It’s hard to believe that we’ve had our kitchen for two years now! And on another exciting note, I just finished paying off the last payment on the HELOC we used to finance most of it. It goes to show that you can pay off a bunch of debt for something you really want if you put your mind to it. Also increasing your income helps too. So a lot of people considering IKEA kitchens wonder how they look after real life use. Two years into daily abuse, our stuff is holding up amazingly well, I have to say. I’ll break it down:

Cabinets and Doors

We went with the gray cabinets for several reasons. One, I didn’t want white or wood and that limited the options pretty much to gray or a weird bright color. This shade of gray also is a very midcentury modern color, which fits with the style of the house even if some of the choices in the kitchen don’t (like the granite counters). They are holding up fantastically. I don’t think there’s a single dent or area where color is rubbing off on any of them. And even if it was, it would be easy to pop off and replace it with another one. I have one cabinet door that needs tightening up because it’s drooping down a bit but it’s not enough to make me actually do anything about it yet. The door faces are very wipeable, as I found a few weeks ago when I had an immersion blender incident.

ikea glass front cabinets

Soft-Close Doors and Drawers

These things are AWESOME. A few of the cabinets don’t have them for whatever reason … the one above the fridge I think we just forgot to put the soft close thingies, and when I let them slam close accidentally I always think, man I should put those soft closers up there. Then I don’t. But they all still work fantastically.

The drawer slides all work great and let me tell you, storing pots and pans in a wide, deep drawer instead of behind a door and on a shelf is revolutionary. I wish I had more drawers in here and NO doors on the lowers, to be honest.

ikea soft close drawers

ikea drawers

Under Cabinet Lighting

This was a pain to install, but it still works 100%. A few times one of them flickered ominously, but it started working again! I loathe and fear the day that one of them needs to be replaced.

ikea under cabinet lights

Lazy Susan

Susan isn’t as lazy around here as I’m coming off. We have a lazy Susan option in a bottom corner cabinet and spices live on the top, and oils and large Kitchenaid attachment boxes and an extra mixing bowl live below. Even with the weight of the oils, Susan isn’t dragging a bit.

ikea lazy susan


The only appliance we got with the kitchen was the range hood and it is a welcome addition though man, it gets dusty easily. I am glad we didn’t go with the glass one, because it would look terrible I can only assume. It works well, and it does exactly what we need it to do. My only regret is not painting behind it before it was installed because guess what’s still unpainted!

ikea hood

In an unexpected twist, we ended up getting an IKEA dishwasher about seven months after the kitchen was done because our other one died. We had about a thousand dollars of IKEA credit from returning a bunch of other kitchen stuff and so it was essentially an already paid for in theory choice. More than a year later and it’s still taking my daily abuse. I do take the filters out in the yard to hose them off because they are so gross otherwise, but that’s a dishwasher for you.

ikea dishwasher


The countertops aren’t from IKEA, but rather granite from Lowe’s because that was the only line of credit I had left, hahahaha, but let’s talk about them anyway. I don’t hate them but I do wish I had made another color selection. There’s weren’t many in the price range I had in mind so I went with the best one for the money. The creamy beige base of these made choosing a paint color totally suck, and makes a tile backsplash choice even harder, which is why there’s no tile backsplash. Basically, I wish it was whiter or grayer rather than off-white. But I love the other colors in it, the bits of garnet, navy blue, and shiny bits that run throughout.

It did get a bit of permanent damage last year when I caught a pan on fire and Patrick set the recently ablaze pan on a trivet and the heat seared through. There’s a faint brownish ring near the stove that I’ve tried to no avail to lighten, but you’ve got to be looking for it to see it at this point. The countertops would be the first and probably only thing I’d rip up and re-do if I had a few thousand sitting around. Then I’d paint the walls and choose a tile backsplash, but that’s not happening now. I have money to spend other places first.

IKEA round gold lamp

Tile Floor

While we’re talking about stuff from Lowe’s, I adore my floor. These wood-look tiles have people tapping them constantly and asking, is this wood? Nah gurl, it’s TILE! And our amazing contractors did so well on the herringbone pattern that totally makes the space. In fact, when I chose the tile color, I planned it so I could match it to what we’d get the floors refinished in, which is happening soon. In theory it’ll look nearly seamless, minus the different color. But also, when I am ready to re-do the other room adjoining the kitchen in something other than carpet, I may go with these same wood-look tiles in that room, that’s how much I like them.

And that’s it on the IKEA kitchen run down. Everything is fantastic, and getting an IKEA kitchen was a decision that I encourage anyone to make. Read about the installation process here, here, and here.