Small and functional IKEA kitchen

You may know by now that we are huge Ikea fans. Since that seems to be an unusual thing for architects to say, we would like to elaborate it:

1. We really believe in ‘democratic design’. Of course, we love wonderfully designed furniture by both renowned and young designers, and we think that prices of those products are more than fair. That being said, we are aware that most people can’t afford them but still deserve to live in a stylish home.

2. We don’t think that everyone should be buying and renovating old furniture in order to have ‘unique stuff’ when they can’t afford new ‘unique stuff’ because people have different interests and it’s ok not to spend all your time searching for furniture unless you really want to.

3. Just because someone else has the same thing you do, doesn’t decrease the value of that thing for you.

4. Interior design is not about the furniture. At least it’s not just about the furniture. One of the main qualities of a designed interior is the way it can take the mass production furniture to the next level.

5. Ikea is detail-oriented. And there is nothing we love more than a carefully designed detail. We learned so much about built-in furniture design simply by studying their solutions.

6. Ikea is not pushy. It allows you to adapt the products to your needs. Kitchens are great for this – you have few basic modules available for combinations. This is nothing knew to an architect, we work with modules all the time: a brick is a module, a tile is a module, a room is a module – there are standard dimensions recommended for every room and we combine different dimensions and proportions of the rooms to get, hopefully, an amazing apartment.

7. There is even room for upgrades. Ikea hacks are yesterday’s news, but have you heard about Superfront?

When your budget is tight, time is of the essence or you’re worried about dealing with a carpenter, choosing an Ikea kitchen over custom made one is a no-brainer. But if you can afford yourself to give a chance to the carpenter, we suggest you to use this worksheet to keep everything under control. Talented carpenters are architect’s BFFs.

We often use the phrase ‘how to design your own…‘ but show you projects designed by professionals. That’s not really fair. Today we will present to you a kitchen designed by a young pharmacist who asked for architect’s help but still mainly did everything by herself.

Small and functional IKEA kitchen: KITCHEN FLOOR PLAN
The size of the kitchen is about 5 square meters, and it’s organized as a separate room. Reconstruction included removing floor layers to increase the height of the room. That made an impact on the small budget – plumbing system could not be renovated. Renovation of the plumbing system would result in tearing down the wall between already finished bathroom and the kitchen. There was no money and no time.

A small refrigerator is built in floor cabinet next to the sink – choosing a small built-in refrigerator freed up as much of the kitchen countertop as possible and placing it next to the sink was a good start of a proper kitchen organization.

Small and functional Ikea kitchen | upgradesign
Kitchen shelf with visible dishes + squared white tiles with black fillers  // photo: © Maja Franić
Small and functional Ikea kitchen | upgradesign
Cooktop  // photo: © Maja Franić

With its clean lines, visible dishes and appliances, and mostly white color palette, the kitchen is clearly made for a pharmacist. Black fillers of backsplash tiles joints have both aesthetic and practical function – everyone who ever cleaned tiles knows this. Same is true for the wall painted with black, washable paint: dining table next to it is often used as additional workspace during cooking which means that wall occasionally has a backsplash function. Plus, it’s fun!

Small and functional Ikea kitchen | upgradesign
Small dining table + ‘blackboard’ wall  // photo: © Maja Franić

Some of the Ikea elements used:

We love analyzing DYO (design your own) kitchens, it is a pleasure to know that people want to think about the function as well as aesthetics and that they do their research on Pinterest to find out what will work for them.

If you have a kitchen, renovated or not, treat yourself with these amazing brownies recipe. After all, kitchens are for cooking, not just for looking!Small and functional IKEA kitchen: BROWNIEST BROWNIES recipeprep/bake

Browniest Brownies

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Cut a piece of parchment paper to line the bottom of a 20 cm square baking dish.

Cut the butter and chocolate into cubes and combine in a large bowl placed over a pan of simmering water, stirring until melted.

In a separate bowl combine the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and sugar. Beat the dry ingredients into the butter and chocolate mixture until well combined. Beat the eggs with a whisk and add to the batter. Mix until smooth and silky.

Pour butter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the top has shiny, papery crust and the sides are just beginning to part from the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center shouldn’t come out entirely clean – you know you want your brownies gooey.

In case you have some self-control, allow to cool completely and carefully transfer to a large chopping board. Cut into chunky squares and serve with vanilla ice cream and forest fruits.
Send us a photo to see how it looked, ours is always eaten way before cooling.

Follow our Pinterest board KITCHEN for more inspiration!
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