When we first moved in our home in Columbus, Ohio in August of 2014 it wasn’t too long before I figured out this “desk in the kitchen” area that was popular in the 90s and early 2000 builds would not suit my family. It became the dumping ground for every piece of paper, returns to be made, and random things that didn’t have a home. It was a full-time job just to keep it clutter free. Also there wasn’t a ton of cabinet space in the kitchen already and this area could be prime real estate for a stand-up pantry. So I went on a quest to find something that would fit this area and give us added storage.
I first started at Lowes and I got a quote of $6000 for the two cabinets to fit that 48” space. That seemed so expensive so I went online and the cheapest I could find was $2500 and that would have been a white cabinet that would eventually have to be painted when I painted the lower cabinets gray later on in 2016. So then I hopped on IKEA to see what they had. They had an option for two cabinets that would fit in that area (SEKTION 490.385.39) that were $791 each. That included 5 pull-out drawers and 3 shelves. I could also turn one of the drawers into a pull-out trash can with some added hardware. I was immediately smitten with the Bodbyn Gray color since that was the close to the color I was going to paint my lower kitchen cabinets anyway.
Also here is something that definitely is helpful and something that I wish I would have taken advantage of. Using the online kitchen planner on IKEA can seem a bit daunting. However, they offer a service to have an IKEA Home Planner come to your home for up to 4 hours to help take measurements of existing walls, windows, doors, plumbing and obstructions. It ranges between $199 – $249 for this service but the cost will be returned on a gift card if you purchase a kitchen with IKEA before August 31, 2016. You do have to be an IKEA Family Card member but that is a simple sign up. The Home Planner will give you a kitchen cabinet layout and estimate of the IKEA Cabinet costs. That will save you a lot of time and unnecessary trips back and forth to IKEA. I had to go twice because I was missing a few components!
Now usually I don’t complain about building IKEA furniture. The little pictures make me laugh and I have never struggled to put something together…until this. The issue is that each part has separate instructions for putting it together but it doesn’t tell you the flow at which you should put what together first and last. So let me save you some time…
1. Assemble your base cabinets and attach the legs (IKEA item# 102.655.18). Don’t forget to pick up the $6 legs. Mistake #1 I made. Also make any cut-outs in the backer board to accommodate outlets.
2. Attach those to the wall with the suspension bracket (IKEA Item #602.615.27) cut to size and screwed into studs. You can use a metal hand saw the bracket. Also be sure to pick up some 3” screws to attach the bracket to your studs. It doesn’t come with any screws.
3. Drill your cabinets to each other. Use clamps to hold them in place while you screw them together.
4. Trim the top and bottom of the cabinet with the trim pieces. Ask a Kitchen Specialist about which molding and base trim you need. I used Item #202.786.76 for the base trim and Item # 602.210.65 for the top trim.
5. Attach the doors. I swapped the big door and the bottom door so I could accommodate the trash bin down low. However if you aren’t doing that you can have the big door on the bottom like it shows you in the picture online. You can also drill the handles in place now too. I highly recommend the $2 purchase of the Fixa drawer pull template (IKEA #901.017.78) to help you line up the handles perfectly.
6. Put the drawers together and space those where you want them. I added the additional hardware (Item #002.807.55) to make the left side door a pull-out double trashcan cabinet.
However, I purchased my own trash cans and not the IKEA ones because regular sized bags don’t fit those. I live an hour and a half away from IKEA and would hate to have to be forced to travel for trash bags. HA!
7. Add shelves.
If you don’t follow this sequence you will have to remove the drawers 4000 times like I did. It makes sense logically to follow the sequence I just laid out but my brain turned to mush when I thought about all those pull out drawers and what I could store in them. 🙂
Another add-on is the drawer separator in the above picture. It is called the Maximera Drawer Separator. It makes it nice to create separate spaces. The large 24” drawer one is $15.99 (IKEA #102.784.03) and the medium drawer one is $13.99 (IKEA #202.784.07). It isn’t necessary if you are trying to save on costs but it is a nice upgrade so things don’t roll around in your drawers.
8. If one side of your cabinet faces out you will also have to pick up a panel to cover the side. It is called a cover panel and it is $89. (Item #602.660.54).
9. I had to add some additional molding to the sides where the cabinet meets the walls because my walls weren’t perfectly square on the right. Also the cabinet stuck out about 1 1/2” on the left side. Nothing a little wood trim from my local home improvement store couldn’t fix. I also color matched the Bodbyn gray to a sample pot of paint to to match. For some reason it looks a little blue in the picture but it does match.
You can see a sneak peek of my counter and ugly honey oak cabinetry that will be changed soon.
In the pictures it looks a little overpowering but it really does fit well in the space and with the rest of the kitchen.
And look at all this storage, GLORIOUS STORAGE!
My favorite feature is the 2 full size 13 gallon trash can in the pull-out drawer. While emptying the trash is the hub’s job it is nice that we have more space and he isn’t having to change the bags everyday. Plus who doesn’t love hidden trash cans!
(2) 490.385.39 Sektion High cabinet w/2 doors & 5 drawers, Bodbyn gray ($791.00 each)
(2) 102.655.18 Sektion Legs $12
Cover Panel 602.660.54 $89
Decorative Plinth (Base Trim) 202.78.676 $24
Contoured Decorative Strip (Top Trim) 602.210.65 $34
Suspension rail 602.615.27 $12
Utrusta Trash Can Pull out Hardware 002.807.55 $7
(2) Varnhem Handles $19.98
Total: $1781.97 plus tax
(4) 202.784.07 Maximera Medium Drawer divider $13.99
(4) 102.784.03 Maximera Large drawer Divider $15.99
Total with add ons: $1901.89 plus tax
I know nearly $2000 is expensive when you think about the money itself but I definitely think it added value to the home as well as needed storage in the kitchen. IKEA worked with me on this project by giving me the cabinet for free in exchange for writing about my experience with installation. However, all the opinions are mine!