For remodelers looking to design a kitchen on a budget, Sektion—Ikea’s latest kitchen cabinet system (before Sektion, or Metod as it’s called in the EU, there was Akurum and Värde)—is a savior. It’s frameless, meaning the cabinet doors cover the entire front face of the cabinet, which makes it easy to swap out the fronts for a custom-on-the-outside, Ikea-on-the-inside project. Architects, designers, and contractors like them for their modularity, standard sizing, and affordability (the most expensive base cabinet is $413), and
new companies offering stylish cabinet fronts have made the process easier than ever. One thing’s for sure: The stealth Ikea kitchen is on the rise—and here are 20 ways it’s being done.
Above: Photography studio Rye London was built with Ikea’s kitchen cabinet system (“it has really good drawers,” the designers say), micro-concrete counters, and painted marine-grade MDF fronts. For more, see Kitchen of the Week: An Artful Ikea Hack Kitchen by Two London Foodies. Above: Laid-back California style meets French luxe in this Ikea kitchen, which has oak cabinet fronts and a brass backsplash. See more in Riverside House: A Normandy Guesthouse from an Upstart American Restaurateur. Above: Bangia Agostinho Architecture fitted photographer Pia Ulin’s Brooklyn kitchen with Ikea Sektion cabinets and custom fronts painted with Farrow & Ball Down Pipe for an unbroken, consistent look. See Light and Shadow: Photographer Pia Ulin at Home in Brooklyn for more. Above: Dana Miller of House Tweaking redesigned her Cincinnati ranch house with Ikea kitchen cabinets and appliances. Visit Rehab Diary: An Ikea Kitchen by House Tweaking for the full story. Above: A Brooklyn kitchen by Space Exploration has basic Ikea cabinetry with glossy white cabinet fronts and marble countertops. For more, see Kitchen of the Week: An Ikea Kitchen with an Elegant Upper Cabinet Solution. Above: Ikea’s Jarsta cabinets were fitted together “like Tetris” in the compact kitchen of a Park Slope apartment. See Before & After: A “Not Too Brooklyn” Bachelor Pad in Park Slope, Transformed with Paint for more. Above: Another Ikea kitchen in Park Slope, this one has Semihandmade fronts painted Farrow & Ball’s Pigeon. See more in Rehab Diary: Monochromatic Luxe in Park Slope. Above: Tikkie and Mads Elsøe designed their Frederiksberg, Copenhagen, kitchen with Ikea Metod cabinets (Sektion is the name for Ikea cabinets in the US and Metod for Ikea in Europe) finished with pale green linoleum fronts and oak counters from Reform. For more of the kitchen see Kitchen of the Week: A Copenhagen Stylist Reinvents Her Kitchen, Ikea Hack Included. Above: “It’s an Ikea kitchen structure that I dressed up with tailor-made wooden drawer fronts,” says stylist Ilaria Fatone about her Provence kitchen in Kitchen of the Week: A Designer’s Own Ikea Hack Kitchen in Provence, Before and After. Above: In Münster, Germany, illustrator Swantje Hinrichsen designed her kitchen using Ikea Värde (now discontinued) components salvaged from another project. The kitchen is made from Värde solid birch cabinets, Ikea appliances, and the addition of a wood pegboard. For more, see Kitchen of the Week: An Artful Kitchen Created from Reclaimed Ikea Parts, Extreme Budget Edition. Above: Ikea cabinets, fixtures, and appliances make up the Berlin kitchen of food bloggers Nora Eisermann and Laura Muthesius. For more, visit Kitchen of the Week: A DIY Ikea Country Kitchen for Two Berlin Creatives. Above: To stay on budget, the designer of this Hatfield, MA, home opted for Ikea cabinet boxes with Semihandmade fronts. See more in Kitchen of the Week: An Eco-Friendly, Elevated Ikea Kitchen in a Family’s Forever Home. Above: A Brooklyn kitchen has Ikea Sektion base cabinets fitted with custom doors of Chemetal Magnetic Chalkboard Laminate, Emtek Brass Trail Pulls, beveled subway tiles, and black honed granite countertops. For more, see Two Young Architects Tackle Their Own Brooklyn Townhouse. Above: A plywood-lined Ikea hack kitchen and biergarten table in a tiny beach house in Seasalter, England, belonging to Marcia Mihotich and Durrell Bishop, who rebuilt the kitchen using Ikea cabinet bases finished with plywood fronts, an Ikea stainless counter, sink, and Ikea appliances. For more, see Two London Creatives Shore Up a Tiny Beach House, Ikea Hack Kitchen Included. Above: “In my previous kitchen I had custom cabinets, Gaggenau appliances, Vola faucets—the whole high-end thing. This time, I decided to go the Ikea route, using their basic cabinet components,” says Amy Lindburg of her San Francisco kitchen remodel. Lindburg achieved the look by adding custom cabinet fronts from Reform made of powder-coated aluminum. For more, see Kitchen of the Week: A Glamorous Kitchen in San Francisco, Ikea Hacks Included. Above: Design firm White Arrow created a budget kitchen for Buzzfeed editor Peggy Wang in her Ridgewood, Queens, New York, remodel with Ikea cabinets and custom fronts by Scherr’s painted with Farrow & Ball. See Before and After: A Buzzfeed Founder’s Renovated Rowhouse, Budget Edition for the details. Above: The kitchen in designer Lisa Jones’s London maisonette has Ikea boxes elevated with fronts from Naked Doors. See more of her home in A Star Is Born: A Rehabbed London Maisonette from a Newly Minted Designer, High/Low Secrets Included. Above: Ikea kitchen cabinets, doors, and countertops in a remodeled beach cottage in Provincetown by designer Glenn Ban. For more, see A Beach Cottage in Provincetown, Styled for Budget-Minded Summer Living. Above: Parisian stylist Lucille Gauthier-Braud created an eat-in kitchen from Ikea Grytnäs (discontinued) components—counters, cabinets, fronts, and a sink. See more at Steal This Look: A Sunny Ikea Kitchen in the Marais. Above: French architect Philippe Harden designed a small apartment kitchen in Montparnasse, Paris, with Ikea cabinets (and doors) and Ikea butcher block countertops stained, he says, “so they wouldn’t look like Ikea.” For more, see The Perfect Two-Room Paris Pied-à-Terre, Ikea Kitchen Included.
N.B.: This post is an update; the original ran on April 30, 2018.
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