To IKEA or not to IKEA...

Big news! We heard from DWELL Magazine this week that we're going to be in their upcoming Reader's Issue! They're featuring a photo of our kitchen with Noah and Chloe in it. It shows our floor to ceiling wall of IKEA cabinets with a custom wraparound stainless steel frame in the center. I'd been carrying around this vision of my future kitchen in my head for over 3 years, and when it came time to actually making it a reality, it was shocking how much cabinetry it was actually going to take...45 cabinets just for the one wall! With that in mind, we couldn't afford custom cabinets so I set out to find an affordable option and IKEA was pretty much it. I'd never had much luck with their furniture just in terms of longevity, so I read a lot of online reviews and talked with our architects who had installed some in another house they designed. It seemed that IKEA had recently improved the quality and durability of their Akurum cabinets - the drawer is made of solid metal so it won't swell and warp, they use quality hardware, Blum hinges and drawer dampers for soft closing, and it's completely modular so you can adapt them to an amazing degree. We went for it! Here's my general view on whether or not to use IKEA built-ins in your home:

  • Use it sparingly. Don't use it everywhere in your house (and that applies to IKEA furniture too) but be sure to mix it with some other interesting material or pieces that have a good story or feel custom and unique. 
  • Use it in a creative way - cut it, paint it, build on to it - there are tons of IKEA Hack sites out there now for ideas but here are some of the most elegant of them.

The IKEA kitchen cabinet is a cult phenomenon that has really taken over in the modern home design field. For creative people who can think outside of the box (or cabinet), it's a good-looking affordable solution.