Chef Ludo Lefebvre's Modern Kitchen With Rustic Roots

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By Jenny Xie / Published by Dwell
Presented by Fisher & Paykel
Hailing from Burgundy, France, chef and television personality Ludo Lefebvre brings a European sensibility to his remodeled kitchen in Sherman Oaks, California.

A true force in the Los Angeles food scene, chef Ludo Lefebvre brings an eclectic blend of classic French and Californian fusion to the table. Lefebvre is widely lauded for culinary hits like his traveling pop-up restaurant, LudoBites, and dining establishments such as Trois Mec, which offer haute cuisine in a relaxed setting. When it came to remodeling the kitchen in his Sherman Oaks home, he and his wife Krissy took a similar mixed-bag approach. With the help of designer Ginny Capo, the Lefebvres brought rustic elements into a sleek, contemporary interior, creating an inviting space for cooking, entertaining, and spending family time with their twins Luca and Rêve.

One of the elements that Lefebvre had his heart set on was a copper sink, though it didn’t go along with the rest of the decor; the copper bar stools by Bend Goods were a serendipitous find that tied the room together.

One of the elements that Lefebvre had his heart set on was a copper sink, though it didn’t go along with the rest of the decor; the copper bar stools by Bend Goods were a serendipitous find that tied the room together.

Krissy Lefebvre, left, and Ludo Lefebvre, right, pose in the redone kitchen with their designer Ginny Capo, who is based in Santa Monica. "Ginny did a great job of marrying modern appliances with old world materials to give us a perfectly balanced, updated, and truly functional space," says Lefebvre.​

Krissy Lefebvre, left, and Ludo Lefebvre, right, pose in the redone kitchen with their designer Ginny Capo, who is based in Santa Monica. "Ginny did a great job of marrying modern appliances with old world materials to give us a perfectly balanced, updated, and truly functional space," says Lefebvre.​

"Everyone hangs out in the kitchen, no matter how small, so we decided to make the kitchen the biggest space in the house," says Lefebvre. To create a clean, open environment, he and Capo eliminated some walls in the old kitchen and introduced a neutral palette. The whitewashed stone veneer on the wooden cabinets, paired with white Caesarstone countertops, complement the earthy limestone backsplash. Copper finishes such as the 36-inch trough sink and bar stools provide a metallic tone that continues in the stainless steel appliances by Fisher & Paykel.

A sunken ceiling fan replaces the traditional stove hood, sucking smoke from the kitchen without reducing visibility. The open shelves above the pull-out pantry doors leave Lefebvre's extensive library of cookbooks within reach. 

A sunken ceiling fan replaces the traditional stove hood, sucking smoke from the kitchen without reducing visibility. The open shelves above the pull-out pantry doors leave Lefebvre's extensive library of cookbooks within reach. 

The Integrated French Door Refrigerator by Fisher & Paykel is seamlessly fitted to the kitchen cabinetry. ActiveSmart Foodcare monitors how the family uses the fridge to maintain a controlled climate and keep food fresh. Beside the fridge, the CoolDrawer provides flexibility with 5 temperature settings ranging from freezer to chill, fridge, pantry, and wine modes. "I tend to use my CoolDrawer for wine and overflow beverages, but it comes in handy as extra chill space for vegetables or converted to a freezer when we decide to have an ice cream party," says Lefebvre.

The Integrated French Door Refrigerator by Fisher & Paykel is seamlessly fitted to the kitchen cabinetry. ActiveSmart Foodcare monitors how the family uses the fridge to maintain a controlled climate and keep food fresh. Beside the fridge, the CoolDrawer provides flexibility with 5 temperature settings ranging from freezer to chill, fridge, pantry, and wine modes. "I tend to use my CoolDrawer for wine and overflow beverages, but it comes in handy as extra chill space for vegetables or converted to a freezer when we decide to have an ice cream party," says Lefebvre.

Though Capo suggested installing the ovens higher on the wall, their lower placement felt not only more intuitive to Lefebvre, but also safer. "It is important for me that my oven be located directly below my cooktops, so I don't have to wander around the kitchen with a hot pan and run the risk of spilling hot ingredients," explains Lefebvre. The DishDrawer, located under the sink, features two pull-out drawers and extra height on top to accommodate larger dishes. 

Though Capo suggested installing the ovens higher on the wall, their lower placement felt not only more intuitive to Lefebvre, but also safer. "It is important for me that my oven be located directly below my cooktops, so I don't have to wander around the kitchen with a hot pan and run the risk of spilling hot ingredients," explains Lefebvre. The DishDrawer, located under the sink, features two pull-out drawers and extra height on top to accommodate larger dishes. 

Lefebvre enjoys his Fisher & Paykel appliances as much for their modern aesthetic as for their impressive functionality. The 5 Zone Induction Cooktop, his favorite appliance, fits seamlessly into the kitchen island while offering rapid heat-up times. "I think many people have a 'block' about using induction because they need to see a flame. It is truly the best-kept secret in the industry," he says. The easy-to-clean interface is also safer to use, which is especially important for cooking with kids—Luca and Rêve are hands-on learners, crawling over the counter space to prepare meals. A pull-out storage area beneath the island means that there’s no danger of pots, pans, and utensils tumbling down from overhead, either. "My son, who is now just 5, loves to cook, so the kitchen is a really safe environment for him to practice his newfound passion and feed the family," says Lefebvre.

The gas and induction cooktop, along with the two ovens below, face the bar seating at the kitchen island, allowing Lefebvre to interact with his guests while preparing meals.  

The gas and induction cooktop, along with the two ovens below, face the bar seating at the kitchen island, allowing Lefebvre to interact with his guests while preparing meals.  

"Life for our family happens around the kitchen," says Lefebvre. "Whether we are sitting at the counter having breakfast, or my family is anxiously awaiting me to finish cooking dinner, we can be together​ around food."

"Life for our family happens around the kitchen," says Lefebvre. "Whether we are sitting at the counter having breakfast, or my family is anxiously awaiting me to finish cooking dinner, we can be together​ around food."

A far cry from the cramped quarters that existed before the renovation, the open-concept floor plan allows for fluid movement between workspaces and living areas. The kitchen's flexibility and ease of use are also due in no small part to Fisher & Paykel. "All the products are sleek and blend in very well with our design, but most importantly they truly function at the highest level," says Lefebvre. "That is what was most important to me, the function behind the design."