Tips for Designing + Ordering an Ikea Kitchen

tips for designing and ordering an ikea kitchen

We will forever stan all things Ikea. But planning and ordering an Ikea kitchen never comes without its fair share of headaches and little Ikea quirks. So grab some Swedish meatballs and a cinnamon bun, and let’s get down to business:

Tips for Designing + Ordering an Ikea Kitchen

1.Move slowly and save often. 

The Ikea Kitchen Planner likes to crash. A lot. Try not to have too many windows open on your computer, and just plan for things to go slowly. Sometimes, it’ll crash even when you’re treating it very nicely. Just plan accordingly. 

We had the most issues with crashing while we were trying to save our designs. And sometimes, the system would delete our design entirely.

As a backup, screencap the overhead view of your design at key intervals, and it should help you redo your design, should you need to!

2. Stay in 3D Line View if you want things to load quickly.

Only move to 3D front view when you really need to see how things will look in real life.

Also – try to avoid clicking the ceiling, walls, and floors… They take a long time to load.

3. If you click and hold an object, you can move it wherever you want.

Good LORD do I wish we had figured this out sooner. The second most annoying thing about the Ikea kitchen planner (other than it crashing all the time) is that it thinks it can read your mind. It tries to place cabinets in spaces that make no sense, and then tells you that you can’t can’t put cabinets where you want to.

Click on the cabinet, and hold it until it turns green. Then you can place it wherever you want, even if it “intersects with an object.”

Keep in mind, though, that you do need a few inches of space between your cabinets and your walls/ceilings for your doors/drawers to function properly. Aim to leave at least 2 inches of space between the top of your cabinets and your ceiling, and 2 inches of space between cabinets + adjacent walls.

4. The “options” sidebar on the right is your friend. 

You know that sidebar that pops up on the right of your screen when you click a cabinet? Wait for it to load before trying to move or delete a cabinet. Just because your cabinet is selected within the designer doesn’t mean the system is ready for you to click around and make changes. This is a recipe for a crash.

5A. Removing the doors + toe kicks from your Ikea planner will also remove necessary hardware that you’ll need.
Let’s say you’ve decided on Ikea cabinet boxes, but will be buying doors, toe kicks and trim panels from Semihandmade (or a similar company).

So to get an accurate price in the Ikea kitchen planner (and to move forward with the ordering process) you remove all the doors, toe kicks and trim from your kitchen plan. Now your itemized list includes only what you really need, and you can just add all those items to your cart and choose your click-and-collect time. Right?


Removing the doors also removes the hinges that you’ll need for your Semihandmade doors. 

Removing the toe kicks also removes the cabinet leveling legs you need + the clips that will attach your toe kicks to your cabinets.

The solution? Call to place your order – don’t place it online. Your Ikea kitchen consultant can remove doors + toe kicks while keeping other necessary items in your order.

5B. You can buy Ikea (Blum) cabinet hardware on Amazon, and you don’t actually need cabinet legs or toe kick hardware from Ikea.

Ikea cabinets use these neat little leveling legs under their cabinets so you can make sure your cabinets are level, even if your walls or floors aren’t. Like most things Ikea does, they are brilliantly designed + packaged, and they work really well.

But LOTS of DIYers prefer to build their own cabinet bases, then shim/level those bases and attach Ikea cabinets + toe kicks and trim directly to those cabinet bases.

*IF* you know you want to build/buy your own doors AND build your own cabinet bases, you can safely remove all of your doors, trim, etc. from your Ikea planner and go straight to checkout. No kitchen appointment needed, no long phone calls! All you need are your Sektion cabinets, and Sektion cabinet rails.

Leave a Reply