Hølte opens Hackney design studio for customising IKEA kitchens

Hølte, a company that offers bespoke fronts for IKEA kitchens, has unveiled a new design studio and showroom in London’s Hackney.

Studio founders Tom and Fi Ginnett have combined bold colours and geometric forms with simple, well-crafted details in the interior of their new workspace, located on Broadway Market in east London.

HØLTE showroom and studio for customising IKEA kitchens

It showcases Hølte’s range of hand-finished cabinet fronts, handles and worktops, but it also functions as a space where the designers can meet clients and host events, like design workshops or wine tasting.

“Above all, we wanted it to feel open, relaxed, welcoming and about as far from a typical high-street kitchen showroom as possible,” explained Fi.

HØLTE showroom and studio for customising IKEA kitchens

“We wanted everything to have a purpose and ensure that nothing was purely for display,” she told Dezeen.

“The working kitchen and big dining table are used day-to-day for team lunches and client meetings, but are also there to be used for pop-ups, supper clubs and other events.”

HØLTE showroom and studio for customising IKEA kitchens

Hølte is one of several new companies that offer custom fronts for IKEA’s modular Metod kitchen carcasses, along with more well-known examples like Danish brand Reform and Swedish studio Superfront.

Tom and Fi – who started their careers in architecture and fashion, respectively – launched Hølte as a spin-off of their more conventional kitchen design business, Witlof.

HØLTE showroom and studio for customising IKEA kitchens

“Hølte’s style is a continuation of the design language that has evolved organically through our experience designing bespoke kitchens as Witlof,” said Fi.

“It is confident and forward-thinking with a respect for traditional techniques and processes.”

HØLTE showroom and studio for customising IKEA kitchens

Rather than dividing the studio up into different zones, the space takes the form of a single large kitchen and dining space, even though it showcases a variety of different fronts, handles and surfaces.

Black outlines and insets add definition to different units, while a vibrant blue wall creates a colour-blocking effect with two sets of cabinets.

HØLTE showroom and studio for customising IKEA kitchens

Other details include a tiled backdrop offset with blue grouting, a wine rack and a pantry cupboard. These are paired with lighting by London studio Hand & Eye and a striking terrazzo-like surface of recycled marble by Altrock.

“The studio is a celebration of all the things we love: beautiful materials, colour and craftsmanship,” said Fi.

HØLTE showroom and studio for customising IKEA kitchens

“We chose black edges to frame the boldly coloured doors, creating a graphic style which is accentuated by the grid of the tiled splashback,” she continued.

“Pairing this with quite traditional and sumptuous real wood veneers added character to the space, and collaborations with Altrock and Hand & Eye lighting added texture and introduced beautiful and long-lasting materials, such as marble and terracotta.”

HØLTE showroom and studio for customising IKEA kitchens

Behind the large dining table, a consultation area creates a space for one-to-one conversations, with a glass-block wall as a backdrop.

A number of designers have hacked IKEA kitchens, the latest being David Thulstrup, Note Design Studio and Muller Van Severen who teamed up with Danish brand Reform to put their own spin on the Swedish company’s standard-issue kitchens.

Danish architecture studios BIG, Norm and Henning Larsen also took up the challenge and came up with a series of pared-back neutral kitchen units.

Photography is by Nicholas Worley.

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