Enhancing IKEA: Small Designer Additions Totally Transform Kit Furniture

IKEA furniture can get your interior design most of the way to where you want it, but another Scandinavian company has enlisted three world-renowned architecture firms to help get you the rest of the way to a high-end design.

Reform enlisted architects from Bjarke Ingels Group, Henning Larsen Architects, and Norm Architects to create a series of finishing touches for existing IKEA products, from customized handles to stylized surfaces. Tapping into the popularity of Nordic design as well as the thriving industry of IKEA hackers, Reform aims to make luxury design affordable.

The company specializes in kitchens, seeing them as oft-overlooked spaces of opportunity for design improvements, but they also are working on mods for living rooms, bathrooms and wardrobes. Here are the three core designs, with notes on inspiration and materials from their designers:

“The kitchen is simple, but exclusive in its timeless design. Carrying no handles, it presents a table top covering the entire surface and adding to it an exquisite finish – like the best design furniture. The materials, which have seldom been used in kitchens, give away a clean but raw expression. They come in three different variants: Fiber-concrete, bronzed tombac, and sawn and smoked oak.”

“For a thoroughly personalised kitchen you can stand on the shoulders of Norm Architects and add your own mix of materials creating a the visual expression of your liking. All the natural materials have been selected for their durability and reaction to wear. That is, the kitchen does not grow ugly. On the contrary it will patinate beautifully, which the bronzed tombac is a fine example of. Slowly it will shine golden in those areas of continuous wear.”