Form Meets Function In The IKEA Kitchen

Posted on | September 26, 2013 | No Comments

When you fantasize about the perfect kitchen, the furniture superstore IKEA may not immediately come to mind. However, many homeowners find the beauty, function and simplicity of IKEA kitchens perfect for their lifestyle and tastes. Designer Becky Shankle of Eco-Modernism, LLC knows IKEA kitchens inside and out, and often incorporates them into her clients’ designs. We caught up with the Raleigh kitchen designer to find out what types of clients choose IKEA, how IKEA fits into her design style, and what it really takes to put together one of those kitchens.

Images Courtesy of Eco-Modernism, LLC ©

Becky finds that clients who choose an IKEA kitchen are surprisingly varied. “They range from young couples expecting their first kid, to empty nesters – and everything in between. Many of them tend to be well-traveled, well-educated, and very open to different design ideas. They also tend to value function and utility over aesthetics, and prefer a beautiful, but no-fuss, streamlined Euro-style design with lots of practical storage options.”

Many homeowners choose IKEA kitchens because they offer style options that can’t be easily found anywhere else. “There is a huge absence in the American market for frameless Euro-style cabinets,” Becky notes. “Unless you choose a custom or imported kitchen, your options are very limited. IKEA really does fill that void.”

Becky didn’t set out to become an IKEA expert. “I sort of backed into the IKEA thing,” she admits. “An eco-friendly design is a high priority for me. I found that the price point of IKEA kitchens allowed me to use more resources on costlier “green” materials like bamboo, cork and glass, without sacrificing quality. IKEA kitchens really are well-crafted, and have custom touches like high end, heavy-duty Blum hardware and standard soft closures.”

Becky has some sound advice for those who want to try putting together their own IKEA kitchen: don’t. “There are a lot of people who think it’s like an inflatable raft – just open it up and you have a kitchen. But there are literally hundreds of pieces that have to be carefully married up to each other. If you don’t hire someone who knows what they’re doing, I can assure you that your end result isn’t going to look anything like that kitchen you saw in the store.”

Becky explains that IKEA kitchens do have their limitations. “There are some cabinetry style and sizing issues that really aren’t always ideal. That’s why I chose to create my own line of modular cabinets. I wanted people to have a great Euro-style alternative that is also designed with kitchen function in mind. In the end, it really is all about creating a simple kitchen that perfectly fits a homeowner’s lifestyle, both in form and function.”

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