Monday, September 8, 2014

74 IKEA Eye Candy: Storage Solutions

Did you receive the new 2015 IKEA catalog in the mail recently?  I did and this year instead of flagging a billion and one pages, I decided to go and check out the store in person.  And I might have tested out a few of their well known kitchens while I was there.


I have a love / hate relationship with IKEA.  Love that it is affordable and hackable and that they offer an endless variety of super smart storage for all around the home.  Hate that it takes 30 minutes to assemble a box and that their carts are nearly impossible to push.

It has been quite awhile since I have last scoped things out so I was definitely due for a visit.  And this time I went kid-less, which really gave me the opportunity to check out the entire store and open every last drawer and cabinet.  There was a lot of great storage solutions to be seen; some old and some new, so I thought I would share what caught my eye.


As I mentioned, I did take some time to check out the oh-so-popular IKEA kitchens.  Since the boom of blogs, I have read a lot of really wonderful reviews about their kitchens {aside from the tedious assembly process}.  Bryan and I want to look into every last kitchen option prior to committing to anything, so I considered this important research.  There was a lot to love about their kitchens, especially the soft closing doors and drawers and variety of finishes {which all seem very maintenance free}.  I really heart the idea of lining the lower portion of the kitchen with drawers vs. cabinets.  Drawers allow items to be stored much more effectively due to the opportunity to use the entire depth without the items getting lost in the far back.  And imagine utilizing giant deep drawers for your dishes, especially with kiddos in the mix.  Much easier!


Same goes for pots and pans, right below the stove for the win!


One thing I appreciated is that they have many options to customize every last drawer.  That includes drawer dividers that adjust both length and width to accommodate kitchen gadgets and accessories of all types.


For the cabinets, they have organizers to make the most of them as well.  Everything from roll out trash cans to pull out drawers to baking supply storage racks.


No need to have an IKEA kitchen to enjoy the benefits of organization.  I found a lot of options that would work in any kitchen.  Shelf risers work great for plates, jars or glasses {but would also rock in an office for stationary and paper storage}.  And those bars equipped with loads of hanging storage get me every time.


With the ability to mix and match hooks and baskets, your spices and herbs can either be stored in jars or home grown near your kitchen window.


I am a fan of a few glass faced cabinets paired with concealed storage.  And although I am not sure I would ever need that much wine storage, I like the option to add a bit of it in the kitchen.


Oh, hello pretty dining area!


Sorry, I have IKEA a.d.d., but aren't those white dishes so charming?

My obsession with acrylic organizers is still going strong, and IKEA has really delivered this year.  They have quite a few options to make your bathroom drawers gleam.  And if the clear storage isn't your bag, they have something for the flexible storage lovers as well.


These little buckets are sweet storage that I have been coveting for awhile.  I imagine them working wonders near an entry to hold keys and a wallet or pet supplies.  Or in a closet for daily clothing accessories.  Of course, on hooks in a bathroom works great at preventing toiletries from taking over the counters.


What always inspires me the most when I take a trip to IKEA is their brilliant use of small spaces.  I would never think to add kitchen cabinets in my living room, but imagine the amount of storage you gain by using that wall space above a sofa?!


Hooks in a narrow corner and you have storage for folding chairs, handbags, baskets or anything else you can imagine!


And for a girl with a limited entryway, I can really appreciate how they made the most of a nook behind the door with mix and match pieces of their ALGOT system.  Only a few inches deep, yet it now stores shoes and boots, a basket for hats and mittens, a tray for a wallet and phone and a mirror.  Oh!  And hooks too!


Speaking of entryway, this cabinet would be perfect for shoes below, accessories within the drawer and handbags above.  Another great use for the cabinet would be in the office to hold a printer, paper, electronics and craft supplies.


In the family room, hide those DVD cases within concealed media drawers and keep the pretty stuff out on display.


The Expedit may now be the Kallax, but the functionality and playfulness remains the same.  And there are now even more colors to select from.


Also offering the ability to mix and match open and concealed storage, the number of Kallax insert options seems to grow each time I visit.


When it comes to wardrobe storage, I would say IKEA really nails it with the amount of versatility and options they offer.  In fact, this is where they win biggest for me.

Simple, classic and beautiful on the outside....


Endless storage solutions on the inside.


And not only would their wardrobes work great in a bedroom, but they would also rock it in the kitchen as pantry and small appliance storage or in a living room for games, media and office supplies.


Free standing kitchen storage / islands would also make for an amazing work surface in a craft room or studio, and can be stained or painted in an endless variety of colors.


The last few times I stopped at IKEA, their spice racks were sold out completely.  And for good reason, they are about the most versatile piece of small storage IKEA offers.


This time I was fortunate to pick up a few to use on a little project I am working on, but I have also used them for book storage in the boy's bedroom.  However, their functionality doesn't stop there.  Although they are designed for spices, imagine them in a bathroom for toiletries, in a garage holding tools, in a storage room holding small jars of paint or in a craft room holding endless pretty supplies.

IKEA has always been my first stop for storage boxes.  They are inexpensive and work in almost any room of the home.  And the customization options are endless.  A little gold rub n' buff?  Some painted stripes?  Covered in a pretty floral fabric?  Anything would take these simple boxes to unique and special.


When I dip, you dip, we IKEA dips {90's flashback anyone?}.  The dipped basket trend has hit the IKEA shelves.


Who doesn't love to have options to select from when working on an organizing project?  IKEA's new peg and ledge system allows you to mix and match hooks and accessories to come up with the perfect combination.


I may have stopped in my tracks at their under-the-stairs display.  Adjustable shelving paired with clear bins and you have yourself a system that will leaving you smiling each time you grab for holiday decor or camping supplies.


Of course, this only scratches the surface of what you can find there.  Endless varieties of storage furniture, baskets, organizers and hooks live at IKEA.  And no, after all of these years of using their products in our home and me gushing about their storage, I still am not being paid by them.  I just thought I would share my shopping adventure with my friends, because shopping with friends is way more fun even if it is just window shopping.

Peg Rail / Hanging Baskets / Acrylic Organizers / Storage Cabinet / Rolling Cart / Drawer Organizers / Wardrobe / Basket / Spice Rack / Wall Hook / Wire Basket / Storage Box


Although I mostly browsed this trip, I did come home with a few new picture frames, pillow inserts and an orchid.  And those spice racks.  But now I will be dragging Bryan back for a second look at some of those kitchen options.

What IKEA storage have you purchased lately that has changed the way you live?  Anyone have an IKEA kitchen and care to share a quickie review?

74 comments:

  1. We LOVE our IKEA kitchen! We were able to customize all of our cabinets to fit our needs. Plus the drawer dampers are pretty awesome!

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  2. We are contemplating an Ikea kitchen so very interested to read your take on it. I agree that Ikea's strongest feature is probably their organising stuff. I can spend all day dreaming up uses for things!

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  3. Stop the madness... now I have the urge to go to IKEA!
    Love this post

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  4. I love how great Ikea storage solutions are too but feel exactly the same about how long it takes to walk round! I like how cupboards look from the outside but drawers are definitely more handy x
    Freya's Fashion Chapter

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  5. I love visiting IKEA stores for all those clever organization solutions. There are so much to see: nwe clever ways to store, organize and use spaces. My sister and few of my friends have IKEA kitchens, and they are all very satisfied! No bad experiences. Most have assembled and installed their kitchens with ease. Of course you can pay them to do it ;). Here in Finland IKEA kitchens are very popular and proven to be very durable! And those drawer are a must. I can only recommend!

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  6. I'm another vote for a satisfied kitchen installer/owner/daily user. I love it.

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  7. The BORGSJÖ series is inexpensive (despite the "Australia tax") and matches *everything*. We have one set up with all of our china, and the other is a stationary cupboard and my sewing cabinet, all behind gorgeous glass doors. Next month we're moving house and that minty green Kallax is mine!

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    1. Good luck with your move Andrea! That mint green Kallax was pretty fantastic!

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  8. IKEA makes me so happy and completely overwhelmed all at once. I am planning a nursery and love some of these storage ideas.

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  9. Love love love it all! Those carts are the worst though, you're right!

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  10. We have drawers instead of cabinets in our kitchen, installed when we remodeled in 1987. We love them still and I wouldn't have it any other way. Go for it. It will make you happy when you never have to crouch down to fish something out of the deep dark places that lurk in standard cabinets. You only use the first twelve inches ... everything behind that is useless space.

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  11. I live in rural Alaska, so for nine months of the year (my husband is a school teacher) I am not able to shop in a store. Thanks to this AWESOME post, I feel like I just spent the afternoon at IKEA. Thank you!!!

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    1. Wow, happy to take you virtual shopping any time!!

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  12. I have that much wine to store. Does that make me a bad mommy??? haha!!!

    xo,
    Sam

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    1. Haha, no, probably makes you a better mommy ;) Love you girl!

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  13. I need to go stat! I love the adjustable shelves with clear bins, that will make it to my cart because my garage is a HUGE mess with this renovation! Nice list!

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  14. My husband has built custom homes for many years and would say that Ikea kitchen cabinets are great. He put them in most of the homes he built and loved their versatility. Despite them being a pain to put together, he wouldn't choose any other kind. For a homeowner, they are cost efficient, good quality and you can basically choose any design out there. I wish the previous owners of my house hadn't just redone the kitchen because I really wanted an Ikea kitchen.

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  15. I'm obsessed with all the drawer organization! I'm always so surprised at how much drawer space I'm wasting without even knowing it!

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  16. Yes to lower drawers! especially under the stove top for pots and pans. we just did our homeschool room from ikea............love it! i love the teal cart for arts and crafts, it holds tons of stuff and we just wheel it over to the craft table when we need it, or anywhere else. :-)

    i was just thinking today about when you would be starting your long awaited kitchen update! hope its soon....i know it will be great.

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    1. Oooh, that little blue cart gets me every time. I so wish I needed it somewhere :)

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  17. I've had an Ikea kitchen for three years now, and I still love, love, love it!!
    Still looks as great as the day we installed it, and it have two kids(10 & 8), and one dog. I have all drawers on the bottom cabinets and they are awesome. I can even have my 8 year old unload the dishwasher because everything is within reach!
    We were a little hesitant when making the decision, but have zero regrets. It is so functional that cooking is a pleasure now. People can't believe it when I tell them it's an Ikea kitchen! Good luck with everything! Love reading your blog. Thanks for such useful and creative info. Getting ready to tackle my garage, and I'm using your posts as my inspiration:)

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  18. Now I need to go to Ikea! I always forget how fun it is to check out the new stuff....despite the annoying carts:-)

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  19. We put in an IKEA kitchen this past winter (cabinets/counters/sink/faucet) and LOVE every square inch of it. Totally customized to what we wanted and fits our family perfectly. And, the kids can't slam the drawers or cabinets! #softclose

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    1. I know a lot of custom kitchens offer that soft close feature, but I have to say, it is probably the thing I am most excited about!

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  20. Haha I do agree about their carts being hrd to push, I thought that was just me! Did you notice the new floating shelf they have? It has ropes around it and it's so gorgeous!

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    1. No, I must have completely missed it. I will be sure to keep my eyes peeled next trip, thanks for the heads up! Sounds pretty!

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  21. All the customized organization…love it! My husband says that when I go there it's like a black hole and he can't get me out!

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  22. We did the kitchen to our cottage from Ikea two years back and have loved it. You can read more in our blog: http://villalinea.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/how-much-is-a-kitchen/

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  23. Thanks for the kitchen review, and everyone's favourable comments on them. I was wondering about the quality as there is the possibility of building a new house again.
    http://www.sweetwordsprettypictures.com

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  24. You left IKEA without candles? That never works for me.... I have a lot of items from IKEA. I have the PAX wardrobe with the doors you photographed. And I love it. Here in germany it's typical that you have no build in storage in your apartment. So PAX is a life saver for me.
    I also have an IKEA kitchen and those silent drawers are great. As are the offered storage solutions.

    PS. The carts in germany don't have any issues. They run smooth and are huge so you can put lots of stuff in them. =)

    Greetings from germany,
    Heide

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    1. The ones here in the US, all four wheels turn/swivel, so it is hard to keep them going straight. They are big as well, so you can load them up. :)

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  25. My parents love their Ikea kitchen (and they both are architects, so they're super picky). The soft close cabinets, the huge drawers, and how much they love their kitchen means we are definitely doing the same for ours next year.

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  26. I have been drooling over whether I should get an IKEA kitchen or not. I live in N.Z and we don't have any suppliers of IKEA except for a company in Auckland whose range is very limited and not what I am after. I am in Australia on Thursday and I think I will make a first start with ordering me a PAX wardrobe system and some storage components to make a media wall (http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/20524040/list/how-to-create-your-own-semicustom-media-wall). I have to buy in store in Aus and then organise shipping myself from Australia to N.Z but your post (thankfully) is convincing me that it would be a wise first step to do this and then follow up with a NEW kitchen

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  27. Hi. First of all, thank you for an amazing blog. You´re such an inspirationa :-)
    Second... this IKEA post is just wonderful. I know that IKEA looks the same all over the world and that the swedish names of their products are the same everywhere but reading your post makes it "real". I'm swedish, living in Sweden and I love IKEA. Your blog helps me see what I can "hack" and use from IKEA. American stores often don't offer international shipping, or it's very expensive, but IKEA is always here :-) I'm gonna stop blabbing now. I just want to say 'Thanks'. <3

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  28. I have an Ikea kitchen and LOVE IT! Although I would have liked the shaker style, we have the other (outlay? I don't know.) It is such good quality and at such a good price. And we're not talking about Ikea products that work well enough and you can get around the quality, this stuff is the real deal. We installed it more that three years ago and haven't had to do a drop of maintenance work since. We also have their counters, which no one guesses those are from Ikea as well! Needless to say I am very impressed by the line. Good luck with your decision!

    Sarah

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  29. I love Ikea too....I don't know if they still carry them, but we bought HUGE plastic kitchen drawer organizers for about $3 each...crazy cheap for so much organization. Also, the hanging rails with basket options, I have had one at the top or bottom of every basement stairway we have had, for those little things you need to either take up or down. Love the kitchen displays they have too! Good luck planning your redo! Rosie

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  30. I got an Algot system with four drawers as a laundry hamper. It makes laundry day so much easier!
    Each drawer equals approximately one load, so I just grab the drawer, throw the contents (pre-sortet into whites, colors, blacks and hot wash) into the machine and when all is washed and dried it goes back into the drawer for folding and putting away :)

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  31. Great blogentry, loved reading it! :)
    I am always really amazed from the ideas IKEA has and how they can make a small room seem so big and give it so much storage space!:o
    Funny thing is also that I never found a single home where they don't have at least one thing from IKEA - everyone got the IKEA-disease, haha!
    If it's only a little bookshelf, a little table, or even a whole kitchen. Everyone has a little something from IKEA :'D

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  32. We lived in Germany for 4 years and installed an ikea kitchen in our rental. In Europe it's customary to take your kitchen with you when you move, so we had to buy a kitchen! We loved the ikea soft close drawers - something my nice big American kitchen doesn't even have! We thought it was good quality and well priced - though I recommend having ikea or someone else install it for you; it's not nearly as easy as you'd think!

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    1. Taking your kitchen when you move?? I live in Europe and have never heard that before!
      But the Ikea kitchen is absolutely fabulous!

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  33. I love this post I am totally motivated to organize up my kitchen a bit!

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  34. I can't think of anyone I'd have more fun with at Ikea than you!!!

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  35. Just in case you don't already read House Tweaking (I bet you do!), she has a great series on IKEA kitchens.

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    1. Oooh yes! I have really loved some of the kitchens she has shared! I think I am sold on them from a "looks great" perspective, just wanting to be sure the quality and durability can keep up. :)

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  36. Our brand-new Kansas City IKEA opens tomorrow! I am so excited!! I've never been but it has been on my bucket list since before they announced they were building here. Maybe the brand-new carts will work well?!

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  37. Girl I dream of an Ikea kitchen...ours looks nice, but whomever designed it....lets just say they should never design another kitchen! We have deep cabinets without lazy Susans so they are practically useless! I would love to be able to reach, see what I have etc etc. Not in this house but maybe the next we will have better kitchen storage!

    Haha the carts! Yeah they are rough - they like to runaway from me!

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  38. I can't wait to see your new project with the spice racks. I have 4 left over in a closet needing a new home. So excited Ikea is opening 2 stores in Missouri, my home state!

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  39. What is the name of the baking supply cabinet organizer? I tried to find it online and wasn't successful.

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    1. Hi Connie - I believe the organizers are these: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/54577383/

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    2. I have them and can attest to their working really well. They screw into the bottom of your cabinet. They have worked great for storing all of my bakeware. I hated stacking them and then having to take them all out to get one piece.

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  40. Love Ikea!!! Melissa of Melissa Maker is putting in an Ikea kitchen right nowhttps://www.youtube.com/user/melissamaker

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  41. Do you have a post that talks about good ways to use storage boxes from Ikea (like the one you show above in pink at the end of the post?)

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  42. I absolutely adore IKEA!! I don't get paid by them either but I do gush over them to people and send them lots of business. I personally do not have one of their kitchens per say but I do in the sense that I have so much IKEA stuff in my kitchen and probably every room in my home has lots of their items. So we have an IKEA home, I guess. When the new catalog arrives I get so excited and plan on going through it page by page multiple times....love it! And I would be so thrilled to shop there one day with you and or Hi Sugarplum ( I read her blog also). Like you say at the end of your blog, your blog and we'll add IKEA to the list as another "HAPPY PLACE". Toodles, Barbi

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  43. I can stay in IKEA in a whole day and more....

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    1. Haha, I think I was easily there for three and a half hours this last trip... I remember looking at my watch and gasping out loud. :)

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  44. You come to 'my' Ikea! I have sometimes thought I might run into you there. Ha ha! I am lucky enough to live 20 mins away from it so we go fairly regularly (hey kids, who wants meatballs??).... :)

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  45. We're thinking of putting in an ikea kitchen too!! Love all their little storage options.. you've showed a few of my favourites too! :)

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  46. I really love IKEA and I like to visit IKEA just to get some inspiration.

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  47. I especially love this post since I sent my husband to Ikea last night to buy the micke desk in pink for my craft room. Before he left he said "Pink, Amy, really?" and then it was mysteriously out of stock- but I'm suspect. The plain white one is just not as happy....

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  48. I'm still (im)patiently waiting on my catalog to come, so thank you! That ALGOT entry is exactly what I need by my back door. I'm tired of not having access to the toddler's shoes in the nursery because the baby is sleeping.

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  49. Perfect timing - I have off next Wednesday specifically to drive to our Baltimore IKEA (and it doesn't hurt that there's a giant Old Navy across the street). My entire house is a combination of IKEA and Target, so I'm all about inexpensive everything. I don't think there's anything in my bedroom that isn't from IKEA. Thanks for this - it's making me very excited for next week!

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  50. We just finished our customized Ikea kitchen and we love it! We chose Ikea because we wanted a white kitchen to lighten up a dark house. This alone made it easy to go with Ikea as their boxes are high quality and thick mdf products, the assembly wasn't that bad. If you have assembled Ikea products the cabinets are just a bigger project. It took us a weekend and our contractor said that they were very easy to install. We customized the cabinets by purchasing Scherrs cabinet doors and had them painted professionally for a durable finish locally. We also customized the baseboards. The bulk of the work and worry with doing an Ikea kitchen is planning it out. We used Carol Reed Interiors who is a online designer to plan it out. She was awesome. You have to put all the boxes into the Ikea planner which is cumbersome. It has to be done if you plan on using custom wood doors because you send that to Scherrs for a price quote. This means you have to check, double check and triple check the boxes, the choice of drawers and cabinets prior to final approval for cabinet drawers. We have very high end finishes which we would not have been able to budget in if we went with custom or big box kitchen cabinets. I would love to share our pictures, process and costs for anyone interested.

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  51. You have to think outside the IKEA box. My friend found a darling cabinet that worked well in her dining room in the kitchen department. I found a shoe storage in bedrooms to use as entry way piece. That way mail and keys is not just lying by the front door.

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  52. Jen - thank you so much for demystifying IKEA with your pictures and specific tips for finding their treasures. I am always amazed by the multitude of ways creatives find to use their products but I absolutely LOATHE going there - the baskets, the lack of helpful staff, the inability to find that sought after item, the maze of arrows, I could go on. However, you post was really helpful and gives me the motivation to try again. :)

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  53. Hi Jen. There is a great YouTube channel called Clean My Space run by Melissa Maker. She and her husband are currently documenting their IKEA kitchen reno on Melissa's 2nd channel - Melissa Maker. I thought you might be interested in checking it out!

    http://www.youtube.com/user/melissamaker

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  54. I have a Ikea kitchen that was in the home before buying it. I didn't know that Ikea had drawer organizers like the ones that hold plates and pots together. THAT is amazing, and I have to go back and take a look at organizers like that and re-work the cabinets in my kitchen. The problem with inheriting one of these kitchens is that they can be customized so much, you are sometimes just stuck with preferences unlike your own. Great post. Thanks for the ideas.

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  55. Anything that reads, "Ikea Eye Candy" is not something I should look at. Now I want to go to Ikea. Yeah, I 'm easy. ;)

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  56. Wow just lost a horrendously long comment. But basically I said we just did our kitchen this spring and love, love, love it! Be sure to read (and read and read) the IKEA Fans forums for installation advice. Immeasurably helpful.

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  57. Jen--we totally gutted and installed an IKEA kitchen three years ago. We L-O-V-E it! It is the Lidingo whit with a mix of glass (for dishes) and solid doors on top, lots of storage options inside, black granite counter top and white subway tile backsplash. It is the kitchen of my dreams for about 10G--a fraction of what a custom install would cost! I constantly get compliments on it and everyone seems shocked it is IKEA. I maintain IKEA can always be hacked/customized. :) I adore the beauty, functionality, durability and affordability. I cannot fathom why anyone would choose to go anyplace else for their kitchen. I am happy to answer any specific questions, send pics, etc. if helpful. I honestly cannot say enough about how happy my IKEA kitchen makes me.

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  58. Do you think the overall cost of an IKEA kitchen would still be better than regular, pre-mades even if you add on the cost of them installing it? (Or getting a local handyman to install.)

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  59. I love this post! We are building a new house and although we have already picked our kitchen, I see endless possibilities in other rooms of the house for the wardrobes, kitchen island type storage, etc. I can't wait to set up the craft room and bedrooms now after reading your post!

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