We’re always thrilled when we discover new ways to customise IKEA products, without breaking the bank. And while there are plenty of overseas companies filling the void, Aussie options aren’t as numerous, which makes the work of Brisbane-based Ren Studio all the more exciting. Led by qualified interior designers Sarah de Bruyn and Hayley Shaw, the company manufactures high-end cabinetry fronts and accessories to fit IKEA kitchens, turning the mundane into something quite extraordinary.
“We love the functionality of IKEA’s joinery products but were after a completely different aesthetic than was on offer,” says Sarah who started the business after recognising that the Australian market really only offers two choices; custom joinery or flatpack. “We are the bridge between those options giving renovators with mid-range budgets a lot more choice than has been available to them,” says Sarah.
Inspired by similar companies such as Semihandmade in the US, and several other European ones, Ren Studio’s doors and fronts are virtually identical to those used in high-end interior design projects but the mix of ‘high and low’ elements makes the price point achievable for renovators. As for the available finishes, there’s plenty of designer options from whitewashed plywood to routed linear panels and matching shelving.
Ren Studio’s cupboard fronts and turned handles are currently only compatible with the IKEA Metod range, but the brand’s offering is expanding early this year to include the Pax warbrobe and Besta joinery too.
And as for the ordering and installation process, it’s fairly simple. Essentially, you design and order your kitchen (or soon to be wardrobe or drawers) directly through IKEA using the brand’s planning software. You then jump on the Ren Studio site and order the Australian made doors, drawer fronts, shelving and cover panels that you need. “We make the panels to order within a six-week turnaround and the client is responsible for all aspects of installation,” says Sarah. Too easy!