I met Becky about three months too late. I had an architect client last winter who really wanted IKEA kitchens for the condo building he designed. He just didn’t want the hassle that comes with managing all the parts and pieces and having them assembled on site. Becky would have been the perfect resource for that project.
Becky’s kitchen design and installation company, Eco-Modernism, makes IKEA work for her clients around the country. She knows how to design in, assemble, install and, when necessary, modify these popular cabinets. Being as hands-on smart as she is with IKEA, I asked Becky to write a guest post for Gold Notes readers on the pros and cons of an IKEA kitchen. Here are her insights in the first of two guest posts. This one focuses on the pros, rather than the cons.
Frameless/Euro style cabinet construction
Frameless construction uses less resources. There is no face frame on the front of the box, which means there are also no obstructions to visually scanning cabinet contents, or accessing them.
No face frame equals less materials and less labor to build. Most cabinets have full overlay doors these days, which means you can’t see the frame. Why spend money where it won’t be seen?
Shelves can also span the full cabinet depth, instead of stopping short because of the face frame. Three-quarters of an inch doesn’t sound like much, but multiply it by 24 inches and that’s a loss of 18 square inches of precious storage area per shelf. Multiply that by three shelves and it’s a whopping 54 square inches [four and a half feet].
Under cabinet task lights can span more than one box, because the cabinet bottoms are flush. This means you can get a single longer light in lieu of two or more separate fixtures. Less wiring equals less labor to hookup.
Not the pretty stuff on the outside. The robust, beefy stuff on the inside. Like concealed hinges, drawer slides and soft closures. IKEA uses Blum Tandembox Plus drawer slides with Blumotion closers. That means you can load up 50 kg (90ish pounds) in a drawer and it won’t pinch your fingers or wake up the neighbors when it closes.
Swinging doors have Blum’s soft closers also. And unlike a custom shop, these bells come standard on every box; there is no upcharge per hinge or drawer.
The average kitchen that comes from IKEA is about 14 boxes and retails for about $3600 to $4000 and installation. That includes all the cabinets, toe kicks, light skirts, cover panels, fillers and hardware. An identical kitchen from Lowe’s with similar construction is $16,000 installed.
Modern cabinet style lovers can have the look and functionality of much higher-end product lines like Poggenpohl and Scavolini at a fraction of the cost and delivery time. IKEA usually delivers in less than 10 days.
Good stuff: IKEA kitchen by Becky Shankle and Eco-Modernism
IKEA warranties their cabinets for 25 years. That’s enough time for avocado green and harvest gold to come back in style. In other words, most kitchens get a face lift every couple of decades, on average. [So this warranty comes pretty close to many higher-priced manufacturer's lifetime warranties for cabinets costing much less. Many discount manufacturers only offer five-year warranties. JG]
Next up: Three reasons not to buy an Ikea kitchen