Inspired by IKEA

I was flipping through the new IKEA catalog this weekend and spotted this kitchen and was inspired. The wood tone cabinets were really interesting (and are certainly making a comeback in a more modern way than the builder-grade cherry of yesteryear).  You can’t see in this pic, but the glass doors are wired too, which gives a very country-mod feel to the space.  I really dislike the square subway tiles (reminds me of a public restroom) so I ventured out to create a cool kitchen design using wood IKEA cabinets!


And here’s what I came up with! Fresh and clean but with hints of traditional design.  I love the way the mint color plays off the warmer cabinet color, especially when paired with lots of crisp white.  This design is mostly really affordable stuff, with a couple splurges (counters and floors) which is a great way to make an IKEA kitchen look decidedly not IKEA.


  1. Overstock subway tile 2. Honed Imperial Danby countertops 3. IKEA pendants with brass accents 4. Bistro counter stools (all my clients with kids LOVE these) 5. IKEA kitchen table pendant 6. IKEA cabinets 7. Overstock matte brass faucet 8. IKEA table 9. IKEA apron front sink 10. Cement floor tiles 11. Overstock Gas range (expensive look, great reviews, modest price) 12. Overstock Hood vent 13. Target mint chairs

Some more awesome IKEA finds- because who doesn’t love the land of meatballs, crowds and furniture that comes in 1,000 parts??


1. Hello, herringbone wood countertops! // 2. // 3. (GORGEOUS highchair for under $60!) // 4. // 5. // 6. // 7. // 8. // 9. // 10. // 11. (fab storage side table for kids toys!)// 12. // 13. // 14. // 15.


  1. A friend who installs kitchens told us that Ikea’s quality was the same as the expensive kitchen outfitters. But what a hassle we had with delivery. Three missed dates. They succeeded on the fourth try, but we were missing pieces. The nearest Ikea is 1.5-2 hours away. I had to go three times, because on the phone they said it was better to straighten it out in person.

    1. I had the same experience ordering an Ikea bed. Two missed deliveries and the mattress were still missing. Ended up taking more than a month to get everything.

  2. Great kitchen design!

    I get so excited to flip through the IKEA catalog when it comes and always want to venture up to Dedham immediately after looking through it. Currently wanting to by a few BILLY bookshelves to try and diy built-in’s for my living room…. I also bought that black highchair — all the ones from baby stores take up half your kitchen and are so ugly! love the design of this one.

  3. We have that hichair and it is so awesome. We keep it in the dining room because we are tight on space but just pull it into the kitchen when it’s time for the baby to eat or to provide a place for him to sit and watch while I cook. We are not at the stage of self feeding yet, but when we are, we can just bring it on the deck and hose it down (and probably hose the baby down too ;)).

  4. We just bought a fixer upper this spring and gutted the kitchen and used IKEA cabinets with custom door fronts from Semihandmade ( They were surprisingly very easy to put together, and it saved us THOUSANDS of dollars. We were able to get the nice quartz countertops we always wanted, and splurge with the all-drawer bottoms (seriously, this is the best decision I have ever made, and I will NEVER have regular doors on the bottom cabinets again). We painted the shaker style custom doors and got custom matte black hardware from Top Knobs. It seriously looks like a high-end kitchen for a fraction of the price. I highly recommend IKEA for the kitchen cabinet bases.

      1. Whoops, sorry for the wrong link, thanks for correcting Amy! And thanks Erica, we are loving our new kitchen. Though we still have a lot more to do (we are doing it ourselves), I say on a daily basis “I love my kitchen”, so the DIY pain is worth it! :)

    1. I’ve seen those used by other bloggers and wondered whether or not they were good to work with. How is the pricing with Semi Homemade?

      1. For the DIY doors, they are cheaper than the nicest IKEA ones, but then you have to paint them yourselves, so it’s probably a wash in the long run. You can get super expensive walnut doors too, so the prices run the gamut! And you can’t forget about shipping (ours was about $500, since it shipped from California to Virginia). So they were pricier, but I just didn’t love any of the stocked door fronts from IKEA, so this was the next best thing!

    2. We did the same thing. We painted our lowers BM Chelsea Gray thanks to Erin’s kitchen & her saying she wished she went darker. And the all-lowers decision really IS the best!!! We had ours shop-sprayed by our contractor. They look great.

    3. Do you have kitchen pics posted somewhere so we can check it out? I’ve thought about doing the ikea boxes + custom doors like you described and I’d love to see it!

  5. Fun post – am headed to Hoboken tomorrow to help my son decorate his first apartment, and we’ll definitely be hitting up Ikea. Maybe that’s a potential future post for you Erin – decorating a first apartment! We’ve been checking out West Elm, Wayfair, and TJ Maxx/Homegoods, do folks have any other ideas??

  6. I may need to drive down to mine. Love that kitchen, love those baskets and I may need that highchair next year ;) recently found out I’m pregnant with #3 after getting rid of many baby things.

  7. Who doesn’t love a good high-low design? And who doesn’t have Ikea something somewhere in their house?
    Personally I go for their cold smoked salmon and skip the meatballs but that’s just me.

  8. I agree that highchair is high on style, but I still haven’t figured out why anyone uses a highchair anymore? I’ve just used the travel-style ones for both my kids…the clip-on kind at the bar counter or the strap around chair kind at the regular table. Both are cheap and don’t take up an inch of extra square footage. Am I missing some benefit to buying an expensive stand-alone chair that takes up space?

  9. I’d love to hear from someone who has had an IKEA kitchen for a few years. What’s the word on wear and tear? We need a kitchen overhaul and IKEA would fit the budget but I don’t want to kick myself down the road if it’s falling apart. Thoughts? Anyone?

    1. We installed a IKEA kitchen in our basement kitchenette as a trial to test the install and how it wore before embarking on a larger gut rehab of our main kitchen. It was great. We were impressed enough to do it againa dnwe also went with Semihandmade door & drawer fronts. It takes longer to do DYI it, but we were able to customize things, adding drawers in the toe kicks and modifying cabinets to fit in those weird extra spaces that are always so annoying when using stock size cabinets. We have now lived with our completed kitchen for over a year and we love it!! It is my favorite room in the house.

    2. Hi Dominique, my husband and I renovated our apartment in NYC this past year. It was actually our project manager who recommended Ikea to us. Our construction firm works on a lot of very high end NYC properties (think huge lofts and townhouses), and they showed us pics of an amazing Tribeca loft where they used Ikea. The quality has gone up a lot. But, we also did the Semihandmade fronts (shop sprayed by our contractor) as we didn’t like the plastic-y feeling of the Ikea fronts for our shaker-style cabinets. So far so good!

    3. We bought a house in Italy with a huge 14 yr. old IKEA kitchen (one of the original, I guess) and durability is fantastic. Everything works, no chipping, and functionality is just fine. We had to clean, sand, paint the cabinet door fronts, replaced handles, etc. The IKEA appliances were another story and no longer energy efficient. We don’t have the funds to re-do the kitchen yet, but I’m not sure I’d buy IKEA cabinets because I hear assembly is a nightmare.

  10. I’m in my 50’s and I still love ikea. The closest one is almost 4 hours from home, but the whole family loves to go. we make a short vacation of it! We are in a temporary home that we will turn into a rental when we finish building another place. We just gutted the 70s kitchen and DIY’d with IKEA. It saved us a ton of money, looks awesome and is even nicer than the Custom cabinets we had in our last home. We are considering them with Semihandmade or other nicer fronts for our next home. (Our contractor does not like the idea, but the architect loves it). Just not DIY again. Having all drawers on the bottom is awesome. We also nearly furnished our daughters first place with furniture from IKEA. It’s great accessible design.

Comments are closed.