Elica and blogs

It’s been a long time since I was asked to visit Elica‘s production.

For those not familiar with Elica, I will only say that these babies are theirs.

Clearly ehough  I haven’t done enough damage if they want to to repeat
the meeting with other bloggers this year # blogger4elica.
I still remember very well those one thousand pounds of fish that
Riccardo cooked right before our eyes and under their hood.

I confirm that throughout the kitchen there was no fishy smell.

You’ll find below a video of the crime.

Only for strong stomachs.

Designing your own kitchen – Part two

Please find the first post about designing you own kitchen, here.


Dining area:
For a comfortable and airy dining area we should left 120 cm of free space all around the table.

Between your table and the wall, for example, there should be a minimum distance of around 1.2 / 1.5 meters, to allow an easy passage to a person also when someone is sitting.
A meter is enough to comfortably work in front of the oven and the dishwasher, but if you still want to use the pass during the work phases, the space required will be at least 1.75 meters.

The first thing to do is define the height you want it to have. A 110 cm tall peninsula needs 74 cm tall stools. The 90 cm tall one, requires 63 tall high stools.

For people of average size, the height of the bench should be up to 85 cm, and up to 90 cm for people of tall stature, in order to avoid an incorrect posture.
A table is properly placed at 76 cm from ground and therefor the chairs at 46 cm, this mix of measures ensures maximum comfort and ease when you’re sitting down at the table.
In a parallel kitchen, the optimal distance between the two frontal worktops is between 1.2 meters and 1.65 meters. If there are some drawers under the worktops the maximum distance is preferable.

To ensure yourself freedom of movement, it is good to leave a space of at least 40 cm on either side of the cooktop.

Between a stove and a sink it should be a free worktop of at least 40 cm.

Between the worktop and the hood should be a distance from 50 up to 70 cm.

The dishwasher should be placed near the kitchen sink in order to reduce soiling as much as possible.

To place the oven at an eye level allows you to work more comfortably and ensures greater safety for children.

The best place for your cooking utensils could be a drawer near the stove, so they will be always at hand.

In order for door and drawer to be opened better, it may be settled a filler between the leaf of the cabinet and the wall.

Warning: If you want to position the sink under your window, carefully check the height of mixing unit and a window when the window opens inward.

Avoid placing appliances at the corners, as they may prevent opening of the appliances themselves and adjacent units.

Do not put drawers on the corners, do not open up easily and may destroy the nearest handles and knobs A filler may be useful..

Do not place the stove against the side walls, because with such a solution you lost workspace and your walls get dirty.

Designing your own kitchen – Part one

The kitchen is the most complex room in our homes, a multitude of actions take place inside it, and each one requires a dedicated space.

The preparing food space is the most important area, let’s see how to organize it rationally.

This space is the base on which we’ll design the furniture distribution in our kitchen and there we must place the three main activities: food processing, cooking and washing.
It’ s essential for these actions to be close and, for us, to have the opportunity move freely with little effort.

We can represent these three elements as the vertices of a triangle, so we can see our working space as a map of our kitchen.

Lo spazio lavoro in cucina
Lo spazio lavoro in cucina

A parallel arranged kitchen furniture allows us to move, work and easily access to all its functions.

lo spazio lavoro in una cucina parallela
Lo spazio lavoro in una cucina parallela

In a U-shaped kitchen we’ll obtain a much more compact working space.

lo spazio lavoro in una cucina a U
Lo spazio lavoro in una cucina a U

With the classical in line furniture arrangement, our workspace tapers, turning the triangle into a single straight line.

lo spazio lavoro in una cucina lineare
Lo spazio lavoro in una cucina lineare

In an L furniture distribution, he triangle is extended.

Spazio lavoro in una cucina a L
Spazio lavoro in una cucina a L

In the next posts we will write about dimensions and clearances required for each one of the activities we held in our kitchens.

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Renewing the Kitchen

Renewing the Kitchen

How many times have you felt depressed while looking at a magazine of furniture?

Compare to the beautiful kitchens in those magazines with our own, always messy and dirty, is not a good idea for our humor.

To completely redo the kitchen means yo spend, but, most of all, we fear the problems that will undoubtedly arise.

If you want a kitchen like the ones you can see in the pictures, you must accept the obvious: your kitchen will have to be demolished along with some other walls.
Magazines always offer solutions that require large spaces and they began to envision “realistic” solutions a short time ago.

Before launching a grenade into the kitchen to try to renew it, you should try to change it with some minor modifications.

The floor
Replace the tiles involves the demolition of the floor, with a nervous breakdown caused by confusion, dust and construction workers that generally do not have the physique that advertising tends to show us.

Paste a new ceramic floor above the existing is a possible operation, indeed desirable, but we know we’re going to raise the floor at least 1.5 cm.
What does this mean?
We will have a step at the entrance to the kitchen and we will have to cut the doors.
But we have discerning tastes, so do not like any step and certainly do not want to cut the doors.

In this case we can use some new products (though they are in the market for several years) with several different names (Kerlite, Laminam, etc, etc) but they are basically very thin tiles of 3.5 mm a reinforcement net in the rear, to make them more resistant to traction.

These products have virtually limitless decorations and they also have a maximum size of 300×100 cm, which means yhay you can eliminate almost all leaks on the floor of your kitchen.

With this solution we have avoided the demolition of the existing floor and cutting the doors.

An alternative to these large tiles is resin and, if you live in Milan, is the first proposal that you will receive.

Resin is a delicate product, you will need skilled craftsmen to extend it, because it is possible to have unwanted cracks or bubbles.

We put food and our hands on the worktop of our kitchens,we work, we leave some bags and, when we are lucky, we also put some casual partner on it.
It is evident, from the use make of it, that it is a very delicate surface.

Let’s consider some different materials to change the kitchen worktop and to renew the room.

Steel: an alloy composed of iron and a maximum of 2% of carbon is very strong, but it is quite prone to scratches. It is water repellent but it has a big disadvantage called chalky spot.

Zodiaq: is an advanced composite material made of 93% quartz, binding polymer and pigments. It catches and reflects light, looking very similar to quartz with a wide range of colors, it has an exceptional strength and durability and it’s resistant to corrosion and heat.

Staron: 100% acrylic solid surface countertops. Available in more than 50 colors and a variety of edge details and inlay options. It’s a surface that’s practical and easy to maintain. If the surface is ever scratched, it’s easily repaired with a mild abrasive cleanser or a light- duty kitchen scrubbing pad. Staron is also nonporous with smooth, impenetrable seams, so germs and dirt have nowhere to accumulate.

Starlight: It ‘a composite stone made ​​by silica sand from of Bohemia (up to 70-90%) linked by a small amount of resin that do not affect the natural appearance. The microcrystals of which it’s made are very bright and the brightness remains constant over time. It’s resistant to wear and the action of acidic agents, including lemon, and shocks.

Solidtop: HPL laminate consisting of layers of cellulose fiber material impregnated with thermosetting resins undergo a high pressure process. non-porous, resistant to water attack and steam and does not stain with oils and detergents in common use. Resists heat up to 180 °.

Quarzo Jaipur: Comes for 95% of natural stone powder agglomerated with special resins. Available in 6 different colors, it has an irregular surface, uneven, with veins in relief. It offers a superior performance compared to marble or granite. Very compact, robust and easily splinter and is resistant to scratches and shock. Does not stain even in contact with acids, including lemon.

Okite: This countertop material comes in bright primary colors as well as natural stone colors. Okite is a specially developed quartz based stone surface material. It is 93% quartz and 7% polyester resin. It comes in several thicknesses and slabs 120 inches x 55 inches. Okite is suitable for kitchen countertops or commercial uses like restaurant wall paneling. Okite is 5 times stronger than granite and comes in translucent colors as well as opaque colors.

Cristalite:Made with acrylic resins and pigments, recreates the beauty of natural stone slabs with a 6-11 cm thickness. Non-porous, smooth and odorless, so it is very hygienic and suitable for contact with food. It is also water, moisture, heat and light resistant. It does not scratch even with the blade of a knife and is environmentally friendly. It’s available in various colors and it can be rounded.

Cristalan: It’s made by 2 / 3 aluminum hydroxide and 1 / 3 acrylic, a derivative of an acid, and also contains small amounts of pigments.
Belongs to the category “solid surfaces”, as it is solid and homogeneous throughout its thickness. It is produced in a wide range of colors, in solid colors or granulated. Shock resistant, durable and hygienic, it is not porous, is neutral to smells and suitable for contact with food. You should however be careful not to place pots or hot objects above this surface,

Elica, a breath oh fresh air in you kitchen

Elica, a breath oh fresh air in you kitchen

Elica produces extractor hoods for the kitchen. It produces its own brand and many others, probably you don’t know it, but you have a hood realized by Elica at home.

This weekend I had the opportunity to visit its most intimate part.

I entered the prototypes showroom, with unique pieces proudly presented by the Design Manager Fabrizio Crisis Center, confident of good work done.

Here are some of his works

I had never actually seen so many shapes, colors and features for an object such as a kitchen hood, and I never raised the issue.

But every rose has its thorns and Elica has also its dark sides, the most obvious is the world crisis that has contracted the turnover of many activities.The reaction of the company was to create shapes that recall those of the past, which are more comforting and reassuring to the average consumer, a classical reaction that reveals a lack of courage on how to tackle the difficult times we are living.

Hidden kitchens

Hidden kitchens

In small apartments we often find a space where kitchen, living room and dining room are just one. This situation forces us to great efforts to keep everything in order and make the space presentable to our guests.
A fairly common solution is to hide the kitchen and, in my opinion, we have three ways to archive the goal:  The first one are sliding panels, an accordion as high as the wall covering the countertop, cupboard and everything else behind them. The downside is that it works only with linear kitchen wall.  The second solution is provided by hanging cupboards that can scroll down and hide the kitchen worktop.
 The third one is an island-kitchen that can be open a a Transformer.