A Fabulous Art Deco Kitchen

by theartofbespoke in Kitchens

When interior designer Broosk Saib wanted to renovate his mother’s kitchen, he called on kitchen expert Neil Norton to help create a fabulous art deco space.

Interior designer Broosk Saib works on the kind of top-level homes most of us only read about in magazines. Chelsea townhouses, holiday homes in Saint Tropez – these are his bread and butter. But when it came to designing his mother’s kitchen, Broosk called in Neil Norton from Open Plan Designs.

You might think that a designer would be able to go it alone, but everyone, it seems, could do with a hand when it comes to fitting out the most important room of the house. ‘Most interiors people use kitchen designers,’ says Saib. ‘I might style it – choose the colours, fittings and whatever – but you need a kitchen designer to actually make it work and sort out the specifications.’ Plus, he had another reason for calling in support. ‘It’s so difficult to work with family. People pay us so that they can take our advice, but how on earth is my Mum going to treat me as an advisor? She still treats me like a kid!’

Together, he and Neil came up with a plan to get rid of the existing kitchen (‘something done in the 90s that everyone was sick and tired of,’ says Saib) and create a room more appropriate to the building. ‘It’s a 1930s block – very art deco – so we wanted something that was in keeping, without looking theatrically deco,’ he says. The result is a striking black-and-white look that nods to the era, yet still looks modern.

‘There’s something very unusual about it when you walk in. It’s very pleasant and inviting to work in there.’

‘I love it because it’s very clean and easy on the eye,’ says Saib. ‘You’ve got the contrast of the colouring, plus it manages to be both contemporary yet traditional.’ His favourite feature is its half-moon shape. ‘There’s something very unusual about it when you walk in,’ he says. ‘It’s very pleasant and inviting to work in there.’

Saib is someone who does a lot of cooking himself, so he knows what makes a good workspace. ‘I like a kitchen,’ he says. ‘I know what happens in there. And the key to a good kitchen is, he thinks, appliances. ‘Look is important, but the appliances are absolutely vital,’ he says. He and Neil plumped for Miele. ‘They’re reliable and efficient,’ he says.

The budget for this particular kitchen came in at just over £40,000. But if your own budget doesn’t stretch that far, there are ways of cutting corners. ‘There are companies that will sell you a fully assembled kitchen,’ says Saib. ‘I went to the Ideal Home exhibition – it’s aimed at the consumer rather than the designer, so I’m not really a fan – but there I found a company from which you can buy the furniture and then put it together yourself.’

That said, he recommends investing as much as you can. ‘Generally I don’t think that kitchens and bathrooms are areas where one should be penny pinching. Obviously you’ve got to keep within what you can afford, but there’s a market for everyone, from Ikea to the very top-end brands. And within that market I would go for the maximum possible within one’s reach.’

Certainly, he and his mother have no regrets about what they spent on the art deco kitchen. ‘If I were to do it again, I’d do it in exactly the same way,’ he says. ‘My own kitchen is very similar to the one Neil and I designed. I’ve been enjoying it for 15 years and I really use it. It isn’t just something to look at.’

This is a sponsored feature. If you have a project you would like to discuss with Neil, you can see more of his work and contact him through the Open Plan Designs sourcebook page


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