Italian Kitchen

Add a touch of European charm with Italian kitchen design

Creating an Italian kitchen or cucina involves imbuing your space with old-world flair and the strong "joy of living" sense that is an important part of Mediterranean culture. A good Italian kitchen design leaves plenty of room for food preparation and includes well-chosen and well-placed touches of authenticity to really sell the "old world" feel.

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There are two basic approaches you can take to build your Italian kitchen: modern or traditional. An Italian-style contemporary kitchen uses the same principles as a modern kitchen, except that they tend to be built around colors rather than tones. (In fact, in most cases, the color scheme is built around a single neutral color, such as beige or off-white).

Traditional Italian Chef Kitchen Décor

A classic Italian kitchen has a strong source of natural light, plenty of counter space, and a lot of accentuations and decorative elements like potted plants, stylized wrought iron shelves for displaying antique china, and even an indoor garden where you can grow tomatoes, peppers and onions.

One approach you'll encounter often in an Italian kitchen is a sense of contrast between the cabinets and the rest of the room. It is common, for example, for the cabinets to have an intense dark color while the rest of the room is light and airy. If you're going to use this strategy, though, limit yourself to one dark and one light color or tone; this contrast is most effective if there aren't any transitional shades to bridge the movement from dark to light.

Even if you have an adjoining dining room, an Italian kitchen design almost always includes a table and chairs inside the room. If the table and chairs are going to be primarily decorative, you can choose antique or stylish pieces that fit nicely in a corner of the room and don't take up a lot of floor space.

Professional designers can help you perfect your vision for your Italian kitchen. Working with an interior designer does require an additional investment, but it's one that can really pay off down the road by significantly elevating your home's resale value.