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Profile: Dark Good Looks and Raw Edges Give This Kitchen a Theatrical Style

Given its dark colour palette, everything stands out dramatically in this London loft kitchen
   EKBB Magazine  |  written on: 28-09-2021 14:50pm

Take one part theatre, one part film set and mix in a healthy dose of warehouse style. Add a pinch of TV chef, a sprig of Japanese zen and a dash of sleek Italian design, and what do you get? Just the starting point for the impressive London loft kitchen of actor and director Dexter Fletcher and his wife Dalia Ibelhauptaite.

The couple travel a lot and always buy interesting and original items to add to the look. The salvaged door opens to a pretty cabinet of delicate glasses and vases

Quick View

- Owners/residents: Actor and director Dexter Fletcher (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Eddie the Eagle) and his wife, opera singer and theatre director Dalia Ibelhauptaite

- Designer: Architect Angus Pond from APA Architects and Jessica Baldwin, designer at Poliform UK

- Style: Contemporary, industrial, minimalist

- Kitchen feature: The Varenna kitchen by Poliform has been designed using the Alea range which is all about flexibility and functionality and is perfect for loft living

Apart from the fact that it adds storage, the island faces the open plan living and dining area, thus allowing the couple to socialise when cooking or preparing food

Working with architect Angus Pond from APA Architects and designer Jessica Baldwin from Poliform UK, Dalia managed to achieve the ultimate minimalist beauty in this cook space. “Some people were afraid that the dark, masculine and graphite colour combination with the industrial look of stainless steel would feel very cold, but nothing could be further from the truth,” laughs Dalia. “In fact, it creates the perfect backdrop. Whether it is an orange bowl or a blue ceramic, everything looks so dramatic here, and all with honestly very little effort.”

Dramatic is the perfect word to describe this kitchen, which takes its lead from a joint feeling of wanting to create a show-stopping space to cook, as well as having a convivial atmosphere for friends, including chef and friend Jamie Oliver, to join them at the table. “We wanted something special that would be interesting for other people as well as us,” says Dalia. “Big and open plan, we also wanted the best technology and to use stainless steel, similar to professional kitchens, where everything is polished and clean.”

The kitchen has windows on both sides as well as the existing factory door, so actual wall space is at a premium. The design of the island and fitted cupboards need to work hard to fit everything in

The couple were keen to push the boundaries of design which is how the architect came up with an idea of a modular space which they describe as “like a Rubik’s Cube which moves, changes and evolves and is totally multifunctional.” A brave and bold look, it works within the design scheme of the apartment itself which incorporates raw steel walls, mesh screens, metal shelves, recesses and decorative niches everywhere. “We’ve always loved design company Poliform’s minimalist style and high quality design,” says Dalia. “They have a fresh modern feel, elegant design and maximum practicality. It is a total illusion that people can live without things. It’s actually all about storage, which is a matter of clever architectural and design decisions which Poliform do so well.”

Q & A – Jessica Baldwin, designer at Poliform UK

- What was your brief?
To design a beautiful kitchen without compromising on function. The objective was to ensure the design fully complemented the original factory features inherent to the style of this urban apartment.

- How did you begin to create that design?
I worked closely with Dalia to create her and Dexter’s ideal kitchen, taking care to consult them as the project moved forward. The kitchen was part of a major overall refurbishment – in fact there is nothing left from the old apartment apart from metal fire doors and the windows.

With a new hot tap in place, there’s no more waiting for the kettle to boil

- Were there challenges?
Yes, the biggest one was trying to incorporate all the appliances and not lose storage. The existing factory door, although key, was a big challenge due to its size, as it limits space. The door now sets the kitchen scheme, and looks great.

- How did you select the colours and the materials?
The client had a palette of materials in mind for the apartment which naturally flowed to the kitchen, choosing a dark Matt Lacquer Grafite to work with the stainless steel surfaces.

- And the appliances?
They are all Gaggenau and in stainless steel, so they tie into the kitchen. The client had some must-have appliances, one being the steam oven, as that is a truly healthy way to cook. Another was the Teppan Yaki hob, as again it was in keeping with the clients’ healthy lifestyle.

- What is the key reason for the success of this project?
I think being able to work closely with clients always makes such a difference. Dalia and Dexter had a very good understanding of their requirements to create their dream kitchen and working together we could bring these ideas to life.

Credit: Darren Chung (Images), Ciara Elliott (Words)
Published: As featured in EKBB Magazine, Issue 245, September 2016

Also read:
Profile: A Glass Fronted House Worthy of The Stunning Scenery That Surrounds It
Profile: An Eclectic Kitchen with A Dark, Dramatic Side

What do you like most about this kitchen? Tell us in the comments section below. 

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