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The last kitchen that took Inga Sempé’s breath away was built in the 1950s—and it hadn’t been touched since. “All of the cupboards and drawers had some strange proportions; it was totally different from what you see now,” says the award-winning French designer who has worked with brands like Hay, Wästberg, Kvadrat, and Alessi. Sempé had never before designed kitchen cabinets, but that didn’t stop Danish brand Reform from asking her to spearhead its newest kitchen collection, Column, which officially launched this week.
Sempé turned to the past for inspiration; she channeled a time before perfectly square islands, Shaker-style doors, and brass hardware were everywhere. So where did the first-time kitchen designer land? On monolithic, chunky handles that stretch from the top to bottom, dividing the door fronts in two, of course. “It was very tricky and we tried a lot of different profiles—more or less rounded, more or less thick,” recalls Sempé.
This idea of hardware that is “one with the cabinetry” is one we’ve been watching slowly evolve. A few years ago, we began seeing cutout holes in drawers and doors—simply slide your finger or two through the opening to open sesame. And lately, as if everyone was beginning to read Sempé’s mind, we’ve started seeing bulky oak-wood pulls on refrigerator doors and handles that are so integrated into the profiles of the fronts that they almost look like the rails and stiles themselves.
Reform’s latest line, you could say, takes the idea to a new level. “The handle is what gives the real character to the kitchen, first with its shape and then through their repetition,” says Sempé. The Column collection features six cabinet colorways (including a pistachio green option!), but the good news is that you don’t have to choose just one finish for your space. Mix and match as you like—the seamless hardware will tie it all together in the end.