Hi! This is another one of my hacks featuring IKEA custom cabinet doors. It’s an IKEA kitchen do-over with plywood cabinet fronts.

I bought an apartment and it came with a brand new IKEA kitchen. Problem is, I’m not very fond of wall cabinets and tall cabinets for refrigerator, etc. I find it more suitable to have all cabinets on one level.

Another issue with the existing kitchen was the size of the kitchen peninsula / island. It was too small. So I decided to re-do the kitchen with a new layout and custom cabinet fronts.

IKEA kitchen - before


IKEA kitchen with custom cabinet doors


I ripped the kitchen down, keeping the IKEA METOD base cabinets. The tall cabinets were cut in half. 🙂 The top half of the tall cabinets became too flimsy after the cut, and I was not able to reuse them.

Since the kitchen is in an open space with my living room, I wanted the kitchen to blend in as much as possible. I think when all the cabinets are at the same level and by omitting the typical kitchen wall cabinets above the countertop, you remove the kitchen feeling.

Demo-ing the kitchen

In the meantime, the new setup was drawn up. It featured a larger kitchen peninsular, including seating for 4 and the integration of a small IKEA freezer and refrigerator. When the drawing was finalised, it was time to get it personalised.

As with my other MALM loft storage hack, I chose the same deco blue color to match the Carrera marble tile backsplash.

The brass handles (and the problem with them)

Instead of stock IKEA doors, I went with custom made birch plywood fronts and self-designed brass handles. I drew up a suggestion and went to an iron worker, who bent them according to my specifications.

Note to self: Experimenting with kitchen handles is not as straight forward as it seems. After mounting the brass handles, which were made in the same length as the doors, I soon discovered it was not possible to open the doors to the right or left ;).

I got into a real spin trying to find a solution. My intention was to keep the brass handles in one straight line. After some thinking I came up with an idea to not use side hinges at all.

I used the front of a spare drawer as a template to drill holes at the back of the new plywood fronts. Then I placed a big drawer in every cabinet on the lower section and used drawer hinges to mount the door to the drawer. Now the fronts slide straight out instead of swinging open to the right or left. It’s important to buy the big drawer as it has an extra metal rod to stabilize the front to the drawer. And best of all, it works great!

IKEA Custom Cabinet Doors in Plywood

IKEA custom cabinet doorsAll of the custom drawer fronts are made from birch plywood at a thickness of 18mm thick. The drawer fronts are treated with decor wax to keep them from turning yellow and makes them easy to clean. (Becomes water resistant)

IKEA custom cabinet doors

IKEA custom cabinet doors – waxed and unwaxed comparison

I bought the plywood boards from local retailer and brought them to a local carpenter who has a CNC cutter. I also brought a normal IKEA front to use as a template for cutting the right dimension. These IKEA custom cabinet doors cost about 60% of IKEA retail price for fronts.

IKEA custom cabinet doors

Behind these IKEA custom cabinet doors – the fridge!

Fridge is in the island, freezer on opposite side.

Final touch, a pair of Tom Dixon lights.

~ by Peik Helly Hansen. Follow my projects on Instagram @peikhellyhansen

You may also be interested in Peik’s other hacks

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