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2 Stunning IKEA Kitchen Makeovers – From Dated to Elated

Various IKEA kitchen products.

Has your kitchen seen better days? Maybe you want to do a kitchen makeover, but then the fear sets in. I know from experience that DIY kitchen makeovers can be hit or miss, even for the handiest of us.

Don’t even get me started on my first attempt at a kitchen makeover. Let’s just say it was memorable. Fear not, these IKEA kitchen makeovers will leave you feeling like anything is possible. Plus, you could enjoy the cost savings and satisfaction that come from a DIY kitchen makeover.

The key is in the planning. And these two IKEA kitchen makeovers will teach you how to do it right.

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FYI, the IKEA kitchen makeovers below include cabinet doors by Kitch.

IKEA Kitchen Makeovers: Ravine House

Kristina and her husband, Ryan, lived in their beloved Ravine House designed by Kristina at Kresswell Interiors for three years before turning their attention to the kitchen makeover. So there’s no need for you to feel bad if it’s taken a while to get here. Lots of people updating their homes put off the kitchen until the end.

Not only that but like Kristina and Ryan, you’ll know the space intimately if you live with it for a while. That means you’ll have a significant understanding of what needs to change as well as what works when it comes time to do the deed.

Do you need room for more food storage? Maybe additional counter space is in order. You might love the flooring and hate the wall treatments — Regardless, you know it’s time for a change.

In this case, the white oak floors were the element that the couple chose to base the wall color and trim on — And what a difference it made.

Before: Dark, Dated, and a Little Claustrophobic

Before image of the Ravine House kitchen.

A small kitchen presented a couple of challenges, such as cramped space and low light. The before photos show that the grayish-beige paint contributes to the room’s need for illumination. Not only that, but the dark color makes space appear even smaller.

Then there’s the bar that created a half-wall. Although it’s a nice way to add an eating area, in this case, the bar boxed the kitchen in, confining the small space. It effectively turned the kitchen into a claustrophobic little box.

With only one small window, there wasn’t much natural light either.

Incorporating the Elements

Tiny floating shelves and a combination of Premium White (matte finish) and European White Oak (wood veneer) in a flat slab panel.

Kristina and Ryan wanted to make sure that they made the best use of every inch of the kitchen area, as well as doing something about the outdated look. But first, they needed to get rid of that restrictive eating nook.

Here’s the thing: They were on a budget and had used IKEA before when the cost was a consideration. So they already knew that they liked the functionality of an IKEA set-up. This all factored into their decision to go with IKEA for the cabinetry; it’s budget-friendly and functional.

However, Kristina also knew she needed to brighten up the walls and get rid of that dark paint. She wanted a combination of white paint and light wood that would complement the white oak floor that runs throughout the home.

The thing is that although IKEA was a perfect choice for the kitchen makeover, the color options weren’t varied enough. So the couple compromised. They used a combination of IKEA design and Kitch to customize their choices.

Kristina says that Kitch cabinet doors are also thicker and more durable than those from IKEA.

Customize the Design

A combination of Premium White (matte finish) and European White Oak (wood veneer) in a flat slab panel.

Think of IKEA as the bones and Kitch as the personality. Kitch uses an IKEA base for their designs, then incorporates color options and customized sizes to end up with a makeover that’s not only budget-friendly but beautiful as well.

The folks at Kitch cut everything to order too.

IKEA’s Sektion system has a wide variety of combinations and accessories that help you customize your kitchen. So the idea is that you can draw up your IKEA plans, and Kitch helps you pull everything together with whatever custom touches you need.

Plus, Kitch pulls together all the little bits and pieces like trims and filler pieces, and Kristina’s favorite, the floating shelves.

Color Combos That Change a Mood

A combination of Premium White (matte finish) and European White Oak (wood veneer) in a flat slab panel.

Kitch also had the premium matte white finish and European white oak wood veneer that Kristina wanted. The wood veneer provides significant cost savings when you compare it to natural wood. And the best part is that no one can tell the difference because Kitch was able to match the other white oak already in the house.

Now, you may have noticed that I have a thing about color. That’s something that Kristina and I have in common. She held out for the custom cabinet doors and premium bright white paint that she knew would fit her style.

Her choice works perfectly in the small kitchen, making it appear lighter and more spacious.

Pro tip: Paint dries darker and sometimes brighter than you expect. Paint a test patch first. You’ll want to see if that trendy color you have in mind looks inviting or if it’s something you’ll have to learn to live with once it’s on the walls.

You may think white is an easy color choice. However, once you start looking at all the variations of white, you’ll see that you’ll still want to do a test patch to determine what a particular white looks like on your walls.

Remember the original gray-beige on Kristina and Ryan’s kitchen walls? Wasn’t it dreary?

After: Airy and Functional

After image of the Ravine House kitchen makeover.

Taking the time to find the perfect color combos paid off for the couple. They ended up with one of those gorgeous IKEA kitchen makeovers that include lots of shelving and room for storage in a light and airy modern kitchen remodel.

Kitch saved the day by providing customized color and paneling, as well as sizing the shelves and cabinets to fit perfectly in the space.

The crisp matte white paint and white oak veneer create a sleek and modern look. My favorite part is that everything is open — Removing that half-wall was a significant improvement.

They didn’t lose the eating area either. Instead, the couple made it a stand-alone cube that people can easily maneuver around. Now there’s plenty of counter space, and everything is within reach.

I also think that shelves are an excellent addition that adds little areas of interest to the room. Subtle touches like this make the kitchen inviting and also give it a custom feel.

Another example is the way they enclosed the stainless steel fridge with the white oak veneer. This customization made the appliance part of the kitchen makeover and also gave the couple extra storage and a cute wine rack too.

Kristina thinks it was a good investment to go with veneer instead of solid wood. I have to agree, when you’re on a budget, these IKEA kitchen makeovers are an excellent answer, especially when you incorporate the stylings of Kitch.

IKEA Kitchen Makeovers: Duchess on the Drive

Kristina works wonders in another dark and dated kitchen makeover using the Kitch cabinets customization for her clients at Duchess on the Drive designed by Kristina at Kresswell Interiors. She prides herself on offering budget-friendly remodel options that not only save money but also turn out strikingly beautiful.

As an interior designer, incorporating Kitch makes so much sense in keeping the cost down for clients. After all, we aren’t all going to be prepared to draw up our own plans. Although, between IKEA and Kitch, there’s plenty of help if you want to do so.

There’s no doubt that IKEA has limited choices when you go directly from the box. That’s why Kitch is so handy. You don’t have to end up with a makeover that looks like it came straight from the IKEA catalog.

Kitch uses those pre-fab IKEA boxes and adds premium finishes like thicker door panels, laser-cut precision, and handcrafted quality. So whether you decide to DIY or hire a designer that utilizes these options, there’s lots of room to save money and update your kitchen.

Before: A Dark and Outdated Kitchen in a Bright and Spacious Home

Before image of the Duchess on the Drive kitchen.

Much like the Ravine House, the original kitchen in Duchess on the Drive was small enough to make you feel trapped in the space. We’ve all seen those kitchens, with dark walnut cabinets and dark marble counters. This heavy look may have been a solid design choice in the 1980s, but these days décor calls for light and space.

Add the thick and heavy lighting fixtures, the outdated tile, and the drab paint, and you have a kitchen that screams for one of Kristina’s IKEA kitchen makeovers.

Incorporating the Elements with Kitch

Floating shelves with wood veneer.

Her first step was using IKEA’s planner to redesign the kitchen’s layout. In IKEA’s planner, you can draw your plans, build them out, and get a 3D picture of your design. Not only that, but you can also switch from 3D to floor plan views.

Then you can print your product shopping list. Pretty cool, right?

After that, you can take it a step further and use Kitch to provide the cabinet door and drawer fronts and end panels. They provide the toe kick, fillers, and side replacement kits, including the accessories.

With Kitch, your project is custom and affordable.

So it makes sense that Kristina turned her plans over to Kitch so they could help with the details. Kitch streamlines everything for the makeover and also makes it easy for Kristina to present the plans to her client.

She says it takes about six weeks for delivery of the panels and parts. I imagine that would be the perfect time to start prepping everything. That way, when the goods arrive, you’re ready to go.

Out with the Old and in with the New

A beautiful combination of Rift White Oak and Fenix Verde Comodoro.

For the Duchess on the Drive, Kristina went with a Rift White Oak veneer to add some warmth to space. She also opted for the Fenix NTM to use on the cupboards and cabinets because it’s exceptionally durable, easy to care for, and resistant to scratches. Additionally, she decided to go with minimal hardware to highlight the gorgeous green and White oak finishes.

Another element that she added to this kitchen remodel was the floating shelves that make for excellent storage and display. The whole idea is to get rid of the heavy features and replace them with updated versions to make the space lighter and brighter.

She took counter space, color, lighting, and appliances into consideration. And once again, Kristina’s design choices did the job. She succeeded in taking a dark and outdated kitchen and making it contemporary with one of her IKEA kitchen makeovers using the Kitch customizing system.

After: Modern, Light, and Durable

After image of the Duchess on the Drive kitchen makeover.

There’s a significant change in this IKEA kitchen makeover. Kristina took the kitchen space out of the past and updated it with a fresh, modern look. She got rid of those massive marble counters and replaced them with sleek white surfaces.

By replacing the dark counters, Kristina effectively lightened up space. She still gave the clients a smooth, durable surface to use for food prep as well. And the floating shelves provide extra storage and a lovely display area so the counters can remain uncluttered.

She also did away with the heavy lighting and installed elegant drop lights with modern lines. They hang down, highlighting a beautiful transparent bulb. And they’re centered right over the sink and dining area, so there’s sure to be plenty of light.

After image of the Duchess on the Drive kitchen makeover.

The new lights are a tremendous improvement over the heavy, dated, lighting that was previously in the room. This move alone opened up the area by allowing more room in the overhead space.

I especially love her choice of a lightly patterned backsplash behind the counters. The graceful lines complement the stainless steel of the updated appliances and bring the room together. Also, the green and white oak work well together to make the kitchen warm and inviting.

One of the best parts is opening up the kitchen, and getting rid of that built-in eating area that tends to enclose the space. Instead, the addition of a little eating nook that has access all the way around, provides an excellent dining area and leaves plenty of room to move.