Renovating a kitchen can be super stressful and very expensive. The options out there are endless. The pressure to choose the perfect cabinet, countertop, and backsplash and then tie it all in with hardware and fixtures is exhausting. The biggest factor is usually budget and as with all of our renovations, we try to do it for as little as we can without sacrificing style, functionality, and practicality. My dream kitchen would look something like the one in the above photo crisp white shaker-style cabinets, brass fixtures, and white granite countertops. Except I'm no fool I would even consider myself a realist in most cases and honestly my kids ( and husband) would destroy it in a month. I started doing my research I had drawn up a basic plan of the kitchen with accurate dimensions on graph paper. I knew where the sink would be we only had one spot possible for the fridge without sacrificing countertop space and so that roughly gave me an idea of where I should place the stove so that the kitchen would have a good ebb and flow. When you walked into the kitchen it was cut off by the laundry room and the kitchen window was tiny. My dreams of a bright open concept kitchen were going to be some work but it could be done. So we got rid of the laundry room, sized up the window, and since I already bought the kitchen island top that I had fallen in love with I designed the kitchen around it.This is what we started with.(See Below)
With all major appliances mapped out I was able to measure the spaces in between to see what size cabinets I would need. Searching for cabinets became a kind of obsession. I knew I had to make decisions sooner rather than later but the thought of making the wrong decision and wasting a ton of money made me sick so I would leave no rock left unturned. My final top three came down to Cliq Studio, Home Depot & IKEA. I love IKEA, alright I said it. I am constantly defending IKEA to people who have never stepped foot in their showroom and go by only what they've heard about it. I've had people say not pleasant things about IKEA while sitting in my house on an IKEA sofa surrounded by IKEA photo frames. IKEA was the front runner but I had no experience in anything kitchen. When I got each of the estimates IKEA not only came in significantly lower but also included countertop & installation and they were holding their semi-annual kitchen event where you can receive up to 20% back on IKEA gift cards.DONE DEAL! Our kitchen lacked ... well, everything. Character, openness, and light
Looking at my kitchen plan I created a list of what I would need in what cabinet example: next to the stove I would want pots/pans, mixing bowls, cooking utensils, possibly in the island I would want a place for my plates/bowls maybe even cutting boards and knives. The idea is to make your life easier and easily accessible. Before heading to IKEA I searched online what cabinets they offered in what sizes. The things that stood out were the sliding drawers and drawers within the drawers...fancy. After I put together a list of the sizes and styles of the cabinets I liked it was time to head to IKEA...woohoo! Walking through the showroom I was leaning towards the gray cabinet(Above right ) but the more I thought about it the darker the better especially with all the tiny hands in the house. I ended up choosing the SEKTION base( which was a new system at the time and more of a universal cabinet ) with a cabinet front(Left above). Choosing a dark cabinet allowed me to go with a white stone countertop for contrast. The drawers and cabinets have not only held up after 5 years of consistent use but also I use one of the lower larger drawers as a snack drawer for the kids who are not gentle at all and usually are placing most of their weight on the drawer itself when its opened. Things I love the most are still the drawers in the drawers, I think it makes a huge in making our kitchen space less busy. I enjoy not seeing fingerprints or dirt and only realize when I take a Mr.clean magic eraser to them every once in a while what I would have been seeing on the daily with white cabinets and I love how tough they are. We are a family that spends the majority of our time in the kitchen cooking, eating, and dancing and they look just like they did the day we installed them.
Which leads me to my last and biggest reason to go with an Ikea cabinet.
My husband has been installing kitchens his entire career and he was blown away at how easy installation was. I of course put each cabinet together and the more I tell people this is not something that anyone enjoys doing, so we're strictly talking install but easy is not a word he throws around lightly. The installation is based around the metal rack you will install using a measuring tape and level. Once that's installed to the wall and into the studs, the legs will be placed on the cabinets and will simply slide on and then fastened together no need for shimming or multiple people. The kickboard was my favorite it's the same color as your cabinet and has little clips that will simply click onto the legs of the cabinet. so unlike any other cabinet, you simply unclick and can vacuum and clean under your cabinets which are amazing when you spill liquid or food. Alright, remember that piece of wood I bought for the kitchen island well it wasn't just any old piece of wood. It was a giant piece of raw redwood that I fell in love with at first sight. This thing was big and heavy and every time we were working on something like flooring we had to move it out of the way .... we moved it a lot but I knew it was going to be worth it.
and it was. It's the first thing you notice when you walk in and I love it in all it's imperfections every crack bark and all. So here is my honest review of IKEA kitchen cabinets, I will be using IKEA cabinets in the future and will most definitely be installing them in our one-bedroom AIRBNB rental that we are building and would highly recommend to anyone that is on the fence and that's coming from someone that is in no way affiliated or sponsored by them but a girl can dream right?!
HI, I'm Meagan -aka Meg, I'm here to share what it's like Living, Working & renovating life on Cape Cod . We're making our house a home one renovation at a time. Home wasn’t built in a day, but the journey is half the fun.