Designer Arjan Lodder was inspired by German kitchen design when he started his company, Arjan Lodder Keukens, 20 years ago. He started small—Lodder’s wife and brother were his first employees—but 25 people now design and manufacture Lodder kitchens in the middle of the Netherlands. Everything is custom made, from hardwood cabinets to hardware. According to Lodder, “We make kitchens and interiors for people with evolving taste; people with an eye for quality. This may sound arrogant, but I don’t mean it that way. Our customer sees our work and appreciates the craft.”
Photography by Hendrick Biegs.
Above: This kitchen, called Amsterdam, is one of Lodder’s newest, finished in the spring of this year. In his very first kitchen, Lodder had painted the cabinets a pale yellow. It was a fortuitous choice: The kitchen was published in several design magazines and Lodder’s business took off.
Above: Many Lodder kitchens make use of full-height interior windows and doors. The storage jars on the top of the cart are by Sophie Van Heijningen.
Lodder describes the aesthetic of his kitchens as “sober luxury.” The company partners with high-end appliance manufacturers like Viking, Siemens, and Gaggenau. Lodder himself is mostly interested in color and loves to create new mixes—his most recent being a dark blue/black.
Above: The Amsterdam kitchen is at the heart of the home, lofted above the main living space.
Above: Almost everything in the kitchen is cleanly tucked away in stainless steel cabinets. An open cart on the concrete floor displays handmade pottery worth keeping on view.
Above: Lodder calls the Amsterdam kitchen “a beautiful mix of traditional and sleek.”
Above: Framed by hand-cut tiles, there’s just enough open shelving to keep the pretty things on display.
Lodder notes that a refined eye can develop over time: “Our oldest mechanic has worked for us for 19 years. In the beginning, he once said of—in my opinion—a very dowdy kitchen: Stunning! Now he has a developed eye and it’s nice to see how he uses it in his own house.”
Above: The company recently added “Interiors” to its name and expanded production to include doors, furniture, and closets. Says Lodder, “It’s nice if you can see the same materials used throughout your home.”
N.B.: This post is an update; the original story ran on December 11, 2014.