IKEA Adel kitchen: before and after sneak peek!

The LA Lady's IKEA Adel DIY Kitchen

So it’s been a couple of weeks of traveling and house guests and I’ve been remiss in posting. And there was Dwell on Design where I met the most awesome purveyor of skincare products (more on that soon) and I had a great time.

Basically, I was putting the finishing touches on the kitchen and then I had to leave town! After weeks of IKEA cabinet assembly and tile installation, we have a finished product. So now I’ve been able to work in the kitchen and so far it’s been amazing. SUCH a huge improvement over the old 80′s kitchen. And now I won’t hit my head on the cabinets either!

Before pics:

lalady_kitchen_before03

lalady_kitchen_before01

The white upper cabinets that extend into the middle of the space were THE WORST. They weren’t attached to a soffit and so they were way too high to really be usable… and I’m almost 6 feet tall.

lalady_kitchen_before02

There were two big changes to the layout of this kitchen. One is the right corner of the kitchen (see third image) which is to the left of the fridge. That’s where our old water heater was housed. It’s such a terrible layout and getting to use that corner was a must. The second is the peninsula that divides the dining room from the kitchen. It’s great counter space but it makes it incredibly difficult for two people to work at the same time. Also, I’m pretty sure every guest we’ve had has hit their forehead on those upper cabinets, so they had to go no matter what.

lalady_kitchen_03

And here’s the new corner! The water heater has been swapped out for a tankless so now that closet has been significantly altered to accommodate a washer and dryer (I’ll do a post for that later).

lalady_kitchen_02

So now there’s no peninsula and it’s transformed our space into more of a U-shaped kitchen. If we’ve lost counter space, I haven’t noticed it yet.

lalady_kitchen_01

I think the best part of all is our cabinet space is so much more usable. I’ve been able to put away everything with room to spare. The door in the above image, while a necessity, kind of interrupts the flow but I’ve made it work by adding the towel rack with hooks (I think it’s the IKEA Bygel version) and am storing my oven mitts there. You’d be amazed what you can hang on a hook or mount to a door.

Mr. Los Angeles and I were discussing the whole project. He hated installing the tile backsplash the most and I hated the cabinet assembly the most. Although as you can see, the tile going all away around the door is a great touch and I’m so glad we did it. Who says white kitchens have to be boring?!

These are the main materials we used: IKEA Adel cabinetry in off white, Cambria countertops in Bellingham and a sandy gray tile

These are the main materials we used: IKEA Adel cabinetry in off white, Cambria countertops in Bellingham and a sandy gray tile (not sure of the manufacturer)

Be sure to check out the post on how we assembled all of this stuff here as well as our custom DIY spice rack here. Once again, a special thanks to TME Construction for making this vision a reality and letting us DIY our hearts out.

6 Comments on "IKEA Adel kitchen: before and after sneak peek!"

  1. Emily says:

    Thank you for these pictures! We’ve just started an Ikea Adel renovation and I’ve been thinking about floor to ceiling subway tile–it’s great to get a sense of how it looks in practice!

  2. LALady says:

    Awesome! If you’re going to DIY the tile, it’s definitely a lot more work and it takes some mental math to figure out the placement and everything, but it’s totally worth it. Our local Home Depot offers a free class on the weekends on how to tile back splashes. It probably would have helped if I’d taken it :-)

    We found a wet tile saw on craigslist: it’s a must. Those score-and-crack tile saws broke more tiles than they cut. Also, getting the pre-mixed mastic and grout was a big help.

  3. Karen says:

    Curious about the shades of white, specifically subway tile and cabinets. Our adel cabinets are in and I just picked up white subway tile from local tile store. I’m starting to get cold feet that the tile is significantly whiter than the cabinets. Not sure it that’s a good thing (mixed whites) or if it will end up making the cabinets look sallow. Your pics make the whites blend beautifully. What was your real life experience?

  4. LALady says:

    Hi Karen:

    We were really lucky to find a perfect match. I carried around the smallest cabinet door we had to various tile stores and found something that worked. Maybe it was luck or maybe it was just that the Adel white is pretty common.

    I did a lot of research on paint colors that supposedly match Adel white “perfectly” and a lot of people have had trouble with this. Personally, I think paint color can vary enough to notice between batches, regions, temperatures, etc. and I think even the Adel white has to have some variation as well due to manufacturing practices and such. I’m really glad we used all that subway tile (even though it was tedious to install and I still am not sure about drilling into it to put up shelves and rails. Someday maybe…)

    I think getting close to a match would be much better than just going with plain white tile. I don’t remember the brand of our tile but the color on the invoice is listed as “biscuit.” Bringing along one of the cabinet doors with you when you go look at tile is probably the best way to see if something matches. We considered using a different color tile, like blue or yellow, but went with this because it matched so well. If I had to go with something else, I had a cement gray and a sort of sea foam green/blue tile that was really pretty–same shape and size and everything.

    Thanks for checking out the blog! I’d love to see what you end up going with. It’s fun to see how people take the same IKEA kitchen components and come up with something totally unique.

  5. Anna says:

    What did you use for deco strip under the cabinet and can you share a picture?
    Your kitchen looks great! Enjoy.

  6. Doug Lindstrom says:

    Kitchen looks great. Have a similar set up to install around the fridge. Did you put finished panels down both sides of the fridge? Regarding the cover panel above the fridge, does your sawcut (if there is one) next to the fridge or against the cabinet base?

    Many thanks.

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