IKEA Kitchen Remodel: Before and After (Unbelievable Difference!)

ikea kitchen remodel before after renovationI’m so excited to show you guys our IKEA kitchen remodel before and after photos!

As we’re just about finished renovating the entire house from top to bottom, it’s never felt like a better time to start talking about the process of buying and redoing a fixer upper.

When we bought our new house three years ago, it was definitely in need of some serious TLC!

We’re talking unusable appliances and no updates since the 1990’s – but in a market as hot as Vancouver, BC – with $2.5 million dollar teardowns – sometimes it’s challenging enough to get in.

This post will cover:

  • things to consider when planning a renovation
  • how to use the IKEA kitchen planner
  • ways to save money on kitchen renovations
  • our IKEA kitchen removal before and after photos
  • behind the scenes work

Disclosure: Affiliate links are used throughout this post. You can read our full disclosure here.

Amazing IKEA Kitchen Remodel: Before and After Unbelievable Results!

To give you an idea of what we were working with when we moved in, here’s a shot of the enclosed kitchen.

ikea kitchen before planner

Now, I don’t know about you but I think prepping food can be a wonderful social experience!

I love to talk to my family and friends while I’m cooking and the idea of being isolated in a closed space like this REALLY bothered me – in fact, this was my make or break on putting an offer on this home.

For me, the wall HAD to come down!

Before we decided to look for a house, we also lived in an open concept condo and I LOVED how well lit it may the entire living area.

ikea kitchen renovation after

Things to Consider When Planning a Renovation

A few important things you need to consider before you buy a home or start renovating include:

  • potential – does the space have the potential to give you everything you want from it?
  • cost – how much will materials and work cost? How can you save more?
  • labor – will you do the work? Will you hire help? Or a combination?
  • resell value – does the renovation add significant value to your home?

When we found this place, we couldn’t get over the size of it – it essentially cost us $200,000 CAD to double our living space from 1,100 sqft to over 2,200 sqft!

And since we were $80,000 under budget, I knew we’d have excess funds for renovations.

I’m one of those people who actually enjoys putting IKEA furniture together too (seriously, it’s like a 3D puzzle, lol), so I also knew we’d save money on labor as we’d be doing most of the work ourselves.

My husband, me, my dad, and his friend put our IKEA kitchen together!

ikea kitchen renovation diy save money
install ikea kitchen base cabinets
hanging ikea kitchen wall cabinets
ikea kitchen diy progress

More home decor ideas:

How to Use the IKEA Kitchen Planner

First off, download the Google Chrome browser – IKEA’s Kitchen Planner is super glitchy on Safari!

Trying to plan your kitchen on Safari will just waste time and cause you unnecessary frustration.

Now, before you get started, you’ll want to measure your space – triple check to be sure you have the right dimensions and have a friend or spouse help you out to avoid any mistakes.

I always like having a second set of eyes to spot me!

Once you’re in the planner with your room dimensions, choose the style of your space:

  • Rectangle
  • Open Room Solution
  • Indent NorthEast Corner
  • Indent NorthWest Corner
  • Indent SouthEast Corner
  • Indent SouthWest Corner
  • Diagonal NorthEast Corner
  • Diagonal NorthWest Corner
  • Diagonal SouthEast Corner
  • Diagonal SouthWest Corner

If you’re creating a bar/eating area like we did, go for the rectangle shape and design your kitchen as if it were enclosed – you just won’t add cupboards over top of that section!

Now from Cabinets & Appliances, select Kitchen Cabinets.

I recommend starting with your Base Cabinets and working outwards from there.

Once you’ve selected your floor cabinets, I would then recommend adding appliances – don’t worry, you don’t have to buy IKEA appliances!

This is just to factor in the dimensions of your existing appliances and/or the appliances you’ll be ordering for your new kitchen.

Lastly, add your Wall Cabinets.

ikea kitchen planner diy design

Ways to Save Money on Kitchen Renovations

A few ways we saved money on our IKEA kitchen renovation include:

  • shopping during the IKEA kitchen event – we saved 20% off our entire purchase by adding 3 appliances to our order, ALL of which were these cheap range hoods!
  • checking as-is every time we went back to our store – I managed to score a few mint returned cabinets in the sizes we needed for 40% off the retail price
  • shopping direct – instead of purchasing our quartz countertop at Home Depot, we found a supplier and saved over $5,000 for the materials and installation!
  • checking Facebook Marketplace for materials
  • assembling furniture yourself
  • disassembling your existing kitchen on your own
  • installing cabinets and doing the majority of other labor yourself!

Since I wanted to move the positions of a few appliances and do some electrical work, I asked my dad to bring in one of his friends who’s a contractor.

He also:

  • installed the pot lights in the kitchen
  • tore down the kitchen wall
  • matched the popcorn texture from the kitchen to the hole in the ceiling that tearing down the wall caused

ikea kitchen remodel remove wall
ikea kitchen remodel as is save money
save money quartz countertop for ikea kitchen

Our IKEA Kitchen Remodel Before and After Photos

I took all the photos below in similar angles to show you what a dramatic difference our DIY kitchen renovation made! You’ll see a before from that viewpoint followed by an after of the same space 🙂

The IKEA kitchen below uses RINGHULT high-gloss white doors and panels.

It is absolutely stunning and made in Italy – we’ve been 100% satisfied with our kitchen!

Before and After our Kitchen Renovation

Here’s the south facing view of our kitchen – before we tore down the wall and moved the oven versus after.

I wanted a large prep counter where I’d be able to interact with my family while I cook dinner instead of looking at a lonely wall!

We also removed the phone corner and just left it as more wall space where the hutch is located.

ikea kitchen before remodel renovation
ikea kitchen after remodel renovation

Here’s the East facing view of the kitchen.

You’ll notice the kitchen used to be quite boxy – a box light on the ceiling as well as boxes above the wall cabinets.

Since they weren’t added to enclose anything (water pipes, etc.), we gutted them to make room for larger wall cabinet space.

While I do need a step stool to access the items on the very top shelf, it’s great for storing china and other items you use less often – especially when you consider that it was doing nothing before!

ikea kitchen design diy - after remodel

This is the West facing side of the living area. The oven was originally on the opposite side of that wall.

Our friend helped us gut the wall and turn our home into the open concept dream I had!

My husband also ripped out the carpet and we extended the kitchen floor to the wall you see on the left side to create a modern eating area.

ikea kitchen renovation - before open concept
ikea kitchen remodel after open concept

This is easily my favourite comparison.

The south facing view here shows all the appliances we moved to create a more functional living space.

I HATED the fridge where it was because it blocked light from the kitchen window and patio door.

To me, an oven with a microwave hood fan made more sense there with mini prep stations on either side of it.

We also moved the fridge to the opposite side where the dishwasher and sink were for aesthetic AND it was super easy to connect to the water system so we could use the filtered water and ice features of our Kitchenaid fridge!

I went with a counter depth fridge because I didn’t want it to stick too far out of its new space.

That said, while its aesthetically pleasing, I miss the space that a standard sized fridge has to offer – especially now that we’re a family of four!

We have a small fridge downstairs for surplus items.

Counter depths fridges are better suited for couples than they are growing families!

ikea kitchen before planner
ikea kitchen renovation after

Is a white kitchen difficult to maintain?

Surprisingly, no!

I honestly expected it to be a lot more work.

A great way to understand the minimal effort a white kitchen requires to keep it clean is to compare it to cars.

White cars have a reputation for being easier to keep clean because they hide dust, dirt, and debris!

Dark cars however, look amazing when they’re washed and awful when they’re not.

Is a white kitchen a good idea?

I know they say blue is in now but low maintenance is a timeless look 😉

If you’re like me and work full time in addition to managing a household and two small children, go for the white kitchen!

Wrapping it All Up

I hope these IKEA kitchen remodel before and after photos were exactly what you needed to start your DIY kitchen renovation!

If a young married couple with a 9 month old and limited experience doing renovations can do it, so can you.

Wishing you the best of luck in designing and achieving your dream kitchen!

If you have any questions for us, leave them in the comments below and I’ll get back to you 🙂


1 thought on “IKEA Kitchen Remodel: Before and After (Unbelievable Difference!)”

  1. Hi. Me again (from the noom review) .

    Just wanted to let you know I thoroughly enjoyed your posts.

    Your style of writing has an ease to it. Your posts are packed with information, yet feel like a casual conversation with a friend.

    Looking forward to many more…

    Best wishes!


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