When you design and produce kitchens for a living, you get to use your own quarters as a testing ground. Kine Ask Stenersen and Kristoffer Eng are the couple behind Ask og Eng, the Oslo, Norway-based workshop known for its artful Ikea hacks: they specialize in making bamboo fronts for Ikea kitchen cabinets.
The duo have also begun to create their own fully custom kitchens. After living with one of their very first Ikea upgrades, they recently decided to replace it with a bespoke design that showcases their newest bamboo finish. See Ikea Elevated for a look at their initial line, and join us for a tour of their kitchen.
Photography by Kine Ask Stenersen, courtesy of Ask og Eng.
Drammen is a 40-minute commute to the Ask og Eng workshop and showroom in Oslo. Kine and Kristoffer both grew up in Drammen—he’s an architect and she studied environmental geography (and brings a green mindset to their collaborations). Five years ago, they moved here from Oslo to be close to family, and say that it’s thanks to Kristoffer’s engineer fatherm and his know-how and many tools (plus relatives ready to help with childcare), that they were able to get their company off the ground.
Their former kitchen, which they had “sawn, sanded, and oiled” in their garage, got disassembled and most of the parts have found new homes in other projects; many of the furnishings and appliances stayed put.
Some of the advantages of working in bamboo, the couple say, are that it’s a fast-growing grass that’s lightweight and strong. They get their raw material from certified plantations “to be sure it’s not only sustainable but produced responsibly.”
Of the overhead storage, Kine says, “The room is very sunny but we have a lot of dark periods here. To keep the space feeling open and bright, we decided against wall-hung cabinets and instead used our A7 Cross Shelf.”
Here are some other standout kitchens that designers created for themselves: