Reform is a new Danish furniture company with an intriguing business model: By taking Ikea flat-pack kitchen components and modding them into custom units, it aims to give everyone the opportunity for high-end design at a reasonable price. For its current endeavor, the company is outfitting Ikea’s Metod line of kitchen cabinets with customized fronts and table tops designed by three of Denmark’s leading architecture firms–BIG, Henning Larson Architects, and Norm.
To construct one of Reform’s customized kitchens, you order kitchen cabinets from Ikea and then browse the Reform website to choose the type and color of fronts and tabletops you’d like. In three to four weeks, Reform delivers the fronts ready for mounting. The tabletops are cut to fit and just need to be screwed into the cabinets.
For its spin on the cabinets, architectural darling Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) incorporates loop handles made of car seat belts. The cabinet comes in white and oak with a composite table and composite wash, which can be substituted or combined with rust free steel for a more industrial look.
Henning Larsen Architects, the masterminds behind the controversial new Guggenheim Helsinki building, forgo handles all together in their design, instead opting for copper or steel bands that run vertically down the cabinet that open when pushed. Norm Architects–known in Denmark for their eccentric mix of work that ranges from residential architecture to industrial design–created a cabinet that comes in four different natural materials that customers can mix to their liking.
Ikea hacking is not a new idea. We’ve seen a kid’s bike made from an Ikea stool, an Ikea chair outfitted with automated spikes, and an entire restaurant made out of repurposed Ikea furniture parts, just to name a few. There’s also Ikeahackers.net, the fan site dedicated to modifying Ikea furniture that the Swedish furniture behemoth threatened with legal action last year until recanting after an onslaught of bad press. The difference with Reform is that their entire business model revolves around hacking Ikea furniture–and they’ve brought on big-name architects to back them up.