At root, it’s a simple idea. IKEA makes great kitchen cabinets. HØLTE makes them better. Launched in 2017, the studio designs hand-finished fronts and worktops for IKEA cabinet carcasses, bringing a high-quality but accessible designer finish to any IKEA kitchen.
Like so many great ideas, HØLTE is the result of a rare combination of determination and serendipity. Tom and Fi Ginnett had 20 years of experience in architecture and fashion respectively when, unable to find what they wanted on the existing market, they decided to design their own kitchen. This personal project became a service for friends; that service became a business – the bespoke kitchen design company Witlof – and a year later, that business gave birth to another: HØLTE.
Set up to give people a means of elevating the standard IKEA kitchen and an opportunity to benefit from good design at a more accessible price point than a fully customised fit-out, HØLTE stands at the forefront of a rapidly expanding design market. By providing fronts for existing kitchen systems, HØLTE is able to offer a bespoke feel at an off-the-peg price point. And thanks to Tom and Fi’s dedication to detail in both design and service, HØLTE has rapidly earned a reputation for simple, timeless design; long-lasting, high-quality and environmentally conscious materials; and transparent pricing.
HØLTE’S growing range of cabinet fronts, handles and worktops are finished by hand in the company’s Hertford workshop, but the design side of the business has thus far had no bricks-and-mortar base. That changes in June 2019, when Tom and Fi unlock the doors of the new HØLTE design studio on Broadway Market, beside Regent’s Canal in the heart of Hackney.
The new opening will see HØLTE gain a host of beloved East London brands and internationally known names as its neighbours – including luxury skincare purveyor Aesop, cult bakery Pavilion, and coffee legends Climpson & Sons – as well as the stallholders of the trend-setting Saturday market.
As well as serving to showcase HØLTE’s designs and provide space to meet clients face-to-face, the studio will include a well-stocked sample library where people can explore both the HØLTE range and a selection of complementary third-party products. These will include tiles, flooring and paint, as well as lighting by London studio Hand & Eye (with 10% off for HØLTE clients), and innovative hobs and integrated extractor hoods from the German cooking-system pioneer BORA – making the HØLTE studio a one-stop shop for the complete kitchen-design journey.
‘We want it to feel like an open studio where you can come and discuss ideas, explore materials and leave feeling excited and inspired about the project ahead. A studio space gives us a platform to exhibit our skills as designers and to build relationships and partnerships with other designers and makers.’ – Fi Ginnett
The studio will also give HØLTE a versatile venue to host a calendar of events, many of which – in keeping with Fi & Tom’s own passions – will be focused on food. These will include wine-tasting evenings and supper clubs for local residents, clients and collaborators alike, as well as design workshops bringing people planning a project together with architects, interior designers and HØLTE’s own design team; Photographer: Nicholas Worley;