Finishing details on a custom Ikea kitchen

I’ve completed my installation of the custom Ikea kitchen I started in December. Here are a few more pictures that show some finishing details. I will return to the jobsite for about a 1/2 day to apply a few missing parts when they arrive from Ikea. Other than that, I’ve finished my tasks and it was another job well done.

In the following gallery we can see:

  1. Ikea’s “Filler panel” material applied to the wall creates a wall covering and window casing that ties the cabinets together visually.
  2. The oven cabinet looks fantastic!
  3. As the cabinet installer it is my preference to cut necessary holes for other sub-contractors. A few outlets complete the island before the countertops arrive.
  4. Steel angle-iron was bolted to the side of the sink and stovetop cabinets to support the countertop.
  5. I made a jig for the hardware installation. All handles are centered and 1 1/2″ from edge of door to top of handle.
  6. The toe-kick is all installed.
  7. The toe-kick pieces were tricky to install on the island where the position of the Ikea legs don’t allow for one. (The Ikea legs are set back several inches from the front face of the cabinets but only 1″ from the sides.) I cut the tabs off the Ikea legs and pushed them in, to match the front reveal. In addition, I made all the baseboard out of the Ikea filler panels which are 11/16″ thick. I dadoed a groove in the back of each rip to accept the Ikea mounting hardware. In order to fit clips to the corner legs I cut the groove in one board higher than the other piece, so one clip would fit above the other. In this way I got two clips on one leg. Yay!

There are always so many details that go into a construction project and some projects are more demanding than others. In this case, the homeowner hired an Interior Designer to communicate with their Architect who drew pictures for the Contractor who then hired me to install the parts. Maintaining communication within the entire chain of professionals is paramount to the success of the project and can present a challenge to the process of installation.
I believe it is from years of apprenticeship with Michael C. Hargrove in San Francisco, California that I am able to have the skills, the patience, the fortitude and the abilities to listen, to comprehend and to produce the finished ideal of so much intent. Not only do I maintain the integrity of each professional in the chain but ultimately my work must prove an integrity in my own abilities of construction. Of course it does and that’s how I got this job. The builder and architect on this job provide the highest quality. Their work is awesome fancy and I have thoroughly enjoyed building for them in the past.

I hope this kitchen lasts longer than expected. I have read about Ikea kitchens since starting this project. has a poll on how long before problems show but I think only 5 people voted. There are plenty of articles online. There’s a video on YouTube showing someone’s progress as they built their kitchen which oddly enough has the same two walls and single window as the kitchen I just built but the end results are totally different!

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