Italian kitchen design is all about style, craftsmanship, and an aspiration to achieve a practical space that stands the test of time.
A potted history of Italian kitchen design
The history of Italian kitchen design dates to the 14th century. In fact, at this time the fireplaces were added to walls in Tuscany and in other parts of the country. Hood overhangs channelled most of the smoke into a chimney, expelling it outdoors. Towards the end of the 16th century, a system was developed in the monasteries around Florence. This system enabled considerable fuel savings, reducing heat dispersion and creating a structure that allowed workers to operate easily around the fire in an upright position, having all the utensils they needed immediately on hand. In the late eighteenth century, the earliest cookers powered by fire in a metal structure were produced. Freestanding and mobile, they ensured even heat distribution for cooking. In the late nineteenth century, these innovations in Italian-style kitchen designs responded to changes in society. During the 1900s the kitchen, originally a place for servants and kept separate from salons, entered the circle of rooms that were shown to guests. For the first time in the history of Italian kitchen design, the cookhouse was managed by the lady of the house.
Leonardo da Vinci & Leon Battista Alberti: pioneers of best Italian kitchen design
Cooking was elevated to an art form courtesy of developments in technological and mechanical knowledge, without forsaking the pursuit of practicality in which beauty could also be discerned. Tuscany and Florence played a fundamental role in this quest, given the research conducted in the field of traditional Italian kitchen design by illustrious figures such as Leonardo da Vinci, Leon Battista Alberti and Francesco di Giorgio Martini, plus a host of engineers and more down-to-earth ironworkers and chimney smiths. Historic Florentine fireplace manufacturers like Colombino, Bracco and Massetani achieved greatness through the perfect pairing of meticulous engineering and a sublime sense of beauty.
Italian kitchen design today
Food has always been a talking point in Italian society, a conversational topic that continues to be reflected today by luxury Italian kitchen brands like Officine Gullo. Functional, stylish and beautiful to behold and, more importantly, use, beauty and substance, research and luxury, dexterity and elegance, product and process are distilled in luxury Italian interior design. In addition to being a brand renowned internationally for the uniqueness of its kitchens, Officine Gullo is exactly what the name says it is. A workshop where the best Italian kitchen designs are planned by engineers in constant conversation with the client and skilled artisans cut, fold and shape Italian cabinetry by hand to achieve timeless masterpieces for everyday use by future generations. Italian kitchen manufacturers are now embracing the next step in this artistic evolution. How? By researching and installing the most advanced appliances in a perfect continuum with centuries-old traditions. Surely, the father of modern Italian cookery, Pellegrino Artusi, would be pleased to see the advancement in Italian kitchen design as Italy celebrates the 200th anniversary of his birth in 2020.