Background Image

Studio Blog

September 21st

Customize Your IKEA Kitchen Design Remodel

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

Most people assume that new kitchen cabinets must cost tens of thousands of dollars at a minimum. While it certainly is fun to do a project based on a dazzling budget, we’re here to show you how you can get great results on a kitchen remodel working with a modest amount of money on your own. 

Case in point: In the past we completed two kitchen remodels, in San Diego, using IKEA cabinets. For one (pictured) we used an espresso-colored cabinet; the other is white. Both IKEA kitchen designs 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. While we no longer work with Ikea cabinets, many homeowners who feel up to the task choose Ikea as an affordable, pleasing option.

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— 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, helpful and knowledgeable and offer a free planning service as well as measuring and installation services for a fee (found here).

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, Ikea kitchen planning experts can flesh out the kitchen cabinet 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. We recommend working with a contractor who specializes in putting these pieces together, and since they do it frequently they are knowledgeable about the frequent quirks you find in these cabinets. They also order and deliver everything for the project.

Even with experts constructing the cabinets, though, you do run into some issues with the quality of IKEA cabinets as far as fit goes. Both of our previous Ikea kitchen design projects in San Diego 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 for kitchen design if they fit your style and budget. As always, we are happy to help you with traditional custom cabinets or any other kitchen design needs—just contact our San Diego design firm for a consultation.