Last spring, while thumbing through both the US and UK editions of House Beautiful, I was shocked to see that both issues featured kitchens designed with Ikea cabinets. Yes, House Beautiful…Yes, Ikea. Further research uncovered the fact that many homeowners, when faced with the often-daunting task of budgeting for a kitchen reno, continue to turn to this well-known big box store to keep costs down. What these kitchens, and countless others, prove is that you don’t have to sacrifice style when you’re watching your pennies. Take this kitchen, above, designed by Mary Jo Bochner – it’s the quintessential example of combining high and low to create an impact. Mary Jo’s jumping-off point was a pair of vintage étagères that she bought in Charleston. Both the beautiful window over the sink and the previously owned high-end appliances from Wolf and Traulsen were purchased online from eBay and Craigslist. Cabinets and butcherblock countertops by the range, both purchased at Ikea, combine seamlessly with this high-end kitchen design. The money that Mary Jo saved allowed her to splurge on items such the Belgian bluestone countertop under the window, the incredible Tim Adams chandelier from Savannah’s Paris Market, and the seamless Cararra marble sink. Mary Jo Bochner has demonstrated beautifully in this kitchen that it literally pays to save money on some design elements so that you can splurge on higher-end materials that will ultimately make a statement in the space.
The kitchen above, by Leone Design Studio in Brooklyn, shows a completely different design aesthetic using Ikea cabinets. The open shelves, which are used as a room divider, create a clear delineation of space while still allowing the sunlight to stream through to the kitchen. Add to that the use of an industrial table on casters as an island, coupled with the high gloss cabinets from Ikea, and you have a sleek, contemporary kitchen fit for a fabulous apartment in the city.
While there are countless examples of kitchens from which to choose, the kitchen above shows just how you can use stock cabinets from Ikea combined with carefully selected design elements to create a fabulous space. The use of clean-lined cabinets, coupled with high-end Viking appliances, Cararra marble materials and pops of bright color from accessories and fabrics, results in a beautiful space. Jonathan Adler designed this kitchen for maternity clothing designer, Liz Lange, so it’s no surprise that when two creative minds come together big things happen.