Tuscany is a region in Italy and the kitchens there are famous for the rustic mood they bring. Tuscan style kitchens sport characteristic warm earth tones along with natural materials to produce a worn out look. Although the appearance it produces is that of a century old kitchen, one can achieve it without buying expensive antique pieces.
So what gives the Tuscan look?
Use natural materials as far as possible. Stone, slate, granite, marble, limestone or terra cotta would help for flooring. Mosaics and coloured tiles work as well for flooring or table tops. Walls should be roughly plastered. You could try out textured suede effect paint or add a bit of builder’s sand to normal paint just to create a rough look.
Again, think old style when you choose the lighting. Chandeliers and pendant lighting and even recessed lighting are okay but nothing too shiny or modern.
Furniture you choose should be rustic and old fashioned. Chunky wood furniture, with a distressed finish is desirable.
Here is a quick tip on how to create that distressed wood finish: Apply a little wax on places that would appear to wear naturally like corners and edges. Now when you paint, it won’t adhere at those places where you rubbed wax. Keep the piece for drying and then sandpaper those areas where you would want to create the distressed effect.
If you plan to buy rustic furniture be sure to check out the local flea markets first. They may have some good deals.
In general, pine or oak with neat, simple, uncomplicated lines would help accentuate the Tuscan look.
Murals, Metal urns, terracotta planters, decorative bottles and jars, filled with speciality oils all help give an authentic look. It is also common for herbs and spices to be displayed in ceramic or stone jars on top of racks and shelves. Wrought Iron scroll wall grilles are also often used to add to the decor. Grape vines positioned over doorways or around cupboards are iconic of Tuscan kitchens.
by Rob Sanders
by Nancy Hugo
by Linda Paul