Dream IKEA kitchen just in time for the Big Day

IKEA dream kitchen

And they cooked happily ever after.

In August 2018 we got married. Everything was arranged: DJ, location, catering. But 6 weeks before the date, due to circumstances, we had to switch to having the wedding at home.

In our home, we had a 20 year old kitchen. The one condition my wife laid down was a new kitchen.


At first, I designed a custom made kitchen, but due to time constraints, that was no longer possible.

In Belgium, kitchen companies are closed for 3 weeks in July, so that wasn’t an option. At that time I was working as a project manager with a joinery company, but that also wasn’t possible because there was no time for production, ordering wood, etc.

So the only possibility was IKEA which had cabinets in stock.

I redesigned my kitchen into standard elements of 40-60-80cm width so they would fit in my floor plan. To reach the required height I didn’t use the standard IKEA PVC legs. Rather I made them in plywood at 2, 8 and 10cm high.

Then, there were some extra challenges …

The same day we bought the cabinets, we had them delivered to our home. By evening I started assembling all 25 cabinets and by 5AM in the morning they were ready. Not installed yet of course, because there was an extra challenge.

Our former kitchen was still in use and not demolished yet. So at the same time I was doing the demo, I was installing the new kitchen. You see this in photo.

We switched the position of the kitchen. The dining room became kitchen and vice versa. So all plumbing and electricity had to be adapted as well.

We didn’t like the standard VEDDINGE melamine fronts. But I did buy one model per size so I had the drilling distances for the hinges. I made new oak veneer fronts, but some had to be adapted as well. The ones from the lower cabinets against the wall were extended in both directions. So they start from 2cm above the floor and pass 3cm. So we could work with a handleless gutter that does not exist on the IKEA range.

IKEA items used:

METOD kitchen cabinets

Other materials and tools:

Veneer fronts
Brass sink and tap
Black door handles
Miele downdraft hood
ATAG oven black
Reginox miami copper sink and tap
Black solid HPL worktop

Construction of our dream IKEA kitchen with custom fronts

Handle-less cabinets with overhanging doors: Attach an OSB or plywood 18mm on floor. Use Tech7. Put the cabinets on top and fix them to the OSB with screws.

Install on top of the cabinet a wooden frame against which you attach a 50mm metal C-profile. Extend the doors 20mm above so you still have a gap of 30mm to open the door.

How long and how much did it cost?

Cabinets €2800 – 3 weeks
Veneer €1400 – 2 weeks
Appliances €5000
Paint €300 – 2days
Worktop €800 -3 days

What do you like most about the hack?

It is not visible that the cabinets are from IKEA

What was the hardest part about this hack?

Making the fronts and creating a custom made look with standard elements.

custom plywood fronts
What to pay special attention to?

Exact position of the hinges in the fronts

Looking back, would you have done it differently?

It took a lot of effort in a short time, but it was my time which I didn’t have to pay. The fulfillment of it is still every day visible. So I wouldn’t have done it differently

Some extra information

The hood is a downdraft model, so in the cabinet are tubes of 220*80. A lot of available space is gone. In this cabinet we have drawers from a cabinet that is less deep.

In the dining area we have a seating bench made out of METOD wall cabinets, put on the floor. On top an oak worktop and then a measure made cushion.

The island worktop is 3440mm L made out of mat trespa, because it was the only available material in this length.

A lot of cabinets have cut outs to allow for piping and electricity.

custom plywood front
custom plywood front

Side panels and fillers are custom made.

Everything was painted on site. Black fronts with oil RAL 9005. The natural wood is treated to a whitened oil (to avoid yellowing of the oak).

IKEA dream kitchen with custom fronts

~ by Ben Vandenberghen