IKEA kitchen planning service

How good is the IKEA kitchen planning service? We tried it out

Today’s guest post is by Ray S.

IKEA offers a $199 in-person kitchen planning service. An IKEA kitchen planning professional visits your home, takes measurements, and spends 4 hours sitting with you to plan the kitchen you’ll use for the next 20 years.
Is it really better than working with Inspired Kitchen Design online?
Our Secret Shopper, Ray, hired them to find out…and boy, did we learn a lot.
Before you hire IKEA to plan your kitchen, you need to read this blog post.

What’s inside the IKEA home planning service?

There are 3 reasons why someone might choose IKEA’s service over IKD’s.

  1. One-stop-shopping: IKEA handles the whole thing, soup to nuts. They measure and plan your IKEA kitchen in person and then you buy the kitchen from IKEA.
  2. The $199 price tag: IKEA charges less for their service than IKD design fee which is $295
  3. Any mistakes are IKEA’s responsibility: If IKEA’s service makes an error due to incorrect measurements, they have to pay to fix the mistake

Sounds pretty good on paper, doesn’t it?
I learned 5 things when I bought IKEA’s service that I thought would be good for IKD customers to know.

#1: The sale was right around the corner…but nobody said anything

My “local” IKEA is an hour’s drive away. I like visiting IKEA but that’s about 100 miles roundtrip. I make that trip maybe a couple of times a year if I need a new bookcase or something.
Driving all that way was better than waiting on the phone with IKEA though.
I drove to IKEA about a week before the sale was announced. Even though I talked to the sales guy for awhile he never mentioned anything about the IKEA kitchen sale which was only a few days away. Strange, given that the sale offers a 15 percent refund on kitchens that cost more than $4,000.

#2: What happens during those 4 hours of time with the IKEA home planning service?

The IKEA staff person said the 4 hours of time would be spent like this:

  • 2 hours of time to measure my kitchen
  • 2 hours of time to plan my kitchen

My fiancee and I have a large kitchen, so 2 hours of measuring time sounded good. But only 2 hours for planning? I knew we’d have lots of questions and ideas to try out. I had thought 4 hours would be enough time but now I wasn’t so sure.
We had big decisions to make. Was 4 hours going to be enough time to design the kitchen we planned to use for the next 20 years?

#3: There’s fine print to read…and homework to do

IKEA is pretty clear on what it will and won’t do for your kitchen design. Notice that they don’t give you a kitchen design like IKD will. They give you a “kitchen cabinet layout.” There’s a really big difference between those two things.

But I was surprised at how much written homework I had to do. Some of these were questions I wanted to answer with the planning guy’s help, not figure out on my own.

#4: Wait, how much does the IKEA planning service cost again?

The IKEA staff person then asked for my address and informed me the charge would be $249. I thought it was $199?
The sales guy explained that the services starts at $199. Because I lived farther away, it was $249.
Of course, in IKEA’s eyes, that doesn’t really matter. Right now they’re offering the deal that if you buy that service and then buy your kitchen before August 1, 2016, they will refund you the cost of the service. Even if it costs more than $199.
I learned at my actual appointment that IKEA makes these price determinations by zones they’ve set. But, the guy who came to my house actually lived close by. So why did it cost more?

#5: If you don’t have wi-fi, your kitchen planning will be done without you

Then the sales guy asked if I would have wi-fi available for the home planning person to use. I said yes, but what would happen if I didn’t?
The IKEA guy would come and take measurements, and then take notes on what I wanted. But then he’d have to send me my design. The only way for IKEA to design my kitchen was using the IKEA Home Planner app.
I wondered if other customers were okay with settling for that but I said it wouldn’t be a problem. I set up my appointment for a week later.

In summary: The 5 things I learned about IKEA’s in-person home planning service

  1. It sure seemed suspicious that nobody mentioned the sale. I mean doesn’t the sale make people want to buy?
  2. If 2 of the 4 planning hours are just spent on measurements, how much help are you really getting?
  3. If you don’t do your homework, you’re just eating into your 4 hours. And there’s a lot of homework to do.
  4. I wasn’t exactly thrilled that it cost me an extra $50 for the service because I live an hour away even though IKEA’s service person was close by.
  5. The wi-fi thing is pretty important to know. Even if you have wi-fi like I do, what if it’s not working that day? I’d feel ripped off if I couldn’t even sit next to someone.

So how was IKEA’s planning service?

Next week I’ll write about how the service actually went. So far I wasn’t impressed though. The guy I talked to was very hands-off and he didn’t exactly inspire confidence.
Learn more about how we can design your IKEA kitchen, bath, laundry room and closet at https://inspiredkitchendesign.com.

Long gone are the days when IKEA furniture was just for dorm rooms and first apartments. The Swedish furniture juggernaut has gone full mainstream, branching out past futons and coffee tables into pet furniture, home electronics, and yes, entire kitchens. Today, your dream kitchen is just a short drive away, past the Swedish meatballs and around the corner from the 79 cent dish towels. And the secret to how to design an IKEA kitchen that looks like it came straight out of a Nancy Meyers movie? Planning, and a bit of imagination.

Designing a kitchen is tough work. Like most major home renovations, you have to be able to think big picture while also honing in on the tiny details. If you’re looking to design an IKEA kitchen the process is no different, but there’s a bright side: like all things they do, IKEA has streamlined the entire kitchen design experience to make it easier—and maybe even more enjoyable—than it might be otherwise.

So where do you start when you’re designing an IKEA kitchen? Here’s your step-by-step guide into turning a blah kitchen into a Nordic-inspired masterpiece.

  1. Set Your Budget

    IKEA is certainly a good choice for the kitchen remodeler on a budget, but you still need to know what you’re working with spending wise—a new kitchen is never cheap.

    Factor in what you can spend on your kitchen renovation, being sure to include not just cabinets and counter tops but labor. Like pretty much anything you buy from IKEA, your kitchen is going to come boxed up and will require quite a bit of assembly. Figure out if you’re going to assemble and install everything yourself, or if you’re going to need to hire someone—from IKEA or otherwise—to do it for you (more on that later).

    So how much do IKEA kitchens cost? You’ll need to break it down piece by piece. Here are the average costs you’ll be facing, according to the design blog Hunker:

    • IKEA cabinets: $899 to $2,999 for a 10×10 kitchen
    • IKEA counter tops: $39 to $69 per square foot

    Other costs that you may need to factor in depending on the scope of your project include appliances, flooring, lighting, window treatments, and kitchen islands, among other things.

    IKEA appliance costs:

    • Stoves: $349 to $899
    • Ovens: $799 to $1,499
    • Ranges: $495 to $1,299
    • Fridges and freezers: $549 to $1,799
    • Dishwashers: $269 to $849

    Of course, you can always purchase appliances from other manufacturers, keep the appliances you currently have, or upgrade those later on if it’s too much of a cost to take on now. What’s important is that you figure out exactly what you’re working with budget wise and what items you are looking to purchase from IKEA.

  2. Get Inspired

    It can be overwhelming to start completely from scratch when it comes to designing your new IKEA kitchen. With so many options available, it helps to go in with at least some semblance of a plan.

    IKEA has a whole catalog devoted to kitchen inspiration, but it’s also a good idea to go into the store so you can see and touch everything first hand. Your goal at this point is to determine what you want in terms of general style and colors—you’ll work on how everything fits together later on.

  3. Measure Your Kitchen

    To efficiently design an IKEA kitchen you’ll need to have an accurate measurement of your space. You can use IKEA’s kitchen measuring service for a fee (this fee is refunded if you purchase IKEA kitchen installation). You can also measure the space yourself. Here’s how:

  • Measure the distance from wall to wall, making sure to include measurements for the spaces in between doors or hallways and corners
  • Measure the distance from floor to ceiling
  • Measure the height and width of each window and door and then the distance from the top, bottom, and sides of each window and door to the floor/ceiling/corner

    Make sure when you’re measuring for your IKEA kitchen that you note the placement of things like outlet, drains, and pipes, since these will play a role in determining what goes where.

  • Start Designing

    Now you get to the really fun part! Armed with your budget, measurements, and the style that you want, you can start to finally put the pieces together. The best way to do this? Take advantage of one or more of IKEA’s planning tools:

    Kitchen Quick Quoter. Play around with the kitchen quick quoter to browse through available options, customizing different features to your taste. Then print out what you want and go to the store to purchase, or purchase your pieces online.

    3D Kitchen Planner. Using IKEA’s 3D kitchen planner you can design and price your entire kitchen right from your desktop. You start by filling in your kitchen measurements, and from there you can start plugging in all the details you want for your space, including dining and additional design features. Once again, you can either print out the full design and take it to the store or you can order your pieces from the IKEA website.

    Kitchen Design Appointments. If you’d prefer some expert design assistance you can always schedule a kitchen design appointment. The service is free if you go in to the store, or you can have an IKEA kitchen designer come out to your home for a fee (about $50). The designer will work with you to design an IKEA kitchen that perfectly meets your needs, and can also help facilitate the ordering and installation process.

    Note: It’s always advised that you go to the store and test out everything that you want to purchase, even if you intend to buy online. There, you’ll also be able to get answers to any questions that you have and get some helpful insight from IKEA staff.

  • Make a Plan for Delivery, Assembly, and Installation

    If you have a big enough vehicle and the items you want are in stock you can opt to pick up the pieces of your new kitchen right at the store. Otherwise, you can have your items delivered directly to your home for a fee—home delivery starts at $29.

    As for assembly and installation, the kitchens are designed to be installed by consumers, so they’re not going to require any special skills or certifications. Use the IKEA kitchen installation guide to ensure you do it right. This is a big project though, so be prepared for some hard work.

    If you don’t have DIY experience or just don’t want to tackle such a massive project on your own, an alternate assembly and installation option is to hire IKEA to do it for you. You can get an installation quote from both in-person kitchen design appointments and the 3D kitchen planner. Installation, which is provided by a third party service provider, is priced per cabinet. You’ll pay more if you also need installation of appliances, counter tops, sinks and faucets, lighting, molding and cover gaps.

    In addition to assembly and installation, the cost also includes unboxing and trash removal.

  • Caring For Your IKEA Kitchen

    To make sure that your new IKEA kitchen stays looking its best for years to come you’ll need to take proper care of it. Do research on the care instructions for the particular series of IKEA products that you purchased, since like with all counter tops, cabinets, appliances, etc. using the wrong cleaning product could ruin the finish.

    Be sure you’re familiar with the IKEA kitchen warranty as well, which offers 25 year coverage defects in materials and workmanship, 10 year coverage on faucet, and 5 year coverage on appliances.


    If you are considering going with us for your IKEA product installation, there is a process you can expect to go through. We can do an initial site measurement for you at a cost of $50.00 (which is later deducted from your installation cost providing your job site is located within our service radius).
    After that initial measurement you, the client, need to do some “homework” by planning the layout of your kitchen using the 3D planner from www.ikea.com or by using the self planning cabinet cut out system available in the Kitchen Planning Guide at the store. The IKEA co-worker needs this for the kitchen ordering.
    Once we have received your finalized plan we will submit an estimate to you for approval. We will then be able to go ahead
    with booking an installation date based on our availability and on the arrival of your IKEA products.


    We can offer you a Kitchen Planning service. This service includes a site measurement and help in planning your new IKEA kitchen cabinet layout.
    The idea behind the Planning Service is to alleviate confusion that can arise when going through the process of purchasing and installing an IKEA kitchen. If a client so chooses, we can be their first and last points of contact in this process. The only time a client will need to deal with IKEA is when they place the order directly in the store and to arrange delivery of their kitchen pieces. We will provide site measurement, and a layout that includes all extra pieces that need to be ordered. The following are a few points a client should review when they are considering using us to contract for IKEA kitchen cabinet planning:
    The design service we provide was created to save you the step of planning “my cabinet layout for my new IKEA kitchen”. Customer will still be responsible for selecting and purchasing the appliances, fixtures, handles/knobs, countertops, flooring, backsplash, paint, and lighting.
    Customer must have the appliances selected prior to our start of work on the layout as this is a critical component in creating a layout. If you do not know what kind of appliances you want these can be discussed at the initial consultation meeting but you are responsible for selecting the appliances and submitting the selections to us before we begin work on your cabinet layout.
    The cabinet layout for one kitchen is $400 plus HST. You will receive a preliminary layout (“Preview”) to provide feedback to us. Once the cabinet layout is finalized and approved, you will receive a package that provides you with everything you need to go to IKEA and purchase your cabinets. The package will also include all 3D views of your kitchen as well as the Measurement Sheet created at the initial consultation meeting.
    Any additional areas for cabinet layout services you can expect to pay an additional $400 plus HST.
    You will pay an additional fee to designer for travel if your site is located outside of the service radius.
    We are not responsible for coordinating trades for your project, communicating with your contractor, and so on. We are in no way responsible for Project Management services unless you want us to provide all trades for the whole project.
    Following our submission of your approved “final” IKEA Layout Package any changes you wish to make to your plan such as layout, door style, etc. are to be made by you and are done so at your own expense. You can choose to make changes on your own or to use our designer for changes at a cost of $80plus HST/change if changes are submitted via email or $100 plus HST/hour prorated in 15 minute portion if changes are made on site or “on the fly” during installation. In terms of layout, IKEA has no liability.