An Honest In-Depth Review of Our Ikea Kitchen

Are you considering an Ikea Kitchen?   If so you must read my honest in-depth review of my own Ikea Kitchen remodel.

We did a major remodel in the forest house and the biggest project that we undertook was gutting, opening up, and completely renovating the entire kitchen and dining space.  Because it was such a massive project (as well as a large space square footage-wise), we knew that it would require a significant amount of cabinetry and could become much more expensive than the house warranted.  So, we decided to try out Ikea kitchen cabinets for the first time.

An Honest In-Depth Review Of Our Ikea Kitchen graphic.

You can see our full main kitchen before and after reveal here, and our kitchen bar/banquette area reveal in this post. I also shared the details on our Dekton countertops in this post, why we love our Frigidaire Gallery Line appliances here, as well as the information on all of our kitchen lighting and accessories in this post.

We’ve long been huge fans of the Ikea Pax wardrobe system and love the quality of the PAX system for the price.  Our goal was to achieve an inspirational kitchen remodel full of contemporary touches but also to achieve an understated and timeless look. The ability to customize an Ikea kitchen by mixing in statement design features means that just because you save on cabinetry, you don’t have to have a cheap looking kitchen.  My honest review of our Ikea kitchen is that we were able to create a functional, elegant, fresh update to our home for a fraction of the cost of a custom kitchen installation. It just required a lot more sweat equity, which was a price we were willing to pay.

Grey Grimslov Ikea cabinets with a white kitchen island and wood chairs around the island.

We read a lot about Ikea kitchens before taking the plunge and visited the Ikea kitchen showroom in person to scout out the door style that we wanted to use.  I knew that I wanted a solid wood door in a shaker style, which led me to the Grimslov Grey Ikea Cabinet Style.  We loved the soft grey colour and thought it would be a stunning contrast to all of the white in our home.  I will share more about the Ikea Grimslov Grey kitchen cabinet door style in another post, but today I want to share my honest and in-depth review of our Ikea kitchen remodel after living with it for over a year.

A white and grey Ikea kitchen with wood chairs around the island and brass pulls on the cabinets.

Are Ikea kitchens any good?

Yes, Ikea kitchens are good. I believe that Ikea kitchen are a great product for the price. Of course, custom cabinetry is better. But if your budget does not allow for a completely custom, locally built kitchen then I believe that an Ikea kitchen remodel is an excellent second choice. Our remodelled Ikea kitchen functioned beautifully and the cabinetry held up extremely well to everyday use.  It also looked high-end because of our save/splurge approach and people were shocked to learn that it was, in fact, an Ikea kitchen. I’ll write another post soon about how we customized our Ikea kitchen remodel to feel high-end.

A large hood range is over the kitchen island that has a built in cooktop.

Things we love about the Ikea Kitchen System:

We absolutely love the way that you can have a drawer inside a drawer, so that the kitchen design appears much more streamlined and cleaner but still allows you to have several smaller drawers for storage. We also adore the fact that Ikea has developed so many organizers that fit perfectly within their drawers so that everything you need can be well-organized and easily within reach.

Spice jars are in the drawers in the kitchen, plus cutlers is in a wooden cutlery tray. There are lemons in a wooden bowl on the countertop.

The drawer is pulled open showing the wooden cutlery tray with all the cutlery inside.

The pullouts available for spices and for garbage/ recycling are also amazingly functional and I would include those in any kitchen I design going forward. Higher end kitchens likely also have these features, but the fact that you can get such customized organizational features with such an affordable kitchen system is, I believe, the biggest perk of an Ikea kitchen.

A bottom pull out side cabinet that holds the pieces and sauces jars.

A very bottom pull out drawer that has cleaning wipes and sprays inside.

We also love the hardware! And by hardware I mean the soft-close system that is used for doors as well as the sliding hardware they include for all of the drawers. Our friend who helped us install the majority of our kitchen cabinets and helped us tweak our design to  make it look more custom is an expert on custom cabinetry and he said the hardware that Ikea sends is the same high-end hardware he has used on custom kitchen installations.

A corner cabinet with shelves that pull out that holds all the pots and stainless steel bowls.

The parts of the Ikea Section system that we don’t like are the plastic feet and the toe kicks. The plastic feet that the base cabinets sit on feel kind of junky and cheap and next time we would build wooden bases for the cabinets to sit on throughout.  We only built a wooden base for the island in our forest house renovation.  There are excellent youtube videos on building this type of base for an Ikea kitchen, and I’ll be sharing a post soon on how we built a pony wall as well as a wooden base for our Ikea kitchen island.

We also didn’t love the way the Ikea toe kicks attach to the plastic legs and found them to be kind of cheap and junky feeling.  They look fine once they are on, but when we install our next Ikea kitchen we plan to colour match and paint our own MDF trim toe kicks rather than using the ones you can purchase through Ikea.

How much does an Ikea kitchen really cost?

An Ikea kitchen costs a fraction of the price of a custom kitchen, but is probably comparable to many big box stores lower end pre-fab kitchen options. The difference is that, I believe, the quality of Ikea kitchen cabinets, and especially of the hardware that they use for their drawers and doors, is much great quality than you would get with a big box store inexpensive pre-fab design (as I mentioned above).

A small bar area that says brewery on the sign with a wooden shelf with beer bottles on it. Below is a wine fridge and cabinets with clear glass filled with wine glasses and dishes.

We ordered our Ikea kitchen cabinets in person at the store and had them shipped directly to our home for a mere $169 (please keep in mind all my pricing is listed in Canadian dollars and I believe that prices are lower in the US).  So we originally ordered just over $11,000 in cabinetry and because we ordered it during the twice-yearly Ikea kitchen sale, we received 10% back in Ikea gift cards (you receive a higher percent back if you order Ikea kitchen appliances, as well).  We then ended up returning some pieces, so I would say that overall our Ikea kitchen cabinetry cost us right around the $10,ooo mark.  Considering the size of our kitchen and the number of cabinets, I would say that is an amazing space.  In fact, when our contractor (for our new build) came to our home to originally look at our floor plans, he was shocked it was an Ikea kitchen.  He thought a kitchen of our size would have cost about $30,000 for custom cabinetry alone (versus the $10,000 we spent).

There are brass pendant lights in the kitchen.

Are Ikea kitchens really worth the savings?

The biggest thing to consider is installation.  Are you able to spend some time building and assembling the cabinets yourself? Or does your local community or local Ikea have a contractor is fast and affordable for an Ikea kitchen installation?  If not, you may end up spending much more than you anticipated on building, assembling, and installing your Ikea kitchen cabinets and this may reduce your savings to much less as a custom kitchen generally comes fully installed for the price.

There is a small sink below the brewery sign and wooden shelf with brass faucet.

What are the Pros and Cons of doing an Ikea kitchen?

The pros of choosing to do an Ikea kitchen remodel are that you get a good quality kitchen for the price. The hardware is excellent making the kitchen function and run smoothly. Being able to customize your look through tweaks and changes, you can create a brilliantly designed, highly efficient, well-organized kitchen that you love.

The con of choosing to do an Ikea kitchen remodel is that you need to put in a bit of sweat equity. But to many DIYers, sweat equity is not actually a con.  It’s a way to add value to your home and increase your equity by putting in a little work on your own.  Sweat equity is the main way that we have gradually improved our financial situation over the years, one project at a time.  There are a plethora of excellent videos on Youtube with advice on how to assemble and install an Ikea kitchen if it seems like the right path for you.

A small table for two with two chairs, plus a built in sitting area. There is a brass light fixture over the table.

I hope this post helps you as you consider whether or not an Ikea kitchen remodel is the right choice for your home and your family!

Want to remember this? Just PIN it!

In-Depth Ikea Kitchen Review poster.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button