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Jeppe and Michael from Reform "The kitchen is the place where everyone comes together".

Wednesday, September 01, 2021
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Reform Showroom West Berlin
Kantstraße 21
10623
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Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 23
10178

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+49 030 89 65 62 85
www.reformcph.com

In the morning for a quiet coffee, to work in the home office or in the evening to get together for dinner - the kitchen is the centre of life in many families. It is a meaningful room and for that reason alone it is increasingly becoming a real piece of furniture. But finding a truly beautiful kitchen that appeals to the discerning aesthetic eye - that's either not so easy or the dream kitchen is simply not affordable.

This is exactly where Michael and Jeppe came in 2014: timeless and functional kitchens from the pens of renowned architects and designers. Reform offers kitchens that you love for a long time at an affordable price. Seven years later, we talk at the opening of the fifth showroom in Germany. 

SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL KITCHENS AT A GOOD PRICE

Here in West Berlin's Kantstraße, numerous visual axes demonstrate how the different kitchen models look in the room; pop colours shine next to dark wood, clean surfaces in the most diverse arrangements. Thanks to coherently placed details - fresh fruit in bowls, piles of cookbooks, a few seats in an otherwise clean room - there is a real kitchen feeling in the Reform showroom.

Reform Berlin-West Showroom (1)
Reform UNIT by Aspekt Office Dark Oak + Yellow
Reform UNIT by Aspekt Office Yellow
Reform UNIT by Aspekt Office Oak
Reform UNIT by Aspekt Office Portrait Hans Toft Hornemann und Terkel Skou Steffensen
Reform Berlin-West Showroom (3)
Reform Berlin-West Showroom (2)
Reform Berlin-West Showroom
Reform Berlin-West Showroom (4)
Reform reference PLATE photocredit Irina Boersma
Reform FRAME

I take a seat with Jeppe and Michael at a large round stone table. It comes from the Italian design label e15 - he is impressed by the label's quality and sustainability standards as well as its craftsmanship, Jeppe reveals a little later. That's how he wants Reform to be perceived.

WITH IKEA HACKS TO SOPHISTICATED DESIGNS...

Neither of them has a background in carpentry, but the kitchen as a place to come together inspires the two Reform founders. "No matter what kind of family you have or how you live, somehow the kitchen is always the centre of life. There are so many beautiful furniture brands. Just how many beautiful chairs there are! But that's not the case with kitchens. Unless you have a lot of money. We don't want to be like that. We just want to make beautiful kitchens at a good price," explains Michael, who is actually an engineer.

"I'm very proud of that," adds Jeppe "We want to capture design and aesthetics in a way that's within most people's reach in terms of price." It also helped that Reform was one of the first companies to engage in "Ikea hacking" - the individual embellishment of simple Ikea furniture - in a professional style. "It wasn't really part of our vision of Reform, but it was an easy and quick way for us to actually go to market and see if people liked our designs. This way we didn't have to invent a complete kitchen system, we could focus on the design," Jeppe explains the beginnings. "We knew from the beginning that we wanted to leave that behind at some point."

...TO THE COMPLETE KITCHEN

That, meanwhile, is what they have done. Today, the focus is moving away from Ikea. Instead, Reform has also had its own extremely handsome cabinets since May 2020. It just didn't make a good impression when customers fell in love with a kitchen and were sent to Ikea first, Jeppe laughs. Now Reform not only supplies beautiful fronts, but complete kitchens. From worktops and cupboard systems to planning and installation and electrical appliances. In this field, Reform cooperates with Miele and Bosch.

DESIGNER KITCHENS FOR THE WHOLE WORLD 

So a lot has happened since 2014. The first design studio Reform worked with was Norm Architects from Denmark. But Reform does not see itself as an explicitly Scandinavian brand; from the very beginning, it was intended to be international. Basically, Reform exists worldwide today, especially in the USA and Germany, where the affordable design kitchens are extremely popular.

In the meantime, designers actively approach Reform, or are approached by Reform. Jeppe explains the process: "With the new Unit kitchen, it was something like this: We wanted a kitchen where the handles blended in with the front, but there had to be a handle. It started with the idea of what was missing in our portfolio and then, of course, we had some designers we liked. If you're lucky, they say yes and we start the development process".

TIMELESS DESIGN AS A TRADEMARK

This was also the case with the Aspect Office design team from Copenhagen, with whom the Reform Unit model was recently launched. "It's industrial yet classic, and with Unit comes a modern shelving system that brings a lot of air into the modern kitchen," Jeppe elaborates. 
It all started back then with the Basis design. It is the epitome of Scandinavian minimalism and is reminiscent of the classic architect's kitchen of the 1960s. The timeless design, its warm and soft look and, last but not least, the sheer endless choices - there are almost 2000 NCS colours alone to choose from for painting - make Basis an absolute Reform bestseller to this day. Michael has it at home in Copenhagen in a bluish pastel shade.

THE TWO COPENHAGENERS LOVE BERLIN

But both live full-time in Berlin. They appreciate the city very much. Jeppe would never have thought that at the beginning; he got to know Berlin mainly in winter... But now he even finds Copenhagen a bit boring because everything looks so the same. In Berlin it's completely different, that's what he thinks is so great about Berlin: "Here you can live your life exactly the way you want to, no matter who and how you are. And that's exactly how it should be."
Jeppe lives with his family and Michael. The kitchen, he says, is of course the heart of the flat. This is where they have a beer together in the evening and even though there is more takeout - "good takeout" they both emphasise several times - than home-cooked food, the match kitchen with marble worktop is undoubtedly a place where everyone gets together regularly.

A PLACE WHERE PEOPLE LIKE TO WORK

The Belgian design by Muller van Severen is based on the traditional colour codes for cutting boards. The five colours can be put together individually. "Jeppe took quite a long time to choose the colours!", Michael teases his friend and business partner. Humour obviously plays a big role for the two Reform founders, they maintain a friendly atmosphere, not only complement each other's sentences.
Michael appreciates this good atmosphere: "One of the reasons why we founded our company is simply to create a good workplace for us and our employees. We want to be a place where people enjoy working." Jeppe adds that having many friends working at Reform is the best part of his job: "Every day is a bit like going to the youth club." The best conversations with friends, the best parties - all that always happens in the kitchen.

Translated by Alexander Brandes

 

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