We've been debating over our kitchen cabinets for the last year now. I was desperate to use Ikea cabinets downstairs because the cost savings is incredible. By my estimate, it's about 1/4th of the price of the Kraftmaid or Thomasville cabinets that you get at Home Depot or Lowe's, but the sad part is that I just couldn't make them work. I love a lot of the styles that Ikea carries (especially for the price), but for what we need downstairs, I just wasn't happy.
This may sound like a curious layout, but when you enter the studio downstairs, you will actually walk into the kitchen/dining area. In my dream, it will be a chic kitchen that doesn't feel like a kitchen, but more like a hip dining area that happens to have a fridge and a stove (like the pic above from Elle Decor). I don't want it to be bright white like a kitchen, but I also don't want it to be dark. So, we went with Kraftmaid in the end because they offered a lot more options of painted fronts in lighter hues that look really elegant. I just figure that if you're going to be staring at this kitchen all the time in this studio, it should look halfway decent. We chose the Hayward Maple in a Biscotti finish (the second pic). The doors style is really simple and the Biscotti color is nice and warm. I plan to do a small off-white subway tile and a light granite for the counters.
Photo #1 from Elle Decor, #2 from Kraftmaid