We do LOVE adventures, but we NEVER imagined doing a complete kitchen remodel a week after buying our house!
We will talk about that unexpected flooding another time, today is all about things exciting and useful: the before and after tour of our mostly DIY modern farmhouse IKEA kitchen remodel, and 8 best ideas we have learned: such as how to create better kitchen layouts, incorporate favorite design styles, improve small kitchen storage, select materials, and lots more!
Remodeling our outdated kitchen into a modern farmhouse IKEA kitchen is one of the most challenging and rewarding things we have ever done! I hope what we have learned through our kitchen renovation can help others who are on a similar journey. Let’s start with the most awkward thing in our old kitchen:
When you have a massive fridge stuck in the corner of a small kitchen, blocking part of a window, it just doesn’t feel right. Which leads to our idea number one-
Kitchen Remodel Idea 1: start with kitchen layout to create a better flow
( Some of the helpful resources are affiliate links. Full disclosure here. )
The first thing we did was to move the fridge to a new location, and open up the peninsula. This created a more open kitchen layout in our cramped small kitchen, which our new kitchen design is based on.
You might be wondering where the fridge is now? We created a niche and moved it partially into an old closet space right by the kitchen. We bet you won’t recognize it! See it here.
Kitchen Remodel Idea 2: bring your favorite kitchen design styles into the details
Our favorite kitchen design style is a blend of fresh modern, farmhouse, and colorful bohemian. Our old kitchen has a no-style, so that has to change. 🙂
We used white IKEA kitchen cabinets with farmhouse sink, butcher block countertop, and white square subway tiles to create a bright modern farmhouse style.
I am also a huge fan of Anthropologie and boho styles, as you can see in the mint colored fridge (below), brushed gold hardware, and the faux “cement tile” wall ( tutorial coming soon!)
Remember the big old fridge? It got a makeover too. We not only changed the fridge location, we also change the look of it! Here’s the tutorial on how we transformed the old fridge easily for $20!
Idea 3: More usable kitchen countertop space
Having enough kitchen counter space in the right places will make a kitchen much more user friendly. In a small kitchen it is even more important.
Instead of having only one big usable counter area on the peninsula, we now have two really nice big counter areas on either side of the sink, and will have even more: we put in a kitchen island on wheels in the design phase, and we are actually building it right now, so stay tuned!
Kitchen Renovation Idea 4: better materials for functions and style
Our old tile kitchen countertop and porcelain kitchen sink were among the first things we wanted to change. The tile grout joints and white porcelain sink would get dirty easily, and things break a lot in the porcelain sink.
We updated the kitchen with warmer, softer, and easier to clean materials that contribute to a modern farmhouse kitchen, like maple butcher block countertop and a farmhouse sink!
We love our Zuhne 33″ stainless steel farmhouse sink with the beautiful faucet and range hood. I will share more about our farmhouse sink and how to care for a butcher block countertop soon, and link to them here.
Idea 5: improve kitchen storage space and organization
A small kitchen often needs is storage space. One of the things we love about our IKEA kitchen is more and better organized storage spaces.
IKEA kitchen cabinets are really well designed with better kitchen storage in mind. In addition to maximizing all the kitchen upper and base cabinets, we added a tall IKEA pantry cabinet and it really has made such a difference! We will soon be sharing a series of tutorials on how to design and install IKEA kitchen cabinets.
Kitchen Makeover Idea 6: update kitchen lighting
Can you see the fluorescent lights with a sheet of plastic cover in our old kitchen ? The cover is quite unattractive and the light quality felt cold.
We changed them to recessed LED lighting, which has a minimal profile. What a difference! Now our Kitchen lighting is bright, warm, energy efficient , and the look is a thousand times better than the plastic cover!
Kitchen Remodel Idea 7: change kitchen doors to kitchen drawers
Another great way to create more efficient storage spaces is to use more drawers in the base cabinets. Although drawers require more cost and labor, they are worth it! Everything is a lot more accessible in deep drawers, vs deep shelves.
We replaced almost all the doors with drawers in our base kitchen cabinets. We love that fact that IKEA kitchen drawers are quite easy to assemble and install. They are also well designed with matching storage containers and trays you can put inside the drawers.
Kitchen Remodeling Idea 8: the wonderful open shelving
There is a reason that almost everyone loves open shelving in kitchen, or anywhere. They look inviting, and they offer fun creative opportunities to decorate with seasonal and personal treasures.
Hubby wasn’t so enthusiastic about open shelves at first because we love the doors and windows open all the time, and open shelving could get dusty. Luckily, I was able to sneak in some DIY open shelving above the range hood, and in the corner where a pipe is in the way of the IKEA cabinet hanging rail.
Now he uses the open shelves daily as his coffee station, and loves it. The verdict: we are having MORE open shelving in our next kitchen! 😉
Stay tuned for our upcoming kitchen remodel series with lots of DIY tutorials, helpful tips, and design ideas!
Other kitchen makeovers ideas you may also love:
Sometimes all you need is paint! Check out our 25 favorite kitchen paint colors (with names!) to choose from!
This DIY pallet kitchen is totally inspiring! See it here!
Happy creating! See you next week!
Check out the updated list of our kitchen remodel tutorials here!
- Our modern farmhouse IKEA kitchen remodel before and after, with 8 best tips!
- How we gave our old dated fridge a beautiful $2000 new look! 🙂
- 100 day review of our stainless farmhouse sink.
- 2-Ingredient natural DIY butcher block countertop & cutting board oil conditioner recipe.
- How to paint kitchen cabinets, and #1 mistake to avoid.
- Our boho farmhouse DIY kitchen island: an IKEA Hack!