Art Deco Kitchen and Dining Room, Mayfair

If you are a fan of the art deco kitchen or the flamboyant art deco period in general, then it’s quite possible you’d have seen images of the lift doors in the Chrysler Building in New York which have been the inspiration for a bespoke kitchen and dining room commission we have recently completed in Mayfair, Central London.

 

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To set the scene, the Chrysler Building was constructed in the competitive and fast paced world of 1920’s New York.  The economy in America was booming; the social scene was roaring, and the fields of design and architecture were creating their own very specific identities.  The discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tomb in 1922 had also unleashed a huge thirst for Egyptian design with the Karnak Temple in particular influencing global design detail of the time.

 

 

The Chrysler Building was funded entirely by Walter P Chrysler who incredibly paid for the building from his own pocket in order that his children and grand-children could benefit from it.  It was therefore he who made many of the bold design decisions alongside the architect William Van Allen.  The eccentric Art Deco crescent-shaped steps of the spire (spire scaffolding) were made of chrome-nickel steel as a stylised sunburst motif, and underneath it steel deco gargoyles, depicting American eagles, stare over the city. Sculptures modelled after Chrysler automobile radiator caps decorate the lower setbacks, along with ornaments of car wheels.   It really was an awe-inspiring folly.

 

 

There were many stunning and original design details included in the architecture of the Chrysler Building, but the one to influence the panelling and doors for our kitchen and dining room commission are the incredible lift doors, of which there are 32 sets within the Chrysler Building and 37 in the kitchen and dining room we are making.

 

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The lift doors in the Chrysler Building, New York.

Project 149 - View 1 - Closed

 

Project 149 - View 1 - Open

 

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Our rendered images of the approved design.

According to the book, New York, 1930, the Art Deco Chrysler Building Lift doors are made of Japanese ash, English gray harewood and Asian walnut. Inside the elevators, the cabs include American walnut, dye-ebonized wood, satinwood, Cuban plum-pudding wood and curly maple.  The cabs are all different inside.  The metal work is chrome-nickel steel to match the exterior of the building.

The project creative idea was originally conceived by our friends at Fletcher Priest Architects, with Artichoke being responsible for taking the conceptual idea of the art deco kitchen and then turning it into reality.

The design detail within the doors includes some fascinating references to Egyptian mythology including references to the Egyptian feather of truth (the feather, because of its Egyptian name, “shut”, was a symbol of Shu).  This may have been a clever attempt at humour by the architect.

 

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A marquetry bespoke Art Deco Kitchen and Dining room

Artichoke was asked to create a panelled bespoke art deco kitchen and dining-room for the project which overlooks Green Park.  The design had similarities to the original doors in the Chrysler Building, albeit with less flamboyant metalwork, pared down Egyptian references and sightly different decorative veneers.

There are many complexities to undertaking a marquetry job of this nature.  Firstly, unlike lift doors, kitchen doors are often different widths because they often house different hardware within them.  How do the designers ensure therefore that the panels are equal in size and mirror each other on either side of the room, a vital puzzle to solve in order to adhere to the classical symmetry and proportions so important in Deco design?

Secondly, from a purely practical point of view, how does one treat the copper sheet that’s embedded within some of the marquetry panels?  Research shows that copper contains a repellant which actually breaks down most rubber based glues, and other glues have varying degrees of success.  Copper also expands rapidly when heated, so a cautious approach is needed when sanding the veneers, otherwise the copper is likely to heat up with friction, expand and ping off.  Then, once the correct glue is found to successfully adhere copper, testing is needed to see how it reacts with the exotic wood veneers either side of it.  Any reaction, and it’s back to square one!

In addition to that, copper also dis-colours when being cut by laser, so specialist laser equipment with weaker strength beams were sourced specifically to cut the individual copper elements.

Grain direction is another big discussion point, as is trying to ensure that the flitches of veneers used in the doors match each other in both tone and scale as closely as possible.

 

A successful sample; an initial experiment gluing up copper and decorative veneers

There are six primary doors and thirty one secondary doors throughout the dining room and bespoke kitchen, including an automated moving partition wall that divides the rooms when entertaining.

 

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The initial layout of the marquetry doors with their materials listed.



How the marquetry is cut.

 

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Initial client sample showing veneers and copper inlay for the primary doors on the right hand side and secondary on the left.

The client approved the sample for the art deco kitchen’s secondary doors, but it was felt a more intricate pattern for the primary doors was needed.   The latest design is on the right hand side, showing a much more intricate pattern for the copper veneers on the primary doors.  You may notice that the Egyptian feather has been re-introduced to the design on the right.

 

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This more detailed elevation shows the intricate copper detailing on the primary marquetry panelled doors.

 

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All of Artichoke’s bespoke kitchen projects are first made digitally using engineering software. This ensures that all of the cabinet-making issues can be ironed out before real production starts.

 

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Detail of the copper in-situ.

 

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One of the 37 doors ready to be wrapped and taken to site.

 

The completed bespoke Art Deco kitchen and dining room

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art deco kitchen panels

 

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Historical & Period Kitchen Reference Images

At Artichoke, a significant number of the bespoke period kitchens  we are commissioned to design are in English country houses, many dating back many hundreds of years.  When designing for these clients, we find referencing from kitchens from the past a particularly useful way to gain inspiration.  Here are a few of the period kitchens that have inspired our work:

 

The scullery at Dunham Massey, Cheshire

 

The kitchen, Avebury Manor, Wiltshire (prior to its redecoration)

 

The Kitchen in the Basement at Ickworth, Suffolk.

 

The Kitchen at Attingham Park, Shropshire. The elm-topped table and dresser are filled with the copper batterie de cuisine.

 

The range and surrounding stonework with carved inscription in the Kitchen at Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire.

 

The double sink and taps in the Scullery at Dunham Massey, Cheshire.

 

The Kitchen at Dunham Massey, Cheshire.

 

The Kitchen with the Philip Webb dresser at Standen, West Sussex.

 

The Scullery at Tredegar House, Newport, South Wales. The wooden draining boards and sinks and plate rack are a modern replacement for the original fittings.

 

The Great Kitchen at Tredegar House, Newport, South Wales. The walls are partly tiled with 1880s Maw and Company tiles, with the upper parts painted blue which was a colour believed to repel flies.

 

Old kitchen equipment including graters, a corkscrew, a toasting fork and a sieve at Sunnycroft, Shropshire.

 

Old kitchen utensils used as display at Polesden Lacey restaurant, Surrey.

 

Part of the copper batterie de cuisine on the dresser shelves in the Kitchen at Attingham Park, Shropshire.

 

The Kitchen with wooden table, and range, at Osterley Park, Middlesex. The room has been a kitchen since the 1760s and is in the opposite corner of the house to the Eating Room, so that no noise or cooking odours should disturb the diners.

 

The sixteenth century kitchen built by Sir Richard Grenville at Buckland Abbey, Yelverton, Devon. The kitchen was re-sited to be near to the Great Hall and the room is dominated by two open hearths used for cooking. The walls are painted in a traditional pink limewash.

 

The Kitchen at Castle Drogo, Devon, with the circular beechwood table designed by the architect of the house, Edwin Lutyens. The only natural light in the room comes from the circular lantern window above the table, echoing its shape.

 

Partial view of the oak table designed by Lutyens and made by Dart & Francis in 1927 in the Butler’s Pantry at Castle Drogo, Devon.

 

Three large oak-framed sinks and the long rows of plate racks above partially lit in the Scullery at Castle Drogo.

 

The Larder with a food safe at Wightwick Manor, Wolverhampton, West Midlands.

 

Bespoke Kitchen Design Tips

Bespoke Kitchen Design Tips - Header image

 

Artichoke’s approach to kitchen design is far more architectural than most, and we are highly experienced in resolving how interior space is organised by furniture.

Before any drawing work is done, it’s important for us to gain a thorough understanding of our clients domestic arrangements.  Gaining this knowledge helps us design spaces that work effortlessly.  It is the key to providing functional solutions for our clients.

 

General Requirements

The key to a successful outcome is to establish a clear brief for the kitchen and surrounding areas of the house.

Who is the client?
Is the person providing us with the brief for the kitchen the person paying for it?  To us it is vital to establish a relationship with all interested parties.

Who will be using the kitchen and how does the household operate?
Sounds like an odd question, but often, the person who will be using the kitchen is not the same person paying for it.  For instance, some clients have housekeepers, so it’s vital to understand their needs within the kitchen also.

How many people does the kitchen need to serve on a daily basis?

What is the largest number of people the kitchen needs to cater for on a semi regular basis?

Does the client have a budget?
It is vital to establish a budget for the kitchen early on.  Setting financial expectations from the outset will help control the kitchen specification.

What are the client priorities for the kitchen: Quality / Cost / Function / Aesthetics / Deliverability?
The prioritisation of these five topics will have an impact on the kitchen design.

What is the time frame for the project?  
The sooner we can identify and consider the risks to the project; the more effective we will be in providing for them.   Quite often for instance, the builder will be screaming for positions of gas, water, extraction and drainage before the design has even been started.

Does the kitchen need to accommodate religious dietary needs such as ‘Kosher’?  
This is important as some religions have very specific food storage needs.

Is the property listed?  What are the listing restrictions and do any apply to the kitchen space, ducting routes etc?

 

Wolf range oven with bespoke aged extraction hood

 

Where is the kitchen located within the house?
Has it been nominated enough space?

Is there a requirement for the kitchen to be supported and serviced by others rooms such a scullery, cold room, dry larder, wines cellar or butler’s pantry?

What is the route in to the house and kitchen for groceries, and what is the route out for waste?  Where is the location of waste for recycling?
Understanding this can have an important influence on the position of fridges, bins and internal doors.

Is there an existing kitchen, and are its contents relevant? 
Quite often there is a real benefit in surveying the clients’ existing contents and existing storage volume as this can have a direct bearing on how the new bespoke kitchen is designed.

What is the floor finish?
We need to first consider the setting out of the floor in relation to the kitchen plinth lines to ensure joins don’t clash or look ill-considered.

What is the structure of the flooring proposed?
The weight of the kitchen furniture and kitchen appliances are significant as they will deflect the sub floor and compress the floor coverings if they are not correctly engineered.

What are the window furnishings?
Do they need to be accommodated into the design?

What are the heating requirements for the kitchen and how is the space to be heated?
If the kitchen is under floor heated, BTU calculations should be made by excluding the kitchen furniture foot print, otherwise too much heating might be installed into the room.  Heating underneath fine furniture is also likely to cause timber movement and potentially structural damage.

What are the general ergonomics of the client?
Are they exceptionally tall, and what is the height of their partner?  Do they have any disabilities to consider?

 

Bespoke Kitchen Design Tips - Knives and storage

 

Appliances and Kitchen Equipment

What fuel type is available?
Often in rural locations, natural gas is not available which means LPG needs to be considered as an alternative.  If the LPG route needs to me taken, checks need to be made to ensure that chosen gas appliances can be converted to LPG.

What is the oven capacity needed and how many hobs are required?

Does the client prefer a range oven or ovens in column?
Understanding the age of the client is an an import factor when choosing positions of ovens in a kitchen, flooring types, access, waste routes and so on.

What type of cooking does the user of the kitchen do?
Knowing this will effect the choice of appliances.  Oven types can vary from conventional, fan assisted, grilling, baking, steaming, microwave and multi-functional options whereas hobs now come in a dizzying variety, including ceramic, induction, gas, wok, grille, steam, fryer, Teppanyaki, domino.

What are the kitchen extraction requirements?
Where is extractor motor located?  Ideally in-line or externally as this will be quieter. Does the client fry a great deal on a Teppanyaki type hob?  Knowing the size of the room in cubic metres will effect the size of the extractor motor.

What type of lighting is integrated into the extractor system?
Does this co-ordinate with the task lighting throughout the rest of the kitchen?

 

Additional cold storage in the pantry of a 19th century London house

 

Refrigeration

What volume of refrigeration and freezer is required?

Is there remote cold storage available?
There is little point in taking up critical space in the main kitchen with long term storage.

What wine storage and cold drink storage is needed? 

Is cold water and ice making required?

 

This recessed cupboard conceals a fridge. The other hides a microwave and pot storage.

 

Water, Sinks, Dishwashing and Waste

Is there enough drop?
It’s important to consider waste water routes when siting sinks to ensure enough drop is available to deliver grey water into the drainage.

Thought should be given towards the material of the sink.
Consider the suitability of the kitchen sink materials from a functional and aesthetic perspective.  Options include ceramic / cast iron enameled / stainless steel / wooden / corian / synthetic / stone.  If there is crystal being hand washed in the scullery sink then wood is more appropriate than cast iron.

Consider the different uses of a sink.
Preparation of food, drainage for cooking liquids, and scullery. In larger kitchens that serve large volumes, it helps to separate these functions. In smaller compact spaces it may be necessary to combine all these function into one sink.

Thick worktops
When specifying thick kitchen worktops, consider the fixing of taps; it may be necessary to undercut the worktop to accommodate the thread length of the tap.

Solid Stone Sinks
When specifying stone sinks it is well worth understanding their weight, depth, support and how to integrate ‘over flows’.

Matching metal finishes.
When specifying taps and sprays it is important to consider the metal finishes available.  Is it possible for the taps to match the wastes in the sink?  Will they have to be custom finished?

Dishwashers
Dishwashers have a minimum height beyond which they cannot be compressed. With integrated models it is important to ensure the height of the plinth and length of the integrated door is considered so the geometry of opening door works. Particular care should be taken with ‘in frame’ doors.  If the kitchen caters for large parties, are two dishwashers needed?

Bin Drawer Doors
Dishwashers and bin drawers are the most frequently used moving parts of a kitchen, and therefore need to be robust. Does the adjoining furniture need to be protected from steam and water? The design of a bin drawer needs to facilitate easy cleaning and sorting of waste for recycling.

Waste Disposal
Is kitchen waste disposal needed?  Switched or continuous feed?

Consider the storage of waste. If possible, do not store waste within the kitchen but look to a transitory location for larger volumes between ‘bin days’.  Dealing with waste is an essential process within a household and a holistic strategy needs to be developed that works.

 

Designing a bespoke, luxury kitchen - Quarta option

 

Kitchen Equipment and Gadgets

There are a never ending list of kitchen gadgets and equipment for food preparation.  It is worthwhile finding out which ones need to be stored in and around the kitchen; here is a check list:

  • Integrated and worktop coffee machines.
  • Sous-vide.
  • Multifunctional taps (and affiliated reservoirs).
  • Bar top bottle coolers.
  • Ice cream makers.
  • Bread makers.
  • Fish kettles.
  • Rice steamers.
  • Food processor.
  • Mixers.
  • Juicers.
  • Coffee grinders.
  • Sandwich toaster.

 

For further information, call Bruce or Andrew on 01934 745 270 or email newprojects@artichoke-ltd.com

 

What Stone and Marble for Luxury Bespoke Kitchens?

During the design process of any bespoke kitchen, discussions will inevitably reach the marble or granite worktops question.  Choosing the right stone for kitchen worktops is not straight forward. Each have their pros and cons, and there is no right or wrong answer.

Hopefully this blog post will act as a useful guide for each material, but feel free to contact us if you’d like to discuss your options.

 

 

Marble

In our view, marble is the most beautiful kitchen worktop material. Generally the patterns, hues and colours available in marbles are softer and more elegant than granite, so we prefer them aesthetically and we feel its beauty outweighs its flaws.

Marble types vary in density, porosity and mineral content, and they will all stain if acids (such as red wine and lemon juice) are left on them for hours unchecked. However, if your marble surface is sealed and the offending material is removed quickly, you should be fine.  Marble is also softer than granites so it will etch and antique with wear.  It is similar to timber in this respect and it will create its own beautiful patina over time.  We see this wear as an attractive quality.  We discuss Marble in greater depth here.

 

close up of drawers
Combining timber with Carrara marble often works well
Granite

Granite worktops are the most robust of all natural kitchen worksurface stones. It is dense, scratch resistant and does not stain. It is an excellent material for use in a busy kitchen.

With reasonable care, granite worktops will stay looking new for many years. In our experience, because granites are the post popular kitchen stone worksurface, they also tend to be more susceptible to trend, meaning that they can also quickly go out of trend. Certainly a few years ago, polished black granite was a popular choice. Now it tends to be less so, and whenever we install it now we tend to hone it to remove the polished surface, or flame it, a process which textures and antiques the surface.

Because of the way granite if formed geologically (it is volcanic as opposed to marble which is formed from sea bed activity), its patterns are, in our view, less exciting. They are typically more aggressive, bolder, harsher and less refined, and we tend to opt for using them in a scullery or pantry environment where the worksurfaces are likely to get more wear and looks are less important.

 

Flamed Granite 1
A flamed surface will give worktop surfaces a texture which softens or antiques the stone, making it more interesting. It also diffuses reflections from light sources within the room.
Wood

Wooden kitchen work surfaces wear quickly in comparison to stone.  It is less suitable for use as a kitchen work-surface, particularly around wet areas, but it can look spectacular in a period country house environment.  Our blog on kitchens in period country houses has some great images of period kitchens with wooden worktops.

Oak is the most commonly used solid timber kitchen worksurface in Britain.  It is warm to the touch and looks great, but it needs to be heavily protected with modern lacquers before it is fitted. Over time (in under ten years), these lacquers will wear, particularly in heavy use areas around the sink.  Once the lacquer is worn and water can access the oak, it will start to go black (particularly around the sink taps), and ultimately may the surface may need to be replaced.

If you are going to use oak, we would suggest not using it near sinks or wet areas. The island in the bespoke Edwardian cook’s kitchen we designed for a client uses both Italian black basalt and oak, with the basalt being used for the wet areas and the oak for the preparation areas.  This is a good compromise.

 

Basalt

Basalt is a good alternative to Granite worktops (they are both silicates).  It is hard, wears well and looks great, but mainly comes in dark colours (greys, blacks and blues) owing to the iron and magnesium that contaminates it during its formation.

 

Italian basalt
Artichoke used Italian basalt for this kitchen near Haslemere in Surrey.

Artichoke are fans of basalt, which is warm to the touch and softer to the feel than granite.  Some people think it looks a little like concrete.

 

Slate

Slate is formed from heavily compressed clay at low heat and is very finely grained. Most slate (Welsh slate in particular) is not suitable for kitchen work surfaces. It stains easily with acid (wine, lemon juice etc) and it can chip.

Artichoke does occasionally use slate from Cumbrian quarries for bespoke kitchens. These Cumbrian slates are extremely hard, extremely beautiful and do perform like granite (although can scratch a little easier).  They have beautiful graining and are soft to the touch.  A disadvantage is that most slates do not come in slabs longer than 1,800mm long, which is around 1,000mm shorter than the lengths available in granite.

Artichoke typically use slates in pantries.

 

(Top Left) Bursting Stone, (Top Right) Bayclift Lord, Bottom Left (Kirkstone Silver Green), (Bottom Right) Kirkstone Brathay Blue
Corian

Corian is an entirely man-made material formed primarily from an acrylic polymer.  It is non-porous, stain resistant, heat resistant and repairable.  It can be jointed seamlessly and is also flexible when heated, which allows it to be moulded into limitless forms.

It burns at 212 Fahrenheit / 100 centigrade, so it will not take very hot pans like granite will, but it can be seamlessly repaired should burn damage occur.

It also comes in a wide variety of colours, and because it can be bonded seamlessly to other Corian products, a worktop can mould seamlessly into a sink without any visible join, making it excellent for hygenic use.  Artichoke often designs Corian into pantry environments.

Being man-made, there are no natural fissures or graining, making it a great choice for contemporary kitchens in particular.

In this Artichoke project, the work-surface and the backsplash were seamlessly jointed and curved at the join, meaning there are no angled corners for dirt to collect. The sinks are also seamlessly jointed to the work surfaces.

 

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The Corian work-surface in this kitchen runs seamlessly into the backs plash with no visible joins.

250315 - Utility Sink

For this scullery in a circular house, Artichoke used Corian for the walls aswell as the sink.  To see more details of this project, visit this page.

 

Quartz

Quartz worksurfaces such as Okite are made from three ingredients; quartz, polyester resin and colouring.  Around 90% of the material is made from quartz, and it is highly resistant to staining, heat and scratches, five times stronger than granite and non-porous.

It can also be “grained” and made to look like marbles and natural stone.  This process is well refined now and manufacturers have it down to a fine art.  It is a realistic alternative to marble but the graining can be a little formulaic.

 

Concrete

Concrete is a great kitchen worksurface, particularly if you are after a modernist / industrial look.  Contrete typically comes with a smooth surface or with an aggregate surface and it can be pigmented to colour it.   Depending on the shape and size of the piece, it can be cast on site or bought in pre-cast.

Concrete is porous and it will mark.  If you place a coffee mug onto the surface, it will mark.  The same applies to oil and other liquids such as wine, and if you are fastidious about perfect unblemished surfaces, then this is not the surface for you.  If you are prepared to relax and let daily life create it’s own patina however, it will look amazing in five years.

 

Stone Sealants

A recent online discussion with Russel Taylor Architects reminded me that I had missed out an important element; caring for stone.  Their comments, which I quote here word for word, are worth reading.  “To be on the safe side, our suggestion would be to use a stone sealant. Some of the stone sealants now available on the market are very good and absolutely invisible: they are not shiny and don’t change the colour or texture of the stone in any way, but make it completely resilient to water and oil penetration. We have used successfully on stone work tops VULCASEAL V201 and Lithofin STAINSTOP, Lithofin MN Stain-Stop ECO, Lithofin Nano-TOP.

Always, always, A-L-W-A-Y-S produce a sample of whatever treatment you decide to use and let it dry properly before applying it to the whole surface.”

Thank you Russel Taylor Architects!

And in addition to that, Artichoke often provides sealed stone samples to clients to then pour wine on, leave lemon juice on and generally treat badly; this is a good way to gain confidence in what you are are buying.

 

 

Articles About Artichoke

 

Country Life

“A stunning country kitchen, which draws inspiration from the late Victorian kitchen at Lanhydrock, Cornwall”
https://www.countrylife.co.uk/interiors/stunning-country-kitchen-draws-inspiration-late-victorian-kitchen-lanhydrock-cornwall-187969#JdtBDk3V3wS4ByPJ.99

 

Architectural Digest

“People are obsessed with that kitchen”, says Michael Smith, the interior designer on our recent Kensington project.
http://www.architecturaldigest.com/decor/2014-09/natalie-massenet-michael-smith-london-mansion-article

 

My Design Chic

“We all know the kitchen is heart of the home. And we think few designers know how to get that heart in shape like Artichoke.”
http://www.mydesignchic.com/2013/09/in-good-taste-artichoke-ltd/

 

Dear Designer Blog

“As bespoke kitchens go, this one is pretty damn close to perfection for me.”
http://deardesigner.co.uk/a-modern-rustic-kitchen-by-artichoke/

 

Derring Hall

“The UK based kitchen specialists at Artichoke have just revealed another fantastic bespoke kitchen.”
https://deringhall.com/daily-features/contributors/dpages/past-meets-present-in-a-timeless-tuscan-kitchen

 

House and Garden

“This is a kitchen of two halves.  One side traditional, the other side modern.”
http://www.houseandgarden.co.uk/interiors/bespoke-kitchens/view/interiors/furnishings/artichoke-bespoke-kitchens

 

Houzz

“…one of the best kitchens we have seen for a long time. We particularly love the shelf brackets.   Some of us are now wishing others hadn’t seen this photo!”
http://www.houzz.co.uk/ideabooks/34469496/list/kitchen-of-the-week-historic-influences-in-a-luxurious-bespoke-kitchen

 

Derring Hall

“Peek inside 11 designer’s stylish London projects”
https://deringhall.com/daily-features/contributors/dering-hall/peek-inside-11-designers-stylish-london-projects

 

Elle Decoration

“Want curved kitchen cupboards or Art Deco finishes on your cabinets? No challenge is too great for this Somerset-based practice, which can help to make even the most ambitious plan a reality.”
http://www.elledecoration.co.uk/directory-2/handmade-kitchens/

 

The London Magazine

“Foreign homeowners want craftsmanship and authenticity…”
http://www.thelondonmagazine.co.uk/interiors-gardens/celebrity-homes/oligarch-chic.html

 

Pufik Homes

“Quality and exquisite style has become the hallmark of the company”. Russian Luxury Interiors website Pufik Homes seem to love our work.  http://www.pufikhomes.com/2013/11/artichoke-zamechatelnyie-kuhni-ot-angliyskih-dizaynerov/

 

Houzz

Kitchen of the Week:  “Designed to feel much like a galley on a boat, this modern yet soft-lined kitchen features warm woods and elegant details.”
http://www.houzz.co.uk/ideabooks/46592347/list/kitchen-of-the-week-a-warm-and-contemporary-kitchen-on-the-river-dart

 

Archello

“Used by the cognescenti, Artichoke is well known for it’s understated and elegant approach to design.”
http://www.archello.com/en/product/project-820
http://www.archello.com/en/product/project-1086
http://www.archello.com/en/product/project-1120

 

LUX Worldwide

“For a truly classical country-style kitchen, there are few designers that can match Artichoke”
http://www.luxworldwide.com/magazine/lifestyle/kitchens-heart-of-the-home/

 

Houzz

“Modern twists on the classics…”
http://www.houzz.co.uk/ideabooks/45593036/list/lifestyle-design-lessons-my-mother-taught-me

 

Stylejuicer

“Artichoke are masters in their field…”  Thanks Annie at the wonderful Stylejuicer!
http://stylejuicer.com/home-and-interior/bespoke-kitchen-british-craftsmen-artichoke/

 

Trendir

“…kitchen glamor at it’s best”
http://www.trendir.com/beautiful-edwardian-style-kitchen-by-artichoke/

 

Agrell Carving

Great blog about a baroque library project we’re working on with Agrell Carving.
http://www.agrellcarving.co.uk/blog/2011-03-02/taking-influence-strahov-monastery-hand-carve-beautiful-baroque-library

 

DPAGES

D is a blog site committed to sharing all that’s cool and beautiful in the world of art, architecture, and design.  Thanks for including us in that!
http://blog.thedpages.com/kitchens-small-details-to-the-big-picture/

 

Home and Stone

Thanks to these bloggers for including our work in their “What’s Hot”  item.
http://blog.homeandstone.com/2014/01/whats-hot-in-the-kitchen-trends-to-watch-for-in-2014/

 

Lonny.com

“The kitchen is a perfect match for the home itself: grand yet livable, historic yet contemporary, and above all impeccably proportioned.”
http://www.lonny.com/Steal+This+Look+Classic+Meets+Contemporary+Kitchen

 

Desire to Inspire

“Artichoke is a group of designers of the highest quality bespoke kitchens, architectural interiors and furniture in the UK. This is what I would like to call kitchen porn folks. KITCHENS KITCHENS KITCHENS. And they are FAB.U.LOUS.”
http://www.desiretoinspire.net/blog/2013/9/18/artichoke.html

 

Domaine Home

“Go bold and select a copper-clad stove like the one seen in this stunning kitchen….”
http://www.mydomaine.com/new-kitchen-trends/

 

Dreambook Design

Thanks Adri and Jeremy for including us on your Design Inspiration Monday!
http://dreambookdesign.com/2013/07/design-inspiration-monday-23/

 

DKY 360

We’ve made it all the way to Germany!
http://www.dyk360-kuechen.de/blog/

 

To see more of the stunning work we have completed please click here.

Villa Guglielmesca, Tuscany, Italy

Villa Guglielmesca is situated near the town of Cortona, in the province of Arezzo in Tuscany. While the prevailing character of Cortona’s architecture is medieval Renaissance, the villa itself dates back to the beginning of the 1900’s.  Originally a private house, it was transformed into a hotel with 12 bedrooms in the 1950’s before being purchased by the current owner.

 

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Villa Guglielmesca, Cortona, Arezzo, Tuscany, Italy (in 2011 before work started)
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The View from the Villa

In 2010, Artichoke was commissioned directly by the owner to reconfigure the Villa and make it function again as a private residence.  This has involved extensive interior architectural design work by Artichoke’s creative team and includes designing the architecture and furniture for the entrance hall, master bedrooms, bespoke kitchen, dining room, butler’s pantry, boot-room, guest and master bathrooms, ballroom, interior architectural joinery, doors, skirting and floors.

 

Front Entrance Door

The front entrace door was designed taking inspiration from the architecture of local vernacular. Our initial design below proposed the door as European Walnut, althoughthe door is now more likely to be hand painted.  The exterior elevation on the left shows the stone architrave which will be in Pietra Serena to match the the Tuscan columns we designed for the interior.  Pietra Serena is a beautiful grey Tuscan sandstone which was used by Michelangelo in the Medici Chapel Romeare.

 

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The splayed reveal August 2014, ready for plastering
Entrance Hall Design

Below is the Entrance Hall as it existed while Villa Guglielmesca was a hotel.   As you can see, the existing interior architecture of the Villa required significant design work.  Our initial focus was to research and gain a thorough understanding of local vernacular to create an appropriate space for family living.

 

The Villa’s entrance hall when it was a hotel

The images below show the approved Artichoke re-design of the entrance hall with twinned Etruscan columns supporting the vaulted ceiling and hiding the re-enforced concrete columns. The stone we are using fo the columns are made from Pietra Serena.

 

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Artichoke’s re-design of the entrance hall

 

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Plans show Artichoke’s architectural plans for the main hall

 

Bespoke Kitchen Interior Design

Artichoke’s design team also introduced the groin vaulted ceiling detail used in the entrance hall to the principal bespoke kitchen as both a device to architecturally tie the two ends of the vast space together and to frame the large open fireplace (also designed by us).

 

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The Villa’s kitchen space taken back to brick

Inspiration for the bespoke kitchen design in Villa Guglielmesca was taken from typical Tuscan agricultural furniture design.  The primary timber being used for the kitchen is French oak. The oak on the island will be bleached and the oak for the pan-shelves will be fumed to age them. The bread board island tops will be made from wild-grain European Walnut which we will source in Italy. The arched doors on the end of the island, which is plastered, are made from solid oak, and roughly hand planed across the grain with a curved plane blade to create an aged effect. The glazed dresser doors close on traditional espagnoletes.

 

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Image shows the two brick islands finished in rough finish lime render
Boot room Design

Artichoke’s design teams have designed numerous bespoke bootrooms for country properties and apart from plenty of storage, a key aspect to most successful bootroom designs is combining practicality with simplicity.  Bootrooms get a lot of wear. They get dirty and are more loved for their practicality than their looks, mainly because most of the fitted furniture becomes draped in coats, hats and scarves, and eventually much of it become invisible. Artichoke designed the Villa’s boot-room with drainage at the centre of the room to allow mud to be washed and brushed away.

 

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Artichoke’s design for the Villa’s bootroom
Kitchen Fireplace

Artichoke designed the fireplace and surround as a multi-functional space, and it is far from simply decorative.  A chargrill has been designed on the right hand side, with the left reserved for open fires and spit-roasting meats.  The stone for the surround is Pietra Serena.

 

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Shows the Artichoke designed fireplace being prepared in tandem with the groined ceiling, also designed by us
Interior Architecture

There are nearly 100 individual features designed by Artichoke inside Villa Guglielmesca, including coffered ceilings, fireplaces, windows, columns, doors and stone architraves.   A few examples can be seen below:

 

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Construction in progress of the groined ceiling in the Villa’s Limonaria

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Pietra Serena stone architrave being set into the Villa walls
One of the Artichoke designed Pietra Serena window surrounds

 

Installation Phase
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Artichoke’s European walnut vanity unit with walnut mirrors. The marble to be added will be Carrara
The Villa’s exterior showing the Pietra Serena windows and door frames designed by Artichoke. The shutters were make locally

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Walnut skirting was designed for the dining room
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Artichoke designed this simple linen store. Note the detail in the clay tiles at the threshold of the door

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Completed Project

A small selection of images from the completed project are below.

Kitchen

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Scullery

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Bootroom

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Guest WC

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Hallway Doors

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Selected Architectural Joinery

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