Huma Kitchens | Flying high

Hootan Tayebi, owner of Huma Kitchens named after a mythical bird, talks about launching, refocusing, rebranding and expanding his business in two years.

30 Nov, 22

Hootan Tayebi, owner of Huma Kitchens which is named after a mythical bird, talks about launching and refocusing his business, rebranding and expanding in just two years!

Huma Kitchens | Flying high


It’s been a busy time for architectural designer Hootan Tayebi who launched a residential design practice, then refocused and rebranded the company as a kitchen studio. Now he has just opened a second showroom.

All of this is particularly impressive, given it has been over a two-year period and during a global pandemic.

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Having signed the lease of his first showroom, just two weeks before lockdown, the six-strong employee business now boasts two studios, with its latest in Chelsea Design Centre, London.

Along with it, the company is now expanding its private client base to include interior designers, architects and property developers.

Arenas to kitchens

Having started out working for a global architectural firm Populous, which creates stadiums and entertainment arenas, how did Hootan end up in kitchen design?

He explains he was involved in the creation of hospitality spaces within the large architectural projects, which means he has transferable skills for residential design.

Hootan expands: “We were working closely with interior designers, creating joinery drawings and interior packages and that was the thing I really enjoyed.”

Wanting to launch his own business, Hootan took the step of opening his own design practice- Unreal Studio in Wandsworth, London.

He picks up on the story: “I thought I would rent a shop front because I wanted to attract passing customers and so they could see we do small, residential design projects.”

He installed a kitchen in the shop, as an example of joinery work, but had clients asking specifically for kitchen projects.

In fact, Hootan adds: “We ended up doing more kitchens than residential projects”, and so he decided to refocus his business.

Along with the refocus, Hootan decided to rebrand the business as Huma Kitchens.

It has been named after a Persian mythical bird, Huma, which if it looks at you gives good luck and prosperity.

Chosen as it offers meaning, and connects to Hootan and his Iranian heritage, it was also selected as it is an accessible word, which could be used across any language.

Flexible budgets

Hootan first worked with a variety of kitchen manufacturers, spanning British, Italian and German brands before he was introduced to Italian furniture manufacturer LineaQuattro.

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Huma Kitchens exclusively supplies furniture from LineaQuattro and its new showroom features its latest launches from Salone del Mobile


After working with the company on a small interiors project, Huma Kitchens now exclusively supplies the furniture brand.

“The price was right, the lead times were right and the communication was far better than any other company we were dealing with, at the time”, says Hootan. Talking about working with the company exclusively, he adds: “Customers appreciate the fact that we are in daily contact with the manufacturer.”

Huma Kitchens offers a bespoke service, tailoring projects to suit budgets from £25,000-£30,000.

Hootan explains: “Our average order is around £50,000-£60,000 but we do a lot of smaller projects as well.

“We get customers coming in and asking ‘what is your starting price?’ and we answer ‘It depends on how many units you have and what’s the finish?”

He adds: “We’ve sold projects at £200,000-£250,000, that we had to prototype a specific door for them to show them. It really depends on what they want.

Crediting the adaptability of LineaQuattro, with its wide range of finishes, Hootan says it allows the business to be accommodating to meet a range of budgets from a “standard” to a truly bespoke design.

And with the fluctuating economy, he says it’s beneficial to have that adaptability, to help people update and renovate.

He adds it’s particularly helpful when attracting interior designers, who may have clients with a range of budgets.

Showroom network

Further enhancing its appeal to interior designers, Huma Kitchens has also recently taken the step of opening a showroom in the Design Centre in Chelsea, London.

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The showroom space was designed by Hootan Tayebi in partnership with Antonio Lanzillo & Partners, employed by LineaQuattro


Hootan explains its Wandsworth-based showroom is limited for space and can only accommodate one kitchen display.

Although able to design and specify kitchens from his original showroom, he wanted a space where customers could touch and see a wider variety of product.

Initially Huma Kitchens was seeking a bigger showroom on the high street but a chance meeting in the Design Centre, saw Hootan take a 120sqm unit, which has now become a flagship showroom for LineaQuattro.

“It instinctively felt right”, says Hootan, and allows consumers from his original showroom to see more at the new location.

He also admits the new showroom location gives the business added kudos in the interior design community.

Shell transformation

Starting with a shell, a six-figure sum saw it transformed into an environment which reflects living space.

Huma Kitchens | Flying high 3

Opening its second showroom in the Design Centre, Chelsea, London, the business is aiming to attract interior designers and architects


The showroom required floor and ceiling treatments, installation of stud walls and crittall doors and was completed in just two to three months.

Even within this tight deadline, it features the latest LineaQuattro kitchen furniture from Salone del Mobile. Hootan explains the entire design and production team worked day and night to open in time for London Design Week: “We thought if we’re going to do it, we need to be open for Focus”.

Designed in collaboration with an architect employed by the kitchen furniture manufacturer, Hootan continues: “We wanted a home-like feeling. We chose five finishes to suit the trends and market in the UK and explained the feeling we wanted the showroom to have. We also wanted a large, collaborative workspace.”

Working with Antonio Lanzillo & Partners reflects the approach of the company and its intent of the company to work in partnership with professional designers.

And it has reaped rewards by creating a showroom which, together with lighting supplier Italamp, echoes the warmth of a home.

Alike the kitchen furniture, the decorative lighting can be adapted or pieces can be made to order.

Building reputation

So what is next for Huma Kitchens, following its busy first two years of business?

Although Hootan says there is currently some uncertainty in the market, with a reduced volume of sales compared to the past couple of years, the value of project has remained stable.

And he believes inflation, which has caused some people to pause their house extensions, will return and create a backlog of kitchen sales.

But for now, the company is concentrating on building its reputation as a trusted kitchen supplier, starting in South West London.

Hootan explains his architectural background will be instrumental stating: “We speak the same language. We know the troubles they go through, we can help them and be a good design partner.”