Lamia Sbiti opened up her converted warehouse apartment to create a kitchen and living space that celebrates its industrial heritage
When Lamia Sbiti discovered her apartment in an old turn-of-the-century warehouse she saw all the character and magic of the original architecture, as well as the potential to bring those features into a contemporary living space fit for her future. Originally an old flag-making warehouse converted into residential dwellings in the 1990s, the apartment had retained many of its original features, from exposed wooden beams and brickwork right up to a flagpole on the roof terrace above. But even though Lamia loved the building’s history, she saw practical flaws in the positioning of the key living areas. ‘The dining area was upstairs and the kitchen was positioned in the entrance area,’ she explains. ‘The downstairs was all doors and more walls so I decided to break everything open.’
The kitchen’s new position next to original arched warehouse windows creates a large and bright space, perfect for building on an industrial theme, while the original wooden beams of the building create a natural bridge to the dining and living area. ‘One of the key principles for the redesign was to hold on to the heritage of the building but also bring a bit of me into it,’ adds Lamia. ‘I wanted a kitchen in keeping with industrial and flag details but also something quirky and unusual and I’m really into tactile materials – that was why I went for the concrete kitchen top because I love the look and feel of it.’
When Lamia researched kitchen companies, it was the designers at Roundhouse who embraced her concept and helped develop her ideas. ‘I hadn’t realised how technical the concrete would be, with so many different types,’ she admits. ‘I was able to see how it would look in the showroom before it was poured, and there was so much detail from the planning right through to finish.’
Lamia’s industrial shelving was crafted from key clamps, piping and scaffold boards originally used to repair the building’s roof, while a bespoke black larder unit was designed in the style of a one-of-a-kind vintage piece.
The result is exactly what she hoped for, the apartment’s history is ever-present, but it’s been given an extra shine in the form of her own style gently woven into the fabric of the building. ‘It grew organically so it makes sense now it’s finished and I can see where everything has come from,’ Lamia muses. ‘In some parts it feels New York lofty and then in others it’s quite Scandinavian because of the wood but it’s also quite brute and industrial. My background is mixed and so I feel like it reflects me, which is what I really wanted.’
Q&A with Victoria Marriott, designer at Roundhouse
How did you ensure the design married with the architecture of the building?
The warehouse architecture is very distinctive so it was important to keep the plan open and choose materials that worked alongside the distinct architectural aesthetic without competing with the nature of the space.
Tell us about the other materials you used?
The texture and grain of the riverwashed black walnut ply cabinetry complements the brickwork and the lovely timber structure of the space and doesn’t compete with the contrasting floor and grey concrete worktops. Concrete is a beautiful material with a subtle, natural feel so it was the perfect partner for the combination of strongly textured materials. The stainless steel appliances were also a natural choice to follow through with the luxurious but industrial trend.
How does the layout work practically?
The kitchen itself is actually quite compact and we went for an unfitted look; the big appliances are all freestanding and helped shape the bones of the design. The design of the concrete worktop with its piers and downstands adds to the freestanding look of this design. There’s also a lot of clever bespoke storage in the series of drawer cabinets and a freestanding pull-out larder.
The Metro bespoke kitchen by Roundhouse is made up of riverwashed black walnut plywood in a horizontal grain with handmade walnut-lipped cabinets and fully extendable dovetail wooden drawer boxes. The concrete work surfaces were templated, supplied and cast in situ with white Decomatte splashbacks creating a sleek finish.
11 Wigmore St, London, W1U 1PE.
Tel 020 7297 6220.
Prices for this kitchen start from £70,000 excluding installation and appliances.
ICBD 364C, dual fuel range oven with four burners and chargrill, £14,364, Wolf. EXT0010122 bespoke cooker hood, £1,881, Westin. ICBB136U over and under fridge-freezer with freezer drawer in stainless steel, £14,880, Sub-Zero. Gaggenau RW404261 built-in under-counter wine climate cabinet, £3,028, from Nicholas Anthony. G68605CVi dishwasher, £1,849, Miele.
FIXTURES AND FURNISHINGS
Concrete worktop, designed and cast in situ, £27,067; White Decomatte splashback, £3,269; Metro cabinetry, £39,670 (excluding installation) and RM-CK359-BDL Rocky Mountain Olympus cabinet pulls, £1,879, all supplied by Roundhouse. Vault smart divide 3838-1-NA stainless steel sink, £783, Kohler. SNKSPEC herb trough, £563, Cavendish Equipment. Similar CO711DC Crosswater Cook dual control kitchen mixer with flexi spray tap, £156, Victorian Plumbing. Similar RECM2128 Relik genuine reclaimed engineered oak flooring, £132 per sq. m, Havwoods. Cut slate blackboard, from £480, Diespeker & Co. Ilaria pendant shade, £39, Made.com. Similar Ramona pendant, £65, and Radley glass bistro pendant, £85, both John Lewis. Industrial Adjustable cast iron and oak bistro cafe bar table, £250; Adjustable bar stools, £61.99 each, Giftwarez. Hairpin dining table, from £330; Leather brown bucket chairs, £139 each; Reclaimed hairpin bench, from £120, all Heyl Interiors
*Prices correct at time of publication.
Photos by: Nick Kane
Article by: Victoria Hrastic