Down and Dirty on IKEA Kitchens
I am making this post as an experienced IKEA kitchen assembler and user. When we lived in Chicago we discovered their kitchens. In our first condo we we installed our first kitchen and in our second house we did again (twice) and now in our home in Austin we are back there again. Here are some reasons that I keep going back for more.
My experience in the past:
1. You can design the kitchen exactly how YOU want it! This can be a good thing and overwhelming if you don't know what you want or what they offer.
2. I love the way they work! They have the soft close drawers and cabinets & are super easy to clean.
3. You can go buy them the same day as you take them home*** (see below for things to be aware of)
4. They are relatively easy to install, if you are familiar with IKEA stuff you can do it really easily and they use the rail hanging system. The lady this time did tell me they made some changes to the system so I'll give you updates on that once the kitchen is in.
5. They are VERY affordable and as a designer I think they look great!
Ok, so now that I am on my fourth kitchen experience, I have to say that lot has changed in how you order so here is the down low on it!
1. Take a trip to IKEA to look around at the options! I picked up all of the catalogs that they have so I could become familiar with the pricing and styles. You need to mostly understand the types of cabinets: Base cabinets: these are the bottoms, Top Cabinets: these mount on the wall and are shallow, and High Cabinets: these are pantry cabinets that are full height. Also keep in mind that over the fridge you will need a special cabinet and wall ovens etc.. need special cabinets too. You will see it all in the catalog.
2. Go home and start planning. This is the most important part. If you can draw, draw it out, even if it is just a rough sketch. Measure your space and use grid paper to count out the dimensions of the kitchen and cabinets etc...
- Think about how you cook, do you store your spices in a drawer next to the oven? If so you will need a drawer next to the oven.
- I like to keep my dishes and silverware close to the dishwasher so it is easy to put away. Locate your appliances and plan out from there because the cabinets function based on them and how you use them.
- For example: I put my mixing bowls in a drawer next to the range so I can grab them if I am cooking and the drawer below that has my pots and pans. I keep my baking dishes in cabinets, not drawers, but this is just a personal preference. Mainly because I also like to keep my blender in the same cabinet and it needs more height than for instance a baking dish.
3. They want you to use their virtual planner. When we showed up at the store with our drawing that my husband did in autocad they we like, "that's nice, BUT, you need to use our planner." So we went to one of their stalls and used the planner to make the kitchen. We found out later that you can use it from home too but I'll warn you it is VERY slow and a little bit painful. Here is the link to the planner http://kitchenplanner.ikea.com/US/UI/Pages/VPUI.htm
5. We also ordered our counter tops from them. You will pay for them depending on what you get and either take them home or they have an installer who will come after you have the base cabinets in to measure and install the counter tops. Keep in mind that you won't have a usable kitchen for at least 2-3 weeks if you order the stone. If you get the wood or laminate you will have a kitchen that day (or as long as it takes you to get it in).
I'll post more on our kitchen as we get it installed...
My kitchen, delivered the next day in a giant pile in the garage! Now the fun begins!
Some construction process shots, ready for the new cabinets...