#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!

Semihandmade Godmorgon and Kallax Fronts!

At Semihandmade, we’re always looking for amazing new and exciting material choices for our one-of-a-kind IKEA® doors.  It’s part of what makes coming to work every day so fun and rewarding: trying out new things, experimenting, getting our hands dirty while figuring – and sometimes more than we like to admit – screwing things up.

Vancouver1

Semihandmade Wine Barrel/Photo Print IKEA Doors

Vanc3Collaborations with innovative companies seen above like Stikwood, Plyboo and 33 Stewart Avenue attest to that.

And as we’ve grown, we’ve expanded from offering just kitchen doors to moving into other parts of the house.  That includes bathroom, closets and media cabinets.

Two cabinets we’re particularly excited to be making doors for are IKEA’s Godmorgon and Kallax cabinets.

Godmorgon, made for single- and double-sink configurations, can either float or have decorative legs in front (like our hairpin legs sold here).  We’ve even had a few particularly creative past clients use it as a dresser!

erin-williamson-design-2

OrangeGMBest of all, we’ve got a 10% OFF SALE on all Godmorgon fronts ’til May 17!

Kallax has been a staple at IKEA for years, is huge with DJs and record collectors due to its 13″ openings, and was formerly called “Expedit.”

050More photos are forthcoming.  For more information, as always, check out the website!

Semihandmade Spring Sales!

It’s Spring (well, it will be back East sometime soon, we hope!).

To celebrate the change of seasons, through the 31st of March we are offering 10% off everything from our brand-new COLOR line of doors for IKEA Cabinets – kitchens, bathrooms, closets and media cabinets.  The same 10% off is good for everything from our Shaker line!

You’ll find lots more information and photos on the website, but our COLOR door choices include Orange and Guyana (below), as well as White, Cream, Red, Black, Grey, Lime, Copper, Espresso, Ash, Smoke, Rialto and Quarry.

OrangeSQ

GuyanaFinal

Our always-popular Shaker door choices include DIY (unfinished – to paint), DIY Alder (unfinished – to stain), Cherry, Walnut, Maple, Oak and Douglas Fir.

KenneySQ

DF Shaker SQ2

Best of all, in case you hadn’t heard, IKEA is offering up to 20% off its new Sektion kitchens through the end of April.  For more details, click here.

To learn more about Semihandmade, feel free to call 877.877.9102, go to the website, or email us at info@semihandmadedoors.com.  You’ll also find lots more photos on our Instagram, Facebook and Houzz pages!

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).

PH123460.jpg

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!

 

Prepping for IDS West!

Our pallets are finally packed and we are off to Vancouver next week for IDS West.  As usual, it’s been a gruelingly taxing one-hundred-degree-LA-in-September mad dash to the finish line, but we’re done except for a few tiny details… we think.

Two of the pieces we are most excited about bringing north are below:

Semihandmade Reveal DoorsABOVE: We are expanding IKEA Godmorgon bathroom fronts this Fall, and tops amongst the new materials is our Reveal line from bamboo giants Plyboo.  We’ll also be offering their Linear fronts (stayed tuned for pics!).

BELOW: Due to overwhelming demand, we’ve happily doubled our Reclaimed lumber offerings to include Sunset (bottom right) and Winter (bottom left).  Finishing off this little doozy of a Redo cabinet on either side and on top are 100% recycled plastic panels from Intectural.

Semihandmade Reclaimed Redo Cabinet

Stay tuned for shots and updates from the show.  You can also follow us on Instagram!

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!

 

 

Why IKEAhackers Is Not The Enemy

Big companies make questionable moves all the time.

IKEA’s decision a few weeks ago to thank IKEAhackers for eight years of unpaid cheerleading with a Cease-and-Desist letter probably won’t go down as the biggest PR blunder in recent memory – Coke had New Coke, the Gap’s revamped logo lasted about a weekend, Burger King traumatized us with their creepy King.  Still, the nidingsdåd from Billy-buds worldwide when the story broke begs the question: How, in this age of social media and Millennials and IKEA’s own artsy videos, does this decision get made in the first place?

In a way, the dispute is similar to the resistance YouTube and others faced from media titans like Viacom a few years back.  What those giants somehow failed to acknowledge at the time was the fact that the same “stolen” content they were so desperately trying to protect – clips of CSI and Michael Bublé videos and you name it – was actually growing the fan-base and selling their products at virtually no cost to them.

The smart move would have been to hire blog’s owner.  IKEA didn’t, and all hell broke loose on sites like Gizmodo, the Washington Post and others. 

Fortunately, despite the fact that – it’s true – some hacks are just plain abominations, the company has reconsidered its position (concern with encouraging product improvisation is on par with somebody tricking out their Civic with 28-inch spinners and then suing Honda for looking ridiculous).  Money questions remain, though; IKEAhackers charges for advertising to keep the site running, a cut IKEA currently has no part of.

For the record, Semihandmade advertises on the website.  Like our friends at Panyl, Knesting and Pretty Pegs, we exist in that brave new frontier somebody coined IKEA’s ecosystem; we’re after-market, not affiliated with IKEA in any way, and basically wouldn’t exist without them.  Really, we are no different than the countless companies out there making iPad stands and frames and cozies and cases that sites like Kickstarter were invented for.  And what IKEAhackers has done – until now – is help promote us and the much larger DIY movement, not unlike Ikeafans.com, another site that’s been around for years and whose sole purpose is to champion the IKEA brand.

Speaking for Semihandmade, we are appreciative of the quality products that are our platform, thrilled the fan-base’s continued and growing support, and we would be complete and total idiots if we didn’t live in healthy, constant, respectful fear of pissing the folks in Sweden off.

Naturally, with all the noise this past week, some have asked about the fate of companies like ours.  We don’t foresee problems.  The key with us is the fact that IKEA gives people the option of not buying their doors.  It’s not advertised in print or on-line or on any signs around the stores, but it is absolutely true: with IKEA kitchens, closets and some media cabinets all the components are a-la-carte.  You pick and choose what you like.  So if you want to make a door or side panel or drawer front yourself, or buy one from someone like us, or even go totally without, the company’s attitude seems to be: have at it, selling half is better than none – a genius move that’s totally unheard of in the furniture/casegoods world.

Really, the only awkward brush we’ve ever had with the company took place at ICFF last year and was totally my fault.  It was our debut at the show, and IKEA was also there to launch their spiffy new furniture collection.  Exhibiting in New York for the first time was already a huge deal for us with the cost and logistics and travel arrangements, forget about the fact that IKEA’s installation was thirty feet away.  In truth, the show could not have gone better, the response to our doors both humbling and gratifying (you guys are amazing, and we are endlessly appreciative of the love and support).  The highlight, though, was the steady chorus of ooohs and aahhhs from IKEA executives and sales staff bussed in from the Philly hub and local stores.  Thrilled, I spent the entire weekend raving about the design and style of their new Copenhagen line until a Swedish gentleman took me aside and politely suggested I remove my huvud from my rumpa since it was actually called the Stockholm collection.

See, Mom, this is why I make doors.

He was actually lovely about it, correcting me gracefully, and I can proudly say I have since committed that section of the globe to memory.

Anyway, we’ll see how this plays out as it sounds like a positive resolution for both sides is imminent.  Keep hacking away, and let us know if we or our friends can help.

We’re not going anywhere.

John McDonald