Kevin McCloud reveals how he’s made his IKEA kitchen look expensive – and how you can too

This is how the Grand Designs presenter elevated his flat pack kitchen

Kevin McCloud
(Image credit: Alamy)

We all assume that designers and celebrities alike kit out their homes with high-end furniture and bespoke kitchens and bathrooms. But that’s not always the case as Grand Designs presenter and designer Kevin McCloud recently proved by revealing his own kitchen is from none other than IKEA.

And we think his IKEA kitchen hack is actually pretty genius. Speaking to The Times, Kevin explained that the trick to elevating a basic IKEA kitchen is to treat it like a base and then build on it with personalised touches that will make it look all the more expensive.

‘What I’ve done is the carcass, putting in the doors, the basic carpentry and screwing together, and then brought in lovely things,’ he said.

And you can do the same thing by utilising some of the best IKEA customisation companies and save thousands of pounds in the process. Here’s exactly what you can do by following in Kevin’s footsteps.

Husk kitchens Victorian cottage fenix verde brac

(Image credit: HUSK)

Kevin McCloud’s IKEA kitchen

We love an IKEA hack around here. After all, who doesn’t?! So to hear that even a design giant like Kevin McCloud himself is on board is music to our ears.

And, of course, this is not the first time that we’ve been inspired by the legendary TV presenter as only recently did Kevin McCloud share a tip with us about the need to incorporate something old, new, borrowed and blue into our homes.

But how did he make his IKEA carcass of a kitchen sing then?

‘I’ve got a very, very beautiful, expensive hot water tap – or had some proper craftspeople to do the customisation: I’ve got a worktop made of Dekton, which is like a ceramic,’ Kevin said to The Times.

Kevin's McCloud's kitchen worktop

Dekton by Cosentino in Ceppo and Avorio

(Image credit: Cosentino)

As Kevin is very passionate about the environment, we’re not so surprised he opted for a Dekton kitchen worktop idea.

‘Dekton is a revolutionary and innovative ultracompact stone,’ explains Katie Parry-Stone, retail expert at Cosentino UK, the company that’s invented the material. ‘It is a sophisticated mixture of minerals and is resistance to UV rays, scratches, stains and thermal shock, and has very low water absorption.'

‘Dekton incorporates between 15 and 85% of recycled materials from the product’s own manufacturing process,' she continues. 'And in 2020, Dekton earned the carbon neutral product certification.’

But you can just as well go for something like neolith or quartz to give you that high-end look of marble without the price tag of a true stone. Just be careful about the recent quartz kitchen worktop health warning.

Kevin's kitchen tap

Husk Plant Natura in Terra

(Image credit: HUSK)

In terms of the best boiling water tap, they are a high-end product in their own right. But opting for the right design like Kevin has done will certainly further elevate your IKEA kitchen.

‘Taps can help to define the style of a kitchen and it is worth spending a bit more to create that premium look,’ says Dave Young, founder of HUSK Kitchens, a brand specialising in fitting IKEA kitchen cabinets with new doors and worktops. ‘Contemporary black designs give a minimalist vibe, whilst brushed brass nods to a more traditional aesthetic.'

'It’s important to choose additional elements that tonally work together to create a cohesive scheme, for example, a warm pinky beige stone worktop works well with brass fixtures and fittings, whilst the clean minimalist look of a white stone will be heightened with the addition of contemporary black taps and handles.’

Get the look

‘Adding bespoke fronts to standard IKEA units enables homeowners to customise and personalise their kitchen to create a much more high-end look but without the expensive price tag,' says Dave from HUSK.

'Clients also often like to choose finishing touches to further personalise their space – for example, on a recent project, a client chose to create a touch of glamour by customising inset handles with gorgeous brass.’

The world is your oyster, even when it comes to an affordable IKEA kitchen.

News Writer

Sara Hesikova has been Ideal Home’s News Writer since July 2023, bringing the Ideal Home’s readership breaking news stories from the world of home decor and interiors, as well as trend-led pieces, shopping round-ups and more. Graduating from London College of Fashion with a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism in 2016, she got her start in niche fashion and lifestyle magazines like Glass and Alvar as a writer and editor before making the leap into interiors, working with the likes of 91 Magazine and copywriting for luxury bed linen brand Yves Delorme among others. She feels that fashion and interiors are intrinsically connected – if someone puts an effort into what they wear, they most likely also care about what they surround themselves with.