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Journal

September 21st

Customize Your IKEA Kitchen Experience

This budget-conscious kitchen remodel had terrific results using modern IKEA cabinets.

Most people assume that hiring an interior designer must mean you need $50,000 minimum. While it certainly is fun to do a project based on a dazzling budget, our mission at Tracy Lynn Studio is to show you how you can get great results working with a modest amount of money too.

Case in point: We recently completed two kitchen remodels using IKEA cabinets. For one (pictured) we used an espresso-colored cabinet; the other is white. Both turned out really nice, and the clients saved at least a third and perhaps half off of what custom cabinets would have cost for their kitchens.

There are a few things you should know before you jump on the IKEA kitchen bandwagon, however. First, don’t try to order the cabinets yourself at the store—designing a kitchen is a complicated process that will not be made easier if your cabinets are the wrong shapes and sizes. IKEA employees are friendly and helpful but they’re not trained interior designers.

That said, IKEA’s kitchen planner tool (found here) is a user-friendly way for you to play around with different designs you might like. Once you decide on the basic feel you want, we can flesh out the design and show you how different accessories enhance that look. Note: IKEA cabinets really only complement modern, contemporary and coastal looks, so if you have your heart set on a Tuscan kitchen, for example, this approach won’t work for you.

IKEA cabinets are sold flat, meaning they have to be assembled. At Tracy Lynn Studio, our San Diego interior designers work with a contractor who specializes in putting these pieces together, and since they do it frequently they are knowledgeable about the frequent quirks we find in these cabinets. They also order and deliver everything for the project.

Even with our experts constructing the cabinets, though, we do run into some issues with the quality of IKEA cabinets as far as fit goes. Both of our recent kitchen projects required some extra attention to get the cabinets to align properly. This wouldn’t happen with custom cabinets, of course, because they would be made to fit the space exactly, even if your vintage home has an uneven ceiling or floor. So just be prepared to have patience with IKEA cabinets if they need to be adjusted.

Overall, IKEA cabinets can be a terrific solution if they fit your style and you are willing to forego some quality and variety deficiencies to satisfy limited resources. As always, we are happy to help you with IKEA cabinets or any design needs—just contact our San Diego design firm for a consultation.