Known for green rolling hills, Tuscany is a region in Italy and has a long history for its Renaissance art and simplified Roman Doric architecture. The Old World trademark colors of natural clay earth pigment, burnt orange, terracotta, light brownish yellow, and Greek blues further distinguish a Tucson style from all others.
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The Tuscan-style kitchen is known around the world for its lived-in and relaxed elegance. The atmosphere is one of the dark wood cabinets, white walls, and ornate iron chandeliers. Wooden beams that line a high kitchen ceiling create a warm and enchanting atmosphere. There are many faux ceiling beams to choose from if wooden beams are too heavy for your kitchen. If a modern display of sleek and shiny is not your cup of tea, the Tuscan style could be for you.
Tuscan style kitchen designs grew from the valley’s green rolling hills, Mediterranean crops of olives, grapes, and Chianti wine. The perfect Tuscan-themed kitchen has warm colors, natural stone, and a tile backsplash that is often used as a focal point. The vivid display of the Tuscan look can almost fill your nose with the earthy scents of olive oil and ripe grapes.
Many elements are used in portraying an Old World style with all the features of today’s living. Here are some ideas on how you can instill this feeling of Italian architecture into a classic Tuscan style kitchen.
Table of Contents
- Walls and Backsplashes
- Light Fixtures
- Hardwood Furniture
- Touches of Tuscany
- Frequently Asked Questions
Walls and Backsplashes
The first step in creating a Tuscan-style kitchen is coming up with a color scheme. Your Tuscan colors need not be dark tones and stone tiles. You will want your kitchen and dining area to flow with the same blended decor. Many homes today have an open concept where the kitchen, dining, and living areas are all shared.
Warm tones of beige or light gray can be used for an entirely open area with natural materials of stone and wood covering one wall or the base of a large kitchen island. Break up your backsplash with colorful tile designs to highlight an area, such as a writing area. This leaves countless ideas for patterned or ceramic tiles to be placed as a backsplash.
Subway tile gives a simple design to a Tuscan themed kitchen. It is hard to believe that subway tile was originally created for the New York City subway system in 1904. This clean shiny vintage style has continued on in many kitchens and bathrooms due to being easy to clean and providing a reflective light.
Nothing says ancient like terracota tiles. When well-made, this material will last forever. Glazed or unglazed, terra cotta will bring out the natural elements of true Tuscan kitchen decor. Travertine tile can be another favorite for rustic Tuscan kitchen design. A Tuscan kitchen backsplash in natural stone delivers the warmth of historic Italy.
While deciding on your new countertops, don’t forget the kitchen sink. A deep stainless steel double sink can work just fine. On the other hand, going with an apron front farmhouse single sink can add a more rustic look to your warm kitchen.
There is nothing cheap looking about Tuscan kitchen cabinets. Rich solid woods of cherry or maple are a favorite when it comes to kitchens of Central Italy. Raised panels bring elegance, especially when metals like iron, bronze, copper, and brass highlight the cabinet doors.
Rustic cabinetry with a showcase glass door can help to highlight Italian pottery under low light. Painted cabinets in rich Tucson colors can also bring out the rich feel of the vivid colors of the valley. For example, bright blue bottom cabinets and warm maple top cabinets can make a dramatic effect with a backsplash of deco mosaic tiles.
Light fixtures can be exciting to shop for with a Tuscan-themed kitchen. Heavy wrought iron ceiling fixtures or pairs of large pendants can provide a lot of light, warm lighting, and natural lighting from large paned open windows. Tuscan-style chandeliers are perfect for adding visual drama with crystal teardrops and elegant dimming lights.
A welcoming ambiance from under-the-counter lighting is a great addition for showing off tile murals of bright colors. You can also catch the gentle texture of the matte finish on countertop tiles,
Warm lighting can come from mini pendants of Mediterranean, Spanish or Modern styling. When hanging over a breakfast bar or aside a side desk, it can provide just the right amount of filtered light to feel warm and cozy.
Appliances can also be a lot of fun in choosing from. The most popular are stainless steel appliances, but there are many options in turning your traditional kitchen into a gorgeous space of Tuscan art. Stone ovens are the most beautiful artwork of rich tones made of natural stone signifying Italy’s love of cooking. If you have a corner that will accommodate a small stone pizza oven, check out designs that can add a nice touch without using a lot of space.
Antique cast iron ovens are a real treat if you are lucky enough to find one in good working order. If you love to cook with copper pots and have the room, opt for stone ovens and stone pillars to spell Old World and romance.
Rustic hardwood flooring delivers a Tuscan look with wide planks and knots scattered about. Visit a home improvement store where samples of hardwood flooring can help you make a decision on transforming your space into a rustic Tuscany kitchen. Engineered hardwood flooring is a good idea for enhancing your kitchen style. For a real authentic Italian taste of ancient stone and warm tones, terracotta tiles will bring out the rich Tuscan flavor.
A dining table that promotes a great place for family get-togethers can be found with an 8-foot long distressed plank top solid walnut table with benches or high-backed chairs. Italy is known for large families, lots of cooking, and a game of chess all going at the same time. A huge table naturally attracts everyone to the pleasantries of a Tuscany kitchen and dining area, leaving everything out in plain sight.
Even if you do not have the space for a large table, the right antique furniture can make your dining area look amazing. Rustic Tuscany kitchens can give you several ideas on adjoining rooms with farmhouse tables. Ornate iron side tables can also provide extra room while staying with the theme of Tuscany decor.
Old-world accessories are the perfect way to accent that high ceiling with decorative wood accents and a beautiful landscape. For example, Scattered Italian Plates of Art brings a multi-color palette with floral patterns that warms any kitchen wall space. Such details can add to beautiful tiles and can easily be found at flea markets or online with many offering free shipping.
I am sure you have seen the oil paintings on canvas of grapes, olives, olive oil, and a glass of wine. These types of pictures are almost a signature of Tuscan beauty and can make a real impact on wall space. Hanging pots and pans on walls, above a stove, or over an island also brings a Tuscany Valley to feel to your decor.
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Touches of Tuscany
Now that you have your mindset on anything Tuscany, searching for just the right items will be fun. Place dish racks and shelves along a bare wall and line with stoneware and copper plates. Glass jars, Italian ceramics, and more will keep you busy outfitting your kitchen with just the right look. If you have room in front of your windows, fill a few wooden boxes or tin boxes with potting soil and start your own herb garden. There is nothing like the fresh smell of herbs and bringing the beauty of the outdoors in.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I do not have a large kitchen to accommodate all the features that I love with a Tuscan style kitchen?
Having inadequate space can force you to look at a rustic style kitchen where you can scale down an oven, counters, cabinets, and furniture. Outdoor kitchens are also becoming an alternative to indoor space. There are many outdoor ovens made specifically for the Tucson look and great backsplash tiles that flow with the outdoor scenery.
Is Mediterranean the same as Tuscon style?
If you have never traveled to Italy to see the magnificent landscape and Old-World treasures, it could be difficult to see the difference between Mediterranean and Tuscon decor. The choice of Mediterranean pulls different styles from Spanish, Grecian, Turkish, and French influences. Tuscon is only Italian in style.
Can you mix Tuscon decor with any other decorating style?
While a Tuscan-style kitchen can easily stand alone in its own style, mixing rustic, Mediterranean, or traditional can be done with ease.
Can faux stone and wood be used in the place of natural materials?
While there is no replacement for the real thing, decorative pieces for covering columns and backsplashes can work out fine. However, when it comes to furniture, solid wood and metal should be used.
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Karen Garton, Senior Writer
Experienced Writer with 20+ years. Demonstrated writing experience includes technical writing, magazines, story writing, and journalist projects. Karen has a powerful media and communication background with academic training from LaSalle University (architecture, interior design) and business college courses. She loves editing novels and contributed to a national art journal. See her detailed profile on Our Team page.