IKEA Kitchen Reno: Before & After!


Sorry for yelling. I’m just very happy to have a stove after 8 weeks of “cooking” for 7 without one!

(By “cooking,” I mean we ate prepackaged carbs that tasted similarly to the boxes the came in.)

It’s an overcast day, so these photos aren’t great, but I thought I’d share a few shots anyway. Here’s a photo of our old kitchen from the MLS listing when we bought our house two years ago:

This is our kitchen now:

Another before:

Same spot, after:

A before photo of the dining area:

And how it looks now:

It felt like a long haul while we were in the middle of the chaos, but now that it’s finished, I’m so thrilled we plowed through the challenges (I’ll share those another day).

This was the part where I seriously second guessed our decision to renovate the kitchen!

Except for the electrical work, Brad and I installed the entire kitchen ourselves, working in the evenings and on Saturdays.

Removing the island resulted in a much better flow of traffic for our family of seven.

The kitchen is so much brighter, even on this rainy day, thanks to IKEA’s white Grimslov cabinets, shiny white subway tile, under cabinet lighting, and new, recessed lights.

We chose Formica’s Argento Romano laminate counter tops because of their affordability, but everyone asks if they’re granite!

The addition of two pantries and a built in desk provide more than enough storage for food and all our homeschooling books.

The kids love to do their schoolwork here, and when they’re not using it, it makes a wonderful command station for me!

This invisible spice drawer in our double bank of drawers next to the stove is one of my favorite features. I love seeing my most-used spices at a glance and knowing how much of everything I have left.

Originally, I had envisioned an undermount sink, but since they aren’t yet compatible with laminate counters, we opted for IKEA’s NORRSJON stainless steel double bowl, top mount sink that sits almost flush with the counter. We’re loving our IKEA Kitchen Sink!

We also chose IKEA’s RINGSKAR faucet. It’s a super simple, sleek design with a pull-out sprayer. It’s quite high, which makes it really nice for filling up large stock pots.

You can see more of this art gallery wall on the other side of the table here.

A few side by side before & afters:



More IKEA kitchen details and hacks we discovered to come. πŸ™‚

56 thoughts on “IKEA Kitchen Reno: Before & After!”

    • Hi Lisa,

      We ended up using Argento Romano, and I’m really glad we did. The small sample looks more brown, but installed, the big slabs are definitely grey!

      White Ice was too splotchy for my liking.

      • I’m glad I found this post! I’m in Ontario too (Niagara region) and we are ordering our Ikea kitchen this week!! Where did you buy your countertop? I like it!

  1. Your kitchen is beautiful. I so admire that you did it yourselves. What brand refrigerator do you have? Do you like it? I am currently looking at a french door but am confused by all of the choices. Also made and loved your THM boterkoek and look forward to making the dark chocolate cream dessert.

  2. Beautiful kitchen! We also plan on putting a stainless fan above our stove. How much space did you leave between the edge of the fan and your cabinets? Also, is your top cabinet the same width as your bottom cabinet? In my design I have a 24 inch on the bottom and it appears that I will have to have a 21 inch above in order to have space between the edge of the fan in the cabinet. I’m concerned it might not look right. Ii was just wondering if you had the same situation. Thank you.

  3. I LOVE this!! This is a perfect space for cooking, schooling and socializing with guests. Opening it up made a big difference and I love all the white, it looks so clean and fresh! Good job you guys, will you come do mine?!

  4. Hello. Congratulations on your beautiful kitchen!
    I have a question if you don’t mind……… How do you like your Norrsjon sink???
    Since it’s a new range, I haven’t been able to find any reviews.
    I’m in the process of my kitchen reno and I’m thinking about getting the Norrsjon sink (1 bowl though)
    I appreciate your advise and opinion.
    Thank you!!

    • Hi Romi,

      It’s holding up wonderfully, so far! I love that it fits almost flush with the counter. It’s the next best thing to an undermount sink, in my opinion. I would recommend it to anyone who has an existing or is installing a laminate counter top.

      • Hello! Thank you so much for replying!! I’m happy that you’re happy with that sink. I’m going to have the Norrsjon sink too!
        I get it that it’s almost like flush mount, because the gauge is a bit thin, isn’t it? And that’s what I’ve been concerned about.

        Thank you again!

  5. Your kitchen looks fantastic! We are starting a remodel soon, using the same IKEA cabinet. Quick question, what tile did you use for your backsplash? I’m finding white tiles look too stark against the creamy cabinets.

    • Hi Brenda, we used the 3×6 white subway tile by Daltile that’s sold at Home Depot with Platinum Fusion grout. It was the only white tile I could find that was creamy and a near match to IKEA’s Grimslov cabinets! I’m very happy with how it turned out!

      • Please more on the wall colour…. what white did you choose to go next to the cabinet (around window by sink). I wish Grimslov came in a brighter white and am wondering how to tame down the Off-white… Love what you did! I love the idea of matching the tile, but can’t decide if I match the wall or the trim…esp if I end up doing the top moulding on the cabinets.

  6. I am working on plans for our Grimslov kitchen but can’t seem to find cover panelsin Grimslov – what did you pick for panels for cabinet sides and to frame in the fridge?

    Thank you!

    • We just did a kitchen guy too and used Grimslov. I asked Ikea this question as I was also trying to match up a cover panel and they told me that the Forbattra panel was the match.

  7. Hi Jacinda, found your blog while searching for ikea kitchens πŸ™‚ your kitchen is absolutely gorgeous! we are tossing up between the grimslov cabinets and the bodbyn cabinets. i am leaning towards grimslov, but i am worried about the foil. i know you’ve only had the kitchen for a short while, but how are the cabinets holding up? any issues with heat or moisture ‘ruining’ them? easy to keep clean? sorry for all the questions, hope you can help! love your blog πŸ™‚

  8. Hi. Just wondering what brand/make your dishwasher is? It seems to work well with the colour of the cabinets, which I’m also considering for a kitchen reno and debating getting a stainless steel or white dishwasher. I’m concerned about the cabinets being creamier than the usual white colour of a white dishwasher. But in your case it seems to work well. Thx.

  9. Ate you you ready to share your “IKEA hacks”? We are in the process of reno now… And leaning very much toward modeling what you guys have done, although on a MUCH smaller scale. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  10. How long from start to finish until it was all said and done. I so want to gut my kitchen, but the thought of not having something for weeks, or months scares me

  11. Would love to know what the spend was for this kitchen. And the length of time it took you to do it yourselves. Thanks so much!

  12. Hi, your kitchen is gorgeous. We are in the midst of renovating ours using GRIMSLOV. I love your backsplash and am trying to look for Deltile options like you mentioned from Home Depot. However, there are a couple options of white, do you remember the code of the color? Thank you

  13. I would love to have a tutorial on your kitchen table! I am interested in knowing what brand and color flooring you put in your kitchen. And also, did you get rid of your microwave and if not I would like to know where you put it? Thanks!

    • Hi Kendra!

      The flooring is original to the house and already there when we bought the place. I’m not sure on the brand or color, but it’s a great quality laminate!

      I sold our microwave and bought a smaller one, since we only use it for softening butter and warming up bottles. We put an outlet inside the cupboard to the right of the sink and the microwave is hidden in there!

      As for a kitchen table tutorial….maybe one day. πŸ˜‰

  14. You’re kitchen looks stellar! We are also doing a grimslov.. but painting the uppers and lowers (true white and navy) ..although your space makes me feel like I might be wasting my time painting the uppers white.

    I’m wondering what size of hardware you bought for the cabinets. I like the length and placement you have chosen. .

    • Hi there! Were about to install a Grimslov kitchen and are painting the island gray. Can you share hoe the painting worked out for you? Any recommendations? Thanks

  15. Jacinda, I love your kitchen. I am so impressed that you have 4 homeschooled kids and sounds like you do lots of cooking and other projects. My hat’s off to you! Would you mind sharing what colors of paint you used? I love the black wall!

    • Hi Sarah, Thank you so much! We used Dolphin Fin for the light grey walls and Cracked Pepper for the dark grey one, both by Behr, but we got Sherwin Williams to match to colors in their paint.

  16. Hi.
    I’m just curious what you used as under panels under the cabinets? I have the same cupboards but need to get panels still.

  17. Currently in the middle of a Ikea kitchen remodel.
    I hope my kitchen ends as beautiful as yours.
    I am concerned about my kitchen sink.
    I too selected the Norrsjon and am considering returning for another brand due to mixed online reviews.
    My home is filled with rough boys have you experienced scratching or rusting with your sink?

  18. Beautiful kitchen!! Love it all! What are the dimensions of your beautiful table? Did you make this or purchase it?


  19. Hi Jacinda, Love your kitchen! We too were once a homeschooling of five, and now that the children have mostly flown from the nest, we’re renovating our kitchen. My question is, why did you prefer to shop instore as opposed to online? Thanks so much!

  20. Hi Jacinda,

    I have a question. It looks like you went with the taller kitchen wall cabinets (40 inches vs 30). Did you have to add crown to the top of the cabinets? It appears as if there is a small gap between the ceiling and top of the cabinets, but it looks very clean and deliberate. It looks great, I’m just wondering how you achieved the look. Thanks!

  21. Love the kitchen! I see you have used ikea savedal doors – they are so nice and simple with clean lines! The old kitchen was nice but looked really heavy, but the new one is beyond fantastic!! We have a dreadful old kitchen – it is literally falling apart!
    I see you have also used white subway tiles – also my tile of choice ! Just love it!

  22. Are these the grimslov doors in off-white? We are wanting to do something similar and you said you got the white doors, but it seems all ikea has in this style is off-white.

  23. WOW!! Talk about a dream kitchen! It is absolutely GORGEOUS!! I don’t know if my husband and I could handle doing a kitchen ourselves, but this makes me want to try!! (He’s going to be terrified when I show him this lol.) It’s gorgeous. Great job!!

  24. Your Grimslov cabinets look white, When I picked up a sample they look so creamy and yellowish. Is it due to your lightening? What made you select the Grinslov over the Bodbyn? How hard is it to put the cabinets together? We plan on tackling them ourselves as well. Thanks

  25. I love your kitchen! Can you tell me what the dimensions of the kitchen/dining space is? I would love to do something similar! Thank you!

  26. The reviews sound good. I need my small dark kitchen updated as I am getting my house ready for sale. I want to move back to Oregon and I have 10 months to get it ready for sale I saw your advertisement in a magazine and the pricing sounded better than Home Depot. The cabinets will have to be replaced as the ones I have now are 1988 style and materials.

    Do you send someone to house for an estimate?

    Bobbie Varien

  27. Did you use the side panels for the top of the cabinets as well? I like the straight lines and seems they only have the rounded soffit.

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