Before & After: A Kitchen Makeover with IKEA Cabinets

Using IKEA cabinets to get the most bang for your remodeling buck is hardly a secret. But Apartment Therapy reader Ian has a special tip for making those basic cabinets look especially good on an especially small budget. He shared his new kitchen project at last week's Apartment Therapy Design Evening. For those of you who weren't able to make it, here are all the details.

For his kitchen remodel, Ian opened up a wall between the kitchen and living room, centered the stove in the new opening, and added all new kitchen cabinets. His secret to getting a high-end look on a super-small budget? Ikea cabinet bases, with custom door panels.

The key is not to use the standard doors and drawer faces that IKEA supplies, but instead swap them for any other panels you might like. I only used the cabinet frames and the hardware required for the drawers and the adjustable legs for the base cabinets — the total amount spent at Ikea was less than $400. The material used for the faces is from Italy, the same material used by B&B Italia and Poliform. There are many suppliers now that import that material into this country. It's possible now to get 4'x8' sheets for less than $100, and you can do an entire kitchen with two or three sheets; the trick is finding some local wood shop to apply the edge tape and drill the doors for you.

Thanks for the hint, Ian! The kitchen looks great! You can see more of Ian's projects on his website, INC Interiors.

(Images: reader Ian)

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