Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Design An Italian Kitchen

A traditional Italian kitchen is more than a room to store pots and pans. It is a gathering place, an espresso bar, a spot to view the garden and, of course, the room for trying out recipes and planning menus. Italian kitchens marry form and function by eschewing clutter in favor of beautiful basics. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Determine the scope of your project. If you aim for a full kitchen redesign, you can renovate Italian-style by installing marble counters, terracotta floors and incorporating architectural features such as arches, niches and columns. Plan a big picture window above the kitchen sink to take in the garden flowers or even outdoor statuary or a water feature.

2. Consider color. No matter the scope of the project, wall, floor, counter and furniture colors are a decisive factor in Italian style. Natural tones are ideal, but this goes far beyond shades of brown. There is the gold of sand or ripe pears, the blue of the Mediterranean, the burgundies of wine, the green of olives and the rich reds of peppers. Rather than creating a pristine environment, consider adding texture, faux finishes and shabby chic accents to lend the kitchen an old world charm.

3. Diversify the palette with accent shades. Hand-painted tiles with indigo, burnt orange or sunflower-yellow details add Italian panache. Try complementing the wall colors with an earthy or bright shade on the trim, baseboards, door or window frames. Bright copper pans, bouquets of wildflowers, stacks of ripe fruit and earthenware bowls also add color.

4. Purchase a few pieces that reflect Italian style. You can invest in a vintage wooden table or a metal Italian bistro set with a mosaic tile tabletop. Add chunky metal hardware to cabinets or punctuate the wall with wrought-iron pieces. Comb the goods at a local flea market, yard sale or antique store for fruit bowls, clay pots, wooden shelves or a wine rack.

5. Accessorize the kitchen with Italian items. Select items that are useful and, preferably, hand-crafted, such as painted canisters or framed landscape paintings. Bring nature to the kitchen by displaying fresh produce in bowls, setting a blossom afloat in a flowered teacup, placing leafy plants on shelves and allowing in natural light with sheer curtains.

Tags: Italian style