By Sandra Lane www.thenational.ae
As the great and good among Italy’s furnishing, design and construction companies prepare to celebrate next week (with a party at that beacon of Italian style, the Armani Hotel Dubai) the launch of a new online portal for the design trade, it seems only right that my object of desire should epitomise Italy.
To me Italy means not only the inspiring pieces of furniture, great materials and beautiful accessories that flow nonstop from the country, but also food: the superb produce, the process of preparing and cooking it, and the conviviality of sharing it with friends and family are the very essence of Italian-ness.
But which to choose: cooking or dining? Increasingly, in response to our growing tendency to make cooking, eating and entertaining all part of the same process, and to regard the kitchen as the hub of the home, designers are solving that dilemma for us.
The Duemilaotto kitchen (named for the year of its launch, 2008) designed by Piero Lissoni for the upmarket Italian manufacturer Boffi was a case of love at first sight and I yearn for a home worthy of one.
Lissoni lives up to his “minimalist master” reputation with the kitchen’s clean lines, perfect proportions and use of brushed stainless steel and Corian. And yet he gives it a new twist, warming and softening the look with an attached dining table made of weather-beaten planks reclaimed from old Alpine chalets and heat-treated to seal the wood, so that its imperfections and beautiful grain can still be enjoyed. Instead of trying to hide the extractor hood, as is usual, he makes it a feature: a bold, square chimney covered in tiles that have been hand-made by traditional craftsmen in southern Italy, using an almost-forgotten technique.
The result is a kitchen that can work equally well as a “fitted room” and a standalone object within a larger space.
Add to the beautiful design, the cabinet-making and metal-working skills that Boffi has been perfecting since it began as an artisans’ workshop in 1934, and you have not just an object but a place and a space with real heart.
Boffi kitchens are available in the UAE exclusively from Purity, Almoosa Business Centre, Umm Hurair Road, Dubai www.purity.ae. Prices vary as all kitchens are made to order.
The new trade portal is at www.contractitaliano.com