Homeowner Overcomes the Unexpected to Create a Modern IKEA Kitchen

Product back orders, a 350-mile drive to Montreal — even a fire — didn’t slow down this IKEA design.

Initiating the remodeling process can come with a learning curve for many IKEA customers. So first-time remodelers really need patience and perseverance. But what would you do if your tight project timeline was hindered by a lack of accurate product pricing, back orders, and even a fire at the IKEA warehouse that held up your order? If you were Regina from Stratford, CT, you’d take matters into your own hands.

“The goal of our kitchen remodel was to have everything organized and ready to go. We had it planned well with demo, installation, countertops and then flooring. I knew the general layout of what the new kitchen would be and wanted to maximize the design and functionality of IKEA cabinets,” she says.

Project Numbers

$5,258 Total IKEA Cabinet & Door cost
$2,234 Total Extra Items cost
$7,492 IKEA Cabinet & Extra Items Total price

However she immediately ran into obstacles. First she had difficulty getting price quotes for flooring and quartz countertops and then had trouble navigating the IKEA Home Planner software which left her frustrated. It was then she found IKD designer Daniel online to help her navigate the process. After repeated product back orders, botched deliveries and a lack of customer service from IKEA she decided to drive to Montreal and pick up her remaining cabinet boxes!

With a budget of $25,000 Regina combined IKEA’s SEKTION kitchen system and IKEA RINGHULT cabinets with high-gloss white doors and IKEA MAXIMERA drawers. She also bought Vadara Statuario Venato quartz countertops from Stonehenge, LLC in Stratford, CT; white laminate IKEA LILLTRASK countertops; a 22″ (l) x 18-1/8″ (back to front) black quartz IKEA KILSVIKEN sink and a Samsung microwave from Best Buy, among others, to create a modern kitchen with plenty of clean lines.

Regina’s remodel story doesn’t end there and provides a lot of design inspiration.

Let’s take a look!

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Unexpected Challenges

When you have a remodeling plan the unexpected can still happen.

“After repeatedly not receiving call backs about flooring and quartz countertop pricing I decided on a flooring company I had used for our previous bathroom remodel,” she explains.

Regina had first brought her design to IKEA and found the Home Planner software too confusing — even noticing that it posed issues for the IKEA employee. However that was the least of her challenges.

Her initial order only had about five items on back order but a warehouse fire at the Staten Island IKEA warehouse destroyed most of her $8,000 cabinet order. She couldn’t reach the IKEA customer service or claims department and time was ticking on her project – the demo and installation were happening in a matter of days.When IKEA did not fulfill her scheduled cabinet delivery she sprang into action. Her cabinets were not available anywhere in the U.S. so Regina drove from Connecticut to IKEA in Montreal to get the missing cabinet boxes.Only then was she able to keep her project on schedule.

Working Alliance

Working with design professionals was always part of Regina’s plan.

“I didn’t know the nuances of planning a kitchen. I chose IKD for peace of mind that the design would function well and look fabulous. The design fee was worth knowing I was making the best choice possible. This was going to be a big investment and I wanted to get it right. IKD helped me get the kitchen I always dreamed of,” she says.

She also hired an IKEA installer who was subcontracted for the demo, plumbing and painting. She was referred separate contractors for the countertop and flooring installation. These professionals were able to tweak things and even got her refunds from IKEA on certain unused items.

“Since I’d never remodeled a kitchen before having professionals do the work allowed me to get the job done faster and with fewer mistakes,” she notes.

From start to finish the kitchen was completed in three weeks.

Second Time a Charm

Regina’s kitchen remodel represents her second project using IKEA cabinets.

“Years ago I put an IKEA vanity and sink into my bathroom. I liked the IKEA RINGHULT cabinets so much that I chose them for my kitchen too,” she says.

And her original kitchen layout — with its ugly brown ceramic flooring, black countertops and scattered shelving— needed a major overhaul. So she focused on counter space and functional storage. The counter space was achieved by moving the refrigerator to another wall and moving the stove over 18” which created more space to the left and right of the stove.The upper, tall and base cabinets are featured along the perimeter next to and above the Maytag stainless steel oven, above the sink area and around the stainless steel refrigerator — all punctuated by stainless steel IKEA BILLSBRO handles.

“Before the remodel I had a drawer I couldn’t open because it hit the handle used to open the oven. Now I have more drawers and a pullout closet carousel that gives easier access to all the cabinet space. I wanted to include more drawers but wasn’t sure how to configure all the cabinets,” she adds.

The kitchen has entry points on three sides (to the basement/outside; to the living room and into the hallway), so it was imperative to make sure everything fit and leave enough room for these entry points. The contractor ended up cutting one cabinet down in width by 3″ as an IKEA cabinet “hack”  to create enough entry room by the basement.

“I wanted to brighten up the kitchen and create unique appeal to it. The glossy cabinets and quartz countertops provide a real modern-look in the kitchen. I love it!” she adds.

She accomplished this with IKEA MITTLED LED kitchen countertop lighting strip which provide task and ambient lighting. Also moving the cabinets a few inches further away from the window let more natural light in. Meanwhile the white laminate IKEA LILLTRASK countertops complement the high-gloss cabinets and provide functional storage options for her coffee maker, drying rack and baking equipment. The modern layout is balanced out by the warm wood flooring as well.

Her favorite part? Regina says it’s hard to choose between the IKEA cabinets, lighting, pantry storage and corner carousel cabinet. She chooses the quartz countertops because it adds the modern touch she requested. Other products featured include IKEA UTRUSTA hinges; IKEA UTRUSTA shelves; IKEA FORBATTRA cover panels and a chrome plated IKEA FIXA diffusion barrier.

Useful Tips

Regina offers some parting advice for other IKEA remodelers.

“My advice is to use IKD and don’t bother with the IKEA software. IKD will design a much better kitchen than the one you could design. The kitchen turned out exactly as I hoped. I feel like I got a good value for my investment, thanks to IKD!” she says.

She adds that despite the unique challenges withher IKEA kitchen remodel she only went over budget by about $1,200 — not including the gas she spent driving to Montreal.

Get a Professional IKEA Kitchen Design – All Online

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.

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