Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

Kitchen of the Week: A Stylist’s $3,400 Kitchen Makeover, DIY Scandi Edition

Search

Kitchen of the Week: A Stylist’s $3,400 Kitchen Makeover, DIY Scandi Edition

March 8, 2018

Thanks to my Instagram habit, I’m stopped in my tracks daily by the sets and still lifes that Scandinavian stylists create for clients like Iitalla and Asun. So clean. So magically simple. So serene. How does this talent, I always wonder, translate at home? Not surprisingly, it translates exceptionally well. Here’s a perfect example: Star Finnish interiors and prop stylist Anna Pirkola (@annapirkola) moved with her family of four into a Helsinki duplex apartment with a kitchen she describes as “just horrible and dark brown.” Sticking to a budget of €3,000 (approximately $3,400), she and her musician/cultural manager husband entirely overhauled the kitchen themselves—with occasional help from Anna’s father and an electrician. Take a look at it now.

Photography by Anna Pirkola.

“The fact that we were on a tight budget forced us to be more imaginative and to think through every option,” says Anna. The approximately 12-square-meter (129-square-foot) space is open to the living room—”so I could see how ugly it was every time I sat on the sofa.”
Above: “The fact that we were on a tight budget forced us to be more imaginative and to think through every option,” says Anna. The approximately 12-square-meter (129-square-foot) space is open to the living room—”so I could see how ugly it was every time I sat on the sofa.”

The couple’s first move was attack the cabinets: They tore out the over-the-counter storage and left only the shell of the lower half. Then they applied birch plywood doors and counters to this frame, creating an entirely new look. (“Yes, we did it ourselves—my husband is quite handy,” says Anna.) Their sink and faucet came from Ikea, as did the circular lights and trio of cabinets that they staggered on the wall, supplying both storage and the display surfaces crucial to a stylist.

The metal tab hardware on the cabinets is also from Ikea: “We weren’t sure if we wanted to have leather pulls or something else, so we bought these to use for the time being because they don’t leave any marks on the outside of the cabinets. And yes, they have been there quite a while.”
Above: The metal tab hardware on the cabinets is also from Ikea: “We weren’t sure if we wanted to have leather pulls or something else, so we bought these to use for the time being because they don’t leave any marks on the outside of the cabinets. And yes, they have been there quite a while.”

The ceramic coffee pot is Mette Duedahl’s Push design and the white ceramic teapot and sugar bowl are from Jonas Wagell’s Bulky Tea Collection, all from Muuto. The two-toned salt and pepper shakers are Norm Architects’ Bottle Grinder Mills for Menu—see them and more in Salt and Pepper Grinders from Around the World.

The biggest splurge, Anna tells us, was the vintage-style Smeg fridge. (West Elm offers a similar fridge-only Smeg for $1,999.) The laminate-topped table, the 70/70 by Muuto, rests on square white aluminum supports.
Above: The biggest splurge, Anna tells us, was the vintage-style Smeg fridge. (West Elm offers a similar fridge-only Smeg for $1,999.) The laminate-topped table, the 70/70 by Muuto, rests on square white aluminum supports.
The range hood also received a makeover: “It was full of different kinds of glass and metal things, so we just ripped everything off and were really curious to see what it would look like. First we thought of covering it with a plywood box, but somehow it looked quite interesting so we just painted it white.”
Above: The range hood also received a makeover: “It was full of different kinds of glass and metal things, so we just ripped everything off and were really curious to see what it would look like. First we thought of covering it with a plywood box, but somehow it looked quite interesting so we just painted it white.”

Gubi’s Ronde Pendant light of spun aluminum hangs over the table. Anna combined a set of Alvar Aalto’s Artek Aalto Chair 66 dining chairs from Artek with a vintage Thonet design. The oak floors, she says, are “not my favorite, but not so bad that felt we had to do something to them.”
Above: Gubi’s Ronde Pendant light of spun aluminum hangs over the table. Anna combined a set of Alvar Aalto’s Artek Aalto Chair 66 dining chairs from Artek with a vintage Thonet design. The oak floors, she says, are “not my favorite, but not so bad that felt we had to do something to them.”
The couple built a shallow sideboard from the same Ikea cabinetry that they hung on the kitchen wall. Intrigued by the ridged cutting board? It’s Hay’s Field Cutting Board, available in the US from Nannie Inez.
Above: The couple built a shallow sideboard from the same Ikea cabinetry that they hung on the kitchen wall. Intrigued by the ridged cutting board? It’s Hay’s Field Cutting Board, available in the US from Nannie Inez.

Ikea bent metal shelving holds glassware. The white paint used throughout is by Finnish line Tikkurila and is a wipeable formula made for kitchens and baths.
Above: Ikea bent metal shelving holds glassware. The white paint used throughout is by Finnish line Tikkurila and is a wipeable formula made for kitchens and baths.
Modular multi-height shelves by Lundia—”a really nice Finnish brand”—offer open and closed storage.
Above: Modular multi-height shelves by Lundia—”a really nice Finnish brand”—offer open and closed storage.

Join us for a look at two more Scandinavian stylists at home:

N.B.: This post is an update; the original ran on April 21, 2016.

Product summary  

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

From our network