The Kitchen Reveal: Our Ikea Kitchen Remodel is Finished!

The day has come. I finally have pictures and details to share with you of our new kitchen! Our Ikea kitchen remodel was a long process, but it’s finally done. Our home style is “cozy modern” and that’s the general look I wanted in the kitchen. Specifically, our kitchen is a blue, white, and woven kitchen with a modern Central American vibe. You can find the kitchen moodboard here. When you come into our house the kitchen is just on your left. And this is the old view that used to nauseate you when you first came in. Kitchen Before And now this new view welcomes you joyously to our home. Ikea Kitchen Remodel, Akurum High Gloss White cabinets I’ll give you a moment to just be amazed.

Ikea Kitchen Remodel, Akurum High Gloss White cabinets
The cabinets are all from Ikea. They are the Akurum high gloss white cabinets. The high gloss finish makes them super wipeable–I love how easy they are to clean. And I love the sleek look. The door and drawer handles are all Ikea Blankett handles. I chose them because they wouldn’t interrupt the sleekness. Ikea Kitchen Remodel It’s hard to say what my favorite part is. The full wall of tile is up there. The tile is hand-painted cement tile made in Nicaragua. It’s awesome. Before it was installed, I had only seen one sample tile. The way the tiles fit together to make even more patterns makes the look even better. And after a college history class and trip to Nicaragua, Phil and I developed a special love for the country, which makes the tiles even more perfect for our kitchen. Ikea Kitchen Remodel My other favorite is probably is the 8 foot long butcher block waterfall island. The other side of the island is full of drawers of various sizes and a trash pull-out. Those drawers provide an incredible amount of storage, holding all our dishes, tupperware, baking supplies, spices, utensils, silverware, and more. Ikea Kitchen Remodel On either side of the fridge are tall pull out pantry cabinets. I love the pull out feature so it’s easy to see everything, even at the very back. The microwave is above the oven. Both have a sleek white finish. There’s a dishwasher in the above picture too. Do you see it? No, you don’t. It’s the big cabinet below the knife block and it has a front to match the cabinets. I love that it blends in and disappears.

Ikea Kitchen Remodel, Woven Pendant Lamp

The pendants above the island are woven out of jute or twine or something like that. When the lights are off, the look brown and the texture really shows up. My favorite lighting is to have just the pendants on and the can lights off. It’s such a warm beautiful light. There are also three can lights down the middle of the kitchen and one above the sink. The dining room light fixture is the Firefly Pendant from CB2. It’s the only part of the remodel that I’m not totally sold on. It was installed in the exact same spot as the old fixture, but with the added space to the kitchen, it isn’t centered over the table. Also, it hangs pretty low and is very bright. Ikea Kitchen Remodel We moved the cooktop from the center island to the wall. It was definitely the right decision, but it was one I hadn’t even considered until the contractor mentioned it. I like that the island is more open without a vent hood over it. And I like that the prep space it what primarily overlooks the dining area and living room. Ikea Kitchen Remodel

The process: We decided to use a contractor because Phil and I didn’t have time to do the work ourselves (and we didn’t trust the quality of work we’d do). But I was still sold on using the Ikea cabinets because of the price, the features, the high gloss finish, etc. It was a little tricky to find a contractor willing to work with Ikea cabinets since it isn’t the usual way. Ikea provides an assembly and installation service, but I’d read really bad reviews of it. I found an independent Ikea installer with years of experience and good reviews ( We ended up not going that route, but I was very impressed with his skill, price level on the bid, and ideas for design and planning.

We chose a contractor well-recommended in our neighborhood and demo started in the middle of July. Using a contractor was pretty nice and the quality of work they completed is excellent. My complaint though was that delays that made what I was originally told would be a 4-6 week project into a 12 week project. Some delays, I understand, are to be expected. But many of these delays seemed to be related to poor planning by the contractor and lack of communication between subcontractors.

The planning: We lived in our home for over a year before we started our Ikea kitchen remodel. I think this was super important. For starters, it took us about 6 months of living in the house before we realized that we could easily incorporate a storage area in the garage into the kitchen. And that made a HUGE difference in the kitchen design. The first thing we settled on was the tile really. I saw the tile online somewhere ages ago and knew right away that it would be the star of the kitchen. So moving on from there, I wanted a simple cabinet that would be clean and bright and modern. I loved the high gloss finish because it was modern and oh-so-wipeable. Sleek handle and stainles steel finish completed the clean and modern look. But too much sleek would make the kitchen sterile, so I knew we needed to add some warmth. I chose the butcher block countertop and woven lights to add warmth and texture. The cork flooring continues into the kitchen from the dining room. It doesn’t match the wood floor elsewhere in the house but it does have the same warm coloring so that it flows and seems more seamless.

The sources:

  • Cabinets: Ikea Akurum Cabinets in High Gloss White
  • Hardware: Ikea Blankett stainless in various sizes
  • Lighting: Island Pendants–Light Weaver Lamp from, Dining Room Chandelier–Firefly Pendant Lamp from CB2
  • Tile: Blue Fez pattern by Granada Tile
  • Countertops: The black countertops around the edges are black granite in an antiqued finish. They are matte and not shiny, with lots of texture from little pockmarks. The butcher block countertop was custom made by the carpenter.
  • Paint: White, Behr, off the shelf.
  • Appliances: the dishwasher, microwave, oven, cooktop, and vent hood are all Ikea.
  • Sink: Kohler
  • Faucet: Pfister

And of course I can’t resist one more good before and after:

Ikea Kitchen Remodel, Before and After, Blue Fez Granada Tile
Whew. So much better. And we are loving it. It’s so nice to cook in that we are making homemade meals way more often. Phil has even started making homemade bread every day. It truly turned out to be our dream kitchen. What do you think? Is the blue tile your thing? What would your dream kitchen look like? Are you getting ready for a kitchen remodel? If so, learn from our experience and consider these 8 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Kitchen Remodel. 


  1. That is just WOW! Yes, I needed the time to just be amazed and looked at that before and after. Such a beautiful kitchen remodel. I have always loved the white glossy kitchen cabinets at IKEA. And the blue tiles is just perfect. It made the kitchen more personal and unique. SO beautiful! Congrats on the new kitchen.
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  2. WOW – I am amazed!! You turned your kitchen into a totally different look. I love it and I like that you moved the fridge over to the left. AWESOME!!

    • Thanks, Kim. It’s amazing how something as seemingly little as moving an appliance makes such a difference in the entire flow of the room.

  3. What a transformation, great job!
    Mariah Leeson (@Giggles_Galore) recently posted…The Creative Collection Link PartyMy Profile

  4. Amazing!!! Love the story behind the tiles, as well. The moment I saw them I knew there had to be something special about it 🙂 Beautiful kitchen!
    Denise recently posted…Skinny Sweet’N Low Daiquiri RecipeMy Profile

  5. Your kitchen is just amazing! I love the bright white, LOVE the tiles, and LOVE the fixtures! The difference is just incredible!
    Randi-Dukes and Duchesses recently posted…A Coffee Gift {with Printable}My Profile

  6. Love it! What kind of cork floor tiles did you use? How are they holding up?

    • The cork tiles are from Build Direct-Evora Cork-Wide Plank Harvest Collection in the Hazelnut color. ( We’ve had the cork in the dining room for about a year now and in the kitchen only a month or so. It’s held up really well. I was a little worried about water since we were using cork in an eating/cooking area. But it hasn’t been a big deal. Common spilled water or liquids from our toddler clean up easily and don’t leave any damage. The only time water was a problem was because I let my toddler play with a bucket of water and a boat right on the cork floor, before I realized that it seemed like the water was seeping under the tile. But I just moved her outside and dried it up and noone could tell where the spot is now.

  7. What a beautiful and bright kitchen remodel!

  8. This is awesome! I’m looking into redoing my kitchen. What were the qualms about IKEA furniture that the contractor had? I’m wondering if I should go the same route – it looks amazing!

    Any advice?
    Ashley recently posted…STILL Half a Kitchen pt 1My Profile

    • One contractor was concerned because he’d never used it before. He didn’t know how to build it or install it. I offered to hire the expert service to do it, but he wasn’t super excited about the idea of working with a subcontractor that he didn’t control, have a relationship with. However, the contractor we ended up using agreed to have his carpenter build the Ikea cabinets for the same price in the budget as the expert service. Once it was said and done, he said it took alot longer than he’d estimated it would. But the installation looks great.

  9. Love the island. Intrigued about all the storage. Can you tell me the width of the island? Was the storage custom or Ikea as well? Thanks!

    • The island is made up of 4 Ikea cabinets: one pull out trash can cabinet, and 3 other drawer cabinets. It’s 8 feet long by about 25 feet wide. Ikea sells a big sheet matching the cabinet fronts to cover the back of the cabinets so they can be an island. The only custom part of the island is the butcher block top, because Ikea was out of stock of the 8 foot length of their butcher block option.

  10. So inspiring! Great idea to use so much wood (and fiber from your pendants) to warm up the glossy white (which we think we’ll use with our Ikea kitchen model as well).

    Couple questions:

    1. did it take a lot to move your gas line from the old island to your wall?
    2. did you remove a wall or something- to a pantry? to lengthen your kitchen?
    3. lastly, how did you decide to use a 2 basin sink? I’m leaning toward that too as I like to have a place to soak dishes before putting them in the DW. But it’d be nice to have a huge basin from time to time.

    • Sorry for the delay! Your comment got a little lost in the spam filter. Oops.

      1. Since we were taking the old flooring up and redo-ing the walls it was simpler to move the gas line than it might have been in another job. Since the plumbers had easy access to everything. It didn’t add much cost to the job and was totally worth it to have the open island. If the cooktop were there, we would have needed a vent overhead or something.

      2. Yes, we removed a wall at the left end of the kitchen. It had a small pantry in it and adjoined to a storage room in the garage. So we incorporated the storage room and pantry into the square footage of the kitchen. The contractor had to build up the floor from the garage level to the house level.

      3. In all our houses, we’ve always had a 2 basin sink. We like to have one side free, even if the other has dishes soaking (or drying) in it.
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  11. Matt Gladdek says:

    I’ve heard some complaints about the blankett handles. Are you still happy with them?

    • We are happy with the Blankett handles and it’s been about 5-6 months now. One of the handles is a smidge loose and wobbles, but I’ve been meaning to just tighten it up with a screwdriver. The only other thought I have about the handles, is on the top drawers, you can’t see them under the edge of the countertop. Which is tricky for guests in the kitchen, though by now, I just know right where they are.

  12. Great kitchen redo. I’m considering the small Blankett handles. Do you find them easy to use? Any problems with them? Thank you.

    • Overall, I like them. On our top drawers, you can’t see the handle because the counter overhangs a bit. This doesn’t bother me anymore, because I know right where to grab to find the handle, but guests can’t figure out where the handle is.

      I love the sleek look and they have been easy to wipe clean, too.


  1. […] Butcher block counter top. We have a section of butcher block leftover from our kitchen remodel that I want to use for the countertop. In the kitchen, the butcher block is unstained and sealed […]

  2. […] Would you add any questions to this list? What would you choose as the most important splurge in a dream kitchen remodel? To read more, check out our kitchen moodboard and planning before the job started or see before pictures and the initial reveal with all our sources here. […]