Earlier this year, we launched our own line of cabinet doors with Semihandmade that consists of three wood tones: A walnut tone called Saddle, A grayish brown tone called Dusk (we used that one at the cabin!) and a light oak looking option called Cove–that’s the one we’re using in the Fullmer kitchen and I’m obsessed with how it’s all coming together.
But first, a quick run-down on what exactly Semihandmade cabinets are. Semihandmade is a company that makes beautiful and customizable cabinet doors for Ikea cabinetry (both the Sektion and older Akrum kitchen systems, as well as cabinet fronts for bathroom vanities, wardrobes and media units!). It’s a great way to get custom looking cabinetry at an affordable, DIY-friendly price. We actually first used Semihandmade cabinetry back when we renovated this kitchen in Pittsburgh in 2016. The collaboration was so fun and successful that last year we got together to design our own line with the brand. After brainstorming and researching for some time, I noticed that wood cabinetry was starting to trend again. I wanted to bring it back in three, no-fail tones, at an affordable price point with sleek shaker profiles in an extremely durable finish (the cabinets are made from textured thermofoil, which is very durable and low maintenance). You can check out the whole line here.
How You Order Semihandmade Cabinetry
For the Fullmer Kitchen, we used the Cove doors mixed with Semihandmade’s Supermatte White Shaker doors and the mix is so fresh. If you’ve ever done an Ikea kitchen, the Semihandmade install process is exactly the same. If you’ve never done an Ikea kitchen (or even if you have), check out this post we wrote a couple weeks ago about the process and things you should know when planning an Ikea kitchen. Even if you’re using Semihandmade cabinet doors, you still plan out the entire kitchen using the Ikea kitchen planner. The extremely helpful people at Semihandmade will ask you for your plans so that they can triple check and send you everything you need in your order.
You’ll still use Ikea’s hinges and toe kicks (the Semihandmade toe kicks attach to the front of the IKEA ones and are so much more sturdy and beautiful) so when you are picking up your cabinetry at Ikea, you will need everything BUT the cabinet fronts, cover panels and filler pieces–all of those things are available through Semihandmade.
Once you have your Ikea kitchen planned out, head to Semihandmade’s site. Each drawer, door, filler piece, cover panel and toe kick will have an option to click on, customize size and add to your cart. If you take it cabinet by cabinet, it’s quite simple and straightforward. Often times, after you submit your order (especially if it’s a large order like a whole kitchen!), they will reach out to you and ask for your plans to triple check and make sure you get everything you need. If you feel unsure at any part of the ordering process, there is a help button in the bottom left hand corner of the site where you can chat with someone and even attach images right there! It’s such a nice feature and they are extremely helpful and want you to succeed.
What is the Cost Comparison of Semihandmade vs. Ikea Cabinet doors?
Semihandmade doors are thicker and more durable and will cost you a little bit more than Ikea’s doors, but not that much more. And are absolutely worth it, especially if you want to customize your cabinets and don’t want to be limited to what Ikea offers. Or! If you have an Ikea kitchen currently and want to change up the look–Semihandmade is perfect for that.
Ikea doors run anywhere from about $70-$120 and Semihandmade doors run from about $120-$185 (this is the price for a 24×30 door across a variety of styles). The smaller Pittsburgh kitchen we did a few years ago, all of the Semihandmade cabinetry came to $2764 (the Ikea Sektion cabinet boxes and interior fittings and drawers were $1517).
The Fullmer kitchen is quite a bit larger. The Ikea cabinet boxes, drawers and interior fittings came close to $4000 and the Semihandmade Supermatte White and Cove doors, drawer fronts, cover panels and filler pieces came to $7216. For a grand cabinetry total of just over $11K.
The same kitchen with all doors and fillers from Ikea would be $9,100. For less than $2000, having a higher quality, more durable door that’s customizable to the look you want seems like a complete no brainer, right!?
In contrast, custom cabinetry for this kitchen was estimated over $20,000!
Installing Semihandmade doors
If you can read Ikea directions, you can install Semihandmade cabinetry. The process is 100% the same as adding and using Ikea cabinetry and you’ll even follow the same instruction manuals (hold on to them!) Your order will arrive within a few weeks and during that time, put together and place the cabinet boxes (refer to this post) and drawers. The drawers you’ll stop shy of adding the drawer fronts since you’ll be using Semihandmade fronts for that step. I shared the full, easy process of adding a drawer front right here in my Instagram highlights. Like any Ikea drawer, depending on its location and size of the drawer, the interior drawer hardware will be attached in slightly different holes (they all come from Semihandmade pre-drilled!), so just follow the instructions and you’ll be golden. Check out the story highlight here.
Here’s the kitchen with just the Ikea cabinet boxes in place (the tile had also not been grouted yet, new windows hadn’t gone in–it was still a bit rough but the new kitchen was definitely taking shape here.
From this point, we had one 8 hour day where I finished putting together every last drawer (remember you’ll have to attach the drawer fronts on) while Chris installed the rails and doors (the doors are fast to install, while the drawers take a little more time). While we aren’t pros, we have done this a few times so if you’re doing a similar kitchen size (this one is about 17 x 15) it may take longer. Another entire day was devoted to toe kicks and cover panels–which really makes a kitchen shine. Here’s how it looked at the end of our 8 hour door install day. And maybe we’re weird, but it was an extremely fun and satisfying day. Each door and drawer is motivating because of the instant gratification of seeing it in place.
Sidenote Above: That open corner was only open on top. The bottom was a corner base cabinet that extended all the way back (Ikea has amazing cabinet options, honestly.) But the top, we didn’t want to make too deep and we wanted to extend the pantry wall over. So we used Ikea’s wall cabinets (there’s an option with two drawers at the bottom) with a upper cabinet mounted on the very top that hinged upward to open. It’s more shallow than the tall pantry cabinets (12″ deep vs 24″) and we planned for electrical so this would be a perfect appliance garage! We envision the blender, toaster and all the breads, jams, butters and protein for smoothes on the shelf above it!
Trimming out Semihandmade Cabinetry
Trimming out the cabinetry will. change. everything. It’s how you get from this look:
To this look:
Every crack and gap and side is covered so it all looks seamless.
Above : There used to be a floor vent under this cabinet, so Chris built a chanel to direct the air out the front of the cabinet’s toe-kick and added a white register. Also note that what you’re seeing on the door above is the plastic covering that Semihandmade puts no for shipping.
There were SO many questions about how to fill the gaps and how to trim out cabinetry, SO MANY, so we thought it would be best to put together a brief, but instructional video on the subject of Semihandmade. The entire video is 10:00, but the trimming out part starts at 6:00 and goes until the end. It’s definitely worth a watch (it’s a fun watch either way!). Check it out below or on our Youtube Channel here.
We still have a few doors to add (we switched to solid from glass front at the last minute) and need to trim out the island legs, too. But, we’ve already started adding hardware to the drawers so they can be used, but we’re this close. THIS CLOSE to completion in here.
And to be honest, it’s shaping up to be our favorite kitchen we’ve ever done. I’d copy and paste it in our new house in a heartbeat. Let me know if there are any other questions about Semihandmade or the process you have and I’ll be sure to answer them in the comments below!
Bin Pulls (4″)
Cabinets : Ikea Sektion boxes with Semihandmade X Chris Loves Julia Cove cabinet doors mixed with Semihandmade Supermatte White doors.