The clients for this project had been wanting to remodel their kitchen for a very long time, as the space had not been updated since the 1984, when they first moved in! The goal was a complete kitchen renovation that included new flooring, layout, cabinets, paint, trim, and lighting. The only things that were kept were the dishwasher, refrigerator, and stove.
Through various interior design blogs, I had heard of Semihandmade, a company based in LA who makes semi-custom fronts for IKEA cabinet frames. I spent A LOT of time online researching Semihandmade kitchens and reviews of IKEA cabinets. Some of the things I learned might surprise you!
Contrary to common belief or assumptions, IKEA cabinets are actually pretty good quality mainly because of the German-made hardware they use. Yes, the cabinet frames are particle board instead of higher quality (and more expensive) plywood, but it seems like particle board is pretty common now for most mainstream cabinet makers. The main issue I have with IKEA cabinet frames are the thin, flimsy fiberboard backs, but since you can’t really see the back of cabinets, it’s not a dealbreaker for those on a budget.
We went with Semihandmade cabinet doors because they're thicker and have a more high-end look than IKEA doors. I also preferred the classic simplicity of Semihandmade’s shaker-style doors. It was an easy process to order the doors and panels because you use IKEA’s software to design the kitchen and then send the design to Semihandmade. I’ll be writing a separate post on learnings from this kitchen process and tips for working on an IKEA kitchen with custom fronts.
Because the house is a "neo-colonial" style commonly found in the suburbs of the East Coast, we decided on a transitional style for the kitchen that would mix some traditional elements with contemporary ones and feel coherent with the "neo-colonial" house style. For example, classic pendant light fixtures are paired with clean, minimal wall sconces, traditional green marble tiles are straight-set for a more modern backsplash, and shaker-style cabinets are paired with traditional hardware for a timeless look. I can’t wait to see how these details shape up in the next few weeks...