We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: no one does kitchens quite like the Italians. A long history of superior design and function as well as boggling aesthetics have made Italy the go-to location for anyone looking for a top-of-the-line kitchen. Scavolini, Arclinea, Del Tongo, Snaidero, Pedini and Boffi are just some of the more familiar brands — and now you can add fashion label Fendi Casa Ambiente Cucina to the mix.
Founded in 1925, Fendi Roma is obviously best known for its clothing and accessories, including fragrance, watches and leather goods. Fendi Casa has been working in interiors since the Second World War, and now it’s taking its custom-ordered and designed kitchens to the retail market. Fendi Casa’s kitchens will be available at colour living in Wanchai.
For anyone that thinks Hong Kong’s homes are too small for something as grandiose as Fendi, colour living executive director Denise Lau agrees, but suggests re-thinking the idea of lifestyle interiors. “[Flats] are small but they don’t have to be boring … ‘Lifestyle’ covers every part of life,” she says. After her crew saw the Fendi kitchens at this year’s Milan Furniture Fair, striking a deal to bring them to Hong Kong “Took about half an hour. We don’t limit kitchens to the kitchen space anymore. This is perfect for open kitchens.”
So what is it that sets the Fendi kitchens apart from others (aside from price, which can reach into the millions)? “This ‘taste’ is totally different. We integrate and coordinate. You can create a complete look and it’s a living kitchen, not only functional. It has its own attitude, coming from fashion,” explains Lorenzo Marconi, managing director of both SCIC (the manufacturer) and designer Fendi Casa. “Each brand has a style and we have a glamorous feel that’s classic. It’s luxurious and has a point of view. We integrate precious woods, stone and fabric. As a whole it gives the impression of the Fendi brand.”
The Fendi kitchen suites come in four design models: the Villa Livia, Villa Ada (both on display in the store), Villa Giulia and Villa Domizia. Though each has its highlights that set them apart from each other, they do share some basic elements. Cabinets lean to the space saving, with sliding doors, swing-out shelving, and appliances hidden below retractable countertops. Soft touch drawers can include leather and wood accents with custom-made interiors to accommodate specific flatware. The models at colour living incorporate German appliances, including the Miele silent downdraft extractor and Dornbracht’s hands-free floor mounted faucet controls, but individual appliances are up to the consumer. All the moving parts flow effortlessly — quite a feat when dealing with heavy marble — and the various components (the kitchens are customisable to your space) function intuitively. “It’s a cliché to say the devil is in the details but it’s true,” adds Banu Tatari, export area manager for SCIC. “Most people put all their attention on the outside, on the finish. We concentrate on both. Italians differentiate each brand by their details. It’s just Italian design.”
The materials and finishes used include backgrounds in glossy Macassar ebony, eucalyptus, briar smoke grey, silver or ivory galuchat (shark), iguana or crocodile among others. Complementing materials for countertops and cabinetry include Tahiti, Cortez and Keshi mother of pearl lacquer, cedarstone, emperador marble, calacatta gold marble, lacquered diamond glass and onyx as just a few.
For anyone with a conscience or who is picky about the quality of their moving parts — always the first to break down if you go cheap — SCIC uses 100 percent solar energy production at its factory for a near-zero carbon footprint, and they’re still manufactured in Parma. Marconi: “If you move you lose your identity.”