Is this the world's most elegant island? Fluted marble gives this kitchen serious wow-factor
Beautiful marble crafted into fluted panels make this kitchen island a showstopper - but how was it made? We speak to its designer
A Neo-Baroque villa in the center of Stuttgart, this house had found recent owners, a young family who were keen to bring the space back to life, stripping it to its bones for a full makeover. At the center of the home and providing a real focal point is the kitchen, a place where the young couple could use design and detail to create a space perfect for hosting family, friends, throwing the odd dinner party.
'From the beginning, it was clear that the kitchen should be the heart of the house,' explains Antonin Butz, product designer at the Stuttgart-based design firm, LAR Studio. 'A place to welcome friends, family and guests. The room itself is spacious, so we could go with a generous design. They wanted the space to be a one-off thing.'
With delicate fluting combined with incredible marble, and mixed with other materials in the room, the kitchen comes together to create the hub of this modern home.
Walking into this kitchen and there is no doubt that the kitchen island takes center stage. It brings texture, a beautiful veining detail - its presence is dominating. The island is a Arabescato Marble from Italy, with an acid-proof treatment for protection. The double kitchen sink sits at one end and is cut from a single piece.
'The fluted edges add a softness to this great piece of hard marble, curving the edges and bringing a gentle feel to the room. The fluted edges fit with the historical vibe of the 120-year-old house,' explains Antonin Butz of LAR Studio. 'It's about the decorative elements and is reminiscent of ancient columns.'
Creating such a stand-out piece was not without its difficulties. The clients wished to have the fluted edging around the entirety of the island. 'This turned out to be very difficult to achieve since it's not just the panels but the moveable doors we had to work on,' Antonin tells us. 'Everything was designed from scratch — just like a prototype. It was one of the most challenging projects we’ve done so far — but totally worth the effort.'
The island, with the brass kitchen cabinets, oak flooring and blue walls create a dreamy, ethereal color palette that is reminiscent of Italian Renaissance paintings of clouds.
'The idea was to make it feel like the sky,' says Antonin. 'So we went for a light blue for the walls and seating and white for the wall crown molding and ceiling.'
'The cabinetry is made from aged brass, which adds patina, depth and timefulness, also contrasting the island's pure appearance,' the designer adds. 'Inside the cabinets we placed light oak and the marble again to echo the theme. Light oak always gets along with both of the materials.'
The kitchen flooring is also made of oak and is original. 'It was dismantled, fully restored and put back in, sanded and oiled,' Antonin says
The dining nook
To the left of the island is a smart dining nook. Placing a dining table in the center of the room may have competed too much against the island, so keeping it to the side really allows the island to sing, and keeps the space clear.
'The existing layout just screamed for this — big windows, a lot of light, spacious but still cozy — it also 'holds' the space instead of just having chairs,' says Antonin.
The banquette seating around the side of the bay window is ribbed, echoing the fluting kitchen island but not rivaling it for attention, in a similar sky blue to the wall that keeps things seamless and monochromatic.
I love the cafe feel of banquette seating, and this from Burke Decor brings the look. Dramatic channeling works with a sumptuous texture and there is also the option to pair with matching pieces for clever modular seating.
Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.
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