T’S NOT often that an art collector chooses his kitchen to show off treasures from his travels, but Roger Featherstone is no ordinary collector. The art deco enthusiast felt the room which is at the heart of his home with wife Sheila, who loves to cook and entertain, was the place he would spend most time enjoying a stunning sent of ornaments and artwork of this productive early 20th century period.
To underpin and showcase the collection, however, the Featherstones wanted to create a period feature within the fixturing themselves. So they turned to Neil Lerner, whose kitchen design talents are informed by his training at St Martin’s School of Art.
Lerner put designer Eve Turner on the case and she proposed Venetian mask motifs, evoking the early 20th century as a striking theme.
Although they had originally envisaged fashion designs by the famous art deco illustrator Erté as a motif, the Featherstones were won over by the masks from Master Products and decided to go for a splashback made up of four masks, sand-carved into low-iron glass and signed by the artist.
Lerner added subtle LED lighting on the edges to pick up the engraving and the etching, so the splashback shines out as a focal point of the kitchen ever evening when the couple gathers with their family.
Turner picked up the art deco feeling as far as possible with the use of mirrored-surface, high-gloss veneers and lacquers — this was an era of high shine. The kitchen was shaped to emulate 1930s style but in a contemporary setting, using cabinets of high-gloss magnolia paired with Terra oak in a high-gloss veneer. Worktops are of ivory Caesarstone.
The Neil Lerner studio is increasingly being called upon to design dining and living spaces adjacent to today’s open-plan kitchens, and the Featherstone’s home was no exception. Turner designed reproduction art deco sideboards for these rooms and helped in choosing appropriate wallpaper, coving and skirting-boards to faithfully evoke the period.