You Need to Try Michelle Nussbaumer's Ikea Hack on Your Cabinets

Hadley Keller
Photo credit: Douglas Friedman

From House Beautiful

Ah, Ikea: Land of Swedish meatballs, delightfully difficult assembly instructions, and hilariously-named, stylish-yet-affordable furniture options. As if you needed another reason to love that famous Scandinavian design source, how about proof of the insane versatility of its kitchen cabinets.

Photo credit: Douglas Friedman

If you've seen the deliciously maximalist suite of kitchens (yes, plural) that Michelle Nussbaumer designed for House Beautiful's Kitchen of the Year, you know that they contain some of the tip-top in luxury appliances and surfaces. (If you haven't seen the Kitchen of the Year, stop what you're doing immediately and look at it here). But Nussbaumer—like many designers—doesn't scoff at Ikea, no matter how high end some of her projects get. In fact, in one of her Dallas kitchens, she's used all Ikea cabinetry—though you'd never know it.

Photo credit: Douglas Friedman

That's because Nussbaumer customized the cabinets by wrapping them in vinyl she had custom-printed with one of her own colorful ikat prints, which she also swathed on the arched entryway, island, and chairs in the space. The result is a deliciously maximalist cooking space—and solid proof that Ikea is, hands down, the best canvas for creating truly personal design. Of the space, Nussbaumer says, it makes her and her husband "feel like we're young and in a faraway place again." Talk about transformative design.

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