It's no secret that I specify and install alot of IKEA kitchen cabinets. In a recent blog post, I outlined the pros and cons of IKEA kitchens for those who are considering them for their own projects. If you haven't read that post, you can find it here: http://poconomodern.blogspot.com/2012/03/truth-about-ikea-kitchen-cabinets.html
This past weekend I had a chance to see the latest door styles up close as many of my favorite lines have been discontinued. If you are looking for Nexus Black Brown or Liljestad, you will not find them. Below are some shots of the current IKEA lineup:
Here are the most noticeable differences with the latest options:
1- Less Wood - The only true wood doors are the paneled options like Adel and Ramsjo which are made from smaller pieces cobbled together with a thin panel insert. Any door with continuous wood veneers seem to have gone away. In their place are doors that LOOK like wood but feel like plastic. These would include the new GNOSJO (black-brown) and SOFIELUND (warm gray). These two new doors look great but feel very inexpensive. If you want to go with wood, stick with the simple shaker style panels.
2- Glossy is IN - Ikea has expanded their RUBRIK line which features laminates with glossy finishes as if to simulate a lacquered look. They have new colors in blue and gray along with the existing green, black, and white lines. Ikea is definitely using color which seems a bit too trendy to last. If you plan on going with one of these doors, buy extras since they won't likely be here in a couple of years (or months).
3- Anyone for neutrals? - The overall feel of the line seems to be decidedly BLAH. Details have been stripped to a minimum and colorways seem bland (even in the colors). Gone are the bright red doors and the walnut brown tones. All of the wood stains seem watered down and the addition of the new laminates seem to take a step back from the improvements from past years.
In summary, I think the current line is a bit of a disappointment. I think the AKURUM frames are still a solid value but I might consider buying the doors from a company like Semi Handmade (http://www.semihandmadedoors.com/collections/doors) for a more custom look. One can only hope that the 2014 line features a return to craft and not the apparent cost cutting methodology that inspired this year's look.
As always, drop a line with any questions or comments. I would love to hear from you!