What could an Italian Baroque church and your kitchen POSSIBLY have in common? Surprisingly, quite a lot, as I learned from a recent client’s project.
Situated in a noisy, dusty Roman crossroad, the Church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane is a masterful solution to a difficult location. Unlikely as it may seem, this church conveys important lessons for designers and their clients as they design challenging kitchens. Here’s why:
Successful kitchen remodeling requires a frank recognition of your home’s overall style, your available space, your budget and how you will use the rooms or space. And the approach must be visually interesting to camouflage defects and highlight assets.
Tall order, right? That’s where we take lessons from the San Carlo and its famous architect, Francesco Borromini.
Borromini’s primary challenge was the church’s proposed plot of land. It was cramped, surrounded by structures that could not be moved or stylistically changed.
Sort of like my client’s kitchen: there was a 21” deep unused alcove, situated in the historic townhouse kitchen, crying out for more storage space. The alcove’s three structural walls could not be moved and the owners liked to entertain.
However, the 21” depth only affected the far left and right sides of the alcove. Most of the center could accommodate a regular 24” base cabinet. So shelving and a wine cubby, which could accommodate a 21” depth, were relegated to the far left and right, respectively. Challenge solved.
Borromini also used geometric shapes and undulating lines to keep the eye moving back and forth across the façade and the interior areas.
Similarly, in my client’s kitchen, the protruding center base cabinets add interest without overwhelming the relatively compact townhouse kitchen. Another challenge solved.
A word of encouragement as you consider your own redesign needs: there are often more solutions than challenges. Defining your design challenge as specifically as you can will refine your search and keep you from getting confused.
Borromini did it on a grand scale. With a designer’s touch, so can you. And your kitchen will be as uniquely beautiful, and functional, as Borromini’s masterpiece.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to me with your questions—it’s my responsibility to keep current with constantly evolving, and personalized solutions, especially for you.