Here's How You Can Give Your IKEA Kitchen a Fresh Face on a Tight Budget

By Jennifer Baum Lagdameo
Thanks to a new collaboration between Danish design firm Reform and award-winning designer Cecilie Manz, you can revamp your IKEA kitchen with a high-end look, all for a budget-friendly price.

Let's face it: kitchen remodels can come with pretty expensive price tags. But if you thought that was always the case, Cecilie Manz is here to prove otherwise. The Danish designer—who was recently named the Maison & Objet 2018 Designer of the Year—has recently teamed up with Reform, a firm that specializes in designer-customized IKEA kitchens, to create Degree by Cecilie Manz

Oregon Pine is characterized by a light, red-brown wood color with a fine, narrow wood grain. 

Oregon Pine is characterized by a light, red-brown wood color with a fine, narrow wood grain. 

By employing a simple, elegant design aesthetic that pairs the functionality of a stainless steel countertop with sleek contemporary finishes, this new collaboration offers a charmingly minimalistic, design-forward update for any basic IKEA kitchen at a budget-friendly price.

The wood grain of the Oregon Pine is laid at a 45-degree angle, softly contrasting with the horizontal and vertical lines of the kitchen. 

The wood grain of the Oregon Pine is laid at a 45-degree angle, softly contrasting with the horizontal and vertical lines of the kitchen. 

Manz founded her Copenhagen studio in 1998 and has since become acclaimed for creating beautiful minimalist products for the home. While her creations favor a subdued palette, she infuses them with a stylish sense of Scandinavian simplicity.

A geometric notch handle is placed in the corner, adding a graphic element to the design.

A geometric notch handle is placed in the corner, adding a graphic element to the design.

Her work for Reform follows the same ethos. "A kitchen is a workplace and should be both functional and aesthetically pleasing at the same time," she states. "This is the place you use every day, around the clock, to play, eat, work etc. These actions should be the primary focus—so the design should never steal too much attention. Clean lines and order are perfect for that."

Manz recommends a five or eight millimeter stainless steel countertop for a floating look. The look is made possible from a shadowed panel which is placed under the surface approximately 20 millimeters from the countertop edge. 

Manz recommends a five or eight millimeter stainless steel countertop for a floating look. The look is made possible from a shadowed panel which is placed under the surface approximately 20 millimeters from the countertop edge. 

When choosing which materials to use for the collaboration, Manz went with a classic light pine. "I love the warm tone of the Oregon pine and its slim, straight grain. It was often used in the 1960s, so it’s actually an old-school choice for kitchens," she explains.