The Tuscan-Style Kitchen
Your Tuscan-style kitchen will have an Old World look, featuring natural wood and metal, with fancy moldings and other flourishes.
Stone plays a big part in the Tuscan-look kitchen, but you don't need to spend a fortune on masons: stone veneer applies over your existing walls for a fraction of the price and a fraction of the time.
What does a real, modern Tuscan kitchen look like, though?
Tuscan Paint Colors
Your kitchen will draw its color inspirations from the greens of the sea, the yellow of the sun, the blues of the sky, and the reds/ochers of the earth — all colors that signify Tuscany.
The image above shows the Ponte Vecchio, a bridge over the Arno River in Florence, as a springboard for choosing basic colors of Tuscany.
Tile Backsplash Gives Kitchen "Splash" of Tuscan Style
A tile backsplash with adornments behind the stove is an excellent way to impart the Tuscan style to the kitchen.
This is Alexandria Tumbled Travertine set at a diagonal for heightened visual interest. The "picture frame" is composed of a Medici Bronze Coppia Listelle with Orion Inserts.
All from Arizona Tile.
A Real Tuscan Kitchen?
What does a real Tuscan kitchen look like? Shown here are two real-live, working kitchens found in Siena.
By the standards of many American homes, these kitchens are small and Spartan: galley or corridor layouts, IKEA-type white cabinets, and wood counters. Functional and clean, but nothing spectacular, these kitchens are classified as modern more than anything.
These are not indicative of all Tuscan kitchens — allow, too, for the fact that they are vacation rentals. But because Europeans tend to eat out more frequently than Americans, living a more public life, there is less of a need for an expansive, all-inclusive kitchen.
Inspirations From Tuscany
When remodeling your kitchen in the Tuscan style, you don't necessarily want to emulate real kitchens found in Tuscany. Instead, your inspirations will come from nature and Tuscan art and architecture.
Keep these 6 elements in mind:
From upper left, going clockwise: houses show off favored Tuscan colors (ochres, yellows, blues), all worn; sweeping architecture and beautiful masonry in Firenza (Florence); attention to detail with this ceiling at an indoor market; beautiful stonework.
The element that will primarily define your Tuscan-style kitchen is the cabinetry. Cabinets occupy a majority of your kitchen's wall space.
Because woodwork is so vital in Tuscany, this is your place to spend a little extra on cabinets that shine.
Flooring for Your Tuscan Kitchen: Terra Cotta or Travertine
Use terra cotta or travertine tiles for your flooring to give it that Tuscan look. Terracotta tiles are true Tuscan products, with sienna clay being mined and processed in that area, as well.
Terracotta tiles are a human-made product. Travertine is a natural stone product. With its variegated surface and "imperfections" (pits, veins, etc.), travertine has the perfect Old World look for your Tuscan flooring.
Wide Plank Flooring
Another way to bring the look of Old World wood into your home is to install distressed wide plank flooring.
"Wide" means that the planks are 6 inches wide or more. "Distressed" means that the surface has been artfully nicked and battered to make it look antique.
The saw kerf wide plank flooring shown here from Carlisle is a perfect example. These are random widths, ranging from 6" to 12". Lengths are about 7'-8'.
It's authentic tongue-and-groove with a rich amber stain upon walnut that evokes the feeling of an Italian kitchen.
The traditional Tuscan kitchen employed stone for its oven and walls. The modern Tuscan kitchen of the imagination uses a rough-hewn stone to create wall accents or surrounds for the real stove/oven.
Manufactured stone veneer is as close to the real stone as you can get in an easy-to-install product. It's not faux stone, polystyrene that can melt under high heat and is decidedly not stone. Manufactured stone is composed of Portland cement, aggregates, and iron oxides. It's hard to tell that it isn't "real" stone.
Another example of how the stone is a crucial ingredient to give your kitchen a Tuscan flavor. This elaborate arch between a kitchen and dining room is composed of Hillstone and Fieldledge products from Eldorado Stone.
Wine Cellar Featuring a Veneer Stone
Shown here is a wine cellar to help give your kitchen that Tuscan look. This stone veneer is called Chardonnay European Castle, from Cultured Stone.