I will disclose now that prior to embarking on Operation Kitchen, I was a devoted IKEA fan so much so that when we bought the house 5 years ago, I assumed we would get an IKEA kitchen. That said, we looked a few other suppliers (Howdens, B&Q, John Lewis) and got a quote from Wicks. I also poured over the all the blog posts I could find – this one was particularly good – http://aubreyandlindsay.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/tips-tricks-for-buying-ikea-kitchen.htm
1.Free design service
Yes, contrary to the fee advertised on their website, if you live in an area where the take up is high, the design service is FREE! We had a lovely helpful guy come round, measure up. Turns out, we totally ignored his design and ended up doing it ourselves but it was still brilliant. He was also in email contact with us and quick to respond.
2. The DIY design program is quite tricky to use with slow laptop and no mouse
When I say tricky, I had several first world problem meltdowns trying to move cabinets into spaces that were clearly large enough, or get them in only for them to obstinately be facing the wrong way. 6 months later, I’m still feeling a bit stressed now just reliving it. There is a solution though, which is use the ones in store on a weekday evening when it’s nice and quiet and helpful staff on hand to assist if necessary.
3. Hidden drawers
Drawers concealed behind hinged doors excite me, as do hidden drawers within drawers, like these. All easy to do and maximise the available space.
4. It helps if you live close.
I count my blessings every week that I live 10 minutes drive from IKEA and during the kitchen project those blessing were counted more regularly. Living close allows you to fine tune the details during the project. I was able to return items that were redundant, play with handles etc in the show room, and was returning every few days to make a decision on x y or z (and eat hot dog obviously).
5. Free Wifi
The free wifi incredibly useful when trying to keep to 2 under 5’s entertained in a shopping trolley! Peppa Pip anyone?
6. Get the whole lot delivered
Having read seemingly all the posts about IKEA kitchens, I knew that getting the whole lot delivered was the way, rather than collecting yourself. Again, having read all the posts, I was expecting key items to be missing from the order, and was delighted to find that this was not the case at all, delivery 100% perfect (and nice, helpful guys too I should add). Make sure you have enough space for it, the delivery filled our entire sitting room.
7. IKEA returns are amazing
Yes, there may be a small queue but there is usually a TV and mini kids play area too. We returned loads of things like lights, cabinets, hinges – all easy and straightforward to do.
8. The coffee is grim
Such a shame even though it is free too. I even pimped my order and got the ‘latte’ and it was still not to my liking. Totally not a coffee snob,and I never hear anyone else complaining so maybe it’s just me?
As mentioned at the start of this post, prior to embarking on this project, I was a unashamed IKEA fan and part of me was genuinely worried that the love was going to disappear and I’d no longer be able to enjoy a leisurely afternoon amassing storage solutions and picture frames. A bit like meeting your idol, or maybe eating too much chocolate cake? But no, the love is still there, it’s even increased. The whole process was actually quite joyful and I would recommend an IKEA kitchen to anyone.