Our Kitchen Renovation Details


It’s taken me forever to put this post together because there are so many components, but I am super excited to share it all for those of you considering an kitchen renovation using Ikea cabinets.

When we first had an accepted offer on the house, we had a local designer & her contractor come in and give us some pricing on custom cabinetry. We knew we wanted to stay around $15K for the entire kitchen, and our first quote for new cabinets, just cabinets,was $16,500. We looked at options for getting the existing ones refinished, getting new shelves built inside of them, etc. but ultimately the cost of starting from scratch with Ikea cabinets was the best option. And I was SO excited about it. I have always read amazing things about them, minus the part about putting them together, and couldn’t wait to get started.

We were limited on changing the layout of the kitchen to stay within our budget, our surrounding walls were all load bearing and we also wanted to keep the existing hardwoods so we tried to keep everything on the same floor plan as it already was. The kitchen is actually pretty small, which did help keep costs down when it came to pricing per cabinet & per square foot of countertop. We knew we wanted to remove the cook top and replace it with an actual range, and also wanted to remove the upper cabinetry in favor of open shelves. Once we got our layout down, the kitchen planner helped us figure out what Ikea boxes fit in the space, and then we finalized our order with them – without the door fronts.

We then worked with the AMAZING Semi-Handmade team, to order our doors. We chose this option for a few reasons. They were higher quality than the Ikea doors, solid wood & the style was more of the shaker look that we wanted. Semi-Handmade also offers door sizes that are custom fit for your space, where as Ikea only offers a few sizes, requiring you to use “filler panels” for the extra spaces. So for example, our doors above our wall oven would have been about 6 inches shorter, and we would have had to put in a flat panel as a filler between the doors and the oven, since we did not use Ikea appliances. (I hope that makes sense, I know it is a little confusing!) I also really wanted a custom color that Ikea didn’t offer, so we loved that we were able to order the doors unfinishsed and have them painted in the color that we chose. I really can’t say enough good stuff about this part of the process, they actually helped us so much when it came to install and assembly, I am certain I called ten times over the course of the month asking different questions along the way. Overall, they gave the kitchen a much more custom look & we were so happy to have worked with them.

So to break it down a bit, here is a simplified version of how the process went (for those of you who have emailed me, this is where I was confused when we started, so hopefully this is helpful!)

1. Decide on a basic layout, then use the Ikea kitchen planner tool to pick & choose the components of your cabinet boxes (lowers, uppers, drawers, sink base, wall pantry, etc.), taking into account all of your space & appliance dimensions (so make sure you have these all picked out ahead of time).

2. Send finalized kitchen design to Semi-Handmade, so that they can give you the door sizes & panels. Panels are basically the wood that goes around your cabinet boxes & fills in the spaces between cabinets & appliances.

3. Finalize order for cabinets & doors (we did them at the same time to make sure there were no changes to be made to the original Ikea order order, which there were, so do these together), and patiently wait for 8,092,384,759 flat packed boxes to arrive on your doorstep (we paid an additional $75 to have someone pick up all of the pieces from the store & deliver them, because #threekids #aintnobodygottimeforthat)

4. Install cabinet boxes, then appliances, and then panels (in that order) for the best fit (if you are starting from scratch).

5. Countertop installation happened right in here somewhere, followed by having the sink/faucet plumbed.

6. Paint. Hands down one of the best decisions we made during our renovation, the painting company was SO professional and did a way better job than we ever could have. They came in, tented the kitchen, taped off EVERYTHING, filled all of the seams & nail holes, sprayed all of the boxes, and then took our cabinet doors to their studio to paint & return a few days later.

7. Install doors (everything is pre-drilled, and fit for Ikea hinges).

8. Backsplash, cabinet hardware & floating shelves (using these brackets that we used in our last house) come last, the best feeling ever.

We highly recommend hiring a carpenter during the process to come help out with any installation issues, someone who can make sure everything is cut perfectly to size, add trim, quarter-round, etc. to give you a really finished look. Brandon is super handy and was able to do most of this, but we were lucky to have a great carpenter to come in and assist with a few pieces of the puzzle & some amazing trim work at the end.

Here is our cost breakdown:

Ikea cabinets: $1850
Semi-Handmade door fronts: $2100
Custom Painting: $700
Appliances (purchased during 4th of July Sale!): $6200
Sink, Faucet & Cabinet Knobs: $1100
Countertops: $3800
Tile & Backsplash Installation: $1100
Floating Shelves DIY: $40
Electrical, Plumbing, Trim & Carpentry Work: $550
Total Cost: $17,440

We already had factored the price of buying a fridge into our closing costs, so less the cost of that, we weren’t too far off from our original budget. If you are looking to do a kitchen reno, and already have your appliances, there is definitely a good chance that you can complete it for under $10k. We love that we were able to give the kitchen the overhaul that it needed while making it totally our style, I am so so so happy with the way it turned out. If you have any questions regarding the process, definitely leave them in the comments and I will be sure to answer!

Sources: Cabinet Doors in DIY Shaker by SemiHandmade // Cabinet Paint Color SeaGull by Creative Cabinets // Quartz Countertops by Premier Surfaces // Floating Shelf Brackets c/o Shelfology // Sink // Faucet // Gas Range // Range Hood // Fridge // Microwave Oven // Drawer Pulls // Cabinet Knobs // Subway Tile Backsplash

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47 Comments

  • Reply
    Sarah
    March 22, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    BEAUTIFUL!!!! Thank you for this post!! I NEVER would have thought to use IKEA cabinets. They are so affordable and look AMAZING!!! I’m sending this post to my hubby now haha 🙂 Thanks so much for the full breakdown- including the cost. Super helpful!!

    -Sarah http://www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

  • Reply
    Jessica
    March 22, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Your kitchen is beautiful! We are currently picking out kitchen counters for our new home. We have a 4 year old, 19 month old, and another on the way, so I am curious if it is easy to keep the white quartz counters clean/stain free? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Jessica Garvin
      March 23, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      Yes! It’s surprisingly easy, so far we have no stains, and we have definitely had coffee/wine spills, jello, food coloring, etc. which have all come off with a soft scrub. It is very durable! 🙂

  • Reply
    Judy Lee
    March 22, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    I am interested in having our cabinets painted white but dh is skeptical. Can you show us what they look like on the inside?

    • Reply
      Jessica Garvin
      March 23, 2017 at 12:12 pm

      The inside is just white, so when the painters came in, they taped/papered off the entire inside so only the front of the frame is painted. I think if you look back to some of my renovation posts, you’ll be able to see inside! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kelsey
    March 22, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    Please tell me you are listing that chalkboard print!! That is my absolute favorite and have wanted it for my living room wall for some time now in some form or another, this would be perfect!

  • Reply
    Holly
    March 22, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Beautiful!! We did an IKEA kitchen renovation at our old house. I love how the cabinets look. Enjoy your new kitchen!

  • Reply
    Allison
    March 22, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Holy cow, looks so great. Love love the backsplash and herringbone layout. But where is your microwave? Is it a drawer one w/ a panel covering it? I have looked at the pictures a few times but I feel like I am playing a difficult kitchen version of Where’s Waldo.

    • Reply
      Jessica Garvin
      March 23, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      It is the top portion of the wall oven 🙂 It looks like a double oven but is actually a microwave/oven combo, and the door opens down like an oven!

      • Reply
        Brittany
        March 24, 2017 at 12:00 pm

        Am I missing a picture of the wall oven? It all looks so good!

  • Reply
    Julie Borm
    March 23, 2017 at 6:53 am

    I love your kitchen renovation and think it’s super helpful you included costs! Question: Is the linked backsplash tile the exact one you used? Yours looks a little shinier, appreciate your help!

    • Reply
      Jessica Garvin
      March 23, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      Yep, that’s the exact one. And I believe you can order a single tile sample (I remember doing this with tons of tiles to see which we liked best) so you can see it in person before ordering hundreds! 😉

  • Reply
    Kristin
    March 23, 2017 at 7:18 am

    This looks incredible! A kitchen renovation is sooo stressful. We redid our tiny kitchen a few years ago and it was awful for 6 straight weeks! I was so happy when it was done!

  • Reply
    Sandra
    March 23, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Beautiful! I am getting ready to have a backsplash installed. What color grout did you use?

    • Reply
      Jessica Garvin
      March 23, 2017 at 12:15 pm

      White, without tile spacers too, I didn’t want to have thick grout lines. XO

  • Reply
    Nicole
    March 23, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Kitchen is absolute goals and I love it! So impressed with the fact that you guys did it all pretty DIY without any major hiccups 🙂 Looks gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Amie
    March 23, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Your kitchen is sooo beautiful! I am blown away with what you did for under $20K! Thank you for sharing and for all of the transparency, we are remodeling and this gives me so much inspiration and hope!

  • Reply
    Leanne Hanley
    March 24, 2017 at 1:51 am

    We have been patiently waiting for an Ikea here in Nova Scotia…It’s finally coming this year. Kitchen demo is on! My hubby is a carpenter, so we won’t take have to hire anyone…We are opening up our small kitchen and then buying Ikea cupboards. Not sure about countertops yet. It seems overwhelming! Thanks for this post!

  • Reply
    Haylie Arb
    March 24, 2017 at 1:47 pm

    Beautiful kitchen, thank you so much for sharing. My husband and I are a Design and Construction team and I have to say compared to where I live (Oregon) you received your paint, contractor and tile services for next to nothing in comparison! Awesome job it’s beautiful.

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    March 24, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    I love your backsplash!

  • Reply
    Lindsay
    March 24, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Your kitchen is so beautiful, Jessica! Did you live in the house during the reno? My husband, 4y.o. and 1y.o. are gearing up for a kitchen renovation at the end of April and are planning to live in the house. Any tips for not losing your mind? Especially when it comes to making dinners without a stove (or sink)!!!! Thanks 🙂

    • Reply
      Jessica Garvin
      March 27, 2017 at 10:45 am

      Hey Lindsay! For the most part, we lived in our old house for the kitchen renos, we moved in the weekend we got countertops and a working sink, which was a big deal. But we didn’t have cabinet doors for a while but at least we could cook! 😉 It’s definitely hard but I would say just plan for lots of easy dinners, picnics & going out to dinner if possible!

  • Reply
    krista
    March 25, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    thank you for this thorough post! The kitchen is lovely. would you ever consider doing an organizational tour of your kitchen?

  • Reply
    Molly
    March 26, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Your kitchen is beautiful! We are just starting to renovate our new/old house. Did you guys put together the ikea cabinets yourself, They look amazing but Im afraid I would be too overwhelmed by how many boxes and figuring out which goes where! How long did it take you? Thanks so much!!

  • Reply
    Dawn
    March 26, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Can you get samples of the wood quality from this door company?

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    March 27, 2017 at 5:56 am

    Y’all did a beautiful job! I’ve always been curious about floating shelves and how the installation works. (We’re in the middle of a kitchen reno ourselves) Do you install the shelving hardware first and tile around it or did y’all tile the whole wall and were able to mount the shelving hardware to the tile?

  • Reply
    Katie
    March 27, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Hi Jessica! Love what you did with the kitchen! I wanted to inquire about your hardware since we are in the market for some. I love the black and noticed your pulls are black but your knobs are not technically black. Can you tell a different? Thanks!

  • Reply
    Rebecca
    March 28, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Silly question, but where did you get the wood for the shelves? And what is the thickness? I’m struggling finding wood that’s similar in thickness to yours. Thank you!

    Your kitchen looks stunning!

  • Reply
    Annie
    March 29, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    Beautiful kitchen!!! We just completed an IKEA kitchen renovation and I’m so impressed with your price tag compared to ours! Did you put the cabinets together & install the doors yourself?

  • Reply
    Grace
    March 31, 2017 at 2:55 am

    Can I ask what would you used with semi handmade for the door fronts? Absolutely inspiring you got such a great kitchen for lower kitchen Reno cost. It’s amazing how expensive it all is to me still!!! Starting in the summer and hammering out details. Thank you!!!

  • Reply
    Grace
    March 31, 2017 at 2:56 am

    That’s *wood. Not would 🙄

  • Reply
    Jessica
    April 8, 2017 at 3:16 pm

    Beautiful!!! Do you mind sharing the painting company you used for the cabinets? I am in the ATL area! Thanks so much!!

    • Reply
      Jessica Garvin
      April 9, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      Yes, it is Creative Cabinets in Marietta! XO

      • Reply
        Jessica
        April 11, 2017 at 8:06 am

        Great! 😊 thank you!

  • Reply
    Annie Merrill
    April 9, 2017 at 6:12 am

    Hi Jessica!

    Love love your kitchen! Keep looking back at it for inspiration for ours. A quick question – we had initially planned to do an Ikea Domsjo sink but it’s currently out of stock. It looks like you used a non-Ikea sink with an Ikea base. Do you have any tips or tricks for how to do that?

    Thanks SO much!

    • Reply
      Jessica Garvin
      April 9, 2017 at 7:03 pm

      Yes, you can use any sink with ikea cabinets! If it is heavy/farmhouse style, you would want to add sort of a wooden table inside the cabinets to support it (look on pinterest, you can see some DIY instructions) or if it is just a stainless undermount, your countertop fabricator would handle it! 🙂 Hope that is helpful! XO

  • Reply
    Kathryn
    April 10, 2017 at 10:33 am

    Hi Jessica! Love the kitchen reno! We are in the process of updating our kitchen as well and shopping around for open shelving. How deep are your open shelves? Trying to get a sense of how deep we can go and still display plates and bowls — thanks!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    April 10, 2017 at 11:48 am

    Where did you find those floating shelves? You said DIY, so did you guys get raw wood and stain it?

    • Reply
      Jessica Garvin
      April 10, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      Yes! So the brackets are from shelfology.com, and we bought raw cedar, cut it, sanded, stained & drilled the holes in the back to fit them to the brackets! 🙂

  • Reply
    Brandi
    April 11, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Love the new kitchen! Everything looks wonderful. I’m wondering, have you added any rugs in front of the sink?

  • Reply
    Lindy
    April 17, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Are you still happy with your Kitchen Aide appliances? We’re thinking of purchasing the same fridge and the double oven stove. The reviews seem to either be really great or really bad.

    • Reply
      Jessica Garvin
      April 17, 2017 at 11:18 am

      yes! we love them and have never had a problem 🙂

  • Reply
    Baili
    April 20, 2017 at 7:12 am

    Can you share the white color of the walls in your home? Also where are your black handles and knobs from?

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