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Simonsen - Czechura A/S Photos by Jacob Gils, www.gils.dk Š Simonsen - Czechura and GILS 2008 Layout: Lynda Evans, www.gils.dk Copy: Julie Ralphs Prepress, Print & Binding: Scanprint A/S Printed on Arctic the volume. Cover: Rives tradition Bright. No part of this publication may be reproduced without prior written permission of the publisher. Simonsen og Czechura A/S Mesterlodden 42 2820 Gentofte Denmark Telephone: +45 39 64 60 20 Fascimilie: +45 39 64 60 25 E-mail: sckm@sckm.dk www.sckm.dk

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coNtENts DEsigNs FoR liViNg

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MaKiNg a DREaM a REality

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MEEtiNg oF thE MiNDs

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iN toUch With iNNoVatioN

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a MaNsioN oF ExpaNsioN

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thE hoUsE that WoUlD haVE bEEN oRaNgE

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sURRENDER to siMplicity

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thE sMall hoUsE UNDER thE big tREE

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thE soUl REMaiNs thE saME

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MaKiNg What’s VisiblE, iNVisiblE

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gooD thiNgs coME iN thREE’s

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DEsigNiNg FoR a DEsigNER

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tRaNsFoRMiNg thE hoUsE aND thE FaMily iNsiDE

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a toUch oF MiNiMalisM iN thE MEDitERRaNEaN

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thE tWo hoUR MEEtiNg

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NEWly bUilt NEW ENglaND stylE

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pERpEtUal pERFEctioN

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EVolViNg as WE spEaK

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MaKiNg oF thE booK

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DEsigNs FoR liViNg

For Simonsen and Czechura, there’s no such thing as an empty space. Space is meant to be filled - with life, love and the pursuit of happiness. Your environment should echo your soul and create the conditions for living, working and thriving. Their formula for creating beauty starts with simplicity. To be surrounded by streamlined shapes and surfaces creates a clean slate. Almost a state of serenity. Add to that their talent for bringing light into the spatial equation, something that comes with the territory

of working during the dark winters of Denmark. They listen to your needs. They look at your space. And they consider whether you are a high profile, party person or if you prefer to be private. Whether you want an interior that’s cosmopolitan or cosy. Or both. Then they create an amazing interior designed to facilitate the way you want to live your life now - and in the future. The irony is, what is functional is not allways beautiful. And vice versa. To this end, their focus is on furnishings and finishes which are both aesthetic and enduring. High quality materials with exquisite textures are crucial elements for a tailor-made look that will last. They set the stage for you, your family, friends and guests to feel

comfortable. Some clients want their interiors to stay looking new, others want a look that will wear well over time. The ultimate challenge is to help you envision your future before it arrives. The ultimate satisfaction comes when the last nail is hit with a hammer. For Simonsen and Czechura, that’s when everything suddenly falls into place. Once the project is finished, they can see not only how the whole house comes together. But how it fits your lifestyle. Because their overall goal is to design a blueprint for happiness. 9


MaKiNg a DREaM a REality

Simonsen and Czechura bring their attention to perfection to every detail you see. Including the ones you don’t see, at first. What looks like a simple cabinet from the outside often has intricate details with impressive workmanship inside. Like a tailored shirt, kitchens, cabinets, wardrobes, bookshelves and bathrooms are carefully constructed for the perfect fit in terms of your space and sense of style. Creating custom-made interiors begins with a process of piecing together your dreams. It’s all about freedom, where almost anything is possible. They don’t look at a space and see limitations. Their approach involves picturing your dream and then creating it in reality. They use the latest, greatest 3D computer technology to produce drawings with incredible detail and precision. 10

This takes the guesswork out of their work and enables you to easily envision your new environment before they begin building it. Only the highest quality materials are selected, with the option of mixing and always matching your mindset and mood. From oak, ash, walnut or African mahogany, solid marble and speckled granite to smooth stainless steel in shiny or matt finishes and more. Together with their team of experts, Simonsen and Czechura create exclusive, exceptionally handcrafted furniture and furnishings. Truly unique solutions you won’t see anywhere else. If you can dream it, chances are they can create it.


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MEETING OF THE MINDS

Peter Simonsen and Robert Czechura are two architects who had a burning passion for building interiors. Back in the 90’s, Peter met Robert when they tackled carpentry projects together. After attending the Royal Academy of Arts, Peter had an affinity for building things but was bored being behind the drawing board. He preferred being hands-on, on site involved in projects. Having previously worked in a Michelin star restaurant, he gained insight into kitchens - what works and what doesn’t. Robert came to Denmark from Poland and started restoring houses. His keen eye for detail and clever approach to construction led to a strong connection with Peter.

In 1994, they joined forces with the opening of their company, a cosy carpenter’s workshop by Bellevue Beach north of Copenhagen, filled with the sound of the ocean, sawdust and dreams. Soon thereafter, they earned a reputation for designing and producing interiors with a sublime sense of simplicity. The move to a more expansive showroom and production facility opened up the space for an enormous array of intriguing projects. Literally.

Since then, Simonsen and Czechura have designed countless custom made furniture and interiors. From kitchens and dining rooms to bathrooms, bookshelves, wardrobes and other furnishings. Projects tailor made for highend clients with private homes, apartments and summer houses, as well as corporate headquarters. While each project begins with a unique design dilemma, they succeed in creating distinctive solutions, each with their own succinct style and personality. Their forte is to transform a client’s vision into a viable reality. The result is a clean, clear aesthetic with an exquisite, exclusive appeal. And a global business which is getting accolades and exposure as we speak, in England, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and elsewhere around the world. ay and elsewhere around the world.


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iN toUch With iNNoVatioN

Staying in sync with the newest developments in design is crucial for Simonsen and Czechura. Which is why they make a point of attending furniture fairs and showrooms in design capitals such as London, Milan and elsewhere. Of course, the secret lies in keeping your eyes and ears open all the time. And tuning into your senses 24/7. Inspiration often comes from sitting on the beach, where there is no ceiling except the endless sky. On a hill in the Scottish highlands. Travelling through Tuscany. Or shopping in a chic boutique. Creative kindred spirits are equally as important. They have a group of colleagues in the industry with whom they collaborate. Professionals who all speak the same design language and partner on numerous projects. Informal meetings over dinner involve the discussion of new developments and how they can help each other.

When it comes to new innovations, Simonsen and Czechura are always in the know. They are constantly exploring alternative ways to create shapes and surfaces which were previously impossible - allowing for experimentation and new forms of expression. At the same time, their exclusive use of high quality materials keeps them one step ahead of the competition. Being at the forefront of innovations enables them to do what they do best. To bring a feel-good factor to your world. 23


a MaNsioN oF ExpaNsioN

The drive up to this house in a tiny town north of Copenhagen was amazing. The view to the sea was breathtaking. But nothing could compare to the impact of seeing this mansion overlooking the ocean. The owner wanted to convert the entire interior spanning four floors into an oasis of modern living. Without destroying the original thinking on which it was based. The idea of transforming a total of 32 rooms is every designer’s dream. Each room was renovated to reflect an identity all its own. An international atmosphere with a Scandinavian sensibility. Consistency in materials, such as travertine, marble, wenge wood and oil painted surfaces contributed to a coherent look and feel throughout the mansion, from the basement to the attic. Each room was carefully constructed to accommodate an entourage of inhabitants, which included two parents, four curious kids, a housekeeper and an au pair, as well as an ongoing influx of friends and the like. 24

Simonsen and Czechura partnered with architect Peter Theil to bring their vision to this array of rooms. From creating a wellness centre complete with spa, hot tub and showers, a wine cellar and small cinema to intimate bedrooms, indulgent dressing rooms, six beautiful bathrooms, a separate kitchen just for the au pair and the children’s rooms, complete with bunk beds and bookshelves. Not to mention a sleek and chic look for their office, a large master kitchen on the ground floor and direct access to the terrace. Designer Lillian Mailing brought her decorative eye for colour schemes, curtains and upholstery, while the owner added cowhide to adorn each door of her extensive, walk-in wardrobe. Other details include dark oak in the wine cellar which radiates warmth while keeping the temperatures

cool. In the master kitchen rectangles rule, replete with marble for the sink and countertops, as well as a French stainless steel gas stove. A special oil paint from England was added as a lovely lacquer. Natural tones balanced by clean white walls, window sills and columns add to the open, airy ambience overall. A warm welcome after a sunny day at the beach or lounging by the swimming pool outside. Faced with the difficult decision of which of the 32 rooms to spend time in.


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thE hoUsE that WoUlD haVE bEEN oRaNgE

Two families with two small kids each moved into a house with several small rooms - in need of room. This meant taking all the walls down to create a sleeping space downstairs, a dining room kitchen on the main floor and a loft space upstairs. Suddenly with so much space, they needed other types of design decisions to anchor the open interior. One option was a new style kitchen in orange, which sounded too flashy. The faucet and cooker were also going to be orange, as accents. The project progressed to the kitchen as an island for cooking on one side with eating and entertaining on the other, but the accents were changed to black. 38

Since one of the owners sells appliances, he was keen on having four ovens with the opportunity to try them, update and replace them. Electronically operated servo drive drawers meant the parents could open drawers with their elbows while keeping their kids at close hand. Simonsen and Czechura customised some furniture for the bathroom in wenge wood. As well as a unique dining table, where a stone tray revolved in the middle. Again, orange was considered at first, but ...


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sURRENDER to siMplicity

Extreme was the theme in this kitchen, which has absolutely everything you need. But only what you need to see. Slim counter tops and smooth surfaces conceal all the complexity inside. There are no visible handles. Instead, simple, springloaded drawers which virtually disappear offer loads of storage space. Wenge mahogany meets lacquer with a tiny twist – it’s lavender. After all, why should white be the only colour considered cool? The result is a modern take on minimalism. A sleek and complete approach to cooking and living what looks like less but is much, much more. 46


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ny stemning baton? big picture frame remove cable case and plug

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thE sMall hoUsE UNDER thE big tREE

Looks can be deceiving. This was as a small summer house under a huge beech tree – but with big ambitions. To look more like an Italian mansion. The home of two professionals, three kids, countless pets and fabulous friends, it’s constantly filled with life, light and loads of flowers. From an architectural point of view, it’s a collage of contradictions. Outside the look is rustic. Step inside and you’ll find all kinds of odd shapes, different sized room and ceilings of varying heights. Eclectic styles from classic to minimalist, which miraculously come together in an aesthetic expression that’s charming and endearing. 54

Originally built as a summer house at the beginning of the century for the Editor-in-Chief of Denmark’s most progressive newspaper, it’s a three-story house which has undergone numerous renovations. Each time a design decision was made, it apparently involved adding a window. The result is incredible illumination everywhere you look, in room after room filed with windows and ravishing rays of sunlight. Looking from the inside out, you can see the bottom of the garden, where about 2,000 years ago the sea used to be. A spectacular view encompassing loads of trees and lovely, luminescent lakes. When Simonsen and Czechura redesigned the interiors, white was the overall theme and colour scheme, accentuated by a quiet surprise. A sudden burst of turquoise discretely placed throughout the house. You can see a hint of it inside the bathroom cabinets. The cupboards. The closets. And once you open the doors inside the wardrobe. A Mediterranean turquoise tint

made all the more impactful in shiny lacquer seen against the muted matt white surroundings. In the bathroom, four huge marble tiles were tailor made to fit, adding drama and dimension to the white marble floors, snowy white walls and marble bathtub. Dark brown wenge wood drawers were the finishing touches, bringing a sense of alignment to this sanctuary of silence. The house is situated on a very steep hill, so extensions were added to enhance the foundation and feeling of expansion. A huge mahogany terrace was built to incorporate the big tree outside. If you’re sailing on the sea as far as two miles from the shore, be sure to look back. You can’t miss it.


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thE soUl REMaiNs thE saME

This beautiful house was built just by the sea in a classic 70’s style, shape and structure. It had been previously restored quite a few times. Simonsen and Czechura joined forces with architects from Peter Theil to create a whole new house inside the old one. The challenge here was to strip away the past, but still retain the soul which had been forgotten. The structure was a given, which meant it was almost impossible to change anything, actually. However, once they cleared away the clutter and eliminated anything extraneous, the bare essentials revealed streamlined, straight lines as their guide. 70

Extensions were made to bring the house even closer to the ocean, with a terrace overlooking the beach and the bedrooms below. A walkin wardrobe was constructed in white lacquer and oak for the open space connected to the bedroom. For the kitchen, new cabinets were created in a welded frame above the counter to hang offset from the wall. A fireplace was converted into a place for the oven. And an island was created in the middle with a strategically placed sink for cooking and dining. All of which added an airy modernity for a young couple with a kid.


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MaKiNg What’s VisiblE, iNVisiblE

The focus for this family was the kitchen, for eating, entertaining and connecting. Simonsen and Czechura tore down the walls and put the kitchen and one of the living rooms together to make the kitchen the central unit in this big, beautiful classic house. The result is a sculptured space where anything akin to clutter is completely concealed from view. 78

Sliding doors reveal the refrigerator, freezer, ice maker, coffee machine and toaster. The drawers are equally as streamlined to work without any obtrusive handles. A marvellous 100 millimetre piece of Kaesara marble makes its way all the way around the island, where the sink and stove serve as the most minimal amount of functionality. And visibility. The result is a kitchen with only what you need to see and not what you don’t.


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gooD thiNgs coME iN thREE’s

Working closely with the design-minded owner who had a wonderful sense of aesthetics, Simonsen and Czechura brought a Scandinavian sense of cool to the entire interior. Clean, uncluttered lines define the kitchen. For the living room they custom designed a clever solution for a fireplace with a storage space that’s silently sequestered inside the white wall. The long bench seated right in front is innovative and inviting. The surface was constructed in white oiled oak for a warmth factor that keeps its cool. At the same time, it conceals loads of storage space in a row of white cupboards below. Three apartments were put together for a family of three in this funkis style condominium from the 1930’s. Three different balconies were incorporated to lend an airy atmosphere, offering three opportunities to escape the stress of city life. On the third floor, you can see the shimmer of Copenhagen’s skyline from this extraordinary loft-like space overlooking the ocean. The harbour is to the left and the sea is in front of you, with a direct view of Danish bathing beauties sunning on the beach during the summer. 84

Every inch is extremely well thought out, from the kid’s room to the closets to every corner of this expansive space. Walk-in wardrobes fit snugly and inconspicuously into the master bedroom. Sandstone and stainless steel partner together to form a highly functional kitchen. Marble makes its way into the living room, where old leather chairs and interesting artwork create an intriguing contrast to this minimalist approach taken to the max.

There’s something soothing about having so much space and so little furniture. With very few room dividers and lots of round shapes, it’s just the look the owners were looking for. Open and honest.


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DEsigNiNg FoR a DEsigNER

Classic meets contemporary in this terrific terraced house refurbished for a very talented jewellery designer. Being a mother with two carefree kids meant keeping clutter to a minimum. And being a designer meant each element was carefully considered before adding or subtracting it. 92

Simonsen and Czechura felt a kindred creative spirit on this particular project, where they transformed three rooms into one. This involved opening up the space to allow for more light and freedom of movement. White was chosen as the prominent colour, adding a cool factor which is still warm and welcoming. Huge drawers built just under the kids’ beds brought a visual sense of peace, and the opportunity to put everything in its place. In the kitchen, an elongated counter made snacks with school friends all the more appealing and preparing dinner an absolute dream. The modern ash wood countertops and matt white kitchen surfaces were punctuated with decorative details, such as a porcelain sink.

The outcome was a modern angle on living with design. A simple, minimal, streamlined space which the owner could style and accessorise.


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tRaNsFoRMiNg thE hoUsE aND thE FaMily iNsiDE

This family never lived in the living room, which was the most magnificent room in the house, filled with loads of natural daylight streaming in from the southwest. Instead they spent most of their time entertaining in the kitchen, the room with the least amount of light. This was a great opportunity to radically change where they spent their time, from the most boring room to the most amazing one. 102

New floors, extra doors and a fireplace enhanced the warmth that was there to begin with, in this classic house from the start of the century. Simonsen and Czechura collaborated with architect Søren Borg to custom design a classic framed kitchen. Special cabinets were hand painted to highlight the texture of brush strokes in white oil paint, walnut and oak. Cooking units were customised to include a built-in Japanese Tabanake. A huge window was added to the

hallway and new doors were built to allow easier access to the garden. The rest is a sumptuous space that’s now white and wide open for this family to feel more at home. Living in sunshine.


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a toUch oF MiNiMalisM iN thE MEDitERRaNEaN

This rustic villa just outside the village of Vence is like a little piece of paradise. Located not far from the French Riviera, it’s surrounded by mountains with steep cliffs in the back, a view of the Mediterranean in front and cosy cafés close by. The 500 square metre space divided into three floors made it particularly appealing for two families to take it on as a summer getaway. While some of the rooms were quite large and others had huge stone tiles, the original architect had a bad habit of making small rooms with no light. What’s more, the kitchen was in the wrong room with no access to the gorgeous, enormous garden outside. So some serious re-thinking was required. 110

The transformation began with tearing down the walls to let in more light, opening up the staircase and moving the kitchen to the basement. The main floor was expanded into a living area which included six bedrooms, each with their own bathroom. The upstairs was converted into a separate apartment with a kitchen. The result was lots of space and at the same time, lots of privacy.

In contrast to the rough, uneven walls, the new kitchens added a modern, linear look in matt white. Concrete-like marble was chosen for the huge counter tops and sinks. A design decision which worked quite well with the original tile floors found elsewhere throughout the house. All appliances were built into the wall so as to avoid intruding on the space. The terraces on each floor were renovated to allow instant access to the garden and the chance to sit amidst the palm trees. Enjoying an amazing mountain view over the ocean, night after night as the sun sets in the Mediterranean sky.


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thE tWo hoUR MEEtiNg

In a small village near Copenhagen’s lush deer park called Dyrehaven is a very traditional, Scandinavian style house. Owned by a very contemporary young couple. They had done most of the restoration themselves, and were quite clear about what they had and what they needed. In fact, it only took two hours to discuss and agree on the necessary design decisions. 122

For Simonsen and Czechura, the project involved tearing out the old kitchen and completely reconstructing a new one. Opening up the space adjacent to the living room to create an expansive room for both. New windows instantly brought in much needed sunlight. To keep the aesthetics consistent with the interior created by the couple, the same materials used in the living room were used for the new, classic framed kitchen. Pine floors, white walls and a white ceiling. A symmetrical effect was achieved with marble counter tops and a black Ilve stove.

An excellent example of why you don’t need a long process of decision-making or secondguessing, when your first ideas are often the best.


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NEWly bUilt NEW ENglaND stylE

This summer house has some amazing attributes. There’s a stunning glass conservatory out back, where even though you’re inside, you feel like you’re outside. There’s no garden, as such. Just a mere 10,000 square metres of luscious land filled with pine trees and loads of heather. A plush playground where deer, rabbits and birds often inhabit. The owner is quite an international guy, a bachelor dividing his time between London, Paris, New York and Copenhagen. He wanted a house that could accommodate a luxurious lifestyle of entertaining guests, plus a plethora of bedrooms and private bathrooms. It also had to match a more New England style house, which he was keen on creating. 132

Based on this brief, Simonsen and Czechura cooperated in designing a brand new house starting from scratch, together with Peter Theil as the designer, inspired by an American architect. The construction involved a new kitchen, several bedrooms, bathrooms, wardrobes, benches, cabinets, closets and the like. The interiors were done in a classical, almost Shaker style, in that they were rather square and straightforward in terms of materials - mostly cedar, oak and elm. Cedar also formed the outside planking and the New England style shingles roof. The floors were done in pine and limestone tiles, to which marble was added as a structural and decorative accent.

The wooded area surrounding the house was very protected. And the project was comprehensive. But to sit by the fireplace on the porch out back and enjoy a magnificent 180-degree view of the ocean, all the work that went into it was worth it.


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pERpEtUal pERFEctioN

Driving the design process of this house is a woman who is popular for her world-renown jewellery brand as well as her home, which she keeps in a continual state of transformation. From re-doing the garden, choosing new tiles for the bathroom, adding on to the kitchen, altering the home office and updating the kids’ rooms. All reflecting her impeccable taste and affinity for adornment. 144

The house is situated on top of a hill in the woods with a panoramic view of the ocean out back. Rebuilt beyond recognition, the renovations are twice the size of the original house. While the old structure is intact, the additional work is done in a different scale, with higher ceilings and open spaces juxtaposed against the charming small rooms of the existing architecture. In some of the rooms there’s a Japanese feeling, other rooms have a classic, contemporary Scandinavian look, while other parts of the house echo a cosy, more intimate atmosphere.

Simonsen and Czechura are involved on an ongoing basis, to optimise space and light. And to ensure that every counter, cupboard and piece of furniture is tailor made to her personal sense of aesthetics, adding an array of different materials as accents. Just like the jewellery she designs.


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EVolViNg as WE spEaK

Much like the fashion industry, designing interiors involves a constant search for new ways of seeing space and filling it with fresh solutions. While Simonsen and Czechura are known for their customised designs and use of natural materials, they have developed some exciting new ideas which address the need for long lasting, ultra durable kitchens. Solutions which are extremely easy in terms of installation, additions and removals. Catering to large living spaces and corporate offices. 160

It’s a modular kit concept that’s sleek and sophisticated. Simple units are put together in a variety of configurations, with instant access to everything you could possibly want in a modern kitchen. From an oven, refrigerator, freezer, wine rack and coffee maker to shelves for dishes and cooking ware. All quietly concealed behind beautiful servo drive drawers and sliding doors.

The look is very contemporary with a futuristic feeling. Using solid Corian to create a surface whcih can be sanded and polished to a stunning, hard-wearing finish. The result? An attractive option to the lacquered surfaces they offer. And a kitchen that will last as long as the people who will love living with it.


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MaKiNg oF thE booK scKM aND gils has iN coopoRatioN MaDE this booK. thE gRaphic DEsigN, thE tExt aND thE photos has bEEN cREatED iN 2008.

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gils

JUlia RalFs

lyNDa EVaNs

Photographers Lea Jessen and Jacob Gils have travelled across Denmark to the south of France and elsewhere to capture the remarkable photos featured in this book. GILS is the HQ they call home, an independent photography studio located alongside Christianhavn, a charming harbour in Copenhagen. Founded in 1990 and specialising in portraiture, advertising and still life, GILS’ current portfolio of work can be viewed at www.gils.dk

Julie brings her passion for design, interiors, fashion and luxury lifestyles to the words appearing in this book. Her ongoing desire is to tune into the minds behind the designs. So you can understand why it was a thrill to have her on board, to echo the emotions and intentions of the aesthetics created by SCKM and GILS. Especially given her intriguing intermingling of abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz.

Lynda created the gorgeous graphic design for this book and retouched Jacob and Lea’s amazing photos. Prior to joining GILS in 2004, she brought her keen eye as a graphic designer to the world of advertising and publishing, working from Sydney to London. Lynda is now based in Brisbane, Australia, where she continues to work for GILS and dreams about having her very own SCKM kitchen.


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SCKM Book 1  

Peter Simonsen and Robert Czechura are two architects who had a burning passion for building interiors. Back in the 90’s, Peter met Robert w...

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