Before and After: 10 Kitchen Redos So Stylish You Won’t Believe They’re IKEA

published Sep 22, 2023
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Credit: Sweeten

A kitchen renovation is one of those things that often gets added to a home wish list, only to be postponed again and again. Yes, there are dreams of running the cabinets to the ceiling, installing a new backsplash, or replacing old cabinetry … but then reality sets in. Cabinetry is expensive. Countertops are expensive. Labor is expensive. Before you know it, it can feel like you’re looking at a second down payment just to fund one room of your home. 

But kitchen renovations don’t always have to be bank-breaking projects. One cost-saving measure that intrepid DIYers and homeowners have taken advantage of for years? Shopping at IKEA, of course.

Among all of IKEA’s offerings, its kitchen cabinets and fixtures are hidden gems. They’re shockingly good quality, and they’re budget-friendly compared to many of the kitchen options out there. Plus, they’re designed for DIY (although it’s easy enough to hire out the installation, too!). If you need more convincing, just take a look at these 10 gorgeous IKEA-powered kitchen renovations. By the end of this story, you’ll be Google mapping the location of your nearest IKEA so you can cook up a new kitchen of your own.

1. A 1980s Kitchen Gets a New, More Open Layout

A cramped kitchen with 1980s laminate and wood cabinets looks like the new girl on the block after its new light and airy makeover. The kitchen was opened up to the main living area and lower IKEA cabinets in black were brought in to give the space contrast. Open shelving on top keeps the space functional, but makes it feel even bigger.

Credit: Classsic Properties
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2. Open Shelves Brighten Up This Budget-Friendly Makeover

Broken, plastic formica cabinets that appeared to be wood were a bait and switch for this military family that bought their home sight unseen. But with some DIY prowess, an IKEA kitchen began to take shape. Due to budget constraints, lower cabinets are the only closed cabinetry and open shelving is used throughout the rest of the room. The effect doesn’t look like a cost-cutting measure, though: Paired with the butcher block cabinets and glossy finish on the cabinetry, the open shelving makes this space feel extra bright and welcoming.

3. A Tired White Kitchen Becomes a Modern White Kitchen

This kitchen went from white cabinets … to white cabinets. But the difference is drastic! IKEA lower cabinets with Semihandmade doors were used throughout the space, then one wall was covered with floor-to-ceiling cabinetry. White subway tile runs from the counters up the entire wall, and a dramatic hood is a focal point. The result is an airy kitchen that exudes fresh California cool.

4. A Personality-Filled Redo Revives a Dark Kitchen

Dark cabinetry and a retro peek-a-boo window wall weren’t doing this kitchen any favors, but a “mid-century Scandinavian meets Italian modern makeover” turned it into a sun-drenched spot to cook a colorful meal. IKEA cabinets with deep drawers for maximum storage were used on the bottom, with open shelving on top to maintain the light feel. Cabinetry below the peninsula helps make up for the upper cabinetry that was lost. A white, yellow, green, and silver color palette makes the space feel happy and lively.

5. A Monochromatic Makeover Creates the Ultimate Calming Kitchen

Honey stained wood, mottled black counters, and beige tile floors were the look du jour during a certain era, but it’s anything but welcoming now that we’re used to lighter, more inviting spaces. And this kitchen was ripped out to make way for IKEA SEKTION cabinets, which were DIYed and customized by the owner. The entire space was filled with white finishes for a monochromatic look. The result is a calming, serene space where the only color is the vibrant hues of fruits and veggies.

6. Customized IKEA Cabinetry Makes a Dramatic Statement

There can be such a thing as too many cabinets, and this kitchen was once suffering from that affliction. To help it feel less enclosed, upper cabinets were removed in favor of making way for subway tile and open shelving. Then, striking dark green IKEA cabinetry was brought in to make a dramatic statement in this small kitchen and customized to fit the space exactly.

Credit: Anne-Claire
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7. IKEA Updates IKEA in this Meta Makeover

If you’re wondering how well IKEA cabinetry holds up over time, this kitchen proves it has staying power. Here, 15-year-old AKURUM cabinets in birch were updated with new SEKTION doors that look anything but new — in a good way! With their Shaker style and light ash wood finish, these doors give the existing cabinets a classic look that feels totally homey. Bonus: The light color of the wood plays perfectly with a bold blue wall that the owner had painted a few years before and absolutely wanted to keep.

Credit: Sylvia Bermudez
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8. A Century-Old Home Maintains Its Charm with IKEA Cabinetry

The 100-year-old kitchen in this home was no longer functioning for its owners, and a full renovation was in order. One way they were able to stay under budget was by using cabinets from IKEA. Where storage was lacking in the kitchen, the owners added an entire wall of white IKEA cabinetry that felt like a happy mix of modern and historic. Warm woods, vintage-inspired tile mosaics, and rich blue complete the classic-meets-fresh look.

9. A Tiny Kitchen Gets a Majorly Functional Upgrade

This kitchen’s small footprint wasn’t practical for the avid home cooks who lived there. But a DIY and affordable makeover was the only option — and they needed to do it quickly. Chef-quality touches were incorporated throughout the IKEA kitchen makeover, like extra-deep counters for more prep space and practical drawer-only storage in the lower cabinets.

10. A Dark, Drab Kitchen Becomes Light and Bright

A flood sparked the makeover of this dark and gloomy gray kitchen, which looks 10 times bigger with this light and bright makeover. In place of the old cabinets came new upper and lower SEKTION cabinets from IKEA, which were given a little touch of shimmer with modern gold pulls. Nearly everything within the kitchen is white, but butcher block counters add some warmth. The cool and casual result is barely recognizable from its original drab state.