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We live in an older home and most of the rooms do not have overhead lighting. This makes choosing the right lighting crucial for function, in addition to it simply being beautiful.

We’re Erin & Matt

I have been asked the question- Why IKEA? More times than I can count. That is why I have put together our IKEA, Semihandmade experience and review. The easiest answer however is- because of Semihandmade. Those gorgeous custom fronts had us at hello!! Okay-okay, maybe that is giving Semihandmade too much credit. Here is my honest review of our IKEA/Semihandmade experience.

The truth is we would not have gone with IKEA, no matter how pretty those Semihandmade fronts are, had we not truly loved the functionality, layout and storage options of IKEA. We wouldn’t pick junk bases just because we could put super pretty fronts on them. IKEA rocks.

People have said- “but it’s so cheap, won’t it fall apart”? My feeling is- too often people make the mistake that expensive always means better, and affordable always means “cheap”; and that is not always the case. First, we lived with an IKEA kitchen in a rental and it was incredible. It was our favorite kitchen we ever had, and we had lived with many. From custom cabinets and builder grade cabinets to vintage cabinets in a 1950’s home, all prior to the IKEA rental house cabinet experience; so we had bases for comparison. Plus we did a lot of recon. We asked a ton of people who have IKEA kitchens- would you do it again?… The answer was always a resounding- YES! Plus you cannot beat the cost. Our IKEA bases plus a professional install totaled just about- $3600.00… WIN.

Those Semihandmade fronts though, they are gorgeous and truly did sway us even more. Also their customer service was next level. I have literally never experienced such a hands on and diligent, after purchase experience, in my life. It was impressive. Semihandmade has a huge selection of colors and door styles that truly elevate the look and feel of the IKEA bases. We knew we wanted dark cabinets and had no trouble picking the Night Sky color they offer. Full disclosure the Semihandmade fronts were a collaboration and we did not have to come out of pocket for the parts and pieces from them. However, if we had purchased them ourselves they would have cost us $3500… that cost plus the professional install we hired (and paid for), made the total Semihandmade portion cost- $4400.00.

If you’re doing the math that means the IKEA bases + custom Semihandmade fronts + Professional install for both = $7500.00 dollars.


  1. Super affordable
  2. Functional
  3. Fast
  4. Semi-customizable
  5. Can be paired with Semihandmade door fronts to achieve a high-end look
  6. IKEA kitchen experts will help you build your kitchen in store. All you need is the measurements and they will help you design it. *we designed ours but we have a lot of experience in design and renovations


  1. Not fully customizable. You are limited to the size and cabinet options they carry
  2. Not made of wood. They’re made of high quality melamine
  3. Bases only come in white so if you pair with a colored door front you need to paint certain parts of the bases to hide the white bases *see image below*
  4. Come in tons of pieces and boxes and are super time consuming to install *unless you hire professionals which I highly recommend if your budget allows*
  5. You have to go into IKEA (this one is from my husband) LOL

We highly recommend doing this added step of painting the narrow portion of base. If not you will see the white base peek through, once doors are installed. If you get a white front, no biggie. If you get colored cabinet fronts, seeing that small sliver of the white base peeking through cheapens the overall look, IMHO.

To do this we simply took our semihandmade sample door to Home Depot and they color matched it perfectly. We only needed one sample jar worth of paint to make this quick edit to the Ikea base. Worth the effort and only cost $5 bucks.

Bottom line, we have zero regrets going IKEA, we would do it again. We ultimately created a high-end kitchen; the grand total for the completed project landed at $60,000.00. Even still I would not change the fact that we went the IKEA/Semihandmade route. I told my friends who came by to see the finished space that the cabinets were IKEA, and they were in shock…. “IKEA, really?! They look custom”! Yes, yes they do. One of those friends is now planning her own remodel because of the affordability.

We know IKEA is not for everyone, but if you’re considering it, let me tell you… we LOVE ours. Especially when paired with Semihandmade. You can get a very high end look, that is super functional, all while saving tons of moola. Yes please.

Was this review of our IKEA, Semihandmade experience useful? Maybe you have more questions? If so pop them in the comments!


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