Kitchen of the Week: A Designer’s Own Ikea Hack Kitchen in Provence, Before and After

IIaria Fatone Scandinavian kitchen remodel with Ikea hack cabinets

Ilaria Fatone is an interior stylist and blogger who grew up in Milan, lives in Provence, and has a fondness for the sun-suffused Scandinavian look. All of those influences came into play when she was performing a total redo of her family’s galley kitchen in a ground-floor apartment unchanged since it was built in 1969.

“The renovation keywords were fluidity and coherence,” she says. “But my main intention was to bring in the maximum amount of natural light, and that was quite a challenge since the kitchen faces north.” Her solution? A high/low mix of clean-lined pale wood cabinetry—Ikea on the inside, custom on the out—Corian counters, a polished white concrete floor, and an ingenious sliding glass door. “It’s an open kitchen you can close—and it still looks open.” Join us for a guided tour, plus a look at Ilaria’s “Before” and “In Progress” shots.

Photography by Ilaria Fatone.


IIaria Fatone Ikea hack kitchen with sliding glass partition
Above: A wood- and glass-paneled sliding door creates a clever division between the kitchen—approximately 117 square feet—and the living-dining area.

Ilaria softens the look of both spaces with plants and baskets, here in artful combination.

IIaria Fatone Scandinavian kitchen remodel with Ikea hack cabinets
Above: “It’s an Ikea kitchen structure that I dressed up with tailor-made wooden drawer fronts,” says Ilaria of the under-counter storage.

Her carpenter first made the room’s sliding door partition, and she liked the look of it so much that she had him use the same hardwood, Western African fraké, on the drawers. “We kept them raw and minimal with no handles, just a gap to slip your hand in.” (Go to Cutout Cabinet Pulls to see a range of options.) The wall-hung shelves are painted plywood shipping boxes: They come with Ilaria’s subscription to Designer Box (a design surprise a month delivered to your door).

Corian counter and sink in designer Ilaria Fatone's kitchen remodel, South of France
Above: Indestructible, bright white Corian counters were Ilaria’s biggest expense: “They reflect the light.” In Remodeling 101, read up on Corian (and Corian Look-Alikes).

The Corian sink is notably European scaled: “We didn’t need a bigger one; we didn’t want it taking up too much space.” The faucet is a Brive from French brand Jacob Delafon.

Well-organized kitchen counter accessories with tray in designer Ilaria Fatone's kitchen remodel, South of France
Above: Evidence that a stylist is in residence: A wooden tray anchors a tidy ensemble of kitchen accessories. The cutting board is the Slice by Heerenhuis of Antwerp.
Eucalyptus in hanging straw vase and glass doors in designer Ilaria Fatone's ground-floor apartment kitchen
Above: Newly installed aluminum-framed glass doors replaced the old side entrance and bring more light into the room.

The doors overlook the street, so for privacy, Ilaria applied an inexpensive, removable matte plastic Window Film to the glass. It mimics frosted glass and “keeps the look minimal.” The hanging basket and market basket below are from Jamini Design, a Paris importer of Indian designs that happens to be making its NYC debut with a pop-up store at 171 Elizabeth St. open through May 14.

A glossy white storage wall with wall ovens and breakfast nook in designer Ilaria Fatone's kitchen in France
Above: On the opposite side of the room, Ikea Ringhult cabinets in glossy white create a workhorse storage system.
In addition to hiding the fridge and freezer, the setup has pantry and storage shelves and incorporates a stacked microwave (top) and wall oven by German brand De Dietrich, which also made the induction cooktop and minimalist white hood.[aside_posts ids=”608732,607590″]More like this[/aside_posts]

Ikea glossy white cabinets hide refrigerator and freezer—and also incorporate storage and a stacked wall oven and microwave
Above: The fridge (from Ikea) is on the left and the freezer is below the wall oven.

The aluminum cabinet pulls are Ikea Blankett handles; $9.99 for two.

Wall ovens, breakfast nook, and glass partition wall in designer Ilaria Fatone's kitchen in France
Above: When the sliding door is closed, it “makes one with the glass wall,” says Ilaria.

A Corian shelf tucked between the storage unit and wall serves as a breakfast nook and hangout spot. The stool is Hay’s About a Stool.

Italian pasta baskets decorate a kitchen wall in designer Ilaria Fatone's South of France Ikea hack kitchen
Above: Southern Italian baskets that belonged to Ilaria’s grandmother hang over the table. “They’re for drying fresh pasta, but I use them as trays when we eat outside, and the rest of the time, they give the kitchen a bohemian touch.”


Before kitchen photo Ilaria Fatone
Above: The kitchen was an unharmonious mix of homey elements when Ilaria and family bought the apartment.
Before kitchen photo Ilaria Fatone
Above: A door closed off the space from the living room.

In Progress

Kitchen remodel construction in progress, Ilaria Fatone France
Above: Ilaria wanted to begin afresh and put every inch to use.
Terracotta tile removal (and salvage) in a kitchen remodel
Above: The existing terracotta tiles were removed mostly intact.
How to open up a galley kitchen--Ilaria Fatone's remodel in progress. Shown here: step one of her sliding glass door panel.
Above: How to open up a galley kitchen: Step one of the sliding glass door panel.

Go to Ilaria Fatone to see more of the project.

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