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Danish design brand Reform began as an upscale IKEA hack company, collaborating with designers, artists, and architects to create beautiful facades for IKEA METOD fittings in the kitchen.
Founded in 2014, Reform’s vision was that everyone should be able to have a beautifully-designed kitchen without having to embark on disruptive and expensive renovations. Their initial collaborations with the likes of Bjarke Ingels, Norm Architects, and Afteroom quickly became a popular way to elevate your kitchen without tearing the whole thing down. More recently, they’ve started producing their own fittings in addition to the use of the IKEA ones.
In the last year, Reform has managed to secure the kind of funding that will take it from well-respected domestic brand to renown international brand. Their acceleration comes at a strange and precarious time globally, and yet their success is unsurprising. After all, during the 2020 – 21 lockdowns, people spent more time at home than ever before. “Banana bread” became shorthand for people’s newfound baking adventures as they stopped going out and started using their kitchens a whole lot more. Is it any wonder, then, that upgrading the kitchen space feels particularly useful now?
We spoke with Reform founder and CEO Jeppe Christensen about company growth and why kitchen design is increasingly important:
Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration for launching Reform, and what gap you were filling in the market?
Reform was founded with the aim of solving an age-old problem: that great kitchen design has always been exclusionary, expensive, and out of reach for regular people.
Therefore, we wanted to create a solution that more people could relate to in terms of both aesthetics, functionality and price. With internationally acclaimed architects and designers, we want to challenge the traditional kitchen industry by pushing the boundaries of what people associate with kitchen design. We believe that good design is everybody’s right, so we made it our mission to make good design available for everybody, simply by making it affordable.
Reform is undergoing a big change at the moment. Can you talk a bit about that and what it means for the brand?
We are currently facing a very interesting phase; on a business as well as brand level. We’re expanding as never before, entering new markets and are about to launch new designs with some of the most talented and influential people in the industry around the globe.
At the same time, we’re moving more and more away from this “IKEA-hacking” label and moving towards being an independent design-driven kitchen brand, without compromising our main goal which is offering bold, accessible, and adaptable kitchens spaces for as many people as possible.
It has always been our aim to offer a high-quality interior that matches our award-winning exterior. To achieve this goal we’re set out to explore future-focused methods within craft and technology and as a result and natural extension to what we already offer. We’ve launched our own line of cabinets that assembles with a patented click system, without any tools or screws. This makes Reform your one-stop kitchen supplier.
What is it like to guide a brand through this kind of growth? What are the key elements to keep in mind from a business perspective and from a brand perspective?
It’s a combination of hard work and a lot of fun. It has always been our goal to create a successful company, not only when it comes to financial success, which you will need to grow, but to a greater extent when it comes to a successful team. A team where everybody is encouraged to be who they are and share their particular talents, where everyone is valued, seen, and heard.
More than anything, Reform relies on people. I believe that creating an engaging environment for the right people is key to a thriving company. So the key is finding the right people, which is harder than it sounds!
Kitchens are universal. How do you think Reform caters to both a Scandinavian aesthetic and an international market?
Working across architecture, design, and interior, Reform is reflecting the kitchen’s vital role as the center of our homes.
By offering a wide range of designs in different colors, materials, forms and expressions we want to meet the demand of everyday living for everybody around the globe; both the Scandinavian as well as our international audience.
Everybody likes good design, at least to a certain extent, and we believe that it should be everybody’s right as well. Because of that, I believe that Reform is highly relevant to all markets.
What is your most popular model? Why do you think people like it so much?
BASIS is by far our most popular design as you have so many options with it in terms of material og
color – you can choose up to 2000 different customized colors which makes it possible for our
costumers to create a unique kitchen that reflects their personalities and specific demands.
Are there any collaborations you can tell us about that you’re excited to introduce?
We have a handful of really interesting collaborations in the pipeline, including: Ilse Crawford, Jean Nouvel, Faye Toogood, Inga Sempé, Aspekt Office, and another Reform design that I am excited to introduce. I’m a huge fan of all of our collaborators and I believe that they will all contribute with something unexpected and extraordinary in their own ways.
What are your goals with Reform for the next year, two years, five years? Are there markets you are excited to enter?
We just raised a financial round of €10 million, which enables us to grow at a rapid rate and in new directions. We have an ambition of being CO2 neutral in 2025, and after that our goal is to become CO2 positive alongside opening up one new showroom a month on different markets, starting with London, Paris, Vienna, and Oslo.
Our overall goal is to be the best and biggest design-driven kitchen company offering affordable and well-designed kitchen spaces.
What do you want potential customers to know about Reform? Why should they spend money on creating a new kitchen instead of, say, buying living room or dining room furniture?
I believe that the kitchen is “the new sofa,” by which I mean that the kitchen meets the same demands; bringing people together and setting the framework for creating great memories in our daily lives.
For many people the kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s no longer just a room for food preparation, but a piece of furniture on the same level as a designer lamp, sofa, or chair. It’s a space that people want designed, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality.
Today the kitchen is used as a social, warm, and welcoming place. So that’s what we want to offer, in a timeless and sustainable way.
Find out more about Reform.
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