After nearly 50 years of service, this San Francisco kitchen was ready to call it quits. There were holes in the floor and the Formica countertop needed regular re-gluing to stay in place.
Beth and her spouse were ready to upgrade their kitchen, but first they thoroughly researched their options. They finally chose IKEA when a designer friend said, “The dirty little secret is that while designers do all these custom kitchens for their clients, when it’s time to do their own kitchens they use IKEA.”
Fast forward to about a year later. Here’s how Beth’s IKEA kitchen design from IKD, custom SEKTION cabinet doors from Kokeena, and custom reinforced floating shelves from Custom Floating Shelves turned out:
There’s a lot you can learn from Beth’s kitchen (once you set aside your jealousy like I did), so let’s dig in.
The biggest design challenge for this IKEA kitchen might (not) surprise you
Getting an IKEA kitchen design proved to be the biggest challenge for Beth’s kitchen.
She tried using the IKEA Home Planner herself, but it was so slow, frustrating, and non-intuitive that she gave up.
So why not use the IKEA in-person Home Planning Service? “They didn’t exactly inspire confidence” is how Beth put it. There are three different IKEA locations in the Bay Area, but all three of them are so busy “you can get there when they open and there’s still a line.”
At IKD we’ve had the experience of asking questions and not getting the correct answers from IKEA staff – now imagine there’s a line of people waiting behind you while you don’t get the information you need!
Beth said, “Trying to figure out the Home Planner or get information from IKEA staff was this huge daunting thing. The learning curve was too steep for our budget – we’d end up making expensive mistakes. I knew there had to be someone who did this 20 times a day, who knew the whole process inside and out.”
After some Google searching, Beth found IKD, exactly the service she’d been looking for to create her professional IKEA kitchen design. She wanted to work with her designer by phone and revise it until it was perfect, so she purchased our Premium package.
“I was willing to pay a little extra money because I knew it would save us money in the end by keeping us from making design errors we’d have to fix later,” she said.
The top 3 design challenges for this IKEA kitchen
Once she cleared the IKEA hurdles, Beth had more customary challenges for her kitchen design.
- Putting a kitchen island into the space. The old kitchen didn’t have one, but Beth and her spouse are social people who like to invite friends over for meals. An island with seating would create a social focal point for the kitchen. Beth also likes to bake bread so the additional counter space would be ideal for kneading and rolling out dough.
- Finding floating shelves that could hold more than 10 lbs. Attention, those of you who like open shelving in the kitchen! IKEA sells floating shelves such as the LACK, but the long LACK shelf only holds 11 – 33 lbs. if you have the right fastening material. Beth said Home Depot’s shelves only held 5 lbs. Would you take that risk? Beth wanted something that could hold all her dishes and glasses. Another fruitful Google search turned up customfloatingshelves.com in Florida. Their shelves can hold up to 150 lbs. and they even came with an assembly video that was really helpful for her installers, whose English was spotty at times.
- Getting a real dishwasher. Beth’s 1964 kitchen did not have a dishwasher. For many years they had an older model that had to be wheeled out and connected to the sink. Getting a real dishwasher was the most exciting design change to the kitchen!
Orange and grey make this IKEA kitchen pop
Beth and her spouse’s new IKEA kitchen has all of their design wishes, including new appliances from Sears. Also note the absence of holes in the new floor.
The doors from Kokeena were a particularly inspired choice. Beth and her spouse started designing their kitchen before IKEA released their new SEKTION line.
They were a little let down when they previewed the new IKEA kitchen line in the store. The cabinet doors and drawer fronts seemed cheap to them. In fact, they “felt like molded plastic.” Beth emailed her dedicated IKD designer, Ana, and said, “I can’t do those doors!”
Of Ana’s 2 suggestions, Beth and her spouse chose Kokeena’s Modern English Shaker-style door fronts which felt more solid than IKEA’s choices yet were still less expensive than custom doors. IKEA door handles helped keep the cost low. A friend suggested mounting the handles in the middle of the doors rather than along the top, for a more modern feel.
Remember how Beth had wanted to keep the space looking open? The reinforced floating shelves help, and so do the frosted cabinet doors (and the open cabinets in the previous photo).
The final word on this IKEA kitchen
Beth said the IKD premium service was “worth its weight in gold.” She really appreciated being able to work one-on-one with her designer and revise her design until she had it perfect.
“Once we took the kitchen down to the studs, we knew where the appliances would go but nothing else. I had no idea how much pantry space we needed…but IKD knew what the standards were.
“I could have done this by myself or worked with IKEA, but I would have lost money from having to take so many days off from work.”
Want a beautiful IKEA kitchen like Beth’s?
IKEA’s kitchen sale is ending soon. Our cut-off date to get a kitchen design and still shop the IKEA kitchen sale is April 11, 2016.