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Kitchen of the Week: A Culinary Space Inspired by a Painting

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Kitchen of the Week: A Culinary Space Inspired by a Painting

May 17, 2018

London couturier Anna Valentine was a ballet dancer before becoming a designer. And with her former business partner, Antonia Robinson, she deftly made her mark in the fashion world by dressing Camilla Parker Bowles in flattering dove gray silk (take a look) for her 2005 wedding to Prince Charles.

Known for her quietly cerebral and refined approach to design—she says she takes her influences “from the fluidity and elegance of dancers’ costumes, the pared-down simplicity of Scandinavian design, and the flattering rigors of Japanese-style draping”—Valentine, now solo, has gone on to outfit a number of royals and recently introduced her own ready-to-wear line. But what caught our attention is her magically ethereal-looking kitchen.

Photography courtesy of DRDH.

 Valentine and her husband, entertainment lawyer Jonathan Berger, live in one of the choicest corners of the city: an apartment in a Georgian house on Bryanston Square in Marylebone. The couple worked with London architects DRDH on its renovation, which involved restoring original details, such as the moldings, while, in the architects’ words “opening up the plan to light and the spatial interconnectedness of contemporary life.”
Above: Valentine and her husband, entertainment lawyer Jonathan Berger, live in one of the choicest corners of the city: an apartment in a Georgian house on Bryanston Square in Marylebone. The couple worked with London architects DRDH on its renovation, which involved restoring original details, such as the moldings, while, in the architects’ words “opening up the plan to light and the spatial interconnectedness of contemporary life.”

The look of the rooms, from pale palette to window height to herringbone wood floor, was inspired by the turn-of-the-20th-century paintings of hushed interiors by Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershoi. The trestle table and rustic stools, however, are a 21st-century casual-elegant twist. (For similar designs, consider Russell Pinch’s Oak and Walnut Imo Stool and Achille Castiglioni’s Leonardo Dining Table, both from the Conran Shop.)

French doors stand alongside bespoke cabinetry with marble counters. The apartment is on the piano nobile and opens to the garden. Learn about wood floor designs in our post Herringbone and Chevron: Spot the Difference.
Above: French doors stand alongside bespoke cabinetry with marble counters. The apartment is on the piano nobile and opens to the garden. Learn about wood floor designs in our post Herringbone and Chevron: Spot the Difference.
Hammershoi’s Dust Motes Dancing in the Sunbeams from 1900.
Above: Hammershoi’s Dust Motes Dancing in the Sunbeams from 1900.
The integrated marble sink. Considering marble for your own kitchen? Get the lowdown in Remodeling 101: Marble Countertops.
Above: The integrated marble sink. Considering marble for your own kitchen? Get the lowdown in Remodeling 101: Marble Countertops.
The otherwise minimalist arrangement offers plenty of storage in a tall cabinet that’s layered on top with a still life of vases and tableware. The kitchen opens to a hall of doors and windows that echo Hammershoi’s own rooms. “As in Hammershoi’s paintings of his home, Strandgade 30 in Copenhagen, doors of varying scales not only mediate the relationships between new and existing elements but also establish themselves as figures that occupy space and define its character,” explain the architects. The balloon-shaped Doorknobs are architect 6a designs from Izé.
Above: The otherwise minimalist arrangement offers plenty of storage in a tall cabinet that’s layered on top with a still life of vases and tableware. The kitchen opens to a hall of doors and windows that echo Hammershoi’s own rooms. “As in Hammershoi’s paintings of his home, Strandgade 30 in Copenhagen, doors of varying scales not only mediate the relationships between new and existing elements but also establish themselves as figures that occupy space and define its character,” explain the architects. The balloon-shaped Doorknobs are architect 6a designs from Izé.
Hammershoi’s Interior Strandgade 30, another of his room portraits from 1900.
Above: Hammershoi’s Interior Strandgade 30, another of his room portraits from 1900.
Like Hammershoi’s paintings, the kitchen speaks in a whisper—and fridge and stove are kept out of sight.
Above: Like Hammershoi’s paintings, the kitchen speaks in a whisper—and fridge and stove are kept out of sight.
DRDH’s apartment plan details the considerable space devoted to the kitchen.
Above: DRDH’s apartment plan details the considerable space devoted to the kitchen.

Go to Kitchens to see more of our favorite designs, including:

N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on November 19, 2015.

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