to drywall and tape his small basement. He was going insane, he was telling me that story and I was laughing out loud - real hard.  SIXTY......TWO......DAYS........