3 Things to Know Before You Design Your European Style Kitchen


How to Easily Create a European Design Theme Using IKEA’s VOXTORP Doors

Ah, European kitchens. They’re so sleek and stylish we can’t blame any of our customers for wanting that look. We encourage it! IKEA is an affordable, flexible option for getting a European style kitchen in North America.

Their latest addition, VOXTORP doors for kitchen cabinets and drawers, gives us 3 more options for a European look.

Why VOXTORP Doors Are Perfect for European-style Kitchens


VOXTORP doors have these 2 European design elements:

  • They’re flat panel. European kitchens are all about the clean lines.
  • They have integrated handles. The asymetrical grooves are subtle and functional.

VOXTORP doors have been on the IKEA kitchen scene for a good 6 months now. We’ve designed several kitchens with them.

We’ve learned there are 3 important things you need to know if you’re thinking of using VOXTORP doors because they could thwart your attempt for a European-looking IKEA kitchen.

We also discovered a glitch in the Home Planner and an error on the IKEA website for this door.

#1: There’s No Integrated Dishwasher Option for VOXTORP Doors

As we said, many of our customers chose IKEA for their kitchens because it’s an affordable way to achieve a European look in their kitchens.

Unfortunately, when IKEA brought its new design line SEKTION to the United States and Canada, it didn’t bring over many of the pieces you’d need to get a truly European look.

If you want to bum yourself out with what you missed, read this post. We hope IKEA USA will bring over more of the IKEA Europe kitchen line!


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However, the one bone IKEA threw us was the RENLIG, or integrated dishwasher option. Except…it’s not available in any of the VOXTORP door styles.

If you look at the screenshot, you’ll see that their RENLIG dishwasher does not come with any of the VOXTORP doors.

An IKEA kitchen showroom associate explained this IKEA design decision to me.

  • VOXTORP doors are 7/8″ thick. (All other IKEA kitchen cabinet doors and drawer fronts are 3/4″ thick.) All it takes is 1/8″ extra of thickness to prevent a dishwasher door from opening smoothly. Size matters!

IKD Designer Chuck chimes in:

Dishwasher doors are heavy. In our experience it’s better to have a bigger (non-integrated) handle to pull on to open the door. Integrated door handles are smaller and don’t offer much of a grip.

The other IKEA door with an integrated handle is the MÄRSTA. You can get a MÄRSTA integrated dishwasher, but I’ve scratched my head over that one a few times now. I wouldn’t be surprised if IKEA phases that out.

#2: There’s No Corner Wall Cabinet for VOXTORP Doors

Fans of corner wall cabinets are also out of luck if they want to use VOXTORP doors. There’s no option for this cabinet type with a VOXTORP door.

We suspect this will be less of an issue for our customers seeking a European kitchen design.

  • Corner wall cabinets can be old-fashioned looking. For our European kitchen designs, we usually design a blind corner wall cabinet or else a dead corner.

IKD Designer Jessica says:

Just like with the integrated dishwasher, the VOXTORP doors are too thick for a corner wall cabinet. If IKEA did offer a VOXTORP corner wall cabinet, you wouldn’t even be able to open its door without it banging into your other cabinet doors. You’d have to add fillers on either side to prevent that.

Why would you want to ruin a sleek-looking kitchen with additional fillers? We think IKEA was a step ahead with this decision.

#3: The Biggest VOXTORP Cover Panels Are Only 5/8″ Thick

Cover panels are used to conceal the sides of appliances – like for a refrigerator or a dishwasher at the end of a cabinet run. They can also be used to create custom cabinets like the ones we’ve written about for our IKEA Kitchen Cabinet Hacks series.

More importantly, they’re used to provide support for under-countertop appliances like dishwashers, microwaves, and wine refrigerators. The thicker the panel, the greater the support.

We covered cover panel thickness extensively in another blog post but this handy chart should help. For the VOXTORP and nearly all other door styles, the following is true:


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