The Idealist

Modern Heroes: Pluck Kitchens

Today’s Modern Heroes are Pluck Kitchens who produce beautifully finished contemporary kitchens from their workshop in Brixton, south London. They work with a stunning range of finishes and colours which really makes them stand out from most of the kitchens you see on the high street. We caught up with Lloyd Touwen at Clerkenwell Design Week, where their bold colours and cool cork cabinetry really caught the eye of attendees.

We use simple materials in a clever way

Starting Point

Lloyd Touwen & Team at Pluck Kitchens

IDEALIST: Can you tell us a bit about your background?

Lloyd: In 2016 we launched Pluck because we believed there was a need for better kitchen furniture to fit with modern living and tastes. We had been designing and making residential and commercial furniture for over 10 years and Pluck represents all that we have learnt about the do’s and don’t’s of kitchen design.

IDEALIST: Where are your designs made?
Lloyd: We have a studio and workshop in Brixton, south London. Having the design and manufacture under one roof means we can prototype new ideas quickly. It also means that the integrity of the design is not lost in the making as the two processes are so directly linked.

Behind the Style…

IDEALIST: Can you tell us the story behind your most popular product? Where does your particular style come from?

Lloyd: Pluck’s designs utilise materials and fabrication techniques that first began to boom in the 1950’s, a time when mass production and standardisation were on the rise. Modernism as a movement had finished but its principles were being widely adopted in designs for the home. This crossover between new technology and utilitarian design is the starting point for much of our work.

We love cooking so for us it’s key that our kitchens are practical, but this does not come at the expense of their visual appeal.

We use simple materials in a clever way and this is reflected in the colour, texture and tone combinations in our kitchen furniture.

crossover between new technology and utilitarian design is the starting point for much of our work

Team Pluck

IDEALIST: Who are your key people and what are their roles?

Lloyd: Pluck is a collaboration between me and my wife, Leila, and our old friend and business partner George.  

I studied Industrial Design in Cape Town, moved to London in 2000 and founded 2MZ (the company behind Pluck) in 2006. The exploration of new materials, colour and pattern are what drives my designs.

George studied 3D Design at the University of Brighton and joined 2MZ in 2007. George’s passion is for the detail and technical aspects of kitchen furniture design.

Having spent 10 years as a BBC journalist, Leila switched industries and joined 2MZ two years ago. With a clear focus on the visual identity of the brand, she uses her understanding of communication to express Pluck’s style and ethos.

Design Inspiration

IDEALIST: Where do your designers get their inspiration from?

Lloyd: Pluck was conceived over many years so we have bank of ideas generated during that time.

There’s the technical side of what goes on behind the scenes in a kitchen’s design – the nerdy stuff about optimum drawer height, hinge positions and how a cabinet is put together. Having a workshop at our fingertips is inspiring, in that we can hone and iterate our designs until we have reached what we believe is perfection.

Then there is the aesthetic element about which materials work together and how we use those materials. We feel inspired when we go to our wood supplier and see a beautiful piece of timber which we know we will use to produce stunning veneers.

There is colour inspiration everywhere – in nature, in cities, in the UK and abroad – so it’s hard to pin down an exact source.

IDEALIST: Is there anything you’ve designed/launched that surprised you?

Lloyd: Our cork cabinetry at this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week was extremely popular.

Heroes

IDEALIST: Who are your design heroes?

Lloyd: Ernő Goldfinger for interiors, Hans Wegner for furniture, Etorre Sotsass for materials and Jacques Majorelle for colour.

There is colour inspiration everywhere – in nature, in cities, in the UK and abroad

Future Plans

IDEALIST: What are your plans for the next season?

Lloyd: Explore more new materials and expand our colour range

Find Out More

IDEALIST: Where can readers find out more?

Lloyd: Our website Pluck Kitchen has more information and we are always open to discussing new projects.

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  • Stephen hails from the north of England but has spent more of his life in Oxford, Cambridge, Boston and London than anywhere else. He lives in an architect-designed modern house in North London which was featured in themodernhouse.com which he is slowly filling with midcentury finds to complement the bare bricks and skylights. Stephen wishes he could afford all the things we feature on The Idealist.

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