My fantasy kitchen is filled with Smeg appliances: a mint-green refrigerator, an accompanying mint-green dishwasher, even a mint-green espresso machine, and I don’t drink coffee. In my head, I offset the toothpaste palette with pastel accents: a cream-colored stand mixer and a pale pink blender, like the one in Brendan Fraser’s family kitchen in Blast from the Past.
I’ve long thought Smeg’s adorably retro shapes and colorways are the perfect answer to the black, white, and stainless steel options we’re afforded by Big Appliance. But folks, I can’t stop looking at Smeg’s delightfully garish Dolce & Gabbana collection, “Sicily is my love.”
As a daughter of Southern-Italian immigrants from Apulia and Sardinia (the other island), I couldn’t help but click through the entire line immediately upon its debut in 2018. The collaboration is “inspired by traditional Sicilian kitchens” and meant to mimic the look of Sicilian fruit vendor carts, blue-painted maiolica tile patterns, and traditional Sicilian artwork. D&G should have named the line “Nonna’s House.”
The artful details and historical nods are a mesmerizing but unsurprising churn-out for the artsy-fartsy brain trust that is D&G, and since the collaboration’s launch, I swing back to visit its newer additions every time I strap in for holiday shopping season. Browsing the ever-growing collection feels like a dream sequence in itself. I can’t fathom dishing out anything more than the already-hefty $250 fee for a KitchenAid stand mixer, much less Smeg & D&G’s $1,500 version. I’m fairly certain my own Italian grandmother would admire the collection’s high-fashion interpretation of old-world artistry… before gasping at its high-fashion cost.
Even if I could drop $1,500 on an espresso machine, or better yet, $10,000 on a fridge, I’m not sure I’d deck out an entire kitchen in the stuff. But some of the appliances are truly beautiful, unique pieces that would stand out nicely against a minimalist kitchen. This $5,000 chimney hood could be a luxurious focal point in my current kitchen set-up, proudly standing out in a sea of stainless steel and black cabinets. But of course for that, I’d also need a dream home with a chimney to go with my shiny, new dream hood. The work never ends, people.
Admittedly, the pandemic and isolation have done little to improve my usual doom-and-gloom design aesthetic. What’s more, work is now almost seamlessly blended with home life, and my current setup calls for Zooming in and out of meetings from my kitchen counter. Perhaps that’s why I keep coming back to this collection for what feels like a little jolt of hope for my fantasy kitchen. I may just start saving up my pennies for a luxury splash of sunshine in the form of a $650 toaster to get the ball rolling, or perhaps this sweet little juicer (also somehow $650) obviously perfect for Sicilian lemons if you can smuggle some back in your carry-on. (Remember travel?) Abbondanza!