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Boffi brings elegant Italian design to your kitchen

Boffi K14 by Norbert Wangen is quintessential Italian design with a sleek look and Dekton surface that’s resistant to heat and scratches.

MANILA, Philippines - I am looking at a kitchen whose countertop looks like it’s floating, a beveled edge on black stone with metallic cabinet doors. It’s so sleek, almost like a massive sculpture, and the textured top is cool to the touch.

That’s how designer Norbert Wangen intended his K14 kitchen for Italian brand Boffi to look, but in reality, this massive piece is not made of granite, neither is the countertop thin or the cabinet doors metal. The countertop material is called Dekton, a combination of quartz and glass that’s resistant to heat (you can put your pots from the stovetop directly to the countertop), scratches and water. And the cabinets are wood with a finish that makes them look like lacquer or brushed stainless steel. The top of their opening is angled at 30 degrees, which is the perfect angle for your finger to slip in and pull it open.

Focus Global president and founder Stephen Sy, whose company introduced Boffi to the Philippine market two years ago, says,  “The principle we follow for our brands is that we keep our cabinets in the showroom for a year and then we sell them off with a big discount. That way, customers see new collections — or previous design made with new materials.”

Focus Global distributes about 20 high-end brands that range from Sub-Zero to Miele, SieMatic and B&B Italia.  Stephen says homeowners in the past decade or so have started to pay more attention to their kitchens because people now entertain here. “They cook for a dinner party and their guests are in the kitchen with them rather than in a separate room to wait for food. It makes sense that your kitchen is beautiful just like the rest of your house.”

And how beautiful Boffi designs its kitchens. “Italian design has a different look. Aesthetically, it’s very sleek, more design-conscious and yet minimalist with a great attention to detail and material.”

Stephen sought out a new kitchen brand to bring to the Philippines to provide a more luxurious alternative to the imported brands found here.

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“We went to the kitchen show Euro Cucina in Milan to ‘shop’ for a brand and after numerous trips, we talked to Boffi. Right after the first meeting, they said, ‘We’re very interested to work with you.’ But there were some delays on our part and they waited for us. After we signed to be their distributor, they said other companies had approached them, but they picked us.”

Also on display at the Boffi showroom on the ground floor of The Residences at Greenbelt is Aprile by Piero Lissoni, a kitchen island and countertop combination featuring a sleek and thin Durinox top with doors given a 3D effect with solid wood staves in several widths and thicknesses. The Lissoni tiled hood is assembled with a choice of handmade black ceramic tiles by Domenico Mori or tiles gathered from old cathedrals for a charming rustic effect.  

Luigi Massoni’s Xila — a design from the ‘70s — is as timeless a kitchen today as it was when it was first released in 1972. Its streamlined features have since been updated with the latest finishes available in the collection, including the durable and beautiful Quartzite Calacatta that is sourced in Europe especially for Boffi.    

Also a classic is the mobile Mini Kitchen Outdoor piece by Joe Colombo. The mod-ish reissue of a celebrated compact design launched in 1963 is featured in the Museum of Modern Art and is now available as a stylish addition to a smaller living space such as a condominium. One power outlet is all that is needed for the large movable trolley that includes an electric hub, mini refrigerator, cutlery drawer, chopping board and tray in single cubic meter of space.

Stephen describes the Boffi homeowners as those who love design. “They are not believers of ostentatious or extravagant displays, preferring understated elegance instead. They want a home that creates a visual impact that is not overpowering but no less impressive to the guests that they entertain. This reflects in the way they dress, carry themselves, and create their surroundings. They have an eye for good design, and they know what a good kitchen looks like.” 

He suggests planning for the kitchens, bathrooms and wardrobe at the initial stages of building a house, as working with the architect will help ensure that the Boffi systems will fit with the overall look and specifications of the house. The Boffi showroom in Makati is also staffed with in-house designers to help the homeowners decide on their showpieces. The brand is customizable, but not modular, he explains, which is why the Boffi systems are best installed as scaled to fit from the beginning.

The pieces are customized, with many details to choose from as shown in their newly updated showroom.

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Visit the author’s travel blog at www.findingmyway.net. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @iamtanyalara.

Visit Boffi Studio Manila at The Residences at Greenbelt, Makati City (Monday to Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.).  For inquiries and to schedule a private tour, call 794-2095; visit www.boffi.com.

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