As a companion piece to today's re-design of Curbed LA and the greater Curbed network, Eater delves into one of LA's most prominent, and design-focused chefs, Ludo Lefebvre, whose Sherman Oaks homes contains one of the loveliest kitchen designs anywhere. As exacting as the classically trained chef can be in his restaurants, Trois Mec, Petit Trois, and Trois Familia, Lefebvre was equally detail-oriented in his own home kitchen, which was remodeled last year under the direction of designer Ginny Capo.
The process started in May 2015, lasting until October. When Capo discussed what Lefebvre wanted in his home kitchen, the reigning theme was a heavy French influence, with modern touches. Though the kitchen itself immediately gives a sense of ultra-design sensibility, the inclusion with the rest of the house and seamless placement makes it the true heartbeat of the home.
It's where Ludo and his wife Krissy will spend breakfast every morning with their two children. It's where the kids sit around with an afternoon snack doing their homework. And in the evenings it's the ideal place for Lefebvre to craft personalized tasting menus while entertaining guests.
The theme for the kitchen was to stay rustic in the details while maintaining an overall modern feel. For example, the cabinets, which instantly give off a slick, minimalist look, has a gently weathered gray white-washed finish. Everything in the kitchen exudes warm, neutral earth tones in order to highlight the sink, stove, and cookbook hovering over the pantry.
Oddly enough, Ludo cared the most about the look and design of the sink, which models a trough. The copper-lined sink was a challenge for Capo, because the copper would've meant a melange of metals. According to Ludo, "in Europe, we combine different things. You Americans, everything is matching." The lye finish on the faucet gains a patina over time, which contrasts the bright copper sink.
As the buildout was in process, Ludo realized that things were turning out to be too modern for his taste. But once he began to understand all the layers and get a sense of the finished kitchen, he was more comfortable with combination of the rustic and the sleek.
Little details like cookbooks exposed for easy access, the island stove feature that allowed him to complete dishes while facing guests, or the dual ovens placed underneath the stove were things that Ludo himself demanded. According to Capo, the oven placement is old school, because newer kitchens tend to have ovens placed higher up against a wall. But having the ovens underneath the stove felt more familiar, more natural to Lefebvre.
Finally, perhaps the coolest appliance is the sunken ceiling fan, which sucks up air from the kitchen like a hood. But instead of a standard hood, this stealthy appliance hides into the ceiling. It's a nice touch for a kitchen that feels truly like home for the ever-busy celebrity chef.