At StudioBecker, It’s all About Keeping Things Orderly and Discreet
By James Broida // Photos by David Duncan Livingston
Walk into StudioBecker on Ponce de Leon just south of Bird Road and it looks like your typical upscale showroom. There is the curved wall of a home entertainment center, a kitchen setting, and some elegant living room furniture. But step through a sliding door at the back and you enter another world: A huge dark chamber with installations of kitchens and dressing rooms, displays that come to life under spotlights. The feeling is theatrical, if not surreal, like the final dining room scene in the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
“Everyone is able to walk through a showroom. We don’t do that. We want someone to understand what takes place in our process,” says Frank Rosell, one of the owners of StudioBecker. “We take space very seriously.”
What that means is a modern aesthetic in which everything is concealed until needed, behind panels, behind doors that look like walls, or inside cabinets and table tops. Push a button or use a phone app, and whoosh, a panel slides aside and reveals kitchen utensils, appliances, spice racks. Push another button and a table top slides aside to reveal a sink and faucet. Push a wall panel and it pops open to reveal a refrigerator.
“Some people describe it as very James Bond, because a lot remains hidden,” says Rosell. “For me, it’s that we all have a little OCD, and we like things to be where they should be.” Being in the business of providing custom, luxury installations, he says, “We feel that the ultimate luxury is not only that it looks [impeccable] but that it functions as such, and that you know where everything is, in order.”
Being a German company, StudioBecker is also fanatical about detail. Even the insides of the drawers have veneers, not just the outsides. Cabinets use special slot hinges so that you won’t see a hinge on the outside. And everything is built to exact speci cations, such as kitchen drawers than can take 150 pounds of contents but glide open effortlessly. All made in Germany, of course.
Some people describe it as very James Bond because a lot remains hidden…Frank Rosell, co-owner at StudioBecker
With due deference to the cabinetry craftsmanship, we were most intrigued by the secret panels and hidden spaces. One of the installations – a dressing room – has a cabinet that rises from a center console, revealing small shelves for everything from watches to colognes.
One of his customers, says Rosell, had a special dining room wall unit installed that would reveal one of two very important works of art. During the evening, the panel would quietly close and then reopen. Inside would be a different piece of art. He wanted to see if his guests would notice the change, a personal test of their powers of observation.
“Your imagination is the only limit to what we can do,” says Rosell. “That, and your pocketbook.” A complete custom installation can cost anywhere from $80,000 to $150,000.