We took advantage of these days of “smart-working” to develop our kitchen project – the kitchen for our own house, our new house, now at the beginning of construction.
We named the project of our house Hangar 18 starting from the fact that it is camouflaged as a “secret construction” and is located at no. 18 on that street. We are developing a residential conversion project for an industrial hall, my father’s workshop, where I learned theory and practice in furniture manufacturing and the production of items for various industries.
We found it funny and appropriate that Hangar 18 has two strong connotations in our teen culture: the eponymous film about the Roswell ‘47 case and the alleged extraterrestrial contacts in Area 51, as well as a brilliant Megadeth song, so the name was self-recommended.
The whole house project will be built and will revolve around the kitchen.
We started from the premise that we needed the kitchen project from the very beginning so that the architects could continue the design for the partitioning of the space (plasterboard walls) and everything that involves the next stage: plan and lighting of ceilings, ventilation for hood and air conditioning, electricity and installation plans, underfloor heating, etc. For us, the kitchen is at the heart of the house, so we think about design from the inside out.
Both Doris and I share the same tastes in interior design; practically, we have developed and refined them together over the years and we have the personal experience of completely designing the two apartments in which we have lived together so far.
We were convinced that we knew in unison what we wanted, but still, when we put all the pieces of the big puzzle on the table… it turned out to be a bit more complicated than we would have thought!
We don’t have children, we only have 5 pets, but we cook together every day and spend most of our free time in the kitchen; it is obvious that in the kitchen our “meetings” took place in which we debated the project of the future house and obviously from the kitchen I am now starting to write this story.
We were free to choose any type of interior design or partitioning, we had no boundaries because the construction is one on metal structure – more precisely, it is the reconversion of a former industrial hall for furniture production.
We know that this choice will accompany us for the next 20 years. Even though it may seem that we can easily afford to change the kitchen – given that we work in this field – we can honestly say that it is not at all simple. Firstly, it is an important financial investment – one of the most important in people’s lives in general – and secondly, changing a kitchen involves without question a complete renovation of the whole house.
We started by organising a list of wishes and priorities, just as we do every day with every kitchen project, then we put them all in order, and from this point of view, everything became simpler:
- An Open-Space kitchen, for sure! It is an aesthetic and functional choice based on a lifestyle, it is a must. Right now we have an open-space kitchen and I don’t think we could live differently. It offers us a constant communication and thus an extra freedom to spend our time together, it offers a constant dynamic and positive feeling, it mobilises us and keeps us connected to daily activities.
- Exclusive integrated concept for the entire living area: The kitchen is the center of the house and the element of direct connection with the entrance hall, dining room, living room and work space (home office). We must have a consistency and fluidity of spaces, and if we use too many types of furniture we risk turning the house into a furniture showroom.
- Everything hidden, but everything at hand. No unnecessary objects in sight. Only items of daily use and those that have an aesthetic and / or artistic value – certain books of current reading, or certain objects of crockery – as well as works of art can be displayed.
Materials for the soul
I know you’re probably curious what materials we chose for our kitchen. We did what we recommend to any customer who enters our showroom: we chose with all our heart.
We chose a Segni kitchen from Zampieri Cucine, our soul partner and an international landmark in terms of design sophistication, whose philosophy is based on the congruence between the avant-garde of technology and the preservation of true craft values. So, we had practically the whole range of materials and finishes available today on the planet, including from the extraterrestrial and unconventional range.
Paolo Zampieri, Zampieri Cucine’s owner and drive, was kind enough to advise us on the choice we made. We didn’t necessarily need counselling, but I must make a digression and tell you that Paolo Zampieri is an exceptional man and professional – the personification of Italian design – a man with a truly unique vision, whose passion is reflected in every Zampieri project. So Paolo’s involvement in our choice was a blessing.
How did we choose the perfect materials for our home?
All materials have pros and cons, there is no perfect material. Instead, there are many types of qualities and finishes for the same material, and the quality and warranty of the manufacturer are the things that really matter, not what the material is called (chipboard, MDF, HPL, etc.). As I said, we chose with our heart and less with reason, thus we made the perfect choice.
We started from the fact that floors will be continuously cast in cement resin (without joints) with a shade of sand, and the walls will be white with a slight texture of plaster. The windows’ carpentry will be anthracite black with very generous glazed surfaces.
Finally, we opted for metal “Iron Titanio” as central finish, present through the two important blocks that mark the areas and ensure the transition between the kitchen and living area. The material is finished by a paint out process particular to Zampieri Cucine, a coating with metal oxides that is afterwards sanded by hand to obtain a perfectly true metallic appearance.
For the background, we selected two “classic” materials, Smoked Eucalyptus Wood and Glossy Lacquer Grigio Agatha, which will lead a continuous fight for supremacy over the environment.
Yes, you read that right, the fronts of the columns are glossy lacquered, we sought for a deluxe gloss type.
We know that the current trend is towards super matte colors and everyone is running away from gloss, but we honestly say that a sample of glossy lacquer by Zampieri – the real “laccato lucido spazzolatto” must be seen and touched, and the experience is divine. It looks like a fine porcelain, not artificial and brutal like plastic. It offers a clean and “deep” reflection, very discreet compared to glass, which has an absolutely perfect reflection but still too direct.
Wood is generally our favorite, but only the real one (not imitations), for its uniqueness and natural beauty. The choice was really difficult, as Zampieri are masters in wood working and have a wide range of their own “specialties”, among which it is very difficult to decide, so we settled on Smoked Eucalyptus for its rebellious-hidden character and the smoky look that gives it a slightly vintage appearance.
We achieved a fluid, subtle and timeless design
We designed a space with a mature design, as a natural lifestyle evolution, but at the same time ironic and sometimes even funny! Finally, we thought together a design based on coherence and a volumetric architecture of the furniture. We did not use solid materials at all, but only staged contrasting textures.
Everything is spiced with subtle details that reflect our identity and personality: details that remind us every day of us, our history and common values, a treasure trove of experiences that define and enrich our lives together.
We promise to return during the construction progress and to present our experience with a personal project, declassified under the name of Hangar 18, a reconversion of an industrial hall, project developed as close encounter of the 3rd kind with the art of interior design, the design for our home.