Home Projects

Stress-Saving IKEA Kitchen Reno Tips from an Actual Homeowner

updated May 3, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

Elise and Ben loved a lot about their 1950s Mount Washington house when they first bought it (you’ll have to be sure to check out their full tour to read the story behind the previous residents!). The kitchen, however, needed an upgrade. They chose IKEA to keep within budget, and Elise learned a few lessons about using IKEA to renovate your kitchen. She graciously shared her tips for anyone thinking about their own IKEA kitchen upgrade.

Follow Topics for more like this

Follow for more stories like this

To see what Ben and Elise’s kitchen looked like before they brought IKEA into the mix, you can check out their kitchen Before & After → A 1950s Kitchen Finally Gets New Cabinets & a New Modern Look

(Image credit: Marisa Vitale)

In Elise’s words, this is what she learned about buying IKEA kitchens:

1. Wait for the sale

It is super stressful and took about nine hours to do the first order (I am not kidding) and then I made about 20 more trips during the course of the remodel, BUT they gave me the same 20% off on all my subsequent trips and kitchen purchases so it was hugely worth it. If you have kids, get a sitter who has the whole day free. Smalland is not going to cut it. You are about to embark on some next level IKEA-ing—don’t mess around.

2. Use the IKEA software

It’s a glitchy nightmare, I know. But in the long run it really helps you keep track of things. And the IKEA installers use it to make the job go so fast. We used Matt Larrabee and he is a WIZARD.

3. Try a Tuesday

If you don’t want to spend nine hours there after the thousands of hours you will spend fighting with their software, don’t wait until the last weekend of their sale (like we did—although they did put out coffee and cookies), and, in general, don’t go on a weekend.

I actually started going BEFORE they opened and was one of those people who stood at the divider waiting for the store to open (the cafe opens first). I would then sprint using my secret shortcuts to get to the kitchen area FIRST. If I was smart, I would have taken a day off work and done the initial order on a Tuesday morning first thing, probably making it a two hour process.

And something that we saw that makes Ben and Elise’s IKEA kitchen so much more personalized: they upgraded the look of their space with Calacatta marble and Schoolhouse Electric hardware for all the cabinets. You can read more about Elise’s kitchen remodel and more of her DIY projects on her great blog at Burke Decor.