Notes from a really tiny island

A very long but totally non-sponsored* post about IKEA kitchens

A small AND perfect white IKEA kitchen. It’s about the same size as our kitchen too.

When it comes to kitchens, we want ours to be as timeless as possible. But is there really such a thing as a timeless kitchen? Everything looks a bit dated after 7 years, no? This is exactly why IKEA kitchens have an added appeal to us. Because of their modular system, we can change the fronts and interior fittings anytime, right? Right?

Not 100% true, cos a few years ago, they changed their cabinet system from FAKTUM to METOD. These two systems are not compatible with each other. But that still doesn’t change the fact that we’ve been in love with the look and feel of an IKEA kitchen since forever (19 years and counting for me — that’s like a lifetime in Millenial reckoning!). Plus there are so many great interior options available.

It’s going to be hard to scratch off the idea of having an IKEA kitchen, even though a lot of people here seem to frown upon the use of particleboard as a kitchen base (especially with the high humidity here). Any SG peeps with IKEA Faktum or Metod kitchens here? How’s the system holding up?

IKEA Kitchen Planning Session

IKEA members can schedule a free kitchen planning session with one of their kitchen planning pros. If you’re not an IKEA member, you can just sign up as a member in-store and get a temporary card printed there and then, which was what we did. After confirming the dimensions of our kitchen (we’re gonna hack the service yard walls so we had to take some on-site measurements for this), we booked an appointment slot (2.5 hours) for a planning session through their website.

During the in-store session, IKEA staff May studied our floorplan, measurements and notes about appliance sizes before proceeding to use the Kitchen Planner software to plan the configuration of the METOD cabinet system. I told May that the Kitchen Planner software I used at home was slow and a little buggy at times with files not saving or loading in full but apparently, the software used in store is the same as the one that you’d access online, no special PRO mode here.

May, who was accommodating and patient, took about 20 minutes to render our kitchen using the program before taking another half hour to add cabinets in a combination that fit the space, and then…dum dum dum… the file couldn’t be saved!!! The program just froze. So May had to recreate everything again from scratch on another terminal. She managed to email us a copy and print the details… before the program hanged again.

But that’s not all…

Back home, we found out some discrepancies in measurements taken before the planning session (our fault). So after we did another on-site measuring session, we had to recreate everything in Kitchen Planner again ourselves, from scratch, using the hopefully more accurate dimensions. Strangely though, the web app got less glitchy after a few weeks (or was that just me getting used to its quirks?) and then… I got addicted to the program. Ha ha… and can’t stop tinkering with our kitchen configuration. Here’s version no 12…

A draft of our kitchen, using IKEA kitchen planner. Custom counter top (not shown) for the main cooking and clean area, Karlby oak worktop for the L-shaped snack area

Yes, that’s a 1-metre wide mammoth of a fridge taking up 27.8% of our kitchen space and an itsy-bitsy 40-cm counter space beside it (we’re so not giving up on the idea of having a large American fridge). Luckily, Dan thought of having an additional L-shaped prep/snack area on the opposite wall for added storage and counter space. We’re also considering getting a STENSTORP island.

So is an IKEA kitchen cheap? The above set-up cost $5328.90 without customization (this is needed to accommodate pipes, etc.) and installation (about $2000). IKEA solid counter top will be about $1000 and the backsplash which we need to procure ourselves? No idea.

*Hej IKEA, if you’d like to sponsor our kitchen, please don’t hesitate to contact us. 😀

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