MyHome Visits: Nikki Gil-Albert on Building a Kitchen Culture with Scavolini

June 24, 2022



Idr. Chat Fores

It’s often said that the kitchen is the heart of a home. Stepping inside Nikki Gil-Albert’s kitchen, it’s easy to see why this is true for the well-known music industry personality. An aspiring interior designer herself, she made sure that her kitchen is not only well-equipped, but also fits her design requirements. So, for this month’s MyHome Visits, I had the pleasure of asking how she was able to achieve her dream kitchen.

The first thing one will notice is how the entire area is characterized by clever use of space, clean lines and attention to detail. It’s a given, since Nikki confessed that it’s her family’s favorite spot at home. All of these were made possible through Italian kitchen brand Scavolini, one of the brands that Modularity Home is carrying here in the Philippines.

Scavolini is Italy’s biggest kitchen manufacturer and remains one of the most trusted brands when it comes to Italian style furnishings for kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms. Priding itself with more than 60 years of history, the brand now offers over 40 models with a wide range of classic, modern, and industrial materials to choose from. This allows Scavolini to help clients customize and design their own kitchen spaces. 

Meanwhile, Modularity Home is focused on modular living systems that began with kitchens. As such, it’s the perfect local counterpart to bring the elegance of Scavolini kitchens to Filipino homes. The store also carries other brands for  bathrooms, bedrooms, wardrobe and entertainment systems, utilizing valuable elements that inject soul into each space in the home. 

The modern residential kitchen as we know it today saw its major breakthrough in the 1930s, with the introduction of modular cabinetry and continuous countertops. It was also a time of innovation and design changes in materials, fixtures, and appliances brought by the Modern movement. In the United States, for example, the Hoosier, a free-standing kitchen cabinet, was the norm until 1930, as very few houses had built-in kitchens around the time. The addition of utility cabinets or broom closets to the Hoosier cabinet kickstarted the development of the modern cabinetry we see at present.

Nikki Gil-Albert

On scouting Scavolini

Out of all the kitchen system brands available, Nikki ended up with Scavolini through a route many would-be homeowners are surely familiar with: Pinterest. “While I was Pinteresting, I realized that most of my pegs were from Scavolini,” she shared. “So, I followed them on Instagram and I didn’t realize that we had it here in Manila, being distributed by Modularity Home. I followed them on Instagram again, and that’s how it all started.”

Nikki, who is now a mother of two, shared that she looks at her kitchen as a command center. A lot of things outside of cooking happens there, so family members often find themselves there at several points during the day. As such, it’s easy to see how her design choices allowed her to achieve that multi-use area in the house, where everyone can feel comfortable doing various activities.

She also shared that since her family culture is centered around the kitchen, it was a worthwhile decision for them to invest in an Italian kitchen. Since it’s an investment, it had to be tailor-fit to all the requirements, the function, and the aesthetic. The final design certainly ticked all the boxes, from the abundance of cabinetry and the utility of the layout, to the sophisticated feel Nikki envisioned for the space.

Kitchens are very personal

It was also easy to see that Nikki put a lot of thought into the zoning of her kitchen. This she said, was because she believes that kitchens are very personal. “Not all families will have the same flow in terms of how they use the kitchen, and not all families will use it the same way,” she noted. This, she said, was where she found Modularity Home’s expert assistance to be valuable.

“What I liked about Scavolini and working with Modularity Home was, they were very intentional during our initial meetings. They asked me, ‘How does your family move? What exactly do you do in the kitchen?’ Even in terms of technology, they were very detailed.” So, everything about the layout had Nikki’s personal touch, especially the placement of the cooktop at the center of the kitchen. This way, anyone who cooks also faces the people who are eating, and the garden further back. In the same way, she also decided to have the oven elevated at eye level so she doesn’t have to crouch all the time when using it. These are all aligned with her personal vision on how she wants to prepare meals and socialize with guests while doing so, if she wishes.

Another great feature of the kitchen is the washing area, which also provides a view of the garden. Aside from the advantage of natural light coming in, it’s also strategically placed in terms of hygiene. Connected to the auxiliary kitchen, everything that comes from there is cleaned or disinfected first before being brought to the counter and prep areas. Since it’s also separate from the cooking and cooling zones, there’s a lot of space for washing dishes and cleaning other items.

As I mentioned to Nikki, this is where the advantage of working with a professional kitchen company comes in. Not only can they help you pick the right technology, materials, and finishes, they can also provide expert advise on zoning and keeping various kitchen gear organized.

Attention to detail

As with any homeowner building their spaces from scratch, Nikki knew that every space and detail counts, especially for the kitchen. This is evident in the spatial features that she incorporated through her chosen Scavolini pieces. The handleless and soft-close cabinetry with hardware from Blume and Saliche, for example, was among her major design choices.

“Apart from the fact that I really like clean lines and modern minimalist look, I find that it’s safer for kids. Also, we picked a concrete finish to match with the classic walnut wood. The thing with Scavolini and Modularity Home is that they’re so customizable so they literally fit any aesthetic.”

Nikki gil-albert

Nikki went on to remark that it was actually one of the challenges she encountered. “There were so many possible combinations that it was hard to pick just one! With their help, we were able to narrow it down to something that I think I’ll enjoy for a very long time.”

Of course, the attention to detail didn’t end there. I like that she also incorporated a number of functional and aesthetic touches to make her kitchen fun and dynamic. These include the “show lights,” a sensor-activated counter lighting. Another is the Scavolini Diesel Bar Cart from their Diesel Living line, which is very useful for social gatherings and makes for a loose, multipurpose piece for moving around in the kitchen.

Prepping a kitchen culture

As one of the major areas in every home, the kitchen should be tailor fit to the residents’ lifestyle. Going back to Nikki’s note that kitchens are deeply personal, she also added that it’s important for homeowners to have a kitchen supplier that understands your family culture. This is what she found when she enlisted the help of Modularity Home and Scavolini to translate her vision of a kitchen culture for her own family.

Understandably, the idea of incorporating a complete Italian kitchen in your home can be nerve-wracking. However, Nikki can vouch that it’s really worth it. Her top tip? Just get over the intimidation and let your kitchen culture be your guide.

“I know that they’re intimidating, but once you get to talk to Modularity Home staff, it’s so much easier and you’re assured of the quality. Let’s face it, kitchens aren’t cheap and it can be nerve-wracking because you don’t want to make a mistake. So, I found that it’s best for me to work with the best.”

Guest Editor IDR. Chat Fores of Chat Fores Design Studio

Ready to prep your dream kitchen? You can always look up Modularity Home and Scavolini online through their website, and Instagram, @modularityhome and @scavolinimanila. Or better yet, get a glimpse of what they have to offer by visiting their showrooms in Shops 9-11 at The Peninsula Manila, Makati Avenue, Makati City and 4F Bldg D Mega Fashion Hall, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

Photography- Ed Simon

Sittings Editor- Geewel Fuster

Videographer-Jose Ramirez 

Video Director- Ferrena Enriquez

Multimedia Artist- Dianne Fernando

Makeup artist- Madge Lejano

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