A Taste of Tuscany

A standard kitchen receives a colorful transformation with a Tuscany-inspired theme.

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Yellow walls and warm touches bring a touch of Tuscany to this kitchen.

Miki Webber and Peter Klein recently purchased a 1920s Spanish-style fourplex. Their apartment is loaded with character, but the twosome hasn't been able to capitalize on the charming kitchen. Last summer they had a magical vacation in Tuscany and would love to re-create that ambiance in their kitchen.

The Dilemma

Lee Snijders meets with his design team, Charles Burbridge and Summer Baltzer, to discuss his plan for transforming the plain white space into an Italian kitchen. They plan to warm up the space with a yellow color on the walls, create a message board to help with organization, transform a glass-fronted cabinet into a wine rack and redo the kitchen table to reflect the Tuscan theme.

The Solution

An inviting Tuscan look is created with the following design elements:

The textured walls are warmed up with a yellow paint, creating a fresco look without much effort.

Burbridge transforms the dining table with a mosaic tiled top. He wraps 4 x 4 tiles in a towel and breaks them into pieces with a hammer. He lines the edge with black disc-shaped tiles, and then adheres the colored pieces in a random pattern, graduating the color toward the outside edge. The table is finished after he applies black grout and buffs the surface. He also creates a matching mosaic tile backsplash for over the stove.

To complete the dining set, Baltzer finishes two new chairs to coordinate with the rustic look.

Baltzer also creates a message board out of stretched canvas, batting and paisley fabric. The batting and fabric is stretched over the canvas and stapled to the back. Ribbons are added in a crisscross pattern and also stapled to the back. For a tufted look, she stitches upholstered buttons onto the front where the ribbons intersect.

Snijders converts the glass-fronted cabinet into a wine rack. He creates the wineglass storage by gluing and stapling 1/2" square wood pieces to birch plywood. The wine bottles are stored in wood slats made of plywood. The doors are removed, and the interior is painted black to match the table and countertops. He also adds a spot for storing wine glasses.

Colorful tiles are arranged on the arch above the kitchen to add color and help tie in the Tuscan theme. The old tea cart that served as a kitchen catchall is replaced with a dark-stained armoire that has room for their china. The windows are dressed with wine-colored panels and wrought-iron rods. A shelf above provides display space for accessories that fit the theme.

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