Friday, October 18, 2013

Custom Kitchens with IKEA Cabinets

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One of the more fun aspects of working with expert IKEA kitchen designers is seeing how they create custom solutions using IKEA stock cabinets. I am always impressed by the creative use of IKEA kitchen cabinets and accessories to create truly wonderful kitchens.

As a heavy user of my kitchen (I'm a vegan cook which means cutting, chopping, water sauteing, mashing, etc., at least once or twice every day), I always want more storage (for new gadgets, admittedly) and more counter space (to use those gadgets!). Maybe not everyone needs to store 25lb boxes of raw cashews, or needs a place for two blenders and two food processors (I use them, I swear) but every kitchen, every kitchen-user, has unique requirements. If you are wondering if you can create the storage or function you really want with IKEA cabinets, the answer is almost always, yes.

The trick is to know how to customize cabinets, to research and find add-on products, and, fundamentally, to have expertise with both IKEA cabinetry and kitchen design, in general. I do talk with homeowners who plan their kitchen for a year or even several years. They eventually find or figure out custom solutions, sometimes. But for the majority of working people, having the help of a kitchen designer is key. Even a basic layout in a modest kitchen can be made exceptional in the hands of a skilled kitchen designer who knows IKEA cabinets.

Keep in mind that an IKEA kitchen designer, or any kitchen designer, needs to know what you want, your ideas, concerns, even your dreams. I always recommend that clients write down all they would really like in their new kitchen, disregarding for a moment whether or not they have the money or space. We let the designer understand what is wanted and we let the designer come up with solutions. The homeowner chooses what seems to him or her the best solution, and then comes the fine-tuning. It's a fun and a creative process. Yes, there is a limit to budget and space, but with a good designer, all sorts creative things can come about.

Anyway, you can use IKEA cabinets for a low cost remodel, certainly. But you can also use them for an affordable, major change with customized cabinets and incorporating other brands of products. It takes skill and experience, but I've seen it done beautifully hundreds of times.


P.S. That online planner is going to be your worst enemy if you want to customize cabinets or design a custom sort of kitchen. It just won't do these things. It's not a good tool for kitchen design, in general. For custom or creative design, it's impossible to use.