...because home doesn't happen overnight.

Obligatory preamble rambling: When we were renovating our kitchen, I searched high and low for any information I could find on Ikea kitchens. The results were few and far between. We did end up with an Ikea kitchen (which we love) but I’d like to shed more light on Ikea kitchen renovations from the perspective of other real life homeowners. It’s something I wish we would have had access to when we were considering Ikea for our own kitchen remodel. Plus, it’s fun to see how others use Ikea to suit their personal style and needs in the kitchen. I hope you find these posts helpful and inspiring – whether you ultimately end up with an Ikea kitchen or not. Enjoy!

texas ikea kitchen 1

Ashley’s home in Texas Hill Country has an innate rustic feel. When it came to remodeling the kitchen, Ashley and her husband, Bob, wanted to bring in more storage and modern elements while honoring the home’s rustic vibe. The results are nothing short of jaw-dropping. I asked Ashley several questions about her kitchen renovation. Find her answers and the amazing “afters” below.


Which items in your kitchen hail from Ikea?

The cabinets, cabinet fronts, cabinet hardware, countertops, oven, cooktop and hood are all Ikea. Note: Ikea only sales a 24″ width butcher block so for the island we had two pieces professionally cut and bonded together.

What made you decide to source these items from Ikea?

I started by looking for images of kitchens I liked. Googling things like ‘rustic modern kitchen’ or ‘barn kitchens.’ I found several I thought would really work for this space and after researching more I found that a lot of the products used in the kitchens I admired were from Ikea.

We researched Ikea kitchens, made several trips to check out the products and were convinced that it was the best route for us. To be honest, I had no idea that an entire kitchen could be purchased from Ikea!


Who designed your kitchen? What aesthetic were you aiming for?

I designed the kitchen myself, along with help from my own personal interior designer who just happens to be my aunt. (I’m a lucky gal.)

Our house has a very rustic southwestern feel. I wanted to keep that vibe by choosing organic and rustic elements along with industrial and modern pieces.

Did you assemble and install all Ikea kitchen components yourself? If not, what did you seek help with?

My husband, Bob, assembled all the cabinets. When you purchase an Ikea kitchen it literally comes in what seems like a million pieces. We had boxes stored in every nook and cranny of our house. It is very overwhelming but you just have to take your time. Patience is key. Bob would put together one or two cabinets a night. A family friend who happens to work in renovation and construction was kind enough to help us with the install.

texas ikea kitchen 2

How did you customize your Ikea kitchen to suit your needs and preferred aesthetic?

The great thing about an Ikea kitchen is that is easily customizable. This was our first remodel and in the beginning I was pretty intimated and a tad overwhelmed. The 3D kitchen planner that Ikea offers lets you work from the comfort of your own home to customize and visualize your kitchen.

I wanted lots and lots of drawer space and Ikea has amazing kitchen drawers so I included several of them. When I selected the stainless steel cabinets I was told that there were far fewer options when it came to cabinet selection in the stainless. This ended up working in our favor because where we had originally planned to have cabinet doors we had to put in large drawers and I love them so!

How long was it from design to the final product?

The kitchen was the first room we tackled. We are renovating every square inch of this house while living in it. I wanted to get the biggest inconvenience out of the way first. It took about a month from the first sledgehammer hit to where we are today. There are still a few things that need to be done such as purchasing a new fridge and dishwasher but because those items do their jobs just fine they keep getting pushed lower and lower on the list, making room for new floor, tiles, tubs and sinks.

We were, for the most part, solely dedicated to the kitchen renovation. We use and abuse our kitchen daily and were eager to get it done and functioning as quick as possible.

How long have you lived with your Ikea kitchen? Have you encountered any problems?

We have had our new kitchen for about 8 months now. Our biggest issue is with one of my favorite pieces of the kitchen….the butcher block. There’s really nothing I love more about this kitchen than the combination of the natural rustic butcher block with the industrial feel of the stainless steel. But we have discovered that we may not be the best candidates for an entire butcher block kitchen. Like I said before, our kitchen is worked hard every day all day and the butcher block has not held up to the torture. We love it on the island and will keep it there but we are in the process of looking for a more durable material for the rest of the counters. We are leaning towards black leathered granite.

The butcher block around the sink has taken the hardest hit. The first ‘oh sh*t!’ moment came not long after we had it all finished. One of us had left a damp rag on the counter overnight and come morning the butcher block had buckled and cracked where the rag was. We need a kitchen that can handle the stray damp rag and water splash.


What is your favorite thing about your kitchen? Least favorite?

My favorite, hands down, is the storage space that the drawers and cabinets provide. I thought I had a lot of kitchen crap but Ikea has proven me wrong. I have several drawers and cabinets that aren’t even close to being full and some that are still empty!

My least favorite is unfortunately the butcher block. Love the way it looks, hate the durability or lack thereof. I’m going to be sad when we replace it but I will be oh so happy when I don’t have to look at the water stains and buckled countertops.

Would you recommend Ikea as a source for a kitchen remodel? If so, which items?

Absolutely! I already have. The cabinets have been the greatest surprise for us. The space and the look of them are great. I don’t know if you could find a better bang for your buck.

Would you consider Ikea for a future kitchen remodel?

We have talked about this because our goal for this house has always been to fix it up and then sell it. I think we would definitely consider Ikea products for another kitchen; most certainly the cabinets and appliances.

Resources of note:
paint – Valspar pale bloom
open shelves – reclaimed wood we pulled out of a guest bathroom in the house
wood on the back of the island – also reclaimed wood pulled from the guest bathroom
backsplash – Lowe’s American Olean 42-pack urban canvas ice white (common: 4″ x 8″; actual: 4.25″ x 8.5″)
sink – Lowe’s Superior Sinks 16-gauge single-basin undermount stainless steel kitchen sink
light above island – Lowe’s Allen + Roth oil-rubbed bronze pendant
light above sink – Lowe’s Allen + Roth edison bronze pendant with clear shade
faucet – discontinued but this is very similar…Lowe’s Giagni Fresco stainless steel pull-down kitchen faucet
barstools – Tabouret 24″ metal counter stools (These stools are nice but clash with the stainless steel cabinets. I think a rustic wood and iron stool would do the trick.)

*BONUS* – The total cost of the kitchen was around $9,000.

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Thank you, Ashley, for allowing me to feature your kitchen. I am so in love with the rustic / modern / industrial aesthetic! I have to say I never would have thought of combining stainless steel cabinets with white cabinets but it totally works. I’m also grateful for the honest review on the wood countertops. Maybe we could do a follow-up post when the perimeter butcher block is switched out? Out of curiosity, from one mom to another, I asked Ashley how she cleans her stainless steel cabinets. Her secret? She uses Method stainless steel cleaner. She’s tried other cleaners but was leery of their “keep away from children” warning on the labels.

Alright, folks. Another day, another Ikea kitchen. Are you enjoying this series as much as I am? Before-and-afters are THE BOMB but, hopefully, you’re learning stuff, too. See more Ikea kitchens here, here and here.

Do you have an Ikea kitchen (it doesn’t have to be 100% Ikea) you would be willing to share on House*Tweaking? If so, email me at housetweaking@gmail.com for consideration.

Pssst – Thanks to everyone who has already submitted an Ikea kitchen! I really, really, REALLY appreciate the time and effort you’ve put into bringing these posts to fruition. I have a slew of Ikea kitchens sitting in my inbox waiting to be featured. I apologize for the lapse in time between submission and the post going live. I’m buried in Ikea kitchens – in a good way! Keep ’em comin’!

images: Ashley @ One Lucky Nest


I love that you’re doing this IKEA kitchen series! It’s a fabulous idea. I’ve already read the 3 others posts you linked to. I’m working on my kitchen now and it’s mostly IKEA. Perhaps when it’s done I’ll send you think link.


Wow this kitchen reno literally made my jaw drop. Beautiful job!


That would be awesome! Your bedroom is one of my all-time favorite renovations / designs of all time!!! Can’t wait to see how your kitchen turns out.


Do you know if she sealed the butcher block counters? We just purchased an entire Ikea kitchen (including a butcher block slab for the island) a few weeks ago and I saw that it comes unfinished. We plan on sealing it to help protect it so I was wondering if she had problems because it wasn’t sealed or if she did seal it and still had problems…


I struggled to keep my stainless steel fridge streak-free. I’d clean it but then it still had all these streak marks on it from wiping it. Then I discovered a wonderful magic trick: a teensy bit of olive oil on a rag. I rub it around in circles and it leaves the stainless steel gleaming and streak-free! Bonus, it’s totally non-toxic and eco-friendly. (It shouldn’t come out oily or greasy unless you are using too much — it doesn’t take much.) Just thought I’d pass on that tip for anyone who wants it.

Lovely kitchen! I love the look of the butcher block. Bummer that it is not so user-friendly, especially for families with little kids, but good to know!


so cool!! love how laid back and approachable this space looks.


Gorgeous kitchen! I’m also planning an Ikea kitchen right now, and was planning to use butcher block. I am undecided whether to stain it or not, but I will be Waterlox-ing the heck out of it. From what I can find online, sealing it with more than just oil really makes a difference. I also plan to have a stainless island for food prep, so that will get used for the wet tasks like chopping freshly rinsed veggies.


Hey Steph,

We did seal it…several times. The butcher block on the island is wonderful and handles food prep and messes just fine. It’s around the sink that has really taken a beating. There’s a ton of water stains that turn a dark black color. We have sanded over the water stains and re-sealed several times but in the end we just decided to dg with something a little more durable. It would probably help if we took better care of it, but I’ve realized that’s not going to happen. :) We are tough on the kitchen!! Hope this helps.


Gorgeous! I love that you were able to use reclaimed wood in the kitchen.


It looks amazing, I always knew it would!! Congrats on all your hard work!


Beautiful! Love love love the kitchen series!

I love both a good before and after AND a good IKEA kitchen. This is absolutely wonderful!! I love the stainless steel as well.

I had butcher block in my previous kitchen around the sink and sealed it with a combination of linseed oil and turpentine. If I remember correctly the turpentine prevents the linseed oil to just seep through the tabletop after a while. It worked fairly well.

In my current kitchen I only used the butcher block as a bar table top. I sealed it by sanding it A LOT and then staining it using 00 steel wool which makes the table top super smooth. No Poly after. I have not had any problems with water stains or uhm… red wine stains…:)


I love your blog and read it everyday. Such great inspiration & motivation to get things done in my home. I love this series on IKEA kitchens and being a HUGE IKEA fan I am considering their products for a future remodel.

This kitchen is awesome! I loooove the modern/rustic look of it. Im so happy for this series, Dana. We are planning to install an IKEA kitchen when we move so its been great to get so much info from others first hand.


I have the oak butcher block counters from ikea (for about 2 years), and they are wearing so well! In the interest of honesty, we DO NOT cut on them. I feel like they can’t be sanitized to the degree that a non-porous surface can, so I didn’t want to risk it. I started out by treating them monthly or so with mineral oil, but it didn’t last. I switched to using something called “salad bowl oil”, found it on amazon. It’s food safe, so I can still roll out pie crust on it, and it dries hard, so no greasy feeling like with the mineral oil. I apply it twice a year, and do several coats at a time. We do get stains on them, but when I’m going to oil them again, I just hit those spots with some sandpaper—they come right up! Don’t let the maintance scare you—they are really easy to care for!


Bummer about the counter… That does make me feel a bit better since we plan on doing concrete counters around the sink (only the island will be butcher block and I always use cutting boards so I don’t plan on cutting directly on the counter). Thanks for the quick reply! The kitchen looks great!


Gorgeous. I’m sure the homeowner has tried everything, but has she consider marine oil–what is used on yachts made out of wood? Wood just needs waterproofing as the oil is just to keep it moisturized.
Also my stainless trick that works better than ANY other product I’ve tried? Half water, half vinegar, couple squirts of dish soap. Shake and go. With paper towel. I’ve tried Method, Murchison Hume (which I use for Everything else), commercial cleaners, olive oil and mineral oil, which starts off great, but then is just: well, oily. Highly recommend!


Ikea does sell 40″ butcher block! It’s just a special order item. We used it in our kitchen. You can see it here if you’d like: http://allsortsofpretty.com/the-50s-ranch-house-our-completed-kitchen/


This series couldn’t have come at a more perfect time as I have been tossing around an Ikea kitchen remodel in my head for awhile now. I am glad to hear an honest opinion about the butcher block counter tops! Despite my heart’s desire to use them I just know we won’t take good care of them and up until now I have been trying to convince myself otherwise.


Love it! I also love the IKEA series. I’m planning an IKEA kitchen reno right now, and love the inspiration and insight. One problem I keep running into is what to do with the cabinet above the refrigerator… So few fridges fit the two stock cabinets perfectly… also, it sounds like you need to cover the sides to box in the fridge and give the above fridge cabinet, which adds in the width of the cover panels. I’d love any info. the higlighted kitchens (past or future) are willing to share about their solutions. Thanks!


We were told they stopped carrying the 40 inch butcher block. We checked in several other cities hoping maybe they would have some left but we didn’t find any. It seems like it would be a popular item.


Gorgeous ! I was considering changing my counters for butcher blocks (I’m the ‘builder’ of the barn kitchen in France from the Ikea series) and I think I’ll do something else now since it doesn’t hold up moist very well. The barn is a vacation facility, so if you need to be careful with the counters, it’s not a vacation … Thanks for sharing Ashley and thank you again Dana for this series ! Take care.


Very nice, but how does the range hood work with a shelf in between? It looks too high to me and surely the shelf and all the items on it are moisture traps?



We definitely thought about that when we were planning the open shelves. Our carpenter friend who was helping us told us that as long as we kept the shelf fairly narrow that we shouldn’t have a problem. We have it for going on 9 months now and we cook breakfast, lunch and dinner there every single day and have had no problems. The shelf is fairly narrow; maybe 3 inches deep. Just deep enough to hold spices. So far so good!


Ah, they may be phasing it out. Which would make sense considering how difficult it is to procure. We had a really hard time (lots and lots of phone calls, driving around to different logistics facilities, weeks of waiting, etc) that it probably would have been easier to just have two pieces fit together! Hah :)


Thanks for answering all the questions that are popping up. The reclaimed wood shelves are one of my favorite aspects of your kitchen!


We used the 40″ butcher block on the island in our previous home. It was difficult to find then, too. Maybe they are phasing it out? It’s worth checking into though!


I guess so. I had read and been told that they carried the 40″ so when they said they were discontinuing it I was pretty bummed. We even waited quite a while in hopes that another city (Houston or Dallas) would magically have one for us to pick up. The store here in Austin reassured us that they were not going to be receiving any of the 40″. Seems crazy, because it’s such a common size for an island. We purchased the butcher block for the perimeter counters first (they are the solid oak) and when we went back to get the island butcher block we were told that they (Ikea) were discontinuing the solid wood butcher block and were only carrying the butcher block that is mainly particle board with an outer wood covering. That’s what on our island. There’s a slight difference in color and feel but it’s pretty inconspicuous.


Hey Jennifer,

I was the same way. I was set on having the butcher block. Even though my Dad who owns a granite and stone business told me over and over that butcher block needs lots of tlc…something our kitchen does not see a lot of. He was right. We are not cut out for an entire butcher block kitchen. I’m often guilty (like 5 nights a week) of going to bed with a messy kitchen and we just need something that can deal with our lack of care when it comes to our kitchen :) Poor butcher block…I’m not sure it ever stood a chance against us. Good luck with the kitchen!!


I love what you did with your kitchen!! Love the rustic flair of reclaimed wood, and barn door slider. Great design.


This is such a good idea for a string of posts! Very useful as we will be remodeling our kitchen soon.

Also, you are enviably beautiful – especially for a mom of 3!


You’re too sweet, Jess.


I LOVE this kitchen!! It is great to see how affordable it is too, gives me hope for a new kitchen in my future!


Hi! We did an over-the-fridge cabinet in our IKEA kitchen. You do have to enclose the fridge somewhat with additional paneling (same stuff you use for filling gaps), but it is primarily for the purpose of mounting the cabinetry. If I am picturing it in my head correctly, our fridge and cabinet are in sort of a corner, so we only needed to panel one side (as we could mount the cabinet to the walls through the back and through one side). On the side of the fridge that has the panel, we have another cabinet and countertop over a hidden dishwasher. I can send you a photo of how it turned out if you’re interested. I was concerned that it would look awkward initially, but it seems to fit in just fine in an unnoticeable manner.


Gorgeous! Which “white” cabinet doors did you use? Looks like the Adel off-white, but I can’t tell for sure from the photos (not enough of a “close-up” of the door frames). Thank you!


Love your kitchen! Did you go with the birch or beech butcher block? Everything is Beautiful!


Hey Kerry,

Thanks so much for loving the kitchen! The cabinets are the Adel off-white and so far we are loving them!


Hey Casey,

Thanks so much! The perimeter counter tops are the solid oak birch. When we went back to Ikea to purchase the same countertops for the island we were told that the solid oak had been discontinued so we used the ÅKERBY countertop in oak for the island which just has a top layer of solid wood and then a particle board filler. The perimeter countertops are what we’ve had issues with and are in the process of replacing. It seems, from the comments and a little more research that the issues really stem from us not taking great care of them and providing enough tlc. If I knew I would take the time to care for them I would keep them but I’m certain that’s not going to happen :) Hope this helps!


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