Kitchen of the Week: A Two-Toned Design in Denmark

Stilleben, a design store in the heart of Copenhagen, specializes in household objects that “reflect the time we live in.” In addition to selling work by contemporary artisans, the brand has its own collections of ceramics, glass, and prints, even hair clips. A few years ago, Stilleben Kitchens was added to the roster.

The two kitchen models currently on offer are all about solid-wood craftsmanship, functionality (including a surprise place to perch), and artful color: The exteriors and interiors are often painted in two different tones to add a touch of surprise and Danish-style joie de vivre.

Here’s an example of Stilleben’s top-of-the-line design, the Frame Kitchen, composed of modules that are adapted to each household’s needs and space. A similar, more budget version, the Section Kitchen, is also available. Created by Stilleben founders Ditte Reckweg and Jelena Schou Nordentoft in collaboration with architect Ditlev Rahbek, the designs aim to present the kitchen as “both a practical work place and a social living space.⁠”

Photography courtesy of Stilleben and Stilleben Architects.

most stilleben kitchens are neutral on the outside and festive on the inside. t 14
Above: Most Stilleben kitchens are neutral on the outside and festive on the inside. They’re always painted by hand: Here, the company’s own colors Limestone and Misty Blue were used.

It belongs to Marie Louise and Mads and their three young kids who moved from an apartment to a 1920s townhouse in Fredericksburg, just west of Copenhagen, to gain more space—and be able to install their ideal kitchen. “The design had to be practical and sustain extensive everyday use where spilling and playing with food are part of life, says Marie Louise who works for Unicef. “We like the fact that the design is understated and doesn’t demand your attention, while at the same time it lifts everything around it.”

the parents requested an island “big enough that we can cook and ba 15
Above: The parents requested an island “big enough that we can cook and bake things together as a family, but small enough that it doesn’t dominate the room.” Like the cabinets, it’s made of FSC-certified oak, all hand built, and has a Silestone counter in Coral Clay. The oak and ash Tripper Stool and wall-hung Kitchen Shelf are signature pieces by Stilleben Architects.