Kitchen of the Week: An American In London Creates Her Dream Ikea Hack Kitchen

I recently received a kitchen remodel alert on Instagram from an avid Remodelista reader. “Ferren Gipson is an art star in the UK,” she wrote. “I love what she’s done.” We did, too, and, in turn, direct messaged Ferren. “I plan our designs myself and I have so much self-doubt along the way, so it’s so nice to have you get in touch,” she responded.

An American art historian in London, host of the podcast Art Matters, and author of Women’s Work: From Feminine Arts to Feminist Art, Ferren and her husband, Tom Lloyd, a tech marketing specialist, and their young son, Winter, live in a Victorian row house in Peckham, which, she explained, they bought in 2020 with plans to right several wrongs. Years ago, the structure had been divided in two and stripped of its original detailing, “but it wasn’t in terrible shape.”

They tackled the bathroom first, so it could accommodate the boiler and washing machine that were hogging space in the kitchen. (You can see the bath here.) Then Ferren sketched a plan for the cook space: Streamlined, sunny, textural, and composed, what she had in mind was the opposite of the existing 1990s kitchen with its blocky wood-veneer cabinets and fridge planted in the dining room. Scroll to the end for a Before shot, and join us for a look at what the kitchen has become.

Photography by Ferren Gipson (@ferrengipson).


“we were inspired by design elements found in commercial spaces, su 14
Above: “We were inspired by design elements found in commercial spaces, such as terrazzo flooring, and wanted a vaguely 1960s/1970s feel,” says Ferren. While dealing with Covid delays, she managed to execute her plan with help from Ikea’s design staff and the remodeling crew at Palali Construction.

To open up the space, Ferren had a partial wall removed and opted for below-counter-only cabinets from Ikea upgraded with painted wood fronts by Naked Doors: “saved us a lot rather than getting fully bespoke cabinets.” With the boiler and washer gone, there was room to add a dishwasher and microwave, gain back some wall space, and “not have to look at a boiler.”

ferren used ikea’s deje countertop and haven sink. she sourced the  15
Above: Ferren used Ikea’s Deje countertop and Haven sink. She sourced the matte white pull-out faucet from Tap Warehouse. Working from home and grateful to have their new kitchen, she and Tom have been adding the finishing touches. Their Brass Dish Drainer and rainbow-shaped silicone Dish Tray are by OYOY of Denmark.