Hack your IKEA kitchen with these designs from Reform

Have you heard of Reform? It’s a Denmark-based brand that allows you to hack and customise off-the-shelf IKEA units into beautiful, functional and architecturally-inspired designs. Scandi-design fans can buy their basic cabinets from IKEA, then pick their favourite Reform fronts and worktops. Designs come in everything from carpenter-milled oak and fiber-concrete to clean painted surfaces and streamlined linoleum, so there’s something for every budget or style. I’ve had an IKEA kitchen in my own London flat for about eight years now and although it has lasted remarkably well, tastes change and evolve over time. This could be a quick and easy update without starting again completely from scratch.

Reform has just collaborated with three renowned Danish architects – BIG, Henning Larsen Architects and Norm Architects – on three unique and modern kitchens, seen here. BIG’s ‘hyper-modern’ design features an elegant handle made of seat belt fabric, HLA’s is a sharp and classic piece of carpentry, while Norm Architects has come up with a sleek, handle-free creation.

‘The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in our home. But Interestingly, it is often overlooked when it comes to design. For the most part our kitchens are white and as neutral as possible. We want to change this. Our goal is to give everybody the opportunity to experience extraordinary design at affordable prices. That’s why we are so happy to be able to present these new design collaborations,’ says Jeppe Christensen, founder of Reform.

Reform kitchen designed by Norm Architects
Reform kitchen designed by Norm Architects

Norm Architects has designed a clean, streamlined kitchen (above and below) with absolutely no handles. The work surface wraps around the units and it comes in four different variants: fiber-reinforced concrete, bronzed tombac, oak sawn veneer and smoked oak. The result is simple, natural and clean, perfect for a design aesthete like me.

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Reform kitchen designed by Henning Larsen Architects
Reform kitchen designed by Henning Larsen Architects – simple, elegant and inspired by classic carpentry kitchens

Henning Larsen Architects’ kitchen design comes in two editions with different options for combining the custom-made elements. One is made of oak veneer with a band of copper strip, while the other (seen here) is spray painted white or black with a subtle steel band in the same colour. The different bands indicate where you should press the door to open them, while also protecting the surface from everyday wear and tear. The look is timeless and elegant, don’t you think?

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Bjarke Ingels Group's (BIG) kitchen design for Reform, characterised by handles made of seat belt material
Bjarke Ingels Group’s (BIG) kitchen design for Reform, with handles made of seat belt material

BIG’s design is characterised by surprising little details, such as the handles made of black set belt fabric – a material familiar to us all, just not in our kitchens.

‘For several years we’ve been flirting with the idea of making custom designed kitchens. But in reality we often end up with custom made kitchens that are quite expensive. That’s why the thought of making a kitchen which is exclusive in every way except the price appeals a lot to us,’ says Jakob Lange, head of design at BIG Ideas.

The kitchen comes in white and oak with a composite table top and wash, that can be substituted for stainless steel for a more industrial look. Now, which one would you choose?

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All images courtesy Reform

The kitchens will be showcased for the first time at new furniture and lifestyle trade show, northmodern, in Copenhagen this week, from 13-15 August 2015 www.northmodern.com

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  2. Oh I saw a little about this on Dezeen and my interest was piqued but it’s great to understand a little more about Reform via your article! I love the uniformity of these draws over an expansive space but we’re fitting a rather more bijou semi-circle kitchen and not yet clear how they’d look with breakouts such as the oven / micro-oven. Some of the larger concealed cupboards such as the fridge / freezer could look at odds with these beautiful even lined drawers but I do love it! Thanks for collating and sharing 😉 I want to pare back our small space as much as possible as it’ll be open to other rooms in the house and hoping this is the answer (without it costing a new mortgage!)> x

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