IKEA Kitchen Design Tips

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Although my very best tip is to invest a small part of your kitchen remodeling budget in professional design (you will never regret it, and the difference will be huge), I know some will persist with the online IKEA planner on their own.

With this in mind, I wanted to offer some basic tips that our team of professional IKEA kitchen designers compiled for me.

1) When you set up the file in the planner, you might want to create a space that is bigger than your existing kitchen. In other words, if you are opening a wall, or if your family room or dining room is next to your kitchen, include those rooms in the basic shape you create in the planner.

Even if you won't be putting any IKEA cabinets into those other rooms, the relative position of things and the spaces you have to work with, are easier to view, in that otherwise awkward layout tool, if you include more than just the kitchen walls.

2) Keep in mind that you can use cover panels, the large flat pieces that are the style and color of your cabinet doors, to build shelves, to cover custom built pieces, behind islands or peninsulas and in other ways that the planner might not allow you to do.

3) Visit an IKEA store to see the difference between 30 inch wall cabinets and 39s, the only two wall cabinet heights available. You might have enough ceiling height for 39s (which would also mean 88 inch pantry cabinets, not 80s) but they do take up eye space and the top shelves might be hard to access. Or, you might love the taller look. But this choice is key to the finished look of your kitchen.

4) Although it is possible to fill to the ceiling, it is not easy. There are codes and rules about the distance from countertop to bottom of wall cabinets, typically 17 to 21 inches. If the wall cabinets you choose leave you with 5 or more inches, you could use panels to fill to the ceiling for a built in look, but you need sharp carpentry skills to cut and install the panels. Another inexpensive and easy solution is to throw some rope lighting on top of the wall cabinets. Make sure your contractor provides an outlet for these, if you use them.

5) You can build bench seating with refrigerator cabinets.

6) Avoid using glass door cabinets above or near a cooking surface.

7) Try not to use too many door sizes. In other words, don't use a 15 (15 inch wide) next to a 12 next to a 30 next to an 18, next to a corner cabinet, next to a 36 next to a 9. Aim for balance and an aesthetic arrangement.

8) If no IKEA door style really thrills you, go with white and use backsplash tile and lighting to create the look you want.

There are a half a hundred major kitchen design principles that professional use for every kitchen. Years of experience with IKEA kitchen cabinets and components enables our designers to apply those principles to the IKEA kitchens they design. That's why it's worth it, in every case, to invest in professional design. But if you really can't, I hope these few tips will help you create a lovely kitchen on your own.

If you'd like to discuss this with me, I can offer you a free, 30-minute phone consultation. Here's my calendar, just pick a time that works for you.

Susan