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Kitchen of the Week: An American In London Creates Her Dream Ikea Hack Kitchen

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Kitchen of the Week: An American In London Creates Her Dream Ikea Hack Kitchen

January 14, 2021

I recently received a kitchen remodel alert on Instagram from an avid Remodelista reader. “Ferren Gipson is an art star in the UK,” she wrote. “I love what she’s done.” We did, too, and, in turn, direct messaged Ferren. “I plan our designs myself and I have so much self-doubt along the way, so it’s so nice to have you get in touch,” she responded.

An American art historian in London and host of the podcast Art Matters, Ferren and her husband, Tom Lloyd, a tech marketing specialist, and their five-year-old son, Winter, live in a Victorian row house in Peckham, which, she explained, they bought in 2020 with plans to right several wrongs. Years ago, the structure had been divided in two and stripped of its original detailing, “but it wasn’t in terrible shape.”

They tackled the bathroom first, so it could accommodate the boiler and washing machine that were hogging space in the kitchen. Then Ferren sketched a plan for the latter: streamlined, sunny, textural, and composed, what she had in mind was the opposite of the existing 1990s kitchen with its blocky wood-veneer cabinets and fridge planted in the dining room: scroll to the end for a Before shot, then join us for a look at what the kitchen has become.

Photography by Ferren Gipson (@ferrengipson).

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Above: “We were inspired by design elements found in commercial spaces, such as terrazzo flooring, and wanted a vaguely 1960s/70s feel,” says Ferren. While dealing with Covid delays, she managed to execute her plan this past fall with help from Ikea’s design staff and the remodeling crew at Patali Construction.

To open up the space, Ferren had a partial wall removed and opted for below-counter-only cabinets from Ikea upgraded with painted wood fronts by Naked Doors: “saved us a lot rather than getting fully bespoke cabinets.” With the boiler and washer gone, there was room to add a dishwasher and microwave, gain back some wall space, and “not have to look at a boiler.”

Ferren used Ikea&#8
Above: Ferren used Ikea’s Deje countertop and Haven sink. She sourced the matte white pull-out faucet from Tap Warehouse. Currently working from home and grateful to have their new kitchen, she and Tom have been adding the finishing touches. Their Brass Dish Drainer and rainbow-shaped silicone Dish Tray are by OYOY of Denmark.
Ferren initially moved to London from Denver to get her masters degree. She&#8
Above: Ferren initially moved to London from Denver to get her masters degree. She’s now a doctoral researcher at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) at the University of London specializing in modern Chinese art and “the crossover between pop culture and art.” Her research skills came in handy tracking down the tiles that she wanted for the back wall (read on). From start to finish, the kitchen construction took six weeks—with the family in residence: “not recommended,” says Ferren
The new brown-and-black-speckled terrazzo floor from Diespeker & Co. replaced the existing mock wood vinyl. The brass cabinet pulls are Watt T-Bar Handles from Plank Hardware.
Above: The new brown-and-black-speckled terrazzo floor from Diespeker & Co. replaced the existing mock wood vinyl. The brass cabinet pulls are Watt T-Bar Handles from Plank Hardware.
The Fordelaktig cooktop—with an integrated extractor—is from Ikea: &#8
Above: The Fordelaktig cooktop—with an integrated extractor—is from Ikea: “it’s induction and we love it; the built-in fan works.” The toaster is Hay’s new Snowden design (not yet available in the US), and the Schoolhouse Globe Lights are from Olde Brick Lighting via Etsy. The still-life on the shelf is by Ferren: “I paint to relax—some turn out better than others.”
Ferren spotted the curved ceramic tiles on Pinterest and had to embark on a &#8
Above: Ferren spotted the curved ceramic tiles on Pinterest and had to embark on a “mad hunt” to find out where they were from. It turns out they’re Sebastian Herkner’s matte-glazed Soap design from Kaufman Keramik of Germany, initially created, according to the company, from “real soap material.”

Ferren says, “I went looking for a similar 3-D style in the usual tile stores and people had never heard of what I was describing. I like the verticality of them—they help emphasize the height of the room. Before, things felt very squat.”

The fridge, a Bosch, is now centrally located. The &#8
Above: The fridge, a Bosch, is now centrally located. The “wall oven tower,” Ikea’s Finsmakare (not available in the US), has an oven and a microwave that “can double as a second oven.”
A pantry cabinet is neatly tucked at the front of the kitchen. The new setup has far fewer cabinets than the old, but &#8
Above: A pantry cabinet is neatly tucked at the front of the kitchen. The new setup has far fewer cabinets than the old, but “much more storage,” notes Ferren. “Before, our dry goods and appliances were out on the counter because they didn’t have places to go—and not having a dishwasher and microwave with a small child wasn’t fun.”
A collection of ceramics by British pottery Denby, in business since 09.
Above: A collection of ceramics by British pottery Denby, in business since 1809.
Rainbow Trivets by OYOY.
Above: Rainbow Trivets by OYOY.
The kitchen opens to the dining area with a newly revealed brick fireplace formerly fronted by a reproduction cast-iron—&#8
Above: The kitchen opens to the dining area with a newly revealed brick fireplace formerly fronted by a reproduction cast-iron—”some people liked it, but it wasn’t our vibe.” The walls throughout are painted Brilliant White from Dulux.
The family&#8
Above: The family’s Golden Doodle, Bobby, has been keeping the company in lockdown. The acacia wood Hewinson table and Burghley chairs are from Swoon Editions,

Before

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Above: “I thought VERY HARD about how to keep existing elements,” Ferren tells us. “I considered preserving the base cabinets and replacing the appliances and doors, but the cabinets that were there just didn’t make the most of the space and wouldn’t have allowed us to fit as much in.”

Tackling your own kitchen? Here’s some more Ikea upgrade inspiration:

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