When a creative couple from London were looking for inspiration for a new worktop, the expertise of Diespeker’s bespoke team helped them!
Harry Parr and Cecilia Carey first came across Diespeker when Harry was refurbishing The Clay House in Margate, designed by his creative studio Bompas & Parr; as well as being a private holiday rental, this beautiful apartment is enjoyed by staff. The colours of The Clay House are taken from Turner’s iconic Margate paintings and these tones feature in terrazzo in both the kitchen and bathroom.
Fast forward to 2022 when Harry and Cecilia, who is a set and costume designer, turned once again to Diespeker whilst undertaking a deep retrofit to their family home in Hackney. Harry says the retrofit is giving them the opportunity to be creative in their own space.
One of their must-haves? A substantial kitchen island was to be a central feature of the home. Apart from the size, the island is unusual as it sits across two different floor levels, the lower height on one side perfect for the couple’s young children to reach and get involved in kitchen activities, and the other a step down providing a functional worktop height for the grown-ups.
Harry and Cecelia knew they needed something special for the worktop. Initially, they had their hearts set on a colourful pink marble, but when they visited Diespeker they spotted the red of Roja Alicante – and immediately knew this was the right choice.
The design of the kitchen meant there was a large column right in the middle of the island. Not wanting joints, Harry’s initial idea was to create a ‘notch’ filled with terrazzo, with the edge of the terrazzo looking like it had just come out of the ground. But with the switch to Roja Alicante there was a slight snag; the slabs were smaller than standard slabs. To fit the size of the island, the slab would have to be pulled apart. The terrazzo notch would have to become a river!
Offcuts from the Roja Alicante slab – which had to be cut round the column – were broken up to be used as aggregate in the terrazzo, matching and contemplating the marble surface. Diespeker made up several samples to ensure the perfect design ready for casting. Cleverly the terrazzo was created to make it appear as though the veins of the marble run through the terrazzo insert. Harry and Cecilia went to the factory to place the pieces themselves, making this a unique and personal piece for them.
Harry is delighted with the end result and the experience of working with Diespeker. “Lots of different people from Diespeker were involved in the process; the sales team, the team making the terrazzo, the factory team polishing the slab – all specialists on one site.”
The kitchen cabinetry was built by progressive and collaborative East London design and craft studio Gareth Neal, featuring laminated spruce board.
The worktop project started in March 2022 and the island was installed in May 2022.
Images by: Nina Assam