A&H Architecture

Working with IKEA Cabinets

Posted on: Sep 08, 2015 Blog author: Christine Blog category: Space & Logic

At Albertsson Hansen we design a lot of kitchens, which we very much enjoy doing. We have the good fortune of being in a region where there are many capable cabinet makers who can provide us with custom cabinets at a great price compared to other parts of the country. Yet  custom cabinets just don’t fit the budget of every project. In these instances, we often turn to IKEA cabinets as our stock cabinet of choice, using the same care and attention to detail that we do with our custom cabinet designs. We appreciate the quality hardware, broad selection of sizes - especially in their new line, and simple detailing of their doors. Having designed many kitchen using IKEA cabinets, we thought it would be interesting for our blog readers to learn a bit about how we approach designing within their system. The following images are from several projects we have built using IKEA over the past ten years, and show various design principles we follow.

In all of our IKEA kitchens, we blend custom with stock cabinets. Here we focused on not using any upper cabinets, instead have open shelving, and use the island and base cabinets for all of the storage. 

In this kitchen, the island, mudroom cabinets, and built in bench are custom. IKEA modules are used and are white, while the custom pieces are painted contrasting colors. We freely composed the wall of pantry cabinets using the standard dimensions that the cabinets come in to create a more interesting composition around the fridge. 

When using IKEA, we generally avoid corners as much as possible so that we can keep the cabinet runs straight and simple as you can see in this kitchen. Lift-up uppers were used so that the upper cabinets could be shorter than standard uppers, and line up with the bottom on the hood. Open shelves were used for ease of plating food, and the glass cabinets to the left provide display of objects against the fixed windows over which they are installed. 

The flat, glossy contemporary style of an IKEA cabinet line were used in this project, creating a fun mix of color and material. Custom white oak shelves were added to store wine bottles. A stainless steel cart forms the island in this space, which serves as a connector to a screened porch, living room and dining room.  

Earlier this year I was approached by WCCO to discuss IKEA’s new SEKTION system – check out the link below for the interview.