Would You Put In an IKEA Kitchen?

We live less than ten minutes from our IKEA and man do we keep up that relationship. For a while, IKEA offered free breakfast on Mondays and free kids' meals on Tuesdays (not sure if that is still happening?). We used to meet a friend and her three littles there often to eat on the cheap, play with IKEA's stuff, and walk walk walk in the dead of winter. IKEA, you are a good friend. And you make a mean cinnamon roll.

I find myself increasingly drawn to Scandinavian design (fun article about it here!), and IKEA kitchens in particular fascinate me. In our kitchen, we used a custom cabinet maker and Ben hung the cabinetry with help, but I have been super curious about the quality, ease of assembly, and durability of an IKEA kitchen. Is it fairly easy to design and install an IKEA kitchen? Are there lots of options? How much can you mix and match and customize? We're not planning another kitchen renovation, but I am just one curious lady. The kitchens in the store are so gorgeous, and each one of them is so different!

IKEA Model Kitchen

Are you curious? I would guess that most of us have some (or lots) of IKEA in our homes—maybe bookshelves or textiles or kitchenware or toys, things that aren't such a huge commitment. But would you take the plunge and go with IKEA for something more permanent, like a kitchen? Do you want to know more about how IKEA kitchens measure up?

Thankfully, someone has been doing a lot of this research for us. I remember first finding Dana Miller's blog House*Tweaking and seeing her IKEA kitchen. Her style is so interesting, so layered, and so unexpected. And her story is really cool, too—she and her family sold their McMansion" and moved into a much smaller 1950s one-story home. (She writes often on her blog and IG about how downsizing helped give them freedom in many areas of their lives. Interesting stuff.) They worked hard to make this smaller home work for their family of five. And guys, it's gorgeous.

But that kitchen. Wanna see it? I contacted Dana to make sure I could use her photos and she graciously gave me the OK.

Photo Credit: Dana Miller (www.housetweaking.com)

Photo Credit: Dana Miller (www.housetweaking.com), used with permission

Photo Credit: Dana Miller (www.housetweaking.com)

Photo Credit: Dana Miller (www.housetweaking.com), used with permission

If you didn't already know, would you have any idea this is an IKEA kitchen? Isn't it so very beautiful, interesting, and functional? It doesn't look generic in any way, and I wonder if the mixing and matching contributes to that. The dark lowers and white uppers with a bit of open shelving make it look so custom. And I'm really into the two different countertop choices. Lovely!

So here's the cool thing, you guys. If you are interested in an IKEA kitchen, Dana has done a ton of work for you. On her blog, she writes an ongoing series featuring real-life IKEA kitchens with lots of pictures and interviews from the homeowners on their experiences. So she's made research really easy for you. How awesome is that?

I also found this article on Apartment Therapy with IKEA kitchen tips from a former IKEA employee, if that's something you are interested in.

What do you think? If you have an IKEA kitchen, what has been your experience with the products? For the rest of us, would you go with an IKEA kitchen? Or do you think you'll just stick with IKEA meatballs and lingonberry jam? :)