Semihandmade Solutions #3: The Warped Door

We are back with the third edition of Semihandmade Solutions. After looking at a one-time accident in the most recent entry, we’re going to look an issue generated over time.


Problem:  I have an Akurum kitchen from 2008 with Ramsjo Red-Brown doors, the kind with solid-wood framing and a particleboard center. Unfortunately, the tall cabinet door next to my refrigerator has warped over time (marked in red on the image below). I really love the unique look of these doors, But Ikea discontinued them. I don’t want to replace my entire kitchen, so what should I do?

Semihandmade Solution Akurum Cabinet Before

Solution:  The challenge here is finding a way to compliment the Ramsjo door-style without overshadowing its distinct design and rich red-brown tone. The good news is, you don’t have to replace the entire kitchen!

Since the warped door is alongside the refrigerator, we can turn the four doors around the refrigerator into a run. We went with our brand new Impression Sonoma doors because they look great and complement the Ramsjo doors without drawing attention from the rest of the cabinets. Impression Sonoma is one of our newest materials, and we love how it mimics the texture of a walnut veneer with a durable textured melamine that harmonizes with the kitchen’s traditional look. All in all, this turns one warped door into a new run that accentuates the existing doors.The total cost for the project pictured below: $619 USD.

Semihandmade Solutions Akurum Cabinets After

Take a look at these example images and other Semihandmade Solutions (part one, part two) to get a look at our products alongside Ikea doors, and send an email to info@semihandmadedoors.com with the subject line “I need a Semihandmade Solution” to get a quote started for your kitchen.

REMINDER: Semihandmade is not a design firm. We are happy to provide suggestions, but we can’t help you generate a design for your project. You’ll need to decide that on your own. There are also limits to what Semihandmade can provide. We want to help, but there may be some requests that are too complicated for us to handle.

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Semihandmade Solution #2: A Simple Scratch

Welcome to the second edition of Semihandmade Solutions. In our first entry, we did a fairly extensive upgrade to some damaged Akurum kitchen cabinets. Today, we’re going to look at a project smaller in scope.


Problem: I just noticed a big scratch across one of my drawers (marked in red on the image below). I thought I could just go to Ikea and get a replacement, but Ikea has replaced their Akurum system with the new Sektion cabinets. I can’t afford a complete remodel right now. Can Semihandmade just replace that drawer for me?

Semihandmade Solution #2 Before

Solution: You’re going to need to be bold. In a perfect world, Semihandmade would make an identical drawer front and everything would look the same as before. The problem is that Semihandmade does not make doors that are identical to Ikea’s doors, past or present. Some of our materials are similar to certain Ikea materials, but none are identical. So, if we replace a single drawer with a Semihandmade material, it will stick out like a sore thumb.

BUT, what if you turn one damaged drawer into a vertical run? In the example below, we used our Impression Beach drawer fronts to create a bold accent to the existing cabinets. The Beach material adds a two-tone look, both between the light and dark shades and between the textured and sleek finishes. It may not appeal to everyone’s personal tastes, but by making a vertical run, the new doors look intentional and distinct. Check out similar techniques using wall runs or shelf run.

In the end, this Semihandmade Solution both replaces the damaged door and adds a trendy touch to the kitchen. The total cost for the project pictured below: $360 USD.

Semihandmade Solution #2 After

Take a look at these example images and other Semihandmade Solutions (part one here) to get a look at our products alongside Ikea doors, and send an email to info@semihandmadedoors.com with the subject line “I need a Semihandmade Solution” to get a quote started for your kitchen.

REMINDER: Semihandmade is not a design firm. We are happy to provide suggestions, but we can’t help you generate a design for your project. You’ll need to decide that on your own. There are also limits to what Semihandmade can provide. We want to help, but there may be some requests that are too complicated for us to handle.

#TBT: Semihandmade and Nate Berkus at Dwell on Design

With Thanksgiving just a week away, we here at Semihandmade were thinking about what we’ve been thankful for this year. We had a great time at IDSwest and we’re proud of our brand new Supermatte doors, but the highlight of our year has to have been working with Nate Berkus for Dwell on Design LA in June.

Sponsored by Dwell Magazine, DODLA is America’s largest design event; since it’s right in our backyard, we always have a booth to show off our latest doors. Not only are events like this a great place to connect with potential customers, they also offer a lot of opportunities to make professional connections—case in point, our involvement in Dwell Magazine’s 2013 flagship home. It was the success on that project that landed us on Berkus’s radar.

Basically, Nate needed help putting together a pair of kitchens for LG Studio’s Re-Imagination Pavilion, a 2,000-square-foot booth showcasing the newest LG appliances. He had designed a pair of beautiful kitchens using Ikea’s Sektion cabinets and asked Semihandmade to handle the doors.

LG Imagination Pavillion

The LG Studio Re-Imagination Pavilion, featured on LifeMinute.tv

People say you shouldn’t meet your heroes, so we were nervous. We’ve been longtime fans of Nate going back to his time on The Oprah Winfrey Show. But, there was no need to worry because Nate was so great to work with and as charming in person as he is on TV.

Semihandmade Rift White Oak Shaker Doors

An inviting family kitchen featuring Semihandmade Rift White Oak Shaker doors

For the first design, Nate set out to make a spacious family kitchen with a wide marble island and plenty of counter space. Semihandmade provided our Rift White Oak Shaker doors to give the room a classic look and a lot of warmth.

Semihandmade DIY Shaker Doors

A modern, two-tone kitchen made with Semihandmade DIY Shaker doors

In the other kitchen, Nate aimed for a more intimate space centered around hosting guests and socializing. He used Semihandmade’s DIY Shaker doors to create a sleek, modern look. He painted the cabinets a cream color that matches the tile backsplashes and painted the island black to make it stand out even more as a conversation piece.

After such an amazing experience in 2015, we’re already gearing up for our biggest display ever in 2016. We’ll be back at Dwell on Design LA this summer and we’re going to fill our booth with new and exciting designs. We hope to see you there!

IDSwest 2015 Recap: Semihandmade Unveils Our Latest Doors

This may be a little late for a recap, but it’s taken two months for us to come down after such an amazing trip to Interior Design Show West 2015. It took a little time to recover after a whirlwind weekend spent showing off brand new Semihandmade offerings and getting to know some of the most talented designers in in the world.

Vancouver Convention Centre

It was our second time at the show, and we realized we were in for something special as we walked up to the Vancouver Convention Centre West. The weather was unbelievable and the views were even better. The LEED Platinum-certified convention center was built in 2009 right on the Vancouver Harbor, treating visitors to breathtaking Pacific Northwest panorama. Mountains rise up in the distance while a steady stream of seaplanes take off and land on the harbor waters.

Semihandmade IDSwest Booth

Once inside, Semihandmade set up shop alongside more than 270 exhibitors from across the continent. More than 36,000 visitors walked through the Centre that weekend, giving us a great opportunity to showcase the newest Semihandmade doors for Ikea cabinets.

Semihandmade Mirth Tile Ikea Godmorgon Cabinet

First up, our new Mirth Studio tile drawers and doors for Godmorgon. Using floor tiles made by our friends at Mirth Studio, Semihandmade debuted one of our four new patterns for Godmorgon cabinets. These drawers and doors look great on bathroom cabinets and in other parts of the house by adding a splash of color and brightness. Mirth’s cutting-edge painting and sealing techniques create beautiful wood textures that can stand up to years of use.

Semihandmade Stikwood Ikea Sektion Cabinet

Our other big announcement from the show was the addition of two new materials to our Reclaimed line. Semihandmade is collaborating with Stikwood to create doors and paneling made with recycled basketball courts, and we’ve paired up with Art of Board to create doors using reclaimed skateboard decks. Great for smaller projects and media centers, these two new materials create immediate conversation pieces that add personality to a room.

We had such a great time that we’re extending our 10% discount on all Canadian orders into 2016. Our customers can enjoy 10% off any Semihandmade custom kitchen order from now until the end of the year.

We’re already booking tickets back to Vancouver for next year, but in the meantime, we’re getting geared up for another trip to the Great White North to man a booth at IDS Toronto in January.

It’s Time to Update Your Ikea Kitchen: 10% Off ALL Supermatte and DIY Projects

Semihandmade Supermatte Black Ikea Cabinets

Do you have Ikea cabinets, but wish you could change up the look? Are you tired of your current kitchen and looking for a little extra inspiration to install new cabinets?

Well, the time is now to upgrade your kitchen! From now until the end of the year, Semihandmade is offering a 10% discount on some of our most popular doors—Supermatte and DIY.

Semihandmade Grey Supermatte Cabinets

First, our new Supermatte doors are about to launch on November 16. Even though these doors are already priced to match Ikea’s Ringhult doors, we decided to offer 10% off our Supermatte orders because we think they’re great and want to get them into as many homes as possible. You will love the sleek, even texture of our Supermatte Slab and Shaker doors wrapped in a durable, long-lasting thermofoil. You can choose from four colors (White, Light Grey, Grey, and Black) that can also come with matching panels and trim.

Next up, our DIY doors are one of our most popular selections. The bare Slab and Shaker doors are unpainted and unfinished so homeowners have complete control of their kitchen project. You can paint or stain the DIY doors whatever color you want. From now until 2016, you can find the perfect match for yourself with 10% off all DIY Slab, DIY Shaker, and DIY Alder orders.

Take a look at our Materials page and Project Gallery to see some other great Semihandmade work, and send an email to info@semihandmadedoors.com to get a quote started today!

Meet the Supermattes—Semihandmade’s Newest Doors for Ikea Cabinets

Semihandmade Supermatte Kitchen

We’ve finished our first batch of Semihandmade Supermatte doors and the verdict is in: they are a smash hit. There’s always more energy around the workshop any time we launch a new line of doors, especially when that new line comes in both Slab and Shaker styles and is priced to match Ikea’s prices!

That’s right, our Supermatte doors are priced to match Ikea’s Ringhult doors. Our Supermatte Slab doors are the same as the Ringhult, and the Supermatte Shaker doors only cost 10% more than Ringhult.

Supermatte doors feature a smooth, even texture that fits any type of room. It took us a long time to find a thermofoil that measured up to our standards, and we have exhaustively tested and retested these doors to guarantee they’ll look great for years to come. We also offer matching trim, panels, and appliance covers*—everything you need to complete your IKEA project from floor to ceiling .

* Our paneling does cost more than Ikea’s paneling. That’s because our paneling is thicker than Ikea’s at ¾”, our base and tall panels run all the way to the floor, and our panels sit slightly past drawers and doors for a more built-in look.

Semihandmade Supermatte Cabinets

Now that you know about our Supermatte doors in general, get to know them individually:

  Supermatte White

Looks Great in: A Posh Downtown Penthouse
Astrological Sign: Taurus
Favorite Food: Cupcakes
Dream Vacation: Tahiti

SM Light Grey Slab

  Supermatte Light Grey 

Looks Great in: A Rustic Farmhouse
Astrological Sign: Gemini
Favorite Food: Kale
Dream Vacation: Ireland

SM Grey Slab

  Supermatte Grey 

Looks Great in: A Beach House Getaway
Astrological Sign: Virgo
Favorite Food: Burritos
Dream Vacation: Brazil

SM Black Slab

Supermatte Black

Looks Great in: A Industrial Loft
Astrological Sign: Scorpio
Favorite Food: Filet Mignon
Dream Vacation: Australia

We are also going to roll out a fifth Supermatte color (Clay) soon. If you want to get a quote or learn even more about our new Supermatte Slab and Shaker doors, send an email to info@semihandmadedoors.com or fill out our contact form. And get ready to see a whole lot more Supermatte in action when we launch the doors on November 16!

Saving Money on Your Ikea Kitchen: The Simplicity of a Semihandmade Bid and the Additional Costs of Others

Question: I’m installing Ikea cabinets in my kitchen, but I want custom doors. I got another bid from another company, and their bid was cheaper. Why is Semihandmade’s bid so much more expensive than theirs?

Answer: Their bid may be cheaper, but that doesn’t mean their final price is too.

We recently heard this question twice in the same week from potential (and eventual) clients in regards to the bids they received from Semihandmade for DIY Shaker doors on their Ikea cabinets. These clients had requested estimates from multiple companies, and, at first glance, they saw clear price differences between the other bids and ours.  We asked to view our competitors’ bids, and we were not surprised to see why their bids were cheaper.

Ikea Cabinets with Semihandmade DIY Shaker Doors

Costs can add up when designing and installing an Ikea cabinet system, so we know that you are looking for both the best service and the best price. When Semihandmade puts together a bid we try to include absolutely everything you need to complete your project. This includes not only the doors and drawer faces but also the panels, filler strips, plinth, and trim. We then itemize every bid by cabinet so it is easy for our potential clients to double check the order. We then list the panels, trim, plinth, and filler strips separately with location descriptions from the get-go so that they too can be easily double checked. In addition to our attention to detail, we do not charge extra for drilling, we include free pieces of trim for unique cabinets (i.e. corner cabinets or those that hold appliances), and we include all of our shipping and handling costs up front.

Some of our competitors make literally hundreds of different styles of doors and sell these doors to various developers, builders, and other commercial interests. They are accustomed to potential clients that already have an understanding of the ordering process as well as an awareness of additional charges that may stem from potential holes or hiccups. The prices quoted by these companies are usually given in a dollar-per-square-foot ratio, with varying prices for doors, shaker-style drawer faces, and solid drawer faces. There are additional charges for drilling, setting up drilling, and packaging, and these initial bids do not include any panels, trim, plinth or filler strips.

When you calculate all of the additional charges for drilling, packaging, and extra panels and trims, their projects can end up costing a lot more than that first bid.

Ikea Cabinets Plus Semihandmade DIY Shaker Doors

Let’s take a look at an example.

When Client A received her bid from Semihandmade, the estimated costs for her entire Ikea kitchen totaled $5317.00. The estimated cost she received from one of our competitors totaled $3339.37. A pretty big difference! On top of that, they offered an additional 20% discount, bringing their initial total down to only $2671.50.  But which order is actually less expensive in the long run?

First, let’s look at the doors and drawer faces and any specialty trim that is necessary to complete this part of the installation. For Semihandmade, that accounts for $3485 of our initial bid. For the other company, that accounts for the entirety of their initial bid.

Next, let’s look at the panels, trim, plinth, and filler strips. Semihandmade takes these pieces into account, which adds up to $1757 of our initial bid. The other guys don’t, so these are all additional costs on top of their bid.

When you combine these totals, you get:

Semihandmade cost: $3560.00 + $1757.00 = $5317.00

Their cost: $3929.25 + $2276.41 = $6205.66

What about the discount? It just so happens that Client A’s project came during a time when Semihandmade was offering 10% off all Shaker jobs (we do this fairly often, actually). Let’s see what happens when we apply 10% and 20% discounts to the respective final bids.

After both discounts, the final total for Semihandmade’s project is still $325.25 less than the other company’s and actually $524.20 less than our initial estimate!

So, when you get a bid on an Ikea kitchen from Semihandmade and a bid from someone else, make sure you take a deeper look at the charges to find out exactly how much you’ll be paying in the long run.