Italian Kitchen Design
Painted pottery sits on yellow shelves in this Tuscan kitchen by designer Linda Adams. Natural light streams through the window, and potted plants and a bowl of oranges dot the counters. Blue and yellow tiles and a tiled backsplash are partnered with yellow and blue cabinets to give this cozy kitchen an Old World feel.
Italy is a country known for its classic and delicious cuisine as well as the hospitality of its inhabitants. Add to this mix the famously relaxed elegance of the Tuscany region, and you've got the elements for Italian kitchen design.
One of the trademark features of Italian kitchen design is color. Natural hues and the vibrant colors of the Mediterranean Sea are often featured, contributing to a design that's at once welcoming and lively. Shades like ocher, burnt orange, terracotta, gentle yellows and brilliant blues are often deployed to suggest a relaxed yet elegant Italian lifestyle—one in which cooking and eating enjoy a place of primacy.
When it comes to surfaces like floors, countertops and backsplashes, a more natural appearance is generally preferred in Italian-style kitchens—matte countertops in stone or granite, floors in terracotta tile or slate, and backsplashes in unique mosaic designs are quite common. Cooking supplies and implements are often featured prominently, whether in containers on countertops or hanging from antique racks. A common theme is relaxed elegance and lived-in luxury—Italian kitchens feel like spaces you'd be happy to spend long stretches of time in, as opposed to rushing in and out on the way to your next appointment.
Lighting for Italian kitchens tends to reflect a bright and airy design, with lots of natural light often featured. Other natural features are often common, as well, from flowers and plants strategically placed in windows, on counters or tables, to artwork featuring rustic scenes or flora and fauna. Exposed wood ceiling beams are a common sight in Italian kitchens, as are cabinets made from high-quality natural woods.
Appliances and accessories run the gamut in Italian kitchen design, from simple stainless steel designs that can work with anything from a Tuscan design to Mediterranean style Italian kitchen, to vintage or more modern styles in bright and bold colors. In general, the more natural and earthy the overall design, the better it will pair with appliances and cooking accessories that feature a more straightforward, traditional design, as opposed to leaning more contemporary or modern.
Finally, furniture in Italian kitchen design often follows the thematic arc of the overall design. For Tuscan-style Italian kitchens, distressed, natural woods are often seen. In Mediterranean-style Italian kitchens, brighter and more modern furniture may be common, from sleek, stainless steel tables, stools and chairs to painted woods in bright and bold oranges, blues and greens.
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