The Italian Tuscany Style Kitchen
The Italian kitchen is colorful and dramatic in its style. The traditional Tuscany style uses historical elements to create a sense of old world charm. Italian kitchen colors and decorating focus on creating a room that is at once an efficient workspace and a warm, inviting room for family and friends.
The Italian interiors, from village home to the grand palazzos, have historically been decorated in colors and textures drawn from the lush landscapes. Though the aristocracy and members of the wealthier upper classes may have spent little time in their kitchens, the rooms received no less attention that those in the homes of the common people. Kitchens throughout Italy were decorated in brilliant reds and oranges tempered with cooler blues and greens. The one color not seen in abundance was, and still is, white.
The Italian kitchen glows with color. In the Tuscany style, walls are painted gold or reddish orange. Artwork is frequently used in the kitchen, as are hand painted tiles for the backsplash. Common themes in artwork are baskets of bread and fruit, olive groves and wine.
The color palette of the Italian kitchen includes olive green and forest green, reddish orange and fiery red, sunny yellow and burnished gold, earthy brown and deep purple. This riot of color is balanced with touches of white and black. White is seen in the background in tiles and on ceramic pottery. Black is brought in with wrought iron and cabinetry hardware.
Hardwoods are seen throughout the Italian kitchen, from flooring to butcher block to cabinetry. This abundance of wood is offset with painted ceramics and polished copper pots.
The profusion of warm colors creates an inviting atmosphere, one of conviviality and hospitality. The kitchen offers comfort and provides a place for family and friends to relax. It has an earthy ambience, one in which elbows on the table is permitted.
The Italian kitchen is also a workspace, one in which organization is key. With the proliferation of colorful pots, pans, bowls, cups, plates and cutlery comes the need for storage. Countertops and tabletops may be filled with bowls of fruit and baskets of bread, but the cook still needs to cook. The Italian kitchen will have a great expanse of cabinetry, one or two pot racks and a chest or cabinet for linens. The trick in decorating an Italian kitchen is to celebrate the bounty and hide the clutter.