With 134 years under the belt, Italian kitchen appliance manufacturer Bertazzoni represents six generations committed to the realm and requirements revolving around the pleasures of cooking. Today the heritage brand’s global reputation stakes claim to the largest induction range line, with a growing imprint amongst homeowners hungry for kitchen appliances finished with hallmark details representative of an eye for details, great and small. Bertazzoni invited Design Milk to tour Casa Bertazzoni, the company’s exquisitely curated showroom, test kitchen, and museum located in Guastalla, Italy. It was during our tour we discovered the Italian company shares an unexpected bit of DNA connecting their appliances with some of the world’s most storied automotive brands.
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Casa Bertazzoni was designed as much as a stage as a showroom, an architectural platform populated by the company’s past and present to see, touch, and compare. Zig-zagging hallways lead visitors through a timeline documenting the company’s history – from their humble beginnings manufacturing precision weighing machines for the region’s cheese industry in 1882, to their current position as an aspirational hi-end kitchen appliance brand. Eventually the journey ends as all the best do: with a meal. A fully appointed kitchen complete with resident chef invites visitors to demo ovens, ranges, hoods, and refrigerators under the tutelage of a watchful eye and guiding hand.
Walking through Casa Bertazzoni one begins to understand the holistic design philosophy proselytizing the union between innovative technologies and a passion for the kitchen ambience discerning customers now demand in this era of kitchen as the centerpiece of the home.
So while both CEO Paolo Bertazzoni and daughter Valentina Bertazzoni, the Director of Brand Management & Styling, make great effort to underline the various practical and technical details of Bertazzoni’s full kitchen suite (represented by three distinctly styled Master, Professional and Heritage products), a certain obvious amount of pride is reserved to underline the crafted beauty of their gas and electric ovens – specifically, the durable, double layer paint coating gracing a great many of their appliances on display.
Bertazzoni’s paint finish – impressively smooth and rich in hue – is the result of a process originally developed for the sheet metal of some of the country’s most recognizable automotive brands. Though specific auto brands were not named for legality, Bertazzoni offered us a firsthand tour of the actual factory where their Professional Series oven ranges are sent to be hand painted shoulder to shoulder with cars recognizable by shape, if not visible emblems.
We watched Bertazzoni oven ranges being finished just a few feet away from where Italian automotive brands are sprayed in a rich coat of paint. How did this come to be?
Valentina Bertazzoni: One of the core guiding principles of Bertazzoni has always been the interpretation of design as actually being a function and result of innovation. When developing the concept of a compelling alternative to the lingua franca of stainless steel finishes in the Designer Professional appliance space, Paolo Bertazzoni identified the luxury automotive industry as having one of the most technologically advanced applications for paint finishes on large metal surfaces.
With the objective to offer a similar precision and visually rich experience to the homeowner in the kitchen, he approached the best in class multi-layer color process manufacturers in the automotive market. A cooperation was started with a company that we believe delivers the pinnacle in craftsmanship, resulting in a final product of unmatched color luster and perfection. It did of course help that this competency in color application is part of the engineering/automotive tradition of the Emilia Romagna region – the home of the Bertazzoni company for 135 years.
Noting the deep luster and rich colors, could you explain more about the painting process and what makes it particularly special?
Valentina Bertazzoni: The main differentiator is the manual multi-layer wet paint coating. Highly skilled craftsmen apply the paint in a strikingly meticulous process, performed in clean rooms to avoid any contamination by even the smallest dust particles. Those layers are then sealed in with a proprietary gloss lacquer for protection and a perfectly smooth surface. The result is the highest degree of light reflection, providing depth to any contour and shape of the appliance and allowing the true richness of the color becoming a sensorial sensation.
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And why these colors?
The choice of the color palette featured by Bertazzoni represents what we call vibrant vitamin colors, imagined in making the range to be the true protagonist in the kitchen. To this day this is a Bertazzoni exclusive. While other color appliance offerings are plentiful in the market, those products are primarily finished with a lesser quality automated powder coating, one anyone can see that results in an “orange peel” surface with dull light reflection.
Okay, what is your favorite color in the Bertazzoni color palette?:
I have two. My favorite colors are Giallo (yellow) and Nero (black). Yellow is the one that makes my heart beat and the color I have in my own home. The finish is like a sun shining every day in my kitchen, and I can’t get enough of it. It’s a vibrant color, like all of our vitamin colors, picked with the purpose of radiating energy and adding a touch of personality to the room.
Black on the other hand is the essence of elegance and sophistication. I love it especially in the induction version, where the luster of the glossy paint matches with the black glass on top. The shine reminds me of a black diamond.
It seems no great surprise a culture devoutly passionate about food and cars would result in an overlap as embodied by Bertazzoni, as glamorous at a standstill as any Italian sports car in motion.