Formed by Alix Lawson and Charlotte Robb in 2003, Lawson Robb is an award-winning international interior architecture and interior design studio with headquarters in London. The studio’s client base is predominantly international (80%), with homes in the UK and overseas. Clients tend to be well-versed in design, and so want their tastes and understanding extended through the interiors of their own homes.
Lawson Robb does just this; with an interior architecture and design team that is itself international and experienced in both residential and five-star-plus hospitality, their designs challenge the status quo, and always deliver innovations through materials and a sculptural approach to space. Clients love the haute couture discipline, made just for them and executed with precision and creative flair. Here they share with The LuxPad one of their more recently completed projects in Belgravia, London.
Project name: Lyall Street Bachelor Kitchen
The client, a keen cook, certainly knows his Yoshihiro from his swordsmith’s Nesmuk. He wanted to create a space for informal dining, where guests would enjoy culinary theatre and share plates in the best communal fashion. Entertainment spaces are one of Lawson Robb’s favourite rooms to create, overlaying an elegant base style with well-appointed superior gadgetry and an air of playfulness.
Creation / planning process
Lawson Robb’s driving passion is to get to the core of how their clients live. The common thread that runs through all their projects is innovative design flair delivered with meticulous attention to detail and high quality materials. Through a series of design presentations, the layout and the materials were refined through considered discussions with the client so that the end result would be as compelling and design-savvy as anticipated.
In terms of orientation the layout of the kitchen required a visual journey, taking the onlooker from the entrance to embrace the entire room. To do this, the central focal point of this impressive space is the Black Beauty marble island table that adjoins the central preparation area. Elevated as a stage, it is the perfect space for paring and filleting, showing off a gourmand’s appreciation and skill with raw ingredients. The actual cooking is on the side, deflecting vapours from guests comfortably seated on footed chairs.
How it went
Overall the look is richly muted and layered. Textured wallpaper, window dressings with simply pleated cashmere curtains and double-weight voile blinds create a comfortable and cosseting setting for guests while balancing the room’s darker colour palettes. The flooring and woodwork on the walls create the intimacy of a gentleman’s study, particularly with the limestone surround fireplace and traditional convex mirror. Yet these are modernised with the patinated bronze effect on the kitchen cabinetry and affective lighting on architectural elements.
Select dressing adds to the sense of refined taste, the curatorial eye of the urbane owner. Chris Levine’s portrait of The Queen, Equanimity, sits opposite David La Chapelle’s US Dollar, part of the Negative Currency Project, as a witty juxtaposition of international history.
Favourite part of the room and why?
Our favourite part was juxtaposing the art and objects. Tableware was hand-selected from Willer, a gallery which curates design and art pieces for interiors. Porcelains and fine crystal come from Willer’s Limoges and Murano collections. Meanwhile, Tom Dixon’s bronze brass bowl is a design statement in itself yet perfectly coordinates with the room. Select items from LINLEY’s Trafalgar range included curved whiskey tumblers, perfect for imbibing a glass of Dalmore 1976 from the Captain’s Decanter, as well as the caviar bowl, from which to serve white gold caviar. Even the knives, Nesmuk’s EXKLUSIV range, are in keeping with the superior quality of the kitchen. These consist of up to 480 layers of selected carbon steel, an elegant wild Damascus pattern and a Rockwell hardness of 62. An aesthetic silver collar is precision-integrated into the perfectly ergonomic knife handle, which Nesmuk finish in a range of fine woods or Juma ivory.
Any issues / problems you had to overcome during the project?
There were no major problems in terms of design selection or build progress. The need to create a stage for cooking was an intriguing challenge – often clients want purely a show kitchen and a working kitchen that is discretely hidden away. However, our client wanted both a show and working kitchen that allowed for drama and theatricality. Ensuring an eclectic mix of art to fit with the surroundings and the taste of the client was exciting and allowed the creative team to work to their meticulous discipline but with the freedom of creativity.