Our Custom Ikea Cabinet Built-ins: A Complete Renovation Guide

Over the past month, we've been working tirelessly to transform our work/play room with custom-built storage cabinets. From choosing the perfect cabinets to building a solid foundation, we've faced numerous challenges but have finally achieved...

Over the past month, we've been working tirelessly to transform our work/play room with custom-built storage cabinets. From choosing the perfect cabinets to building a solid foundation, we've faced numerous challenges but have finally achieved the look we envisioned. In this article, we'll take you through our journey and share valuable insights that will help you create your own custom built-ins.

Choosing the Perfect Cabinets

After thorough research, we decided to go with Ikea's Sektion kitchen cabinet line. This choice was based on the variety of configurations available and the option to use custom doors. Our setup included three 80' tall cabinets, two 24" base cabinets, and two 24x30" wall cabinets. This allowed us to create a bench seat/kids desk under the window and a large L-shaped desk along the back wall.

Cabinets Caption: Our chosen Ikea cabinets and their layout

Building a Solid Foundation

Before securing the cabinets to the wall, we had to build a sturdy base for them to sit on. Instead of purchasing Ikea cabinet legs/toe kicks, we decided to customize our own using 2x4's. This not only saved us money but also allowed us to paint them to match our desired aesthetic. We removed the baseboard and built a frame using 2x4's precisely cut to the width and length of the cabinets, with a center support for added stability.

Base Caption: Building a solid base for the cabinets

Making Adjustments for a Perfect Fit

During the installation process, we encountered a few challenges due to the unevenness of the walls. We had to make adjustments to ensure the cabinets were level from top to bottom. For the cabinets on the left wall, we used the IKEA suspension rail, while the others were attached to the wall using supplied brackets. We carefully marked the anchor points and used self-drilling drywall anchors for secure fastening.

Installation Caption: Installing the cabinets securely

The Finishing Touches: Panels and Fillers

To achieve a seamless built-in look, we added MDF panels and fillers between the cabinets and the walls. This required installing 2x4 blocks for support and attaching fillers on top. It was like solving a puzzle, fitting each piece precisely. We used cardboard templates to capture the shape of our contoured walls and made careful cuts to ensure a flush fit.

Panels Caption: Adding the finishing touch with panels and fillers

The Open Storage Dilemma

One question that remains is what to do with the space above the cabinets. While it offers valuable storage, we want it to look polished and complete. As an initial idea, we placed books on the shelves to create a library vibe that fits well with our storybook mural theme. However, we're open to suggestions on how to enhance this space further. Should we keep it open or close it off with doors or sliding drawers?

Open Storage Caption: The dilemma of open storage above the cabinets

Cost Breakdown

For those curious about the cost of this project, here's a breakdown of the major expenses:

  • Ikea cabinet boxes: $1,185
  • Ikea shelves and drawers: $642
  • Semihandmade doors: $1,954 + $399 shipping
  • Semihandmade panels: $773

Grand Total: $4,953

It's important to note that this total doesn't include the butcher block or miscellaneous hardware supplies. Additionally, when comparing Semihandmade doors to Ikea doors, Semihandmade proves to be a more cost-effective and customizable option, especially if you plan to paint the doors yourself.

Conclusion

With perseverance and attention to detail, we were able to transform our work/play room with stunning custom-built Ikea cabinets. The finished product not only provides ample storage but also adds a touch of elegance to the space. We hope this article has inspired you to embark on your own custom built-ins project. Stay tuned for future updates and more DIY projects!

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