Italian kitchen design means different things to different people. In recent years, Italian kitchens have become known for their sleek and innovative designs, but, for most people, the thought of an Italian kitchen conjures up images of large family gatherings in rooms full of old-world charm - these are the feelings invoked by traditional Italian kitchen designs.
Traditional Italian Kitchen Design
Traditional Italian kitchens always have a rustic feel to them. They're warm and cozy, but they also incorporate elements of the outdoors and bring them in. Stone, terra cotta, and other natural materials all find their way inside.
Rustic Italian design uses warm colors to mimic the sunsets of the Tuscan countryside. Warm yellows, golds, and oranges work well as wall colors. For contrast, consider adding a glass tile backsplash in bright blues and greens. They provide a nice contrast to the warm colors and invoke feelings of the sea.
Remember that the kitchen is the heart of the home and as such it will need to accommodate large groups of people. A large wooden harvest table is a great choice for an Italian-style kitchen. Add chairs with rush seats around the table to keep with the natural theme. For a relaxed look use a couple of benches instead of chairs on the long sides, and then add two large chairs at either end of the table.
Since rustic Italian kitchens bring the outdoors in, it's important to use a natural (or natural-looking) material for the floors. Stone floors are a great idea, as are terra cotta or natural-colored ceramic tiles. Hardwood floors that look like they have some wear and tear also look wonderful.
Stay away from any lighting that appears modern. Fluorescent task lights and track lighting have no place in a rustic Italian kitchen. Opt instead for charming, old-world lighting such as wrought-iron chandeliers and sconces. Look for lights that have muted metal finishes and stay away from shiny, contemporary-style lights.
The accessories are what will really bring the life into a traditional-style Italian kitchen.
- Fill clay pots with herbs and leave them on the windowsill. They can be used for cooking and as a beautiful accent. They also smell great.
- Use brightly colored dishes and display them out in the open. Majolica pottery is always a good choice. If you can't find any, there are plenty of pieces out there that mimic the look.
- Choose antiques over new items whenever possible.
- Hang pots and pans from racks on the ceiling or walls for easy access.
- Fill the room with homey accessories like rustic pitchers of flowers and collections of personal objets. Don't worry if they're chipped and a little damaged as it adds to the old-world look.
- Leave cookbooks out on display. They look lovely and it makes them easily accessible.
- Have fruits and vegetables out on display in large rustic bowls.
There are many things that can be done to create the look of a traditional Italian kitchen, and the most important is to fill it with lots of people and good food.
Modern Italian Kitchens
While many people associate Italian kitchen design with rustic, old-world styles, it's not the only style of Italian kitchen. Italy is always at the forefront of design, whether it's fashion, architecture, or interior design, and Italian kitchen design is no different. In recent years, Italy has become well known for its contemporary designs.
Contemporary Italian kitchens are slick and sleek, with integrated appliances and streamlined design. There are no unnecessary frills or accessories, yet modern Italian kitchens are incredibly functional. In terms of looks they are the polar opposite of traditional Italian kitchens.
Italian designs run the gamut from traditional and rustic to contemporary and sleek. No matter what look you prefer, you're sure to be able to incorporate some elements of Italian design into your living space.