The Latest on IKEA Sektion®

With the sun setting on IKEA’s Akurum kitchen system and the Sektion launch just a few weeks away, we thought we’d share what we know for sure (don’t hold us to it, but it’s all on good authority).

From IKEA’s website:

SEKTION will build on the great innovations that the AKURUM system has such as soft close drawers and doors, a wall mounted rail system for easier installation, and a 25 year limited warranty. However, SEKTION is a more modular system which will offer new opportunities to use the interior space inside each cabinet. Plus, it will offer a new system for integrated lighting. The AKURUM and SEKTION systems are NOT compatible systems. This means that you cannot use SEKTION components with an AKURUM kitchen system.

Intriguing, right?  For the record, yes, for companies like ours there is the challenge of having to recalibrate the measurements of each particular IKEA door, drawer and panel part to match Sektion.  The truth is, though, we’re kinda thrilled with the fact that once the current stock of Akurum fronts disappears from IKEA shelves (and eBay and Craigslist), they are absolutely-positively-one-hundred-percent gone for good.  Period.  No exceptions.  Look for that to happen around October.  At that point, anyone with Akurum that wants an upgrade or an extra door or needs to replace an old, faded or failing part… we’ll be here, we promise (there are a lot of Akurum kitchens out there!!).

Everything we’ve seen so far looks great (see the pics of the Metod system below that’s already in play overseas and a good barometer of what’s to come).


Sektion1Sektion3Granted this stuff is sleek and contemporary (and not likely to be a huge seller in Middle America).  We’re still impressed.  For die-hards, almost all the old styles of doors should be back.  For everyone else, well, that’s where we come in.  Proportion-wise, things definitely make a lot more sense.  Think stylishly boxy.  Modular is the name of the game – it’s been that way forever in Europe, so it’s nice to see that finally catching on over here.

Anyway, without any further ado – and in no particular order – here goes:

1) February 2 is still the launch date.  That part hasn’t changed.  The fact that they’re releasing the new planner the same day is the real head-scratcher, though it wouldn’t be the first in the last few months (see our post on IKEA’s fight with IKEAhackers).  Really, what’s the harm in putting the design software up a month early so customers have time to play around with the design and be ready to order the day it debuts?  We get it: it’s new.  You want the mystery (that’s what we’ve hard from a few people).  Really?  Why?  This is a big investment, people spending a fair amount of change usually don’t like surprises, and anyway Metod has been available in Europe for a while now.

IKEA is actually debuting the Sekton line this week in Toronto at the massive Interior Design Show (Canada’s answer to ICFF).  We’re as excited as anybody to see all the whistles and bells; we’ll also be exhibiting, with doors for Akurum, Pax, Godmorgon, Besta and Kallax cabinets.  Stop by booth #320 if you’re at the show, otherwise stay tuned for photos in the next few days!

2) Akurum cabinets and fronts are getting tough to find.  If you’ve been to an IKEA in the US or Canada since December, the photo below looks familiar:

IMG_0081Yep, they’ve gutted most of the Akurum displays and what remains is pretty spartan.  It’s also noisy with all the hidden construction.  Cabinet boxes and hardware are still plentiful, but certain doors – especially the popular ones like Lidingo and Adel and some of the Abstrakts – you may have trouble pulling together for a complete kitchen.

3) Doors names will change.  It sounds like most of the material offerings will be the same with the exception of a few Abstrakt doors that are being swapped for new colors (we hear green and yellow accent doors are coming).

4) Dimensions have changed, too.  Cabinet box dimensions – width and height – are slightly different; we’re told a 30″ base cabinet will now really truly be be 30″ wide and 30″ high.  And standard wall cabinets come 15″, 20″, 30″ and 40″ high and are 15″ deep. That means you can stack two 20″ high boxes next to a single 40″ and they actually line-up (unlike stacking two 15″ tall horizontals next to a 30″ wall cabinet and, well, you know… not so matchy!).  Speaking of horizontals, there is now a 60″ wide door that allows you to cover two 30″ wide side-by-side flips-ups.

5) Interior hardware has been updated.  Hinges and drawers are still made by Blum, but they’re newer and sleeker.  Drawers have multiple options, and accessories like glass sides for the deep ones are there to prevent all those goodies from spilling out.

Horizontal BlumSektion56) Drawers now have the option of interior lighting.  See photo below.  PH123348.jpg7) Exterior drawer heights come are 5″, 10″ and 15″.  So you can have six 5″ drawers, or two 15″ drawers, or three 10″ drawers, or… yeah, you get it.  You can also hide drawers within drawers (as seen above) for a cleaner look.

8) Pantries now come 80″ and 90″ high.   These are small tweaks from the Akurum version, but with an 80″ you can stack two 40″ wall cabinets neatly beside it, and with the 90″ you can stick, for example, three 10″ drawers on the bottom – to stay consistent with your other 30″ high base cabinets/maintain the line – then add that aforementioned 60″ door on top (the old way had the taller door on the bottom, remember?).  And that same 60″ door works for the two side-by-side horizontal cabinets mentioned in #4.

9) Price is said to be only slightly more than Akurum.  We’ll see in a few weeks.  Hardware is where things can really get expensive, but obviously how fancy somebody wants to get with their project is totally on the homeowner.

10) That Limited 25-Year-Warranty on Akurum remains.  Never an easy proposition on a product that has been completely discontinued, but IKEA seems confident they can honor it.  Key is the word Limited.  For now, here’s the information from their website.

That’s all for now.  We’re definitely excited.  Check out our website for updates!


Our Brand New Video!

We couldn’t be happier with this new video just completed by the folks at Chibi Moku!

Shot over two days this past May, Joshua and Natsuko did an amazing job encapsulating exactly what we do – from design and material selection, to shots around the shop (sawdust included!) and our beautiful Burbank CA showroom, to finishing and finally packing all the parts for shipment.

Really the entire process that goes into getting you the hands-down best IKEA doors on the planet!


Semihandmade Showroom Update

It’s been a crazy summer so far with New York’s ICFF show at the end of May and Dwell on Design here in LA in June, but we finally managed to grab a few shots of our Semihandmade IKEA Door Showroom that opened this past Spring.

Located just minutes from the IKEA Burbank store in sunny Southern California, our hours are 10-8 every day, there’s plenty of street parking, and walk-ins are always welcome.  To get a feel for the place, and especially for our friends out-of-town, here’s a really cool virtual tour.

Semihandmade Burbank IKEA Door ShowroomTo say we’re thrilled to be open is an understatement.  The last four years have been a blast and a blur – challenge, fix, screw-up, breakthrough, milestone  It’s been exhilarating and exhausting and a few of us around here honestly don’t remember what it’s like to have full heads of hair (forget no gray!), but we wouldn’t trade it for anything.  We’re proudly on pace to complete 700 IKEA projects this year alone, and with our expansion in the last twelve months from just kitchens to include doors for IKEA bathrooms, closets and media systems, opening a location to put our one-of-a-kind products directly in front of you made perfect sense.  Really, when you think about it, there is no better way to experience and enjoy a truly “Semihandmade” home!

Semihandmade Blue OvenSetting-up the living areas was easy; we’ve done enough design and trade shows by now to understand good lay-out and flow.  As you can see from the photos, the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living room are all well represented.  We even made room for a coffee bar, kids’ area and workstations.

Semihandmade Flatsawn Teak Pax Closets Semihandmade Redo IKEA CabinetSemihandmade Burbank IKEA Door ShowroomEspecially fun was the fleshing out of the space.  We’ve made a lot of friends and been inspired at past shows, so from day-one the goal was to make this as collaborative an endeavor as possible.  Really, there’s no point in filling the showroom with only Semihandmade and IKEA stuff (you guys see it every day on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds).  Even we get sick of ourselves sometimes!

We’re happy to report that many of those same friends came up big, so over the next few weeks we’ll be highlighting each of them.  The list continues to grow, but for now it includes:

Modwalls (tile), Loll Designs (bar-stools), 33 Stewart Avenue (art), Savon Appliance (you guessed it, appliances!), Whyrhymer (lighting),Pretty Pegs (furniture legs) and Geos (counters).

Loll Barstools in Semihandmade ShowroomFirst up are these amazing bar stools from the gang over at Loll Designs.  We’ve long been fans of these guys – besides making incredibly stylish indoor/outdoor furniture out of one-hundred-percent recycled milk bottles, they’re hands-down the most fun booth at every design show we’ve ever done!

As it says on the website: “Barflies should be able to sit outside too and it might even help their complexion. This round topped modern bar stool is sturdy and will hold up to hours of posting up. Available in both bar height and counter height.”

Loll ChairFor more information on everything Loll, check out the website.  PS: they also happen to be the folks behind cutting board/utensil giants Epicurean!

Epicurean Cutting Board PhotoNext up… we’ll spotlight long-time supporters and pals Modwalls – Northern California-based and pretty much the last word on modern tile!

Modwalls Brio Stove

Dwell on Design 2014

Here’s a nice video re-cap of our Semihandmade IKEA Doors from this past June’s Dwell on Design show in Los Angeles.  This was our sixth year at the nation’s largest design event, and we couldn’t be happier with the results.

Semihandmade Plyboo Linear DoorsAbove is shot of our Plyboo Linear Line for IKEA cabinets that debuted at DOD.  Already featured in the LA Times, these one-of-a-kind doors were a huge hit and we are excited to launch them formally this Fall.  For more information on Smith and Fong’s amazing bamboo products, and for more Plyboo options to choose from for your IKEA project – kitchen, bathroom, closet or media cabinet – please click here.

For steady updates and photos, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Stay tuned for more details!



The Latest From Apartment Therapy

Apartment Therapy

If you’re looking for the least expensive ways to remodel your living space, check out Apartment Therapy’s list of 10 sources for customizing IKEA furniture. You can find Semihandmade’s customized IKEA cabinet doors, as well as custom skins for dressers, custom sofa covers, etc.