BlogHow to Start Planning your IKEA Kitchen

April 6, 2022

How to Start Planning your IKEA Kitchen

how to plan your Ikea kitchen

Congratulations! You’re ready to improve, update or refresh your kitchen design, whether you want to replace all the cabinets, replace all of your old cabinet doors or simply replace a few aging doors, IKEA has always been a great choice.

IKEA makes kitchen planning easy with its products, but also due to its beautiful and modular designs for modern kitchens that make the heart of your home inviting and practical.

We’ll explain how to start planning your IKEA kitchen from start to finish.


Know Your Budget

Budgeting is the first step to having a great kitchen plan. Your budget determines how much you can do for the space you have. You can get a home loan for renovations if you feel you are qualified. You can also check with your local and provincial governments to see if tax breaks or rebates are available.

Having kitchen cabinet installers does incur labour costs, but the results are well worth it. IKEA, of course, encourages you to install its kitchen designs on your own if you’re capable.


What Size Kitchen Do You Have?

The size of your kitchen and how you use the space determines your renovation budget.

Is your kitchen small or expansive? Do you have or want a kitchen island? Is the home’s floor plan open or traditional? Are there slanted ceilings or fixtures? How tall is the ceiling?

The answers to these questions help you with your IKEA kitchen planning. Their kitchen planning tool creates a realistic picture of how to create the perfect space for you, taking into account what you currently have and how you want to improve the cabinetry.


What Style Do You Want?

Your kitchen style should reflect your tastes, personality, and family.

IKEA specializes in modern kitchen styles and occasionally creates lines that harken back to the 1950’s mid-century look.

However, IKEA is set on a modern kitchen, and the company has cabinets that speak to current design trends for updated kitchens versus retro or vintage.

IKEA is also great for cohesive designs with its SEKTION cabinets (from 2015 to now) and AKURUM (2003-2015) cabinets.

But what if you want to customize your kitchen plan a bit?

You still love IKEA, but what if you're looking that classic painted shaker style kitchen, or maybe a colour that you absolutely love, but falls outside of their typical offerings?

Think about all the possibilities that come with custom cabinet doors, shaker doors, wood veneers, dark colour palettes, and even acrylic high gloss to make your kitchen a food preparation paradise. What if you could get all of these options while still using cost-effective Ikea cabinet boxes?

Swedish Door can help you bring your Ikea kitchen design into the world of custom cabinets to make your kitchen practical and beautiful.


Understand Your Colour Preferences

Kitchen colours run the gamut from white and pink to Robin egg blue and black, and you can select anything in between with Swedish Door simply using the IKEA kitchen planner.

Colours can complement an existing space, contrast with what you already have, or create a completely cohesive look with similar colours.

For example, you're in love with the contemporarily look of white oak, but you've had your heart set on bright beautiful white painted doors in Benjamin Moore's Decorator's White, why choose when you can create the perfect two tone kitchen aesthetic. Contrarily, neutral colours of grey and beige can give splashes of hues around the kitchen without wild contrasts while having warm tones.


Storage Needs & Appliances

Don’t forget your kitchen must have storage cabinets for small appliances when they’re not in use. Think about deep cabinets, tall cabinets that go to the ceiling, or cabinets with extra storage like turntable spice racks, pullable racks within cabinets, and slim utensil racks for forks, knives, and spoons.

IKEA’s kitchen planner takes into account appliances and larger cabinet spaces that may require greater heights or depths.



Lighting is an oft-neglected aspect of planning an IKEA kitchen.

Does your kitchen have lots of natural light? How bright are your light fixtures? Do you prefer compact fluorescents, LEDs, or incandescent bulbs?

Is your chosen colour dark or light? Darker shades on kitchen cabinets make the room appear darker, while lighter hues make the overall room appear lighter.

Mirrors and reflective surfaces, like chrome or stainless steel, can also increase the light in a room.

Vent hoods can have lights in them, and you can have custom lights installed under cabinets when you need to see better on countertops.


Glass Cabinet Doors

Another design consideration comes from glass cabinet doors. These are very handy for when you want to see through the doors, giving you the option to see what’s inside without opening the cabinet first. They are a real time-saver in a busy kitchen.

Swedish Door can create a wide variety of cabinet door styles featuring glass inlets making the kitchen cabinet doors easier to peruse cabinets without opening and shutting them.

Glass cabinet doors work very, very well in bright transitional kitchens with a lot of natural lighting. They also make the perfect glass cabinet display when using recessed interior cabinet lighting.


We’ll Match Your Existing IKEA Kitchen Cabinets

You love IKEA, and your heart is set on them.

We get it, trust us. We specialize in IKEA kitchen designs.

While we do offer popular reproductions of current and discontinued Ikea styles, Swedish Door's product line offers an alternate design path to keep your IKEA designs intact while adding a custom style to them.

For example, you love the classic Ikea white, but a full white flat design in your kitchen feels too plain. Instead, you would rather have a color that is closer to a dark blue colour like gentleman's gray that contrasts the white cabinet doors to create the perfect two tone kitchen. We can do that too!


Here’s how our process works:

You plan your Ikea kitchen like you normally would using the IKEA Kitchen planner.

When you are done planning, you send your IKEA Kitchen planner pdfs to our custom design experts.

Tell us what Swedish Door cabinet door styles and colours you want.

We’ll give you a custom door package that will fit over the top of your IKEA cabinet boxes.

This way, you get inexpensive IKEA cabinet boxes but a custom Swedish Door kitchen look on the outside.



Swedish Door does make replacement doors for Ikea cabinets made between 2003 - 2015. This Akurum compatible line of kitchen cabinet replacement doors can be found on our online store.

But if you're looking to bring new life into your old Akurum or mystery cabinet kitchen, and want access to hundreds of style and colour choices, all of our products can also be used to reface your existing kitchen to give your old cabinets a brand new custom look. Contact us for more details.


Contact Swedish Door for More Information!

Contact us for more information on how we can improve your IKEA kitchen and make it completely yours! We ship all across the United States and Canada.


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