We’ve been followers of German designer Katrin Arens, an Italy-based master of old-as-new, for a while now. Arens, who is both a furniture and interior designer by trade, has been giving new life to castoff materials for more than 20 years through her furniture, kitchen, and object designs—long before the reclaimed wood trend came about.
Today we spotlight a kitchen that Arens designed for her favorite client: a Florentine family, makers of wine and olive oil in Tuscany, with whom Arens has collaborated for almost 15 years. (“They want individual solutions and they trust in my designs completely—so they are the perfect client,” she says.) For the family’s holiday home on Sardinia, which has a panoramic view of the Porto Cervo harbor, Arens used original wood discarded from a remodel of the 1768 Angelo Mai Library in Bergamo, near Milan. After minimal treatment, she paired it with stainless steel and new wood as needed for a practical, striking design that couldn’t have been achieved any other way.
Photography by Michele Branca, courtesy of Katrin Arens.
Another perk to using old wood? Its character. “Even in the new use, you can see the life of the previous story,” Arens says.
For more on kitchen design, start with our Remodeling 101: Kitchens section with advice on Kitchen Storage & Organization, Kitchen Sinks & Faucets, and Ranges & Ovens. For more home solutions in wood, see:
- An Easy-ish DIY: Oversize Plywood Pegboard with Shelves
- Outbuilding of the Week: A Garden Shed Made from Reclaimed Redwood
- Kitchen of the Week: The New Italian Country Kitchen by Katrin Arens, Scrap Wood Edition