Dining Kitchen

A Tidy Blue and White IKEA Kitchen Design

How IKEA’s BODBYN cabinets and custom design solutions overcame limited space for a family of four

You’ve remodeled your kitchen before using white IKEA  kitchen cabinets, so you think you’ve got a pretty good grasp on what it takes. But that was a while ago and you’ve got a new home now and a small kitchen. Add to that a growing family that’s quickly outgrowing the space and you can see the need to remodel. But what do you do? If you’re IKD customer Fay from Alameda, CA, you adapt and overcome.

“Our kitchen footprint is very small, so we needed it to function well for a family of four. The previous layout was a one wall kitchen, so we wanted to see if we could make it a horseshoe-shaped kitchen (which we felt would be more efficient),” Fay explains.

Previous look of old kitchen

Fay’s design wishlist included an ample food prep area and counter space; an efficient design with sensible storage (i.e. all critical items close together); and an overall aesthetically pleasant design. After researching examples of kitchen designs on IKD’s Instagram page, Fay decided on IKD for guidance. Working with IKD designer Frank (and a budget of $30,000) she combined IKEA’s SEKTION kitchen system with white IKEA BODBYN wall cabinets and matte blue IKEA AXSTAD base and tall cabinets. This created a clean, traditional look.

The 96″ (l) x 85″ (w) layout is complemented by several IKEA MAXIMERA pull-out drawers; IKEA’s KASKER White Marble Effect/Quartz countertops; a white 25” (l) x 19” (w) IKEA HAVSEN Apron sink; black IKEA GRIBBOL handles (for the drawers) and black IKEA GRIBBOL knobs (for the doors); as well as stainless steel appliances, including a 30″ (w) x28″ (d) x47″ (h) Whirlpool range and a 30″ (w) x6″ (h) Whirlpool range hood. Cabinet design “hacks” were included as well, such as the custom-cut IKEA AXSTAD cabinets used as a pantry. Fay says her budget covered the cost of the appliances; contractor; materials and the IKEA cabinets, accessories and countertops— adding that she went slightly over budget due to labor and appliance costs.

Updated white and blue kitchen cabinets

Let’s see how Faye’s kitchen came together!

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Out With The Old

When faced with a kitchen space that is cluttered, undersized and underperforming, the first thing to do is upgrade your cabinets.

“In our previous home, in 2016, we fully remodeled our kitchen using IKEA cabinets. We loved the soft-close feature of the IKEA MAXIMERA drawers, the hidden doors, the practicality of the kitchen and the overall look. We knew when we purchased this home that we would be remodeling the kitchen with IKEA cabinets,” Faye explains.

White IKEA cabinets in remodelled kitchen

For Kaye and her family this meant removing the original, and in some spots — broken — cabinet doors that had created a very outdated and inefficient layout. These cabinets were replaced with white IKEA BODBYN upper cabinets with glass fronts and matte blue IKEA AXSTAD base cabinets. The BODBYN wall cabinets run from the alcove area, above the Whirlpool range hood and sink area, and ending with two corner wall cabinets reaching to the top of the 96″ (h) ceiling. More matte blue IKEA AXSTAD base cabinets are featured on the new peninsula island. The island houses a SEKTION base corner cabinet frame with pullout carousel storage, as well as additional corner storage on the opposite side and more storage along that bank from the IKEA MAXIMERA pullout drawers. The base cabinet storage makes for easy access to her pots, pans, cutlery and other cooking equipment. And since the original peninsula island was replaced by the new peninsula it fits seamlessly with the horseshoe configuration (in fact, it makes it).

Rounding out the product lineup are: IKEA UTRUSTA hinges with built-in damper for kitchen; an IKEA LILLVIKEN lid; an IKEA UTRUSTA glass shelving; an IKEA FIXA countertop support fixture, galvanized; a white IKEA VARIERA cover plate; an IKEA SEKTION assembly kit (and separate support bracket) for the kitchen island, and pull-out trash can.

Unique Challenges to a White IKEA Kitchen

One of the main challenges was the placement of the 24″ (w) x 34-1/2″ (d) stainless steel dishwasher.

“With the horseshoe layout, the dishwasher posed a potential obstacle. However our IKD designer and the contractor placed the dishwasher a little further from the sink, allowing for the horseshoe configuration. It was a little nerve-wracking, but it all came together,” Fay notes.

Another challenge was the custom pieces the installer needed to utilize due to the many corners and small foot print. This is seen in the alcove area where the 30″ (w) x28″ (d) x69″ (h) stainless steel refrigerator is featured along with custom-cut IKEA AXSTAD cabinets which create extra storage options as a 15″ (w) x 30″ (h) x 12″ (d) pantry area. While Fay admits this likely contributed to her increased cost in cabinet installation, it also made her design much more efficient.

Blue drawers in kitchen opened

Countertop Style

One of the key parts of any successful kitchen remodel are the countertops.

“I wanted a kitchen with a lot of counter space and storage in a very small footprint! IKD understood this vision and was able to design a very well-functioning kitchen that has ample counter space for prep work,” Fay says.

The IKEA KASKER White Marble Effect/Quartz countertops blend seamlessly with the white brick backsplash and the white IKEA HAVSEN apron sink — while also providing plenty of surface area for meal prep — and still leaving enough room for decorative items.

Fay says the countertops are actually her favorite part of the design. Specifically, she says it makes cooking and food prep more enjoyable and combined with an effective work triangle, all of her pots, pans and kitchen utensils are all very close at hand — very important with two young, active kids!

Parting Advice

With such a successful kitchen transformation, Faye wanted to share some advice with other IKEA remodelers.

“I would absolutely hire a professional kitchen design firm, like IKD. There is no way we would have been able to design this kitchen and navigate IKEA’s ordering process without their guidance. I think most people are turned off by IKEA because the company’s design and ordering process is so confusing, but IKD takes all that confusion out of the process and makes it simple and streamlined,:” Faye says.

Faye reiterates that her IKEA kitchen could only have been completed by using IKEA’s cabinets and countertops. She also notes that with future projects she plans to do more research on cabinet installers and prepare for a slightly longer overall timeline. She adds that coordinating the IKEA cabinet installation with the contractor took a little extra work on their end, “but the final look and money saved made it worth it.”

Glad to hear it Faye. As you can see, even experienced IKEA customers, like Faye, can benefit from working with certified IKEA kitchen design specialists, like IKD. Our team is here to guide you through the product selection and design process. We not only want your remodel project to be stress-free but we want you to be stress-free as you enjoy your IKEA design for years to come.

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Work with our certified kitchen designers to get a personalized kitchen designed around your needs and vision. If you’re interested in learning more about our service, make sure to check out our IKEA Kitchen Design Services.