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Kitchen of the Week: A Japanese-Style Upgrade for Ikea Kitchens

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Kitchen of the Week: A Japanese-Style Upgrade for Ikea Kitchens

June 22, 2017

Taking inspiration from traditional Japanese architecture as well as her own Nordic roots, 39-year-old Danish furniture maker Chris Liljenberg Halstrøm detailed her new kitchen design with intersecting bands of solid ash: The shoji screen meets Danish minimalism. The goal, she says, was to create cabinetry that can be “perceived as a piece of furniture.” Surprisingly there’s nothing bespoke about her kitchen: It’s composed of Ikea cabinets with fronts from high-brow Ikea hackers Reform of Copenhagen.

Halstrom is the latest in a small, impressive lineup of designers that Reform has turned to for its Ikea tweaks: See Norm Architects Reinvent the Ikea Kitchen and A Copenhagen Tastemaker Reinvents Her Kitchen. And the good news is that Reform now has a Brooklyn showroom, so its fronts and counters are available in the States as well as throughout Europe.

Photography courtesy of Reform.

 &#8\2\20;the handle is often a decorative element on a cabinet door, but  9
Above: “The handle is often a decorative element on a cabinet door, but my kitchen design, the handle has become a part of the entire door—a frame for the door itself,” says Halstrøm.

The cabinet fronts are applied to a framework of Ikea cabinets: They’re designed to fit Sektion components in the United States and Metod in Europe.

 the fronts are composed of 3/4 inch mdf with veneered ash on the back and lam 10
Above: The fronts are composed of 3/4-inch MDF with veneered ash on the back and laminate on the front along with solid ash edges and handles.

They come in three variations: nero laminate, shown here, with stained black ash detailing, as well as gray or beige laminate with natural matte-lacquered ash. Counters are available in a matching laminate or solid ash (sinks are flush-mounted in the laminate and under-mounted in the wood).

in gray with natural wood edging, the design takes on a scandi look. 11
Above: In gray with natural wood edging, the design takes on a Scandi look.

Chris L. Halstrøm has a degree from the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen, and, in addition to running her own studio (and creating award-winning storage systems for Skagerak), she often teams up with textile designer Margrethe Odgaard; they call their collaboration Included Middle and say their work answers the question: “What if color and pattern influence form, and what if form influences color and pattern?”

the ash handles can be applied on either the right or left side of the cabinet 12
Above: The ash handles can be applied on either the right or left side of the cabinets. The ash edging ends with a subtle notch.
the price for the kitchens shown here is approximately \$\2,800 for the parts f 13
Above: The price for the kitchens shown here is approximately $2,800 for the parts from Reform and approximately $500, Reform estimates, for the Ikea cabinets. Shipping in the US runs from $400 to $600.

Browse more of our favorite ways to customize Ikea kitchens:

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