Ikea Kitchen – Planning and Purchasing

kitchen header

When we bought our fixer upper (or let’s be honest, demolition project), we originally planned on updating the kitchen with Ikea cabinets. After speaking with several contractors and friends, we were swayed into getting a few quotes for custom cabinetry because it’s “not that expensive.” While I totally agree that custom cabinetry is beautiful and not that expensive when you’re building a new house, it was WAY out of my price range for this place. The cabinet prices were running anywhere from $7,000 to $10,000, which is a huge chunk of the entire renovation budget. Once we knew that custom was out of the question, we went right back to our original Ikea plan.  In the end, the decision came down to the balance of cost and quality. I feel like we got both in our Ikea kitchen. Posts from other bloggers, especially Rhoda at Southern Hospitality, solidified this choice for me.

Contrary to what you may think, planning an Ikea kitchen was pretty simple and straightforward. Here are a few tips:

  • Look at other (Ikea and otherwise) kitchen layouts that you like and make note of the “must- haves” like drawer cabinets or pantries
  • Take VERY careful measurements of your space and account for the ceiling height window/ door trim
  • Unless you really hate the general layout of your kitchen, don’t attempt to move plumbing and electrical, as this will add to your overall bill in a big way

When you are ready to plan, download the Ikea 3D kitchen planner. You must have your project planned before going to the store to meet with a consultant. The software is very easy to use. You plug in your measurements and “drag and drop” cabinets into place. Begin by placing the big items like your fridge, sink cabinet, range, and dishwasher and then add the cabinets around them. If you’re buying new appliances (like us!) make sure to find the specs so that you have the correct measurements. Here’s a screenshot of the 3D view – pretty accurate!

You are able to add in the cost of hardware and countertops with the 3D planner, but we chose not to. The planner allows you to print and save your blueprint and also gives you a cost rundown of each piece. Our actual cost was about $300 more than the projected amount due to add-ons like cover panels and filler strips.

When you go to the store to make your purchase, you will meet with a consultant who will sit down and do through the entire plan with you piece by piece. Ours was very helpful in pointing out possible flaws in design and re-arranging a couple of cabinets to better fit our kitchen. These changes added to our cost, but were great solutions that I would have never thought of! Once you have triple checked the plan, the consultant will print an order form that you use at check out and pick up. Plan to wait a couple of hours while your boxes are “picked” from the shelves.


After you receive your cart (or carts!) of boxes, you will need to check each box by it’s number and make sure you have them all . We had 111 boxes and bags and only 2 were mixed up and easily exchanged before we left the store! When we unloaded the boxes, we arranged them by the build plan that you will get with your kitchen packet. For example, I wrote “#1” on the 4 boxes that went with cabinet #1 on my blueprint. Here they are all stacked neatly in our bedroom:

Next – we assemble!


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