Inspired by the country villas of France and Italy, this kitchen combines the warmth of fresh country style with gracious sophistication. While kitchens on country estates weren't nearly this attractive or functional in the days of servants, today's most popular kitchen styles are inspired by Mediterranean estates. The look is muted, aged, and antique.
It starts with soft whites that look mellowed by the years into pale bisque, linen, or oyster. If the budget allows, a taupe or chocolate glaze is hand-rubbed into the wood and the pieces are hand-distressed for an undeniable look of antiquity.
Limestone floors, granite counters, and lustrous porcelain tiles all recall the heritage of Italian stoneworkers that have beguiled viewers since ancient times. If real stone is not in the budget, today's matte-finished porcelain tiles look wonderfully like granite, marble, limestone, and slate. Use them on floors and countertops, too.