One of the most common questions we get as IKEA kitchen designers is how to create a built-in look with their IKEA kitchen using SEKTION cabinetry. Specifically, how to build a sleek, hidden-appliance design with both IKEA paneled kitchen appliances or non-IKEA refrigerators and dishwashers.
Well, we’re glad you asked!
IKEA only sells Whirlpool appliances under IKEA brand names, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a custom design that works with your choice of appliances.
So whether you’re looking to create a traditional or transitional look, or you simply want to keep your non-IKEA appliances after your remodel, there are plenty of options.
Beauty and Function: Design Solutions to Hide Appliances
That said, before proceeding, IKD designer Paulina wants to clarify for customers that there is a distinction between built-in appliances and paneled appliances.
“Built-in is not the same as ‘paneled’ appliances. Built-in, as the name describes, are appliances built into the cabinets – whether it’s a fridge, dishwasher, oven, microwave, etc. Paneled appliances, though, are not only built-in but blend with the cabinets as they are ‘covered’ by a panel front.”
“The built-in look is more popular now I believe because there are so many more options for built-in appliances than a couple of years back, you can basically find an option even for small kitchens and also for small budgets.”
So you may already have an IKEA RENLIG or IKEA LAGAN built-in dishwasher, but you also may have different design needs.
Therefore, there are plenty of third-party door companies, like Semihandmade, who offer custom panel and door styles for a seamless built-in look.
“Look and style-wise, the built-in look is perfect for modern kitchens as the appliances blend with the cabinets. Remember, our ultimate challenge as designers is to create a beautiful functional IKEA kitchen, so we pay attention to all the details, and so do our customers!”
Let’s take a look at a number of IKEA paneled kitchen appliances that can help you achieve that uniform, seamless look.
IKEA Panel-Ready Refrigerators and Alternatives
An IKEA panel-ready refrigerator is the perfect addition to any kitchen focused on a seamless, paneled design.
As mentioned in the introduction, these refrigerators are different from built-in refrigerators in that they are designed with panels, and blend in perfectly with surrounding cabinetry.
IKEA panel-ready refrigerators come with many benefits including ease of access and easy cleaning. You can also easily add extra storage space above the appliance to really maximize functionality.
IKEA panel-ready refrigerators like SUPERKALL are a great choice for most kitchen designs, and fit snugly into the SEKTION cabinets. Special hinges allow the fridge door to swing open without affecting the panel on top of it.
Keep in mind that IKEA does not make panels for third-party refrigerators, only their Whirlpool range. So if you want a custom panel for your kitchen design, we recommend using custom fronts from a company like Semihandmade.
For further customization, our designers can work with you and direct you to other companies within IKEA’s ecosystem.
We’ll Design Your Ideal IKEA Kitchen Easily, Affordably, and Online
Our IKEA Kitchen Design Package is everything you need to complete your new kitchen with confidence.
Your design rendering will include any third-party custom panels, so you can see how your kitchen will look after installation. The IKEA Home Planner does not include that, but our designers can help you create your dream built-in kitchen with any appliances you want to incorporate.
IKEA Hidden Microwaves: No More Counter Clutter
An IKEA hidden microwave is an ideal appliance for smaller kitchens or spaces that want a modern aesthetic. It frees up counter space, providing more room to prepare food while lending your kitchen a more contemporary and clutter-free look.
The HUVUDSAKLIG is a popular solution we feature in many of our paneled kitchen designs. This built-in microwave slots effortlessly into the SEKTION line of cabinets, and pairs beautifully with the ADRÄTT oven. It features a sleek, modern design, and will make any kitchen feel bigger and brighter by staying out of the way of your countertops.
You can also incorporate storage space around your microwave such as IKEA’s MAXIMERA drawer, so that utensils are always on hand if you need them during operation.
We also offer our own IKEA custom base microwave cabinet as a great storage hack that can provide even more storage solutions around your built-in microwave.
You’ll also want to give some thought to exactly where you place your IKEA hidden microwave. Placing the microwave near a window frame could be a fire hazard, and near a corner could create kitchen congestion.
Placing it near a wall could result in harm to both the microwave and the wall itself, so you’ll need to position it carefully to minimize potential damage.
IKEA Panel Ready Dishwashers and Custom Solutions
Since dishwashers are such large and often unsightly appliances, being able to discreetly store this IKEA paneled kitchen appliance between your cabinetry is ideal for achieving a sleek and uniform look in your kitchen.
IKEA offers a number of panel-ready dishwashers that work with a variety of different cabinets. The SPOLAD is a good example, as is the RENGÖRA, LAGAN and MEDELSTOR.
These dishwashers are available in both 45cm and 60cm designs, offering flexibility for challenging kitchen designs or awkwardly-shaped spaces.
Other built-in dishwashers such as ESSENTIELL and VILLKORLIG can be fitted with custom door panels.
There are some limitations to consider. For dishwashers, IKEA door fronts are generally 24”x30″ or 18”x30”, which can be quite restricting if you have a non-IKEA dishwasher.
By working with IKD, we can make sure that you have custom door fronts regardless of which appliance you decide to use.
IKD will also ensure that your kitchen design is as balanced as possible. We have a bit of a “If you dream it we can build it,” mentality with built-in designs – within reason. Paulina explains:
“We try to keep everything as symmetric and harmonious as possible so when there’s a built-in dishwasher to one side of the sink, we try to match the other side with a pull-out for trash that’s the same width, etc.”
Other Appliances That Look Like Cabinets
Outside of fridges, microwaves and dishwashers, IKEA has quite a large range of built-in kitchen appliances.
Extractor hoods like the UNDERVERK and UTDRAG both integrate beautifully with wall-mounted kitchen cabinets. While the TVÄTTAD washing machine operates out of sight under the sink behind either an IKEA or custom panel front.
As long as the measurements are accurate and align with other cabinets and countertops, there’s no limit to what can be built into a kitchen design.
IKEA paneled kitchen appliances can create a svelte, contemporary style with a minimalist touch for any size of kitchen and any sort of budget.
These kitchens are often childproof, highly functional, and easy to keep clean throughout the day, no matter what kind of household you have.
Get a Professional IKEA Kitchen Design – All Online
Work with our certified designers to get a personalized bathroom designed around your needs and vision. If you’re interested in learning more about our service, make sure to check out our IKEA Bathroom Design Services.