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the ikea kitchen

November 10, 2009

zora naki

say what you will about IKEA, their kitchens have a decent reputation (Consumer Reports did an article ranking them 3rd, but unless you pay to sign up to their site, you can’t read it). The hardware is Blum – fully extending drawers, decent quality. Until I can afford Viola Park (or in my dreams henrybuilt), I will be very happy with my brown-black Nexus and glossy white Abstrakt doors.

kitchen after painting

the ikea kitchen

after cabinets…
the ikea kitchen

before with bumpout

the ikea kitchen

after with cabinets. Because of the heating ducts and sun tunnel, the two tall cabinets next to the back door were hacked to be 12″ depth – I just need to exchange some shelves and drawers to fit these new dimensions.

the ikea kitchen

The contractor built bases for the cabinets out of wood. In his opinion, this is a much more solid option than the legs provided. It seems like a good idea, especially since part of the lower cabinets dogleg across the room without a wall to hang on. I’ve also read that  a reinforced base is recommended if you are planning to use a heavier countertop material like granite or quartz.

the ikea kitchen

On the tall cabinet side, we boosted these up an additional few inches on top of the regular toe kick height, so that the upper cabinets would start at 70 1/2″, thus clearing the top of my new fridge.

the ikea kitchen

Bought a nice, square range hood on clearance (last year’s model) at midland appliance – half the price of a comparable IKEA model.

the ikea kitchen

the corner windows before…

the ikea kitchen

and now. We raised them up about 12 inches to match the window over the sink, and also to give us some more wall space for things like hiding counter clutter from the neighbours.

the ikea kitchen

IKEA has kitchen sales events two-three times a year: spend more than $1000 and you get 10 – 15% back in IKEA gift cards. FYI – my cabinetry was about $5K. I used the gift cards for closet fittings (IKEA kitchen cabinet boxes + drawers=way better value than the PAX system).

Keep in mind that if you are going to go down the same path, you must budget for AGGRAVATION. Measure your kitchen and play around with the kitchen planning software on the IKEA website. Save your plans online, and then retrieve them at your local store. The kitchen clerks are generally helpful – when you can get their attention (this can take a loooonnnnggggg time). I like to pick one clerk and stare at them mercilessly until they notice me. Small whining children can help speed up this process.

Remember that any cabinet can be set up in any combination of shelves and drawers – more options than are available on the website (especially for the tall cabinets). The clerk should help you sort this out.

After that, they will add all of the pieces that you’ve forgotten (trim, etc.), and if they are really good, they will provide you with a labeled layout and a manifest of which item goes with which cabinet (ESSENTIAL). Then plan on going back at least three times for exchanges and missing parts. It’s the nature of the beast…

if you want to read more about other people’s opinions on IKEA kitchens, check out these links:

apartment therapy q&a
washingtonian.com

this is the smallest person’s opinion of the goings-on…

the ikea kitchen

4 Comments

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  1. ourfriendben #
    November 10, 2009

    Ha! Loved the photo commentary, Zora! And the transformation is really coming along! Thank heavens the previous owners completely renovated their kitchen just before we bought this place—I think I’d be totally intimidated.

  2. November 10, 2009

    I’m always willing to offer my opinion on kitchen redesign, should the topic come up🙂

  3. November 10, 2009

    Just wanted to say I am really starting to like Ikea! I hadn’t checked them out until recently, but their items and prices are all very reasonable!🙂 Can’t wait to see the finished product.

  4. November 10, 2009

    kitchen yes – Malm drawers – no. the billy bookcase shelves bend if you put too many books on them. i have experience with these things…

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