Been-Seen logo


The Mini Kitchen

We've been looking at great ways of saving space, or even taking your home on the road when you travel – then we found out that Joe Colombo's 1963 Mini Kitchen was back. Throughout the Sixties, the Italian architect and designer conceived some innovative designs for flexible living, which he called Total Furnishing Units. His Mini Kitchen was tiny, but managed to contain hotplates, an oven, a grill, a fridge, drawers, a knife rack and a bookshelf. All powered by one plug. It was his view of the future, and the future has finally caught up with him.
The Mini Kitchen

The Mini Kitchen or Carellone was designed by Colombo for kitchen manufacturer Paolo Boffi, who went on to sell a small number of the units (above left). Forty years on, Boffi are producing them all over again (above right). It's a little different (instead of wood and metal, it's made out of Corian and looks a little like a photocopier), but the design remains the same. Just think… if you get bored of cooking in your kitchen, you can move the whole thing into your bathroom. RM

Back to articles

  • gerry

    October 27, 2012

    Well Alyssa, this kitchen is not meant for the weak of heart lol. It is a very special, unique piece of design, so it’s similar to buying a cartier piece of jewelry. You want it you pay for it. If you cannot afford it then you , as you say, buy a fridge and put it in the living room. This is not something you buy because you are trying to save money lol.

  • Alyssa Babin

    October 6, 2010

    This is a beautiful and very savvy concept for space saving. But here’s what I don’t get. If you’re going to design something totally efficient and easy to make (say, like, tract housing), why do you make it $30,000.00 (that is how much the mini-kitchen costs)? The people who are most interested in efficient, easy to reproduce design CANNOT afford 30k worth of design genius. It’s cheaper to just buy a fridge and put it in the living room!

    This is very frustrating to me.

  • Heinz

    April 27, 2008

    If you click on the ‘Mini Kitchen’ link in the article you will get to Boffi, they sell it.
    His personal website seems to be down at the moment.

  • Doug Villers

    April 27, 2008

    Subject inquiry: if there is anyone out there that can respond to this post a comment I were truly like to find out where I can purchase one of these mini kitchen units please feel free to e-mail thank you for your time.

Any comments?