An IKEA Kitchen That Doesn’t Look Like IKEA

By June 2, 2015IKEA Kitchens

We love working with IKEA cabinets, because they’re so flexible.  Since IKEA allows their customers to buy all the cabinet parts separately, they can be put together in all kinds of configurations, and this also allows the customer to upgrade their cabinets with parts from other manufacturers.


This kitchen is a great example of that.  Not only did we use custom faces from the Unhinged Custom Doors side of our company, but we threw in a few other custom touches like these open shelves, which were made with extra FÖRBÄTTRA cover panels.

IKEA_Pull-Out_Spice_Rack.1We created a built-in look for this countertop microwave by simply cutting an opening in a 24×15 door.  Of course here, we’re using custom doors, but this would work just as well with a stock IKEA door – you just need a jigsaw and a steady hand.  This is a “hack” we do pretty often, and the important thing to remember if you’re doing this yourself, is that the microwave can’t be any wider than 22.5″ this is because the walls of the cabinet are 3/4″ on each side, so the inside dimension is only 22.5″

IKEA_Pull-Out_Spice_Rack.2Modifying the widths of IKEA frames is really easy too – just a couple of cuts and a few screws, and Voilà, you have a 6″ cabinet which is just the trick for creating these pull-out spice racks.  We ordered the spice-rack inserts online, here.

IKEA_Custom_Rift_White_OAk.1Another hack we do often is to install stainless steel, under-mount farmhouse sinks.  in this case, and in most cases, it required cutting out the top of the cabinet to the depth of the sink.  The sink is then supported by the (cut-down) walls of the cabinet.  I like farmhouse sinks because they are so spacious.  They’re especially nice if you have a small kitchen where only a 24″ sink is possible.  And while I like IKEA’s DOMSJÖ farmhouse sinks just fine, I have to say, under-mount is so much more convenient.

IKEA_Custom_Rift_White_OAk.2Of course, what really sets this kitchen apart is the custom doors.  These are Rift White Oak doors from the Bespoke line by Unhinged Custom Doors.  Besides the great looks, one of the nice things about getting custom doors, is that they are made to order.  Want 6″ doors for those spice pull-outs? No problem!  How about 22″ tall doors under your farmhouse sink so there’s not too much fill?  No problem!  All of the side panels come slightly over sized too, so that they can be cut and scribed for the perfect fit in a not so perfect world where walls, floors and ceilings are never square level and plumb.  It all combines to give the cabinets a level of refinement that you can’t quite achieve with stock IKEA faces.

Hard to believe this is an IKEA kitchen, right!?  It is though, and it just took that little extra to take it to the next level, but the best part is, because IKEA cabinets are the foundation of this kitchen it cost a fraction of what it would have cost using standard cabinet options!  This meant there was enough left in the budget for those beautiful appliances!

This kitchen features custom faces from our sister company, Unhinged Custom Doors.  If you’re interested in ordering custom doors for your IKEA kitchen or Bath, and live in Washington or Oregon, feel free to contact us!  We offer a full range of wood and mad-made materials, and offer custom doors, panels and drawer fronts for IKEA’s Akurum and Sektion cabinets!  Click here to see our full catalog!

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • mike says:

    First, my complements to you, and all those involved, on your workmanship…and website and blog. I arrived by way of your Youtube post demonstrating the hacking of an Ikea cabinet to create a 6″ cabinet. I was struck by your friendly and easy to understand on camera persona…and video to complement it. Your website and blog are a welcome extension of that.

    As for my question: your thoughts regarding maximizing space with a 24″ stainless steel undermount farmhouse sink may help me…but I have had no luck finding such a sink. Can you offer some suggestions?

    Thanks and keep up the good work.

  • Kirk Scroggs says:

    Hey Tim. I love that microwave hack. Is it pretty easy to access the microwave in case it breaks? And, do you just have some boards behind the unit to keep it from sliding all the way in?

    • Tim says:

      Hi Kirk. We just use pin nails to attach the panel, so it’s pretty easy to remove if needed, and yes, we just tack a board to the shelf to act as a stop to keep the microwave from sliding back. Thanks for reading!

  • Kea says:

    Hi, Tim. Wow! I also found you through your video on the 6″ pullout hack. I was impressed with the quality of your video, very easy to understand and follow. The work of your company seems impeccable! I only wish I lived in the NW so I could directly benefit from it! Let me know if you decide to open a branch in the Southeast, ok?
    In the meantime, I have a couple of questions I hope you can answer.
    1. I have a base cabinet pullout (such as the one in this article) (from a hardware supplier) and various parts (panels, etc.) from my Akurum kitchen I’ve mostly installed myself. I need to install this cabinet on casters because a water tap for the fridge is on the lower end, near the back, of the wall to the right of the space for the cabinet. To the left is my fridge. Can you point me to some resources for specific instructions on doing this?
    2. As soon as I’d bought most of the pieces from IKEA for my Akurum kitchen, they discontinued the line! I quickly bought a few more pieced I anticipated I might need. How do you handle updates or fixes to Akurum kitchens without availability of Akurum parts?
    Thanks again for your beautiful work! It’s inspirational!

    • Tim says:

      Sorry to have taken so long to reply. I don’t check in as often as I should. Especially lately, as we’re so busy. To answer your question, we have a shop here in our area that carries a lot of the 3rd party hardware that we use for retrofitting to our IKEA installs. They are EB Bradley. As for dealing with the discontinued Akurum, there’s no easy answer to that. The Sektion and Akurum stuff are not compatible at all. You either have to do one or the other. Wish I could be more help!

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