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Kitchen of the Week: Danish Design Star Cecilie Manz’s Ikea Hack Kitchen

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Kitchen of the Week: Danish Design Star Cecilie Manz’s Ikea Hack Kitchen

April 26, 2018

Our Cecilie Manz fandom began a decade ago with her glamorous take on industrial lighting, the Caravaggio Pendant (see Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home, page 314). We’ve since featured the Danish designer’s Minima Carafe, Muuto Workshop Chair, and Aitio Shelves for Iittala, among others, always impressed by the cerebral charm and simplicity of her work. We’re not the only ones taking note: At Maison & Objet 2018, Manz, 46, was named Designer of the Year. And Copenhagen studio Reform recently asked her to come up with one of its high-brow Ikea kitchen hacks: cabinet fronts and counters made to be applied to Sektion components. Manz responded with a you-won’t-believe-this-is-Ikea angular design known as Degree.

Join us for a look. And take note that Reform now has a showroom in Brooklyn and stands ready to ship throughout the US and Canada (approximate delivery time: 10 to 14 weeks).

Photography courtesy of Reform, unless noted.

Version One: Veneered Oregon Pine

 Attracted to Oregon pine&#8
Above: Attracted to Oregon pine’s “warm tones and slim, straight grains,” Manz chose it as her star attraction. (The wood was popular, she points out, in the 1960s, “so it’s actually an old-school choice.”)
To give the design a hand-hewn look—and literally a fresh edge—she turned the cabinet and drawer panels 45 degrees so that the patterning looks &#8
Above: To give the design a hand-hewn look—and literally a fresh edge—she turned the cabinet and drawer panels 45 degrees so that the patterning looks “like hatching in a drawing.”
Notched pulls also work perfectly with the graining and add to the graphic appeal. Milled into the corners of the fronts, the triangular openings are solid Oregon pine as are the drawer and door edges. The veneering is applied on both sides and finished on the exterior with a protective matte lacquer that keeps the wood from oxidizing.
Above: Notched pulls also work perfectly with the graining and add to the graphic appeal. Milled into the corners of the fronts, the triangular openings are solid Oregon pine as are the drawer and door edges. The veneering is applied on both sides and finished on the exterior with a protective matte lacquer that keeps the wood from oxidizing.

The panel to the left of the sink can conceal the dishwasher (Reform’s fronts are made to work with Ikea’s built-in appliances but can often accommodate other brands). A range and cooktop can also be incorporated into the setup. Reform advises its customers to first come up with an Ikea kitchen plan in consultation with Ikea’s design experts—or to start with an existing Ikea kitchen. From there, send Reform your Ikea order and work drawings along with your choice of Reform kitchen style and color. Within 24 hours, they’ll respond with a quote.

For the counter, Manz recommends applying a floating stainless steel counter, five or eight millimeters thick. The floating look is achieved by inserting strips of MDF that are recessed from the edge. Reform offers the counter with a seamlessly welded Lavabo sink for $3,600. Solid wood, linoleum, laminate, and concrete countertops are also available.
Above: For the counter, Manz recommends applying a floating stainless steel counter, five or eight millimeters thick. The floating look is achieved by inserting strips of MDF that are recessed from the edge. Reform offers the counter with a seamlessly welded Lavabo sink for $3,600. Solid wood, linoleum, laminate, and concrete countertops are also available.

Version Two: Light Gray Painted Cabinets

For a uniform look, Reform offers the fronts in MDF that&#8
Above: For a uniform look, Reform offers the fronts in MDF that’s painted in a soft gray that Manz says is much like the color of her own kitchen. Prices start at $98 (painted) and $136 (veneer) for a 15-by-5-inch drawer front.

Both versions of the kitchen shown here are 9.5 linear feet long, and Reform reports that their collections of fronts would cost approximately $1,900 (painted) and $2,500 (veneer).

 &#8
Above: “I don’t design for myself, but I do ask: Would this work? Would I like to have this inside my home?” says Manz. “In this case, I do have gray fronts and stainless counters. The combination makes so much sense: no maintenance and a nice, neutral background for wooden baskets, trays, and cutting boards. Balance.”

The classic Vola faucet is Reform’s recommendation but not included. For sourcing and more options, take a look at 10 Easy Pieces: Architects’ Go-To Modern Kitchen Faucets.

The triangular edge pulls neatly finish the horizontal and vertical lines of the cabinets.
Above: The triangular edge pulls neatly finish the horizontal and vertical lines of the cabinets.

The Design Process

Manz played with wood veneer pieces to work out the design: &#8
Above: Manz played with wood veneer pieces to work out the design: “Using rough models,
many decisions are made; I don’t need fancy models to visualize things.” Photograph courtesy of Cecilie Manz Studio.
An early drawing captures the geometry of the Degree kitchen. Photograph courtesy of Cecilie Manz Studio.
Above: An early drawing captures the geometry of the Degree kitchen. Photograph courtesy of Cecilie Manz Studio.
A sketch details Oregon pine, the counter&#8
Above: A sketch details Oregon pine, the counter’s shadow gap, and flush handles. Photograph courtesy of Cecilie Manz Studio.

Thinking of upgrading Ikea kitchen cabinets? Take a look at:

And here are more Reform designs:

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