Like it or not, IKEA has democratized the home decor industry. If you are on a budget and use your creativity, you can devise fabulous kitchens from their lines of ready-made kitchen cabinets.
Now that the 2008 catalogue is out, I will tell you my favorite kitchen choices. From my pod living story, you already know that I am a fan of whole wall units. So you will not be surprised with my first two choices.
My choices within the AKURUM kitchen system
The NEXUS honey brown door and drawer front series is one my favorite. I always like darker tones for home décor since it feels warmer. At first glance, the kitchen appears more masculine but I see it more as a unisex option if you use a brighter color than black as the accent color. This style costs $109 per linear foot. Since a 10 by 10 kitchen is only $2180 CAD, you can afford to plunge on nicer counter top and backsplash finishes.
The AKURUM kitchen pantry combination shown here with RUBRIK white doors is so cool with the INREDA moving ladder. I always dreamed of owning a ladder like that in my library but my current space does not allow for such a design. The kitchen pantry combination is just $2572 CAD and the ladder is $59 CAD.
The flexibility of UTBY cart
Nowadays the IKEA kitchen provides more option. Take for example the new UTBY shelving unit. The underframe model is available in 2 heights and 2 widths and no top. The low no top version (underframe) merges perfectly under your cabinet. UTBY line includes as a free standing shelving unit, a bar table or a free standing kitchen island.
The kitchen island on the picture with the wall pantry was built with the higher underframe UTBY models. I am not crazy about the fully open shelving unit for the island. I would suggest you cover three sides with paneling. If you can afford it, you can install mosaic tiles or glass tiles for a high end look. The backsplash can be done in different tiles as long as the two complement each others.
The third kitchen is designed for the cooks in mind. The kitchen tools are more accessible. Again, I would close the side end of the washing unit. I think it will look neater without removing any of the practicalities of this easy to reach stuff style. The advantages of horizontal cabinets is that you can leave them open while you are preparing the meal. Achieving this kitchen look costs a little bit more at $149 CAD per linear foot.
How to deal with the fixed dimensions
Create a high and narrow wine rack or integrate a seamless shelving unit for cookbooks and decorative items to fill up the gaps at both ends. Use simple moldings or other design tricks to create the impression of a custom look. You can achieve it as long as you fashion a sense of continuity.
With this post, I want to show you that readymade kitchen built-in cabinets can look sleek and chic if you let flourish your imagination.
Explore: Kitchen Inspirations by IKEA
For Americans: The IKEA 2008 catalogue available online
For Canadians: The IKEA 2008 catalogue available online
Buy online: The UTBY product line at IKEA