Welcome to my blog!

This blog tells my experience with buying a house in Dublin, Ireland, and renovating it. 

I wanted to share everything I learned along the way, my misadventures and any tips and tricks!

House renovations - Design and assemble your IKEA kitchen

House renovations - Design and assemble your IKEA kitchen

Designing and installing your own IKEA kitchen is absolutely doable, however, keep in mind that this is an ideal choice for those people who prefer to have control over every aspect of the design and are not afraid of a bit of DIY with with the installation. 


  • IKEA gives you the design tool directly on their website: IKEA Kitchen planner - and after a bit of fidgeting it's pretty straightforward to use
  • You can design a dream kitchen that fits perfectly in the space you have available (you know best all the quirks of your house and the problems you'll need to work around)
  • You can skip endless consultations at the store and just pop in only for the final finishes
  • You'll save lots of money: the kitchen design cost, and most importantly, the installation cost


  • You'll have to meticulously measure every surface of your kitchen as to have an accurate design in the IKEA tool
  • You'll have to spend hours on the tool - creating different versions and rearranging cabinets
  • When assembling the kitchen, you'll have to do some 'custom' work yourself, for example, you'll have to saw the countertop to fit the hob and sink, connect the sink and dishwasher to the water pipes, and lift the fridge in its own cabinet.

But, you may wonder:
How much better would my kitchen look like if a professional designed it?

First of all, if you have the resources to have a custom designed and built kitchen.. you'll likely commission a handmade kitchen, and not consider IKEA.

However, it is true that you can ask an interior designer to design your kitchen using IKEA furniture, so that you may have a custom plan, while still saving money on the kitchen itself, right? I tried it, and here are the beautiful designs I received, after describing the kitchen and layout I wanted:

Doesn't it look beautiful? But... there a couple issues: the actual cabinet measurements would make the hob end up closer to the sliding doors, hence pushing the table to cover half the door, the height of the table and the countertop are not the same, and the design doesn't include the boiler, which is in the left corner, near the window..

While it may look like using an interior designer adds value to your kitchen, the reality is that you likely already know what you want - using an interior designer will only mean a lot of back and forth to have your idea displayed with a (beautiful) image. 

By using the IKEA Kitchen Planner directly, (a) there is no mistake in the cabinet measurements and you see right away if something doesn't fit, (b) you can try to find possible workarounds for the awkward spots using the available cabinets, and (c) you automatically have a ready-to-order list of all the elements of your kitchen!

So, here's how my kitchen looked like with the IKEA planner:

It's certainly not as pretty and glossy as the interior designer's project, but it's pretty good nonetheless! After making this project with the IKEA planner, I only had to schedule two (free) consultations at the store for the final touches and questions, and we were ready to buy the kitchen!

A couple of small tips when using the tool:

  • When choosing the height of the cabinets, keep in mind the feet height - meaning that if your wall is high 220cm, you'll need to choose the 200cm high cabinet (and not the 220cm) because you'll need to add a couple of cm of feet to the cabinets.
  • Preview the inside of the cabinets to edit how the shelves and drawers are organized.
  • Add panels of your chosen color to cover the cabinet structure wherever that is visible.
  • The system is glitchy when trying to add panels (i.e. FASTBO) to the walls - so don't take it personally and be happy if you manage to add one. 

Regarding the installation, if you decide to do it on your own, it might take from 1 day to 1 day and a half. Here are some tips for a smooth sailing:

  • When you receive the IKEA delivery, double check all the codes against the 'delivery list' you will have received when purchasing the kitchen - nothing worse than to find yourself halfway through, without a crucial piece.
  • Have all your tools ready: a circular saw, a jig saw, a power drill, a cordless electric screwdriver and anything else that you might need. 
  • Start by sawing the holes for the hob and sink in the countertop, so you get the worst part of the job out of the way. Proceed with assembling the cabinet frameworks, so you are ready to connect the sink and dishwasher to the water pipes. 
  • READ AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS. I don't mean to sound condescending, but I know that you might be tempted to skip a page or two in the instructions.. and that's not a good idea, especially when you start to get tired.  

Here's how this process looked like for our kitchen:


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