How to create a rustic Tuscan kitchen
The rich, warm colors and textures of Tuscany, the agricultural region of Italy, are one of the most popular versions of the Cottage Country home design. Kitchens that are chock-full of cabinets and wall colors that are dark and heavy can transform your space into a Tuscan kitchen with a few budget-minded additions and some nifty painting techniques.
For starters, here’s a designer trick for creating walls that resemble the plaster walls of Tuscan villas. Place about two cups of joint compound in a paint tray, then add large tablespoons of light tan, cream, sage green, and rust red paint. Combine this mixture by rolling a paint roller in the pan and then “skip” the mixture in the corners of the room and along the edges of the walls. It is not necessary to completely mix the colors with the joint compound; it is the variation in colors that will give the walls a rustic touch. Also, use an inexpensive brush for this method so that you can cut the bristles down to about an inch long. This makes it easier to apply the mixture.
If this color scheme doesn’t appeal to you, consider taking ceramic tile color cues. The tiles can be installed behind the sink as a backsplash or can be used as wall art or trivet. Or take the area rugs color scheme for the kitchen. The vintage tones and patterns of orange rugs, red rugs, green rugs, and yellow rugs can all serve to unify the kitchen color scheme.
Next, paint the cabinets in one of the deepest colors in the Tuscan palette, typically a deep red or cypress green. This will lighten the look of dark wood cabinets.
Update a wooden kitchen table with new paint, stencils, or other designs covered in clear varnish to protect them from wear and tear. At the same time, update the dining room chairs with new upholstery in Tuscan colors, such as deep gold. A new lamp wouldn’t be bad either. Look for something that has an aged finish to suit the rustic theme.
And what to do with all those cookbooks? One way to corner these references and stay on topic is to install some shelves to hold the books, on a work island or on a dining room bench. Always consider painting kitchen furniture add-ons like these to continue the Tuscan countryside theme. Sage green or terra cotta can be great colors to use on furniture, but be sure to use semi-gloss paint for durability and easy cleaning.
If your kitchen needs a message center, consider covering a large corkboard with leftover fabric from the chair upholstery. This will be an ideal place for those essential notes every busy family needs these days to keep in touch. Speaking of fabric, don’t forget to pick something compatible for curtains. If you need to leave a window open for light, consider hanging valance curtains on a complementary fabric. Another option is to install a Roman blind with valance, if more privacy is desired.
Finish off this Tuscan makeover with a table runner and some decorative plates, platters, or jugs in vivid colors and the kitchen is ready for delicious meals!