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.

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.

Semihandmade Solutions: Creative Updates for Discontinued Akurum Cabinets

As we’ve recently covered on the blog, the Akurum cabinet system was discontinued by Ikea in February of 2015. Not only have the cabinets been discontinued, but Ikea has already exhausted their backstock of doors, drawer fronts, and paneling for old Akurum kitchen cabinets, leaving Akurum owners all alone in their search for replacement doors and drawers. No one wants to be alone, especially at Christmas. (Dear future blog readers, this post was made in December 2015. While we’re talking, what’s the future like?)

Semihandmade doesn’t make doors that are identical to Ikea’s old doors—we do have some that are pretty similar—but we still want to help. We know that accidents happen, and Akurum kitchen owners may need new doors for any number of reasons.

If you bought an Akurum kitchen three years ago, it’s no fun finding out that you can’t replace a single scratched panel because Ikea doesn’t make it anymore. The Ikea 25-year warranty is great, but like all warranties (including ours), it doesn’t cover everyday wear and tear such as sunlight discoloration or water damage. These issues can be small in scale too, so while Semihandmade is the first place you would go if you wanted to completely remodel your kitchen, you may not want to replace ALL of your old doors with Semihandmade doors.

With that in mind, we’ve put our heads together to figure out what Semihandmade can do to help out Akurum owners in need. We’re going to share our ideas on our blog with Semihandmade Solutions, a series of creative plans to fix or upgrade your Akurum kitchen by pairing Semihandmade and Ikea doors.

Let’s get to our first Solution.


Problem:  I purchased my Akurum kitchen in 2009 with Abstrakt High Gloss Gray door fronts. Now, after a few years of regular use, the fronts around my sink and my major appliances are starting to bubble and peel due to water and heat (the damaged fronts are marked with red X’s). I don’t want to replace the entire kitchen, but I don’t want to keep the damaged fronts. What can I do?

Semihandmade Solution Before

Semihandmade Solution Before

Solution:  Mix things up! With damaged panels around the sink, oven, and dishwasher, you’d be best suited replacing the entire run along the wall. Around the refrigerator, you can just replace the damaged panels to maintain symmetry between the new and existing panels.

Our Impressions line is a great compliment to many of Ikea’s door styles, including Abstrakt. Priced to match Ikea’s highest-end materials, Impression Smoke’s subtle tone and texture bring life to a somewhat sterile kitchen. Still modern in appearance, Smoke adds warmth and elegance to the high gloss kitchen. By replacing the damaged fronts around the sink and major appliances, Smoke becomes a beautiful accent to the Akurum cabinets. On top of that, the neutral tone goes great with any counter top, back-splash, flooring or wall paint. The total cost of this project (pictured below): $2,136 USD.

Abstrakt+Smoke Semihandmade Solution Kitchen

Abstrakt+Smoke Semihandmade Solution Kitchen

Abstrakt+Smoke Semihandmade Solution Kitchen

Take a look at those example images that we created 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.

Check out our other Semihandmade Solutions:

#2 A Simple Scratch

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.

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.

Another IKD and Semihandmade IKEA Kitchen!

It’s no secret that we LOVE the work done over at Inspired Kitchen Design. Not only does IKD take the hassle out of IKEA’s online design process, but their team of talented designers is great at finding rich details that help realize their clients’ visions.

Case in point, this beautiful new kitchen in upstate New York.

IKD helped the home owners set their kitchen apart from others with two different types of Semihandmade doors. For the cabinets, they used our DIY Slab doors and panels. Our DIY doors unfinished, which gave the home owners complete freedom to find the perfect paint for their design.

IKD got especially creative with the kitchen island. They created a contrasting look using our Reclaimed Barn Lumber doors and paneling that adds an eye-catching, rustic touch to the room. Our real-wood, reclaimed-lumber fronts adds another dynamic texture to an already beautiful design.

We’re so excited with how this project turned out, and we’re happy to add it to the list of beautiful collaborations from IKD and Semihandmade. Check out our Kitchen Design page to find out how you can get a complete online design package from IKD for just $195 and take the next step towards creating your perfect kitchen.

So, IKEA Discontinued Your Akurum Kitchen…What Now?

You don’t know how much you’ll miss IKEA replacement doors until they’re gone, and Akurum kitchen cabinet owners know that fact better than most right now. After two decades of reliable service, the Akurum kitchen was discontinued in February to coincide with the launch of Sektion, and as of October 2015, there are no longer any official IKEA Akurum door fronts. At all. In the world.

If you’re feeling down as an Akurum owner, you’re not alone. A typical IKEA store sells 10 kitchens a day. With 51 IKEA locations in the United States and Canada, that adds up to more than 180,000 kitchens a year. Semihandmade estimates that there are more than one million Akurum kitchens in homes all across North America, and all of them are out of luck if they need to replace water damaged doors or if they just want to update their style.

Cue the Superman theme because Semihandmade is here to save the day.

We have been making beautiful, long-lasting doors specifically for the last-generation Akurum system for years, and we still make doors that fit those cabinet frames. While you can’t get the official IKEA styles, you can choose from our selection of more than 50 different materials. Outfit your cabinets with real-wood veneers from our ECO and CLASSIC lines or get creative and explore color with our paintable DIY Slab and Shaker doors.  We’re especially proud of our new IMPRESSION and SUPERMATTE lines (some doors even match IKEA prices).

IKEA may not have the supplies to get your Akurum kitchen in shape any more, but Semihandmade will always be here to make your cabinets look their absolute best.