Kitchen of the Week: The Curtained Kitchen, Dutch Modern Edition
Curtains arent an easy call in the kitchen. True, theyre a quickDIYalternative to cabinet fronts. And theyhide your holdings. Buta skirtedsink runs the risk oflooking country kitschy. Not, however, in the hands ofChristien Starkenburg.
A Dutch interior designer who wears many hats, Starkenburg has her own firm, Interieur-Plus, as well as furniture workshop, SlowWood. And shes the creative director and fourth-generation owner (with her brother, Henk) ofJan de Jong, a Scandi-accentedinteriors emporiuminLeeuwarden, capital city ofFriesland, thather family opened back in1899. Thanks to Starkenburg, the business has one of the best-lookingkitchens around, and those humble curtains make it especially memorable.Above: Thenew open-plan setup revolves arounda kitchen witha tight palette of white, charcoal, and pale gray offset by the pale oak of Starkenburgs SlowWood designs and the soft curtains.Shown here, SlowWoodsGrut 8 Ovaloak tablesurrounded byJean Prouvs Standard Chairsof plywood and powder-coated steel. Above: Stained wood cabinetry with cutout drawer pulls is crowned bya concrete counter that was poured on site. The handmadebacksplash tiles areby local Friesland tile specialistsAlbarello.As for the curtains, theyre 100 percent linen and concealshelves lined with pots and pans. Linen, Starkenburg points out, is both soft and strong; woven from flax, its biodegradable, naturally wrinkly, and lends, she says, a sense of life. (Read more about linen in our Object Lesson.) Above:The adjustable sconcesareFrench classics byLampe Gras. Above: The curtains have a simple gatheredtop and can be easily removed for washing. Like the linen, the mottled concrete balances the otherwise straight-edged lines of the design. Above: Black-stainedpinepanelingmatchesthe kitchen millwork. A Vitra chair stands next to a Smeg range. The fridge (not shown) is setina cabinet near the stove. Above: Starkenburg grew up in the business and says shes been sketching plans sincechildhood. Her father, Pieter Jan de Jong, an interior designer, inherited the company from his father, Henrik de Jong, who introduced the shopsmodernist focus.Of her aesthetic, Starkenburg explains, As a northerner, I have an affinity for simple, sober Scandinavian design. Above: A vintage bakery display case sits on SlowWoods Grut 5 Skraag Table of solid ash with an oiled finish. All of SlowWoods designs are fabricated locally of sustainable woods and available in a range of natural finishes and mineral paints. Above L: The room opens to a sun-filled living area. The chair in the foreground is Hans Wegners Sawbuck Chairfrom Carl Hansen in walnut and oak. Above R: Finnish designer Ilmari TapiovaarasPirkka Stool, a midcentury reissue, and Nelson SepulvedasWhite Z1 Lantern (see it and others in 10 Easy Pieces: Fabric Pendant Lamps). Above: The back of the room is anchored by a vintage Pelgrim gas stoveon a modernisthearth. Starkenberg created a hangout vibe by pairingaround sisal rug and pouf withanEames Lounge and Ottomanand Vertigo Birds steelFunnellight. Note the outletin the floor, a workplace necessity (see more floor outlets here). Above: Color is introduced viaflowers and leafyplants in terracotta pots. Starkenburg takes design commissions and sells her SlowWood pieces throughout the Netherlands, and in London, Paris, Belgium, and Osaka, Japan.
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