DIY, Home Decor

How to Plan and Order a Brand New IKEA Kitchen – a step by step guide

Our IKEA Kitchen

From dreaming, planning, ordering and installing.

The entire process explained in detail.

I would like to start off by up saying that I am not affiliated with IKEA in any way. I just love their products.

The purpose for this post is to hopefully be of help to someone new what who  embarking on the ikea kitchen journey. I wish I had read something that told us the steps we needed to take before going forth with the adventure of acquiring an IKEA kitchen. Don’t get me wrong! I read plenty of blogs and articles but I had to piece the steps together. So here is our experience from the dreaming stage (before we even closed on our house) through to installing it.

Dreaming of an IKEA kitchen

Every time we went to IKEA, we always walked through the kitchen display area and I had to open every drawer and door I could! I “oohhed” and “aaahhed” at the practical organizational compartments and convenient pullouts in various cabinets. I wanted similar awesome and helpful things in my kitchen. But we didn’t own a house at the time so all I could do was dream. So when we were looking to buy a house and put an offer on one (our current house), I was already planning the kitchen!

Now, here I need to let you know what our old kitchen looked like. The pictures are a little blurry but it is painfully obvious that kitchen needed major help.

Old kitchen
There was no counter space to speak of. And that almost unusable space in the corner!
Old kitchen
This side of the kitchen was the makeshift pantry- unsightly and messy looking!

Planning of an IKEA kitchen

The planning step is a lot of fun! Now before you start the planning, there is one important step you need to take:

                Sign up for an IKEA Family membership

The importance and awesomeness of IKEA family membership.

It’s free and they do periodic sale events for family members. There are special prices on various items throughout the store. They also have free meals during certain weekends with a set minimum kitchen purchase. You get free coffee or tea (Free coffee is always a plus in my book! 🙂 ) . The kids get extra time at the IKEA play area, Småland. It’s totally worth it!   Right now, IKEA has a 15% off sale event for IKEA family members for any kitchen purchase of $1500 and over. This sale event is going on until July 9th.

And most importantly, IKEA family members can take advantage of  90 days price protection! We ordered most of our kitchen in February, yet the sales event didn’t start until March 1. But because we were IKEA family members, we got a price adjustment once the sale started and saved over $1000 ( our total kitchen purchase was over $5000 before the 20% off. * The sale back in March was 20% off).

Here is link to sign up for membership.

Now, once you get the  membership, you can get on with the planning!

Now, one important aspect of the planning is measuring! I can’t stress enough how imperative it is to measure accurately.

                       Measure, measure, measure!

Measure the distance from doors, measure the existing appliances (if you are keeping them), measure the height and width of windows nd doors. Believe me, it will make your planning and the whole process so much easier.

Here is another great benefit of the IKEA Family membership- you can get a professional planner to do your kitchen design. You pay for the service (prices start at $199) but if you order a kitchen before August 31, 2017, you will get that fee back in the form of a gift card.

We did not get a professional planner because we wanted to do the planning ourselves. I mean, I had started planning before I even had a kitchen to renovate! I wasn’t going to hand that fun over to someone else! So to start the planning, you go the IKEA Home planner tool . *Note, the planner tool will not work on mobile devices so you need a laptop or PC/MAC to use it. It does not work on Edge. It works on Explorer, Chrome or Firefox.


Kitchen plan
This is the printout of our finalized kitchen plan.

You start by inputting the existing structures or appliances in the room- doors, windows, radiators, pipes etc ( for reference purposes, our kitchen measures 10 feet by 5 feet). Then you choose the sizes and types of cabinets you would like to place in your kitchen. The corner cabinets have many insert options and the cool thing about the planner is that each cabinet can be opened with a click and you can see what the inside will look like. We chose a carousels style for one wall corner cabinet and shelves for the other wall corner cabinet. We didn’t have any bottom corner cabinets in the old kitchen. So we added two! One has two turning pullout shelves ( they turn around the corner and pull out completely), while the other cabinet has simple shelves.

Pullout shelf
This the awesomeness I am talking about- the shelf pulls out COMPLETELY! 🙂


The possibilities and combinations of cabinets are vast!  It took us a while to figure out which ones we wanted and needed. The basic cabinets are the SEKTION and you customize them by choosing your style of door and drawer fronts. We settled on the BODBYN style door- an off white color that brightened up the kitchen considerably.

Ordering of an IKEA kitchen

You can order your kitchen online, by phone or in store. I would HIGHLY recommend that you go in store and talk to a kitchen specialist who will do the ordering for you. We went to out nearest store (Baltimore) and were fortunate to get Todd who was very helpful AND knowledgeable (if anyone is ordering form the Baltimore store, I recommend Todd wholeheartedly!). You can see the doors in person and you are better equipped to make the right decision.  We had actually settled on a different style door during the planning stage. However, when we saw them in person, we changed our mind and decided on the BODBYN instead.

Plan to be in store for at least 2 hours. I think we spent about 3 hours including deciding on the finishing touches (door handles etc) and the actual ordering and paying for the kitchen.

Pick up or Delivery

If you have adequate transportation, you could opt to pick up your order at the pick up area of the store. That wasn’t an option for us so we set up delivery. Or rather mostly delivery  (read on to see what I mean).

We do not live near a major metropolitan area , the closest IKEA is about 70 miles away. The delivery truck was in our area only on Wednesdays so we had limited dates to choose from but that wasn’t a big deal. We ended up choosing a date 2 weeks after we placed the order. A week before the scheduled date I received an email, confirming the date of the delivery. We received an automated phone call the evening before the scheduled date which gave us a 4 hour time slot for the delivery. On the day of the delivery, the people carried all the boxes and placed them in our newly emptied dining room (As per my instructions).

These are all the boxes and packages- I believe it was 120 pieces. It doesn’t look like much but that was the entire kitchen (except for the sink and counter tops)

I tried to go through the list and make sure everything was accounted for. BUT, I didn’t have time to do it by the time they finished binging everything inside. We checked off the boxes later. We ended up missing two small items. The instructions on the paperwork told me to call the customer service number and open a claim. I did that right away and they said I will hear from them within 72 hours.

We were going to the store in a few days anyway so we decided to enquire about that. On the advice of Todd from the kitchen department, we spoke to the Returns people. So we were able to pick up the two missing pieces. We did end up going to the store a few times, because our sink was backordered and we needed to pick it up at the store once they received the new shipment of sinks. We tried to decide on a different sink but we ended up going back to the original because we fell in love with it when we saw it in store and couldn’t find any other one that came close to it.

It’s an apron sink that is wide enough to fit a pizza pan (our old sink was a double bowl sink but each bowl was too narrow and it was awkward washing the wide pizza pans).

Domsjo sink
The sink is 24 3/8 inches wide and 26 inches deep.

This is the DOMSJO sink and it was such a good price (It was $179.99 at the time) for this style sink that we were willing to wait a week to get it. Here is the link to the product page  . The wait wasn’t a big deal because we still hadn’t started the kitchen renovation.  I am glad we didn’t settle for a different sink. This sink is one of my favorite parts of my kitchen.

So, we ended up having most of the kitchen delivered but had to pick up some things ourselves. So it was mostly delivery 🙂

Installing the IKEA kitchen

The idea of installing the kitchen was exciting because it got me that much closer to having my new kitchen.

But it was also daunting because it required a lot of work.

You can go two ways with installing- you can get professionals to do it for you or you can do it yourself. We opted for installing it ourselves. I have to preface this by saying that my husband is quite handy (he renovated both our bathrooms himself) but he was a bit intimidated with the idea of doing all the kitchen work himself. It was very fortuitous that I had my brother coming to visit from the UK. And he is a woodworker and a general contractor. He ordered my husband not to do any work before hand 🙂 Apparently, my brother had installed upwards of 50 kitchens and at least 10 of those were IKEA kitchens! So, you could say half and half with the installation- we had professional help but my husband did a lot of the work himself too.

Here are some pictures of the process:

Removing the old counter top. They had just finished removing the all cabinets.
Cutting the countertop to size
Installing my sink 🙂

All in all, the whole process from removal of the old and installing the new took one week. My brother was working during the day by himself and my husband joined in after getting home from work. They had to do some modifications to the cabinets to find them around pipes. I even helped by assembling the drawers! Assembling IKEA drawers is a pretty easy process- a lot of the components snap together! 🙂

The finishing touches

I wanted a lot of convenience and practicality in my new kitchen. That meant I had to get a lot of the add on IKEA offers. And IKEA has a ton of those. I already raved about the pullout shelves in my base corner cabinet (see pic above). Here is a list of the things I got that I think make my kitchen more organized and convenient.

  1. GRUNDTAL Wall rails and S hooks- perfect fro my large cooking utensils and cutting boards (those cutting boards are from IKEA too). And my coffee mugs too!
  2. GRUNDTAL Magnetic knife rack – to store all my knife and kitchen shears.
  3. GRUNDTAL Container to hang on the rail- this holds all my oils- super convenient.
  4. Sink organizers to hold my dish soap and sponges
  5. STENSTORP kitchen cart- I wanted an island but our kitchen is too small for one.
  6. VARIERA bamboo flatware tray -it really long and holds a lot of stuff!
  7. Various VARIERA boxes to help organize the drawers and cabinets- the larger ones hold my tea and coffee and the small ones hold my daughters candy stash and Japanese jello. 🙂
  8. Under the sink holder for cleaning supplies.
  9. the under the cabinet lighting we picked up in the closet section of IKEA martkeplace- they were cheaper ($15 for a set of 3) than what was offered in the kitchen department. The lights are plug in lights so we placed the switch next to the microwave. We could use less newly installed outlet (it was needed for the microwave) to plug in the lights.
My handy IKEA organizers

We did have some frustrations along the way since we had to make numerous trips to the stores but I love IKEA so that wasn’t a big headache 🙂 . But, it was easier than I expected. I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was a lot of fun and I am so happy to have an organized and bright kitchen!

Here are pictures of the final product :

My new kitchen- We got the 40 inch wall cabinets and there was still space for my husband’s Starbucks mugs on top.


The left picture shows my pantry area (remember that messy area in the old kitchen). The cabinets to the right of the tall pantry were custom build by my husband to fit the space ( IKEA didnt have the right depth) and then we used the BODBYN doors to hide the trash cans! The pictures on the right show the carousel in the wall corner cabinet and the deep drawer that holds my pots and pans (and rusty loaf pan 🙂 )


And my second favorite thing in my kitchen (after my sink):

New above the range microwave. We also bought this from IKEA.

This deserved its own picture! I love the bigger microwave but most of all, I love the counter space it freed up.

And there you have it- my new IKEA kitchen- from dreaming to installing to adding the finishing touches.

I would like to make it clear that I am in no way affiliated or otherwise associated with IKEA and I am NOT expecting to get any commission from this post. I simply wrote it because I hope someone out there might find it helpful. And I love IKEA 🙂 I have been shopping in IKEA since my parents and I bought our flat in London in 2001. We had an IKEA about 2 miles from the flat so we were very frequent visitors. So, I have been an IKEA lover for 16 years 🙂

Share your IKEA kitchen story! Do you love IKEA as much as I do?

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