TORONTO – You’ve measured multiple times, fought with your spouse over cabinet styles and colours and have spent way too much time playing with the IKEA Kitchen Planner, dreaming of the day you’ll actually have a functional space to cook in your home. You’re now ready to join the roughly 70,000 households in Canada who install an IKEA kitchen each year. But wait! Before you run out to your favourite Swedish store, we have some bad news for you.
All that time and effort you’ve spent designing your IKEA kitchen over the last few months was all for naught. After 20 years, IKEA is doing away with its popular Akurum kitchen line in favour of the new Sektion model, which, according to the company, will offer “flexibility to customize a kitchen to any space.”
According to a CIBC poll released last spring, four in 10 Canadian homeowners were planning some renovation work on their home, with 32 per cent of respondents listing kitchen renos high on the list. Topping kitchen renovations was basic home maintenance (57 per cent), which includes painting and flooring, and bathroom renos (33 per cent).
The Akurum line has been a popular choice with both professionals and DIYers when it comes to kitchen renos because of its affordable price, durable build and many design options. The IKEA website notes that 7.7 million Akurum cabinets have been sold since debuting in 1995. The cabinets were even rated “Highest in Customer Satisfaction” in a J.D. Power study in 2012 and 2014. With the amount of praise the Akurum line has received many are wondering why IKEA is changing them now?
“At IKEA, we are continually developing our product range to make sure we meet the needs of our customers and have the best offer on the market,” Stefan Sjöstrand, President, IKEA Canada said. “With Sektion we will offer our customers endless possibilities to have a beautiful and highly functional kitchen at an affordable price.”
Some of the key features of the Sektion line include new cabinet, door, and drawer measurements, integrated LED lighting, bamboo interior organizers, and “drawers inside of drawers.”
“The kitchen can be designed in a way that there is one door for each drawer or a large door that covers several drawers, completely customizing the lines and expression of the kitchen,” the official press release states.
Features from the Akurum line being carried over with Sektion include soft-close drawers and doors, the wall-mounted rail system and the standard 25-year warranty. IKEA said that existing Akurum warranties will still be honoured.
The Akurum and Sektion lines are not compatible (meaning you won’t be able to use Sektion doors and components with existing Akurum cabinets). If you have an Akurum kitchen already installed, IKEA recommends you purchase anything you may need for it before Feb. 1 (some Akurum pieces will still be available in limited quantity until Oct. 1).
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IKEA has yet to release pricing info for the Sektion cabinets and accessories, but have hinted it will be similarly priced to the Akurum line. The company does warn that if you have an Akurum kitchen plan saved in the current IKEA Kitchen Planner it will be removed as of May 31. Users of the tool will be able to transfer their dimensions to the Sektion design planner as of Feb. 2.
For those with an Akurum kitchen in their home, IKEA ensures they will honour the 25-year warranty and have a “comprehensive after sales program in place” for customers. The company is also offering Akurum products and after sales service between Feb. 2 and Oct. 1 to those who would like to add to their current Akurum kitchen or require replacement parts (while supplies last). Read more about the switch from Akurum to Sektion on IKEA’s official FAQ page.
Last year, IKEA fans were upset when the company announced the popular Expedit shelving unit was being replaced with the Kallax unit. After an influx of angry Facebook and Twitter messages directed at the company, most people relaxed when the shelf was released and didn’t look that much different (and was still able to hold vinyl record collections).
The Sektion line will be available to order at all IKEA Canada locations as of Feb. 2. To get an early, in-person preview of what they look like, visit the IKEA booth at the Toronto Interior Design Show between Jan. 22 – 25.
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