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Product Design
Published: 19 Aug 2015

Reform: Customising Ikea Kitchens

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Reform Kitchens L-R: Henning Larsen, BIG, Norm

Danish company Reform produces cupboard fronts and worktops to update basic Ikea kitchen modules, bridging the gap between bespoke kitchen furniture and off-the-shelf models. It recently commissioned Danish architecture studios Big, Henning Larsen and Norm to create new designs to add to its range.

  • Big's design features looped handles made from the woven fabric normally used for seatbelts. The black textile handles add tactility to the design and soften this ordinarily utilitarian material when seen in tandem with the pale oak cupboard doors.  
  • Mixing wood and metal adds warmth to Henning Larsen's kitchen. The oak veneer fronts are paired with a vertical copper trim that naturally ages over time, adding a unique patina to the designs. Also available in white with a matching steel trim, the metal strips indicate where to push to open the cupboard doors using a hidden mechanism.
  • Norm also updates the conventional kitchen through careful material consideration, which enables both durability and improvement with age. The dark smoked oak fronts are uninterrupted by details or handles to highlight the natural patternation across the wood. The bronzed tombac trim changes over time, producing polished sections where the material is handled. The worktop itself is made from smooth concrete, providing a softer interpretation of an industrial material.

We first highlighted the introduction of warmer materials into the kitchen space in our Kitchen & Bathroom report from Milan Design Week 2014 – for further examples, see our blog post on Sebastian Cox's new design for Devol.

For further insight into how kitchens may evolve in the years to come, see Kitchen of the Future, along with our coverage of Ikea and Panasonic's forward-thinking concepts released earlier this year.

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