When in Rome—or Washington
Jen DeRose -- Interior Design, 3/1/2008 12:00:00 AM
Garner a dinner invitation to the home of Giovanni Castellaneta, the Italian Ambassador to the U.S., and you've practically left Washington, D.C., for Italian soil. On one wall hangs a 15th-century nativity scene attributed to the school of Sandro Botticelli. On another are four Venetian 18th-century gilded mirrors. And then there are the 19th-century Murano glass chandeliers and sconces. A similar showcase of nationalism, the Arclineakitchen system, is even named Italia. It was designed in 1988 by Antonio Citterio and consistently updated ever since.
The kitchen needed to handle frequent political functions,say a seated dinner for 80 honoring a visit from President Giorgio Napolitano. But the space also had to be comfortable for casual meals for family. To accomplish this, Arclinea interior designer Giampietro Monti divided the 750-square-foot room into professional and domestic sides, each with its own island.
On the professional side, the 12-by-4½-foot island offers a 10-burner cooktop with a grill and a sink with a pot filler. The family island, about half aslong, features a breakfast bar with two stools.Overhead—instead of an industrial-strength range hood—basil, rosemary, and other herbs grow on a suspended shelf with the help of LEDs.
Both sides of the kitchen temper the gleam of stainless steel with the subtlety of black oak. Appliances—stainless, from Scholtès—run along one sidewall. The other is devoted to sinks and enough counter space for chefs to line up warm entrées before they're carried into the dining room.
Observing the action is a large-scale black-and-white print of Alberto Sordi in the film Un Americano a Roma. With a heaping plate of pasta in front of him, he seems to wish us all buon appetito. 39-0444-394111; arclinea.it. circle 430