IKD Team Member: Chuck
Role: Kitchen Designer
Why this is his favorite kitchen: “This is the ‘less is more’ kitchen. Very functional, very practical, and not a lot of bells and whistles. It’s perfect for someone who likes to cook but doesn’t want to crawl around looking for things. Everything is tucked into a drawer and easy to reach.”
IKEA Brings the Beach into the Kitchen
Who wouldn’t want to live by the ocean year-round? The Murphys loved the views, but their kitchen left a lot to be desired:
Their kitchen wasn’t terrible, but the arched cabinet doors spoiled the overall look. And look closely at the countertops – they’re all tile. The grout is a trap for hard-to-remove bacteria and stains, to say nothing of how dated tile countertops are.
For their kitchen renovation, the Murphys wanted to bring some of the beach and its revitalizing properties into their home. Like this:
Wow! A pretty drastic change, right?
Their top three design challenges were:
- Find a substitute for an IKEA cabinet door that had been discontinued
- Consolidate storage and seating to open up the space
- Create a better work triangle in the kitchen to improve food prep workflow
For the Love of a Discontinued IKEA Door
The kitchen has a big skylight, which made the kitchen sunny. But the cabinet fronts did nothing to maximize the light. See?
The Murphys knew which IKEA cabinet door they wanted for their kitchen: the NEXUS Birch (you can see how RobinG from IkeaFans.com used it in her lovely kitchen here).
But IKEA had discontinued the line.
Enter Semihandmade Doors out of Burbank, CA, to create a substitute for the NEXUS birch doors. The Murphys hired them to make the doors, and Semihandmade referred them to us for the rest of their IKEA kitchen design. Semihandmade also made all of the panels and toe-kicks, which kept the look consistent.
For us, it was the first time we designed a kitchen with no doors!
From IKEA Cabinets to IKEA Drawers – And More
Here’s how the Murphys opened up their kitchen:
Yes, they got rid of everything except the refrigerator! With the wall cabinets gone, the space opened up beautifully.
To make up for the lost storage space, they swapped in a mix of AKURUM birch drawers to go under their new, longer kitchen counter. The drawers are fitted with RATIONELL drawer dampers for a soft close.
Now everything is tucked away and still within easy reach. With the refrigerator, sink, and stovetop all closer together, the Murphys have a great work triangle to make food preparation easy. Using one oven instead of the two they had previously created more space too.
Let’s take a look at that new kitchen island. Having a peninsula and a kitchen island made for a cramped space and interrupted workflow. The new island consolidates the two eating areas and workspaces. Much more efficient.
The island is now home to the trash compactor, dishwasher, and sink, as well as additional storage. Notice too the extra panel between the compactor and the dishwasher, which we added to create more support for the countertop.
Another small detail is how we covered the small corner space with a flat panel to keep a clean layout. You may also notice how we didn’t close the gap between the tops of the wall cabinets and the ceiling. Closing the gap is not a must! This kitchen had lights at the lower part of the ceiling that they didn’t want to hide.
The little herb pots were created from the GRUNDTAL system. The Murphys chose a laminate countertop for their new IKEA kitchen.
A Final Look at This IKEA Kitchen
So in addition to a more open space, birch veneer, and white countertops, how did IKD bring the beach into this kitchen?
Yes, the painted surfboards! (Did you spot them in one of the “before” photos above?) Much nicer looking than the previous wall cabinets.