A kitchen close to our heart

by Eleonara Putignano

Vintage chic by Marchi Group, a soft and enveloping line by Snaidero, natural minimal by Minacciolo, elegant neoclassicism by Brummel and Faoma excellence: five different ways of living and furnishing the most treasured room in Italian homes
We used to think of it as a room occupied by more or less desperate housewives tending to simmering pots and pans or intent on kneading dough. We witnessed its transformation during an economic boom which churned out miraculous appliances at the same head-spinning rate as which they cut, diced and blended the contents of pantries and fridge-freezers.
For years it was made to skulk behind closed doors and curtains, something awkward which was there but out of sight. The modern kitchen has heralded the first decade of the 21st century with a new found aesthetic vocation and the desire to transform itself from a forbidden Cinderella-inhabited nook to a pioneer of interior luxury worthy of a princely hall. This new direction in the kitchen furniture sector is palpable in even the quickest of glances at its most eloquent interpreters, brimming with temptation and promises. This is no longer the time to ask what we can do to render our kitchens more harmonious and liveable, but rather what the kitchen can do to re-write the character of the rest of the house. Marchi Group is aware of this. A top company inspired by attention to detail and the research of fine materials in the study and assembly of products with an unmistakable style, standard-bearers of a mission which transcends fashion and time. The road towards the future leads through lessons of the past: “Vintage Style” from a seed of tradition sowed in the fertile soils of state-of-the-art trends, a collection where classicism and innovation mingle and constitute the most important inspiration. In the “Nolita” model, every single detail exudes high quality construction and design, from the lacquered chestnut wood structure in different tonalities (beige, chalk white and dust), embellished by designed britannium handles, and a marble counter top available in a variety of finishings. Solid and elegant, this composition features an anthracite-grey icebox and hood above the cooker, complete with door fitted with magnetic board, useful for messages and memos, a stylish touch for enhanced functionality. Snaidero is undoubtedly the company which is most renowned for delving into the past in order to progress into the future, courageously re-interpreting the cult of its own collections in a contemporary light, showing that despite over 60 years in business, the company is determined not to rest on its laurels but rather use its experience as a startline for ever increasing standards. Manufactured non-stop since 1990, the timeless Ola 20 has made a come back in an extraordinary current version, yet again inspired by the successful alchemy of studio Pininfarina, twice winner of the Chicago Atheneum design prize in 1996 and 2011. A triumph of the curved line, the hood (120 or 180 cm) is made from a sandwich panel consisting of thermoplastic polymer sheets (ABS) and low density polyurethane. Doors open at the lightest touch of the hand and feature an electric closure powered by a Servo Drive mechanism. The handle is an aluminium profile which runs along the entire door’s length, guaranteeing a high level of aesthetic clarity and evident ergonomic advantage: it can be firmly firmly gripped along any part. All eyes on the novelty factor: supports for island and peninsulas, available both in wood finishing (light and dark) and carbon fibre, are characterised by a sculptural design, through a remarkable element in stratified and profiled wood, a palpable designer touch. When discussing high range contemporary style the word Faoma immediately springs to mind. A company which abounds in resources, founded in the 60s by a group of cabinet makers from the Veneto region, the first to envision future masterpieces of high craftsmanship and a set of values which would qualify them as standard-bearers of Italian excellence throughout the world. All this is palpable in the “Emotion” kitchen, designed for two seemingly opposite purposes; on the one hand, to enrich vast, open spaces, on the other hand, to organise smaller spaces with practical and functional solutions. Experience and admire the large cooker top and service sink, both integrated in a central island featuring a thin stainless steel counter top. No sweat: cooking steam and smoke is promptly removed by the large professional extractor hood, a breath of fresh air for the interior. The wall where bases and cabinets are fitted is structured to make the most out of every single small space. According to food & beverage experts 2013 is set to be a year focused on organic ethics, respect for the environment and humanity. If this is the case, we need a kitchen capable of living up to such expectations. No problem: Minacciolo has promptly embraced this challenge, a superb interpreter of rustic and country chic interiors, capable of combining refined and skilled craftsmanship with high technology for the production of prestigious and resistant furnishing.
All this without compromising ecological balance: only wood from controlled reforestation plantations is used, together with water-based, non-toxic paints. This is all palpable in the latest arrival, a warm natural skin which envelops a total black structure: “Natural Skin”, designed by the architect Silvio Stefani, the creator, together with experts at Minacciolo, of a modular, solid wood format which inscribes its unique identity on surfaces pulsing with minimal metal sheet inserts. The wall features a steel bar with shelves and hooks for objects, whereas semi-professional blocks have been positioned over the bases, complete with back (work top, induction cooker top, fry-top, pasta cooker and double sink with food disposal unit and bin). The terracotta wood doors match well with the black-graphite painted steel drawer doors, mounted on extraction runners and fitted with a shock-absorbing closure mechanism, which can be customised with internal dividers, bin, cutlery divider and plate rack, to suit the taste of the chef of the house and pander to their every need. Wood is also the predominant material of the long-spanning success story of Brummel Cucine, where it is selected and processed by skilled professional craftsmen with the aim of giving form to eclectic and exclusive products capable of navigating the choppy market seas and adapting to sumptuous antique and contemporary abodes, in Italy and throughout the world. With its sophisticated line, the MarmolĂ  model incarnates a classical style re-interpreted in a tasteful and elegant key: important without being invasive, refined without being obsolete.
Words are superfluous in the description of excellence, facts speak for themselves: the opaque chalk-white finishing in contrast with shiny mother of pearl frames embracing the real tone- on- tone printed leather insert, handles reminiscent of those of Veneto villas, natural wooden interior finishing and beech wood drawers with dove-tailed joints on all four sides, all details of the irreplaceable value of craftsmanship. The island with its curved forms and steel work top, “Calacatta Pompea” marble snack top with shiny finish and anti-stain treatment, appear to have been designed to sweep away the rigid hierarchy of domestic spaces. Towards living and beyond.