Ikea Brings It Home for a Long Island City Loft

Custom cut panels and modifications abound

maple kitchen cabinets and white countertop and white overhead cabinets and open to dining and living spaces after renovation

  • Homeowners: Aftering buying a apartment Roxana and Gabriel posted their kitchen renovation on Sweeten.
  • Where: Long Island, Queens, New York
  • Primary renovation: Updating and expanding the kitchen to fit a most minimalist aesthetic
  • Sweeten general contractor
  • Sweeten’s role: Sweeten matches home renovation projects with vetted general contractors, offering guidance, tools, and support—for free.

A style fix

Roxana and Gabriel’s Long Island City, Queens, loft boasts 15-foot ceilings and loads of natural light. The apartment’s kitchen, however, didn’t suit the couple’s Scandinavian, minimalist style. It lacked counter space, the sink was smaller than standard, and the to-be renovators just weren’t vibing with the finishes. They wanted integrated appliances with all clean lines and everything stowed away in cabinets or drawers. The rest of their home has walnut and matte finishes throughout, so they knew they wanted a similar aesthetic in the cooking space, too. The couple, a creative director and software engineer, who also has a three-year-old son, posted their project to Sweeten and were matched with a general contractor.

white kitchen cabinets and stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors before renovation
white kitchen cabinets and stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors before renovation
SWEETEN Roxana Zegan-Kitchen-Before-03
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maple kitchen cabinets and white countertop and gas cooking range with oven and white overhead cabinets and open to dining after renovation

New cabinetry

Armed with a clear perspective, the couple got to work with their contractor to reimagine their kitchen. Gabriel used the Ikea kitchen planner tool to lay out the space, exploring its customization offerings to suit their needs. The cabinetry is all Ikea but modified to cover the appliances.

The wall cabinet containing the range hood is shorter and wider than the surrounding units but is still covered by the same door size. The refrigerator, which moved from the main kitchen area into what was formerly a coat closet proved to be one of the biggest challenges. They had to find the right size to not only fit into the existing space, but also align with Ikea panels. “The fridge hunt was probably the single largest use of our time. Ask my wife about chasing our son through AJ Madison,” Gabriel said. Their contractor ended up cutting a 36 inch Ikea panel into three pieces to integrate the refrigerator with the walnut cabinets. They also fit in a cabinet right next to it. All of the drawers and wall cabinets are equipped with LED lighting, adding to the custom feel.

custom maple and white kitchen cabinets combo and open to living area and hardwood floors after renovation

Kitchen remodel with IKEA cabinets

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Patience from their general contractor

The sleek aesthetic carried throughout their material choices, from the matte black faucet, lack of cabinet hardware, and a single slab counter and backsplash without any seams. “Our contractor was very patient with all my crazy ideas and helped me make them actually work,” Roxana said. “He helped brainstorm a lot of the Ikea ‘hacking’ and was very patient with us,” she continued.

pull out spice cabinets with marble countertop and next to stainless steel gas cooking range after renovation

custom maple or natural wood under counter cabinets and marble countertop with undermount sink and black faucet and white overhead cabinets and hardwood flooring after renovation

A modern finish

Sweeten Client Services helped from the get-go to find a general contractor who would be on board for such a custom project, setting the stage for a successful renovation.

As for their new kitchen? “It feels modern, calm, and welcoming. It fits our needs and it feels like home,” the couple shared.

Kitchen remodel with IKEA cabinets

Bonus: Gabriel used an app called Sketch Up to mock up the kitchen and ensure everything would fit with the existing plumbing fixtures.

Renovation materials

Sektion kitchen cabinets; Voxtorp walnut effect pieces; Omlopp LED light strip in drawers; Irsta LED countertop light: Ikea. London Gray, #5000 backsplash and countertops: Caesarstone. Houzz Miseno sink, #MGR2217: Houzz. Delta Faucet Trinsic single-handle faucet in matte black: Amazon.com. Reno Appliance Sub Zero refrigerator, #IT-36CI-RH: Reno Appliance. Miele Dishwasher, #G 6885 SCVi K2O AM: Appliance Connection.

This kitchen is a mix of Ikea base cabinets and custom cabinet fronts.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, and scope, helping until project completion. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation on Sweeten.

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