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What is a Tuscan style kitchen?

Bring a little of Italy into your American kitchen.
Bring a little of Italy into your American kitchen.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Tuscany is a region in central Italy and much of it is along the Mediterranean coastline. The interior of Tuscany is known for its lush, green rolling hills and countryside. In short, it's one of the more beautiful places you'll see on this planet. And while the area is gorgeous, the homes in the villages of Tuscany are unpretentious and relaxed, not flashy and extravagant.

Tile rooftops, stucco walls and earth tones are all hallmarks of Tuscan design. Archways in Tuscany are generally rounded, keeping with the Mediterranean influence. But arches aren't just for doorways -- they can also be used in other décor elements, like a rounded arch over the stove to cleverly hide the vent.

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Materials commonly found in these kitchens are terracotta, wrought iron, ceramic, glass, and, of course, travertine. Tile floors are more true to the style than wood, but stone can be a nice substitute for truly rustic Italian. Boldly colored tile backsplashes are another hallmark of a Tuscan kitchen, as are exposed wood beams and kitchen islands.

This vignette would be right at home in your Tuscan kitchen.
This vignette would be right at home in your Tuscan kitchen.
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

The Tuscan decorating style has become pretty popular in the U.S. because of its functionality, comfort and laid-back simplicity. Food is central to the Tuscan lifestyle, so the kitchen is the perfect place to bring in these design elements.

When it comes to furniture, think chunky, dark wood. Chairs, stools and the dining table would all be simply designed, more along the lines of a modest, square-legged farm table instead of something with intricate details and curves. Colors are warm earth tones with vibrant accents, and bold is the name of the game. Rich reds and bright yellows fit in well with Tuscan design.

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For accents and decorations, it's common to find glass jars, Italian pottery and ceramic urns. And nothing says "Tuscan kitchen" more than an iron pot rack hanging above the butcher block island. For true authenticity, no Tuscan kitchen is complete without a wood-burning pizza oven. You can just picture the light of the fire crisping up some homemade pizza dough and the smell of fresh tomatoes and basil lingering in the air.

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Sources

  • "Authentic Tuscan home design is a popular architectural style." Minkler-house-plans.com, 2011.http://www.minkler-house-plans.com/tuscan-home-design.html
  • "Designing Your Own Tuscan Kitchen with Style: How to Create An Attractive Italian Kitchen." Tuscandecor.com, 2011.http://www.tuscandecor.com/Tuscan-kitchen-decorating.htm
  • "Mediterranean Homes: Tuscan Exterior Design Elements." Accentsofsalado.com, 2011. http://www.accentsofsalado.com/homedecormain.html
  • "The Tuscan Decorating Style: Understanding the Tuscan Elements." Tuscandecor.com, 2011.http://www.tuscandecor.com/tuscanelements.htm
  • "Tuscan Theme Kitchen Decorating : What You Might Want To Know." Spiykitchens.com, 2011.http://www.spicykitchens.com/

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