Dezeen Magazine

Cecilie Manz hacks IKEA kitchen using steel and warm-toned wood

Cecilie Manz positioned pine slabs at 45-degree angles to match the cut-out door handles of this IKEA kitchen, customised for Danish brand Reform.

Manz is the latest in a line of renowned designers to create a kitchen for Copenhagen-based Reform, which specialises in the customisation of IKEA's Metod kitchen cupboards.

Called Degree, Manz's kitchen aims to provide simple functionality while creating a hospitable atmosphere.

In order to achieve a balance between the two, she chose to pair a hardwearing steel countertop with warm-toned wood and grey painted doors.

The wood grain of the Oregon pine is laid at a 45-degree angle to contrast with the horizontal and vertical lines of the kitchen, something Manz likens to a "hatching in a drawing".  Geometric notch handles are located in the corner of each front, adding a graphic element.

"The 45-degree tilt of the veneer came about because I wanted to push something very classic," Manz told Dezeen. "Vertical Oregon pine looked nice but also slightly looking backwards – reminiscent of the 1960s. The handle gave the inspiration, a missing corner at a 45-degree angle."

"I'm not afraid of doing classic stuff," she continued. "It lasts, and you should just be aware of where the 'boring' starts. I'm a huge fan of Oregon pine, the warmth, straight grains. And then it reminds me of my grandmother's fine aesthetics."

Previous designers who have collaborated with Reform include Danish architects BIG, Henning Larsen and Norm, who each created kitchen designs for the brand, while Stockholm-based designers Note Design and Afteroom introduced living room furniture last year.

"We wanted to work with Cecilie as we were really fascinated by her design philosophy," Reform's founder and CEO Jeppe Christensen told Dezeen.

"She understands how important the details are – that's in line with Reform, as that's how you make an 'everyday classic' which is Reform's mantra," he continued.

Most recently, the brand updated standard IKEA cabinetry with brass doors to create a golden-toned kitchen at the headquarters of Copenhagen-based fashion designer Stine Goya.

"The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in our home," said Reform founder and CEO Jeppe Christensen when the brand launched in 2015.

"But interestingly, it is often overlooked when it comes to design. For the most part, our kitchens are white and as neutral as possible. We want to change this."

Manz graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1997, before moving to Finland to continue her studies at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki.

She founded her own studio in Copenhagen after that and has gone on to create products for a number of high-profile brands – over the years becoming known for her ability to create colourful pieces that are in keeping with the stripped-back Scandinavian style.