All the details of our custom Ikea Kitchen (and what it cost)

I still remember the first morning we woke up in our new (old) house. I remember how things were half unpacked, how it felt so good to be in a house that smelled faintly of fresh paint and new beginnings, but most of all, I remember feeling like I was living in a hotel. We'd just come off three months of living in my parents basement and two of those months were spent renovating a good part of this house. We mostly painted, installed new closet organizing systems and put down hardwood in the bedrooms - but we also did a full gut of the kitchen and here I am, four years later - finally sharing the full reveal. Now I know many of you have seen this kitchen on Instagram already, but many of you still ask about it - so here goes.

Kitchen Before

When we bought this home, the previous homeowners had just renovated the kitchen. While it wasn't horrible, it lacked the style we loved and didn't fully utilize the available space. 

As you may have noted from the before pictures, the cabinets were in excellent condition so Andrew and my brother-in-law took them down carefully and we sold the entire kitchen for $2500 on kijiji! (Never underestimate what people will buy online)

Kitchen after the demo

Taking the uppers down really opened up the space and we knew we wanted to leave them down. Because this is an open concept space, we wanted the kitchen to feel less kitchen-y and more like it belonged in the living area.

The kitchen design plan

We were pretty set on using Ikea because we'd read so much about how the interior fittings were such great value for the money. Our plan was to use the Ikea boxes and go with Semihandmade doors after seeing Sarah Sherman Samuel's kitchen.

Then a good friend of mine, who also had kids - strongly advised me against shaker doors - due to the gunk that ends up in the corners. I am not a glossy kind of girl but the slab white gloss doors seemed practical and bright at the time so that was our first decision made. Next I poured over stacks of magazines, hunkered down in my parents basement while our then three year old twins raced back and forth on toy cars - trying to pick the right pull, the perfect shade of white for the walls, the right extra large single sink..... the list went on. Eventually we settled on a mix of the white gloss doors and the black doors with a slight nod toward the shaker style - both from Ikea.

Kitchen after

Not to toot my own horn, but this view still makes me happy. I love how it all came together. I love the walnut details on the floating shelves, in the built in coffee nook and the on the stools. I love the quartzite countertop that looks like marble but holds up to use a lot better. It still feels like a giant piece of jewelry (and this big section on the peninsula took five men, a strategy session and a whole lot of grunting to get up the stairs and in place).

Although the cabinets are all standard from Ikea, we hired a local company to do the installation and to customize a couple sections.

Here is what we modified from Ikea:

The peninsula needed to be extended to cover the existing hardwood gap on the floor (since we pushed the design towards the living room a bit). There is some dead space inside the peninsula area but you'd never know when you look at it. I also love the ridiculous size of the peninsula.

We used shallow lower cabinets to create storage facing the dining table that flanks the two stools in between. We use one side for table linens and the other for craft supplies since the kitchen table is a craft hub in this house.

The pantry cabinets with the built in coffee nook were all cut down depth wise, so that they fit nicely into the wall and don't extend beyond the doorframe.

All upper cabinets were installed to ceiling height which I love for a nice clean completed look. The installers finished off all tops and bottoms with trim.

Leaving the uppers off on the wall along the window was the best decision. I love to switch up what is displayed on the walnut shelves but I always suggest displaying items you actually use regularly to avoid a nasty dust situation.

 The walnut countertop for the coffee nook was made by my brother-in-law and it's one of my favourite details in the space.

Andrew and I drove to Montreal in the midst of renovations to pick up that Muuto pendant. Sadly, the store is no longer in operation but I love how it's made of rubber and casts a nice soft glow.

The faucet is from Brizo and I love the clean and minimal style. We opted for an extra large single sink from Kohler and we will never go back to a double. Being able to put a greasy pan the whole way in the sink is a game changer my friends.

Relocating the microwave to a low built-in position made sense as we really wanted a hood fan above the stove and there is something about a large appliance permanently sitting on my counter that just doesn't sit well with me. So many built-in microwaves are really expensive but this one comes it at under $300 and works very well (considering we mostly use it to reheat coffee).

We decided to go with a matte subway tile backsplash with a non contrasting grout so that the backsplash wouldn't make too much of a statement. If you know me well, you know that I can't handle a lot of pattern.

I love all the natural light we get in our kitchen. The window ledge is the perfect spot for our growing plant collection and we also hang bird feeders right outside. It's such a pretty view out here when you have to do the dishes.

One of the perks of going with Ikea kitchens is that they have so many great organizing systems that fit right inside the drawers. I love not having a knife block on the counter.

Seeing as we do have three children and you often ask me how our kitchen looks so clean, I figured a few reality photos might help. Ben is often found in the Ikea hacked learning tower above.

Dance parties (and wrestling matches) are a near constant in the kitchen!

Alright, here are all the details of our custom Ikea Kitchen and what it cost:

The Ikea total: $8333.75

What did that get us?
Akrum cabinets
White high gloss Abstrakt doors
Black brown Ramsjo doors
All the interior fixings standard to these cabinets.
Delivery ($200)

Initial Budget?

We didn't have one exactly. Yes... I know... We had an idea and that idea was based on purchasing Akrum cabinets from Ikea and doors from Semihandmade Doors. That idea of a figure was within the $8-$10K range so we met that guesstimate and I'll take it as a win.

When we brought the bar coded sheet to the checkout at Ikea and watched the receipt print out and out and out... we laughed and the salesperson told us we were going to have one nice kitchen!

The rest:

Cabinet hardware from Richelieu: $250
Quartzite countertops and Matte White subway tile from Emerald Tile: $5,085 + $273.51
Refrigerator, Stove, Dishwasher from Corbeil Appliances: $5,670.00
Summit Microwave: $312.26
Muuto Unfold Pendant: $250.00
Walnut Floating Shelves from Custom Floating Shelves: $500
Owl Stool kits (my Brother-in-law assembled and finished them). You can shop the assembled stools here.: $677.00
Brizo Solna Faucet: $365
Kohler Sink:$671
Kohler Sink Strainer: $75.28
Zephyr Anzio Stainless Steel Range Hood:$585.00
Ikea kitchen installation and modifications by LLCR: $2,797.88


Total cost of our custom Ikea Kitchen: $26,095.68

* We ordered the microwave, range hood, sink, and faucet to the US and camped there for a few nights so that we could bring it all back without paying duty.

* Not included: Our contractor who installed the backsplash, mudded and painted the kitchen walls and ceiling. Also paint. I love Farrow and Ball paint but we also call it "liquid gold" because it's pricey (but so worth it). We used Farrow and Ball Wevet for all of our main interior living spaces.

So yeah, there you have it. I am happy to report that I actually was under the false impression that this kitchen cost us a lot more. Not that $26K is something to sneeze at.

I hope this breakdown helps and as I've said, I highly recommend Ikea kitchens and have installed a couple more in client homes since doing our kitchen. (PS this post isn't sponsored by Ikea in case you were wondering).

Any other questions you're dying to ask. Please post them in the comments. Happy kitchen designing!





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