Our Kitchen Renovation Details


It’s taken me forever to put this post together because there are so many components, but I am super excited to share it all for those of you considering an kitchen renovation using Ikea cabinets.

When we first had an accepted offer on the house, we had a local designer & her contractor come in and give us some pricing on custom cabinetry. We knew we wanted to stay around $15K for the entire kitchen, and our first quote for new cabinets,Β just cabinets,was $16,500. We looked at options for getting the existing ones refinished, getting new shelves built inside of them, etc. but ultimately the cost of starting from scratch with Ikea cabinets was the best option. And I was SO excited about it. I have always read amazing things about them, minus the part about putting them together, and couldn’t wait to get started.

We were limited on changing the layout of the kitchen to stay within our budget, our surrounding walls were all load bearing and we also wanted to keep the existing hardwoods so we tried to keep everything on the same floor plan as it already was. The kitchen is actually pretty small,Β which did help keep costs down when it came to pricing per cabinet & per square foot of countertop. We knew we wanted to remove the cook top and replace it with an actual range, and also wanted to remove the upper cabinetry in favor of open shelves. Once we got our layout down, the kitchen planner helped us figure out what Ikea boxes fit in the space, and then we finalized our order with them – without the door fronts.

We then worked with the AMAZING Semi-Handmade team, to order our doors. We chose this option for a few reasons. They were higher quality than the Ikea doors, solid wood & the style was more of the shaker look that we wanted. Semi-Handmade also offers door sizes that are custom fit for your space, where as Ikea only offers a few sizes, requiring you to use “filler panels” for the extra spaces. So for example, our doors above our wall oven would have been about 6 inches shorter, and we would have had to put in a flat panel as a filler between the doors and the oven, since we did not use Ikea appliances. (I hope that makes sense, I know it is a little confusing!) I also really wanted a custom color that Ikea didn’t offer, so we loved that we were able to order the doors unfinishsed and have them painted in the color that we chose. I really can’t say enough good stuff about this part of the process, they actually helped us so much when it came to install and assembly, I am certain I called ten times over the course of the month asking different questions along the way. Overall, they gave the kitchen a much more custom look & we were so happy to have worked with them.

So to break it down a bit, here is a simplified version of how the process went (for those of you who have emailed me, this is where I was confused when we started, so hopefully this is helpful!)

1. Decide on a basic layout, then use the Ikea kitchen planner tool to pick & choose the components of your cabinet boxes (lowers, uppers, drawers, sink base, wall pantry, etc.), taking into account all of your space & appliance dimensions (so make sure you have these all picked out ahead of time).

2. Send finalized kitchen design to Semi-Handmade, so that they can give you the door sizes & panels. Panels are basically the wood that goes around your cabinet boxes & fills in the spaces between cabinets & appliances.

3. Finalize order for cabinets & doors (we did them at the same time to make sure there were no changes to be made to the original Ikea order order, which there were, so do these together), and patiently wait for 8,092,384,759 flat packed boxes to arrive on your doorstep (we paid an additional $75 to have someone pick up all of the pieces from the store & deliver them, because #threekids #aintnobodygottimeforthat)

4. Install cabinet boxes, then appliances, and then panels (in that order) for the best fit (if you are starting from scratch).

5. Countertop installation happened right in here somewhere, followed by having the sink/faucet plumbed.

6. Paint. Hands down one of the best decisions we made during our renovation, the painting company was SO professional and did a way better job than we ever could have. They came in, tented the kitchen, taped off EVERYTHING, filled all of the seams & nail holes, sprayed all of the boxes, and then took our cabinet doors to their studio to paint & return a few days later.

7. Install doors (everything is pre-drilled, and fit for Ikea hinges).

8. Backsplash, cabinet hardware & floating shelves (using these brackets that we used in our last house) come last, the best feeling ever.

We highly recommend hiring a carpenter during the process to come help out with any installation issues, someone who can make sure everything is cut perfectly to size, add trim, quarter-round, etc. to give you a really finished look. Brandon is super handy and was able to do most of this, but we were lucky to have a great carpenter to come in and assist with a few pieces of the puzzle & some amazing trim work at the end.

Here is our cost breakdown:

Ikea cabinets: $1850
Semi-Handmade door fronts: $2100
Custom Painting: $700
Appliances (purchased during 4th of July Sale!): $6200
Sink, Faucet & Cabinet Knobs: $1100
Countertops: $3800
Tile & Backsplash Installation: $1100
Floating Shelves DIY: $40
Electrical, Plumbing, Trim & Carpentry Work: $550
Total Cost: $17,440

We already had factored the price of buying a fridge into our closing costs, so less the cost of that, we weren’t too far off from our original budget. If you are looking to do a kitchen reno, and already have your appliances, there is definitely a good chance that you can complete it for under $10k. We love that we were able to give the kitchen the overhaul that it needed while making it totally our style, I am so so so happy with the way it turned out.Β If you have any questions regarding the process, definitely leave them in the comments and I will be sure to answer!

Sources: Cabinet Doors in DIY Shaker by SemiHandmade // Cabinet Paint Color SeaGull by Creative Cabinets // Quartz Countertops by Premier Surfaces // Floating Shelf Brackets c/o Shelfology // Sink // Faucet // Gas Range // Range Hood // Fridge // Microwave Oven // Drawer Pulls // Cabinet Knobs // Subway Tile Backsplash

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107 Comments

    • Hi Jessica! Great looking kitchen! I am curious, where did the trim/crown on the upper cabinets come from? Were they part of the Semi-Handmade order? Or another company?

  1. Your kitchen is beautiful! We are currently picking out kitchen counters for our new home. We have a 4 year old, 19 month old, and another on the way, so I am curious if it is easy to keep the white quartz counters clean/stain free? Thanks!

  2. I am interested in having our cabinets painted white but dh is skeptical. Can you show us what they look like on the inside?

    • The inside is just white, so when the painters came in, they taped/papered off the entire inside so only the front of the frame is painted. I think if you look back to some of my renovation posts, you’ll be able to see inside! πŸ™‚

  3. Please tell me you are listing that chalkboard print!! That is my absolute favorite and have wanted it for my living room wall for some time now in some form or another, this would be perfect!

  4. Holy cow, looks so great. Love love the backsplash and herringbone layout. But where is your microwave? Is it a drawer one w/ a panel covering it? I have looked at the pictures a few times but I feel like I am playing a difficult kitchen version of Where’s Waldo.

  5. I love your kitchen renovation and think it’s super helpful you included costs! Question: Is the linked backsplash tile the exact one you used? Yours looks a little shinier, appreciate your help!

    • Yep, that’s the exact one. And I believe you can order a single tile sample (I remember doing this with tons of tiles to see which we liked best) so you can see it in person before ordering hundreds! πŸ˜‰

  6. This looks incredible! A kitchen renovation is sooo stressful. We redid our tiny kitchen a few years ago and it was awful for 6 straight weeks! I was so happy when it was done!

  7. Kitchen is absolute goals and I love it! So impressed with the fact that you guys did it all pretty DIY without any major hiccups πŸ™‚ Looks gorgeous!

  8. Your kitchen is sooo beautiful! I am blown away with what you did for under $20K! Thank you for sharing and for all of the transparency, we are remodeling and this gives me so much inspiration and hope!

  9. We have been patiently waiting for an Ikea here in Nova Scotia…It’s finally coming this year. Kitchen demo is on! My hubby is a carpenter, so we won’t take have to hire anyone…We are opening up our small kitchen and then buying Ikea cupboards. Not sure about countertops yet. It seems overwhelming! Thanks for this post!

  10. Beautiful kitchen, thank you so much for sharing. My husband and I are a Design and Construction team and I have to say compared to where I live (Oregon) you received your paint, contractor and tile services for next to nothing in comparison! Awesome job it’s beautiful.

  11. Your kitchen is so beautiful, Jessica! Did you live in the house during the reno? My husband, 4y.o. and 1y.o. are gearing up for a kitchen renovation at the end of April and are planning to live in the house. Any tips for not losing your mind? Especially when it comes to making dinners without a stove (or sink)!!!! Thanks πŸ™‚

    • Hey Lindsay! For the most part, we lived in our old house for the kitchen renos, we moved in the weekend we got countertops and a working sink, which was a big deal. But we didn’t have cabinet doors for a while but at least we could cook! πŸ˜‰ It’s definitely hard but I would say just plan for lots of easy dinners, picnics & going out to dinner if possible!

  12. thank you for this thorough post! The kitchen is lovely. would you ever consider doing an organizational tour of your kitchen?

  13. Your kitchen is beautiful! We are just starting to renovate our new/old house. Did you guys put together the ikea cabinets yourself, They look amazing but Im afraid I would be too overwhelmed by how many boxes and figuring out which goes where! How long did it take you? Thanks so much!!

  14. Y’all did a beautiful job! I’ve always been curious about floating shelves and how the installation works. (We’re in the middle of a kitchen reno ourselves) Do you install the shelving hardware first and tile around it or did y’all tile the whole wall and were able to mount the shelving hardware to the tile?

  15. Hi Jessica! Love what you did with the kitchen! I wanted to inquire about your hardware since we are in the market for some. I love the black and noticed your pulls are black but your knobs are not technically black. Can you tell a different? Thanks!

  16. Silly question, but where did you get the wood for the shelves? And what is the thickness? I’m struggling finding wood that’s similar in thickness to yours. Thank you!

    Your kitchen looks stunning!

  17. Beautiful kitchen!!! We just completed an IKEA kitchen renovation and I’m so impressed with your price tag compared to ours! Did you put the cabinets together & install the doors yourself?

  18. Can I ask what would you used with semi handmade for the door fronts? Absolutely inspiring you got such a great kitchen for lower kitchen Reno cost. It’s amazing how expensive it all is to me still!!! Starting in the summer and hammering out details. Thank you!!!

  19. Beautiful!!! Do you mind sharing the painting company you used for the cabinets? I am in the ATL area! Thanks so much!!

  20. Hi Jessica!

    Love love your kitchen! Keep looking back at it for inspiration for ours. A quick question – we had initially planned to do an Ikea Domsjo sink but it’s currently out of stock. It looks like you used a non-Ikea sink with an Ikea base. Do you have any tips or tricks for how to do that?

    Thanks SO much!

  21. Hi Jessica! Love the kitchen reno! We are in the process of updating our kitchen as well and shopping around for open shelving. How deep are your open shelves? Trying to get a sense of how deep we can go and still display plates and bowls — thanks!

  22. Are you still happy with your Kitchen Aide appliances? We’re thinking of purchasing the same fridge and the double oven stove. The reviews seem to either be really great or really bad.

  23. Hi Jessica. Your kitchen is ideal! I saw the links to the cabinet hardware and noticed the pulls are black and the knobs are oil rubbed bronze. They appear to both be black, so I’m just wondering if that link is correct? They both work so well with the cabinet/drawer fronts!

  24. Hi Jessica, your kitchen is absolutely stunning and beautiful! You did a really good job! IΒ΄m interested in white quartz countertops and the design in you used in your kitchen looks fantastic! Could you share what brand and design are those? Thank you! ItΒ΄s great reading your blog πŸ™‚

  25. I found this page when I was searching for examples of Ikea cabinets and love it! I am putting in an island in my kitchen and really like the look of the back side of the cabinets where the sink and faucet are. Did you have trim applied to the back of the cabinets to give it that recessed look?

  26. Hi Jessica! Love the kitchen!! Question: what color did the IKEA cabinets come in? Did they have a varnish? What made you decide to paint them vs. choosing a color they had available? Also, are they durable? Happy with your decision to go with IKEA?
    Thanks! Leslie

  27. Did you use an non-IKEA sink base? It looks like the cabinet has a face frame. We want to use a Kohler farmhouse sink and are worried that it won’t work with IKEA’s cabinet. Thanks!

  28. I LOVE the cabinet color. I know you said it was SeaGull by Cabinet Creations or whatever, but what brand is the actual paint? I don’t live in that area so I can’t use that company, but I’d love to get my hands on that paint color! I found some similar ones online but, but similar-looking on my phone can be way different in real life! I want to make sure it’s the exact same as yours. Thanks!!

  29. Great post! We are gearing up to redo our small kitchen in the next month. Did you purchase your IKEA stuff during one of their kitchen sales? Just trying to gauge on pricing for our project.

    • We didn’t, but honestly everything I read said this would be ideal. Our kitchen was so small that really we didn’t need to buy a ton (since we weren’t doing the cabinet fronts or underlighting) and also timing just wasn’t right, we needed it when we needed it and couldn’t wait for a sale. But if you are planning ahead, then yes, I would say try for the sale! πŸ™‚

  30. Hi Jessica,

    Love your blog! We are building a home and I am wondering the length of each wall you had cabinets on to give myself and idea of cost per linear foot. Thank you!

    • The doors were all painted before install, they were painted in the warehouse of the company that did them. But for the cabinet bases, we needed to fully install, add trim, fill nail holes, caulk & then paint, so the room was tented and the bases all painted, and then they brought the doors back! πŸ™‚

      • Hi,
        Love your kitchen! Can you tell me which IKEA cabinets abd doors you ordered? I love the idea of getting the unfinished doors custom painted.

  31. Hi Jessica – I love your kitchen, it’s gorgeous! I noticed you got a large, farmhouse sink (non-ikea). Was it difficult to fit with the ikea cabinetry? My husband and I are re-doing our kitchen with ikea cabinets and I want a large (non-ikea) farmhouse sink. The person I spoke with at Ikea made it sound like it would be difficult to get the sink to fit their cabinets. Any advice is appreciated!

  32. Hi, I’m so inspired by your kitchen. I’m planning a kitchen Reno now and was thinking about putting the fridge next to a wall like yours. How much space do you have there? Can you open the left fridge door a full 90 degrees?

  33. Beautiful Kitchen!!! I also reside in Atlanta and just purchased a home and looking to renovate our kitchen as well. Who is the carpenter ya”ll used to help with installation of the Ikea cabinets and to figure all the measurements?

  34. Beautiful kitchen, love everything πŸ™‚ I am curious about your wood floors. Do you have any info on them? When describing what I want yours are exactly that! Obviously they are oak but any other info would be greatly appreciated- stain especially. Thank you!!!!

  35. Hi Jessica! We bought this same range last year. Have you had any trouble with the backsplash getting stained from where it vents on the left hand side? Thanks!!

  36. Hey Jessica! I’m loving your kitchen! It’s so cute!! Do you remember where you got the white bowls with the black dots on them?? Thanks!!

  37. Hi! I love your kitchen! I’ve been dreaming about re-doing ours for awhile, but it’s a tough layout so I’ve been kind of stuck. What I’d want to change it into though is very similar to yours (where your sink is however, is a window seat at our house, so I’d like to remodel it to add in cabinets and move plumbing and get more counter space). Do you mind me asking where your pantry is though? Ours currently is just a tall cabinet where your wall oven is and I always get stuck figuring out where we would have space for it.

  38. Hi there! I am in love with this kitchen – we are renovating a 1950 farmhouse and also have 3 little ones (all the crazy emojis!) We are looking at the same appliances. How do you feel about the refrigerator without the water/ice in the door? Is it a total pain? I love that this fridge is $1k plus less than other Kitchenaid options but I’m nervous not to have water in the door – is that a totally insane thing to be worried about?! I read through all your comments and it’s so so so helpful. Thank you for sharing!! XO

  39. Hey! Love your kitchen! How do you like the drawers? Did you stick with the IKEA ones or had them made as well? And the cabinet boxes themselves you think are higher quality?

  40. Absolutely gorgeous! I will be doing a kitchen reno once I move and knowing that you were able to create such a beautiful space on a reasonable budget gives me hope! Is the colour Seagull a custom colour only available from Creative Cabinets? I’m absolutely in love with the colour but I live in Ontario Canada so i’m wondering if there is a colour comparable that I could purchase from Home Depot or Lowes. I’m definitely going to look into the semi handmade doors as well. We were planning on ikea cabinets but I love the idea of making them more custom. Do you have any tips when it comes to looking for a company that does semi handmade doors?

  41. hi so just to under stand you buy the insides of the cupboards from ikea and then all of the facias and doors are done by the carpenter/semi handmade? thanks looks great

  42. Absolutely gorgeous! I’d love to know what trim tile you used for above the shelves where the backsplash ends. Thanks for the kitchen inspiration!

  43. Hey Jessica. I noticed that you had an electric cooktop and replace with gas stove. did you have to put in a gas line?

  44. Hi! love the look of your kitchen! I am interested in using a fireclay apron sink with a depth of 10″ with my Ikea modular kitchen reno, also in a shaker style. Could you tell me more about the base you have yours resting in? Did your contractor construct it specifically, or is it an Ikea box reinforced to hold the weight of the sink?

  45. We are redoing our kitchen and I have not been able to find any knobs or pulls that I like. I love these black ones you are using. Can I ask where you go them? I have been searching high and low. THANK YOU!

  46. My hubby and I just sold our townhome. We had Ikea bookshelves and noticed when we moved out our house, we noticed lots of bowing/sagging when we removed the items. So when I told my hubby about the ikea kitchen frame with the doors bought separately to save on cost. He worried about a lot of weight on the ikea frames and questioned their strength. Any comments?

  47. Hi Jessica- I’m currently copying your old kitchen!πŸ˜† Can you answer this question-. I love the black hardware and noticed your pulls are black but your knobs are not technically black. Can you tell a different? Thanks!

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