3 Things We Learned While Designing and Installing an IKEA Kitchen

Pin It

When the decision was made to design my kitchen using IKEA, and their new Sektion cabinets, I was giddy with excitement about all of the organizational features I could have.  Pull out drawer, after pull out drawer, after pull out drawer…do you see me drooling?

Now that my kitchen has been designed and installed, there are three things that I have found that I’ve been telling my clients and friends that I wish to share with you too.

3 Things We Learned While Designing and Installing an IKEA Kitchen

1. IKEA 3D Kitchen Planner

The Love

I love having the ability to plan out an entire kitchen from the comforts of my own office.  Although I have design programs on my computers, when planning out an IKEA kitchen, it is worth the time and effort to use their 3D Kitchen Planner.  When you plunk in a cabinet you can easily choose what features you would like to customize and add in.  The cabinet that you choose gets put into your ‘list’ and you can keep track of what your kitchen is costing you.

installing an Ikea kitchen


IKEA 3D Kitchen Planner

You also have the ability to virtually see a cabinet ‘open’ with the organizing systems you have added to your cabinets.  Being a visual person, I love that!

installing an Ikea kitchen

Cabinets closed

installing an Ikea kitchen

Cabinets open to see the pull out features

The Hate

I’m sure my family was tired of hearing me swear at my computer as there were days where I had to exit IKEA’s kitchen program, multiple times, to get the damn thing to work.  Just when I thought it was going great, cabinets would move on their own (and I’m sure it was due to me being a happy clicker), my newer design often wouldn’t save, etc.  If you are going to plan a kitchen with IKEA software, prepare for these things to happen.  It’s pretty glitchy software.

2. All the Hardware

When you get your base cabinets and then the inserts, they each come with a bag of hardware and a set of visual directions.

The Love

I love that IKEA is so organized.  Their hardware all comes in the same little baggie so it is easily identifiable.  It is also well marked so if you need to look up the code number on it, it can be easily found.  In our kitchen we were never shorted a piece of hardware.  Not once!  That’s impressive as we had just over 175 boxes delivered.

The Hate

While it’s great that IKEA has well marked bags, it’s a real shit-show when you don’t realize that no matter what you have designed for the interiors, every cabinet gets the same hardware AND you may not need all of the hardware every time.  For an OCD type personality like mine – that’s not a good thing.  I’m looking at the directions, triple checking that I’ve used the correct number of screws only to see that there are still extras.  In my head, they MUST belong somewhere so back I go to re-read the directions again (and sometimes go back a third and fourth time).  I’m not sure when I finally realized that there may be extra screws, but I’m just happy to have that little piece of knowledge now!

installing an Ikea kitchen

3. IKEA Secrets

I secretly think IKEA does this on purpose.  They either have hidden cameras to film the install and capture people like me loosing their shit over something they can’t figure out by reading the directions, or they have someone that has a really warped sense of humour! All I know is that installing anything IKEA could be a big TV hit!  I’d watch it (and laugh at everyone else losing it) 😉

The Love

Once you find out about an IKEA ‘secret’ (at least that’s what I’ve called them), the rest is golden.  Part of IKEA’s system is to have the same set up for everything.  So once you know a ‘secret’ for one cabinet, you know the secret for ALL of the cabinets.

The Hate

Nothing frustrates me more than taking the time to read directions to only find out they really are NO help.  In our kitchen, we have a total of 3 tall pantries (90″ high).  That means we have three sets of doors that were all similar.  This is an image of an interior side of one of our pantry doors.

installing an Ikea kitchen

When we took it out of the box there were holes on both sides of the door.  Do you see how ugly that hole is?  When I went back to look at my order and my design plan, I had designed it stating that I wanted the doors to have the hinges on the left hand side.  However, the door had holes on both side.  Even my hubby knew that wasn’t right as it would look horrible every time you opened up the door.  Who puts holes on both sides and only plans to use one of the sides?

When I went back to IKEA, I brought my cabinet front back to ask if we received the wrong cabinet front.  As the associate looked through my original order, she let me know that they had not made a mistake.  When I asked about the extra holes on the side I wasn’t using for the door hardware, she said I needed two little fillers (exactly like the one below).

installing an Ikea kitchen

WHAT?  Where was there ever a mention of a ‘filler’ in the directions?  Why isn’t that IN the directions OR why isn’t that part of the pretty little, organized hardware package you get?

Once you add these little babies, voila!

installing an Ikea kitchen


While there are some things that have annoyed me with installing an IKEA kitchen, the pros still outweigh the cons!  Although this post is sounding negative towards IKEA, it really is not meant to be.  It’s meant to educate you if you are going to embark on your own renovation journey and use Ikea cabinets.

I’d love to hear any of your IKEA stories (good or bad ones).

Sheri Bruneau  Get It Together

When it comes to renovations and work done in your home, you just can not afford to make a mistake!  Send me an email to discuss your home.

One of the biggest investments one can make is the investment of a home and I believe you should LOVE coming home – every.single.day.

Related Posts






Pin It


  1. on 29.07.2015
    at 6:11 AM

    I like all of these articles all are very interesting and useful. i am very glad to read your blog because this is very interesting and enjoyable also.

    • on 30.07.2015
      at 8:52 AM

      Thank you. Glad you enjoy them. ~Sheri

  2. Hery
    on 28.08.2015
    at 1:58 PM

    Do you remember what is the filler name? I also need these.



    • on 29.08.2015
      at 4:36 PM

      Hery, Are you talking about the filler pieces for the cabinets? If so, we used the FÖRBÄTTRA fillers.~Sheri

  3. on 08.11.2016
    at 12:39 PM

    Thank you so much for this article, i really like it.

  4. on 15.04.2017
    at 12:22 PM

    this is really an awsome post keep up the good work

  5. on 12.06.2017
    at 10:23 PM

    this is really an awsome post keep up the good work

Leave a Reply