What is an Italian kitchen style? Think of a classic cook space with an overall rustic and earthy feel that features elements of the outdoors. Natural materials like wood, stone, and terra cotta reign supreme.
The colors — burnt oranges, soft yellows, and brilliant blues — are warm and tend to mimic a Tuscan sunset or the Mediterranean Sea. And while natural light is an Italian-inspired kitchen's best feature, if you simply must add an overhead source of illumination, go old school with wrought-iron chandeliers, table lamps, and wall sconces.
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Ready to create an Italian-inspired space of your own? We've got you covered. Pour a glass of red, and scroll on for the ultimate kitchen inspo.
1. Think Mediterranean.
Want to bring on the old-world, rustic Italian charm? Go for a Mediterranean kitchen like this one from Barry Dixon. It features warm colors and natural materials that prioritize functionality as well as style. High-quality woods like cherry make for quality cabinets, while the backsplash and countertops can be striking terra cotta or tile.
2. Or, go for Tuscan opulence.
The Tuscan-style cook space is much more elegant and opulent than a Mediterranean version, while still being open, airy, and inviting. Just take a look at this dream kitchen from Parker House Houston. It feels like a vacation home or a place of leisure. Just make sure to focus on lighting, whether that be natural rays from expansive windows or an ornate chandelier hanging overhead.
3. Don't forget to add vintage decor.
Don't be afraid to bring in vintage plates, cups, saucers, and more to give your Italian interior design some character. You can stack them prettily in glass kitchen cabinets or leave them out on floating shelves. And don't chuck out the whole set if a few dishes are chipped! The eclectic look will add to the charm.
4. Make it a modern Italian kitchen design.
Not every Italian home is rustic or designed with Tuscan opulence in mind. Case in point: this gorgeous space from Scavolini. A modern Italian kitchen like this one might feature an open, sprawling floor plan with seating options that allow for socializing. If you love dinner parties, this could be the best route for you.
5. Display your prettiest kitchen essentials.
If you're lacking storage, take note of this deVOL Kitchens design. With no upper cabinets, the small space relies on hooks and more hooks to organize the pots, pans, and mugs. Everything has a home, which helps keep things tidy after a proper Italian feast.
6. Take color inspiration from a Tuscan sunset.
Use color palettes that are inspired by the buildings dotting the Amalfi coast or glowing in a Tuscan sunset: ochre, burnt orange, terra cotta, and soft yellow. In this cook space from Scavolini, the muted shade creates warmth without overwhelming the room.
7. Don't paint the wood.
Natural materials like wood and stone left in their original state are hallmarks of all the best Italian kitchens. In this space from Mark Cristofalo, the wood cabinets, island, and flooring all stand out without a lick of paint.
8. Blend relaxed elegance and lived-in luxury.
Want to get the look of this Leanne Ford kitchen? It has the feel of a vacation villa that's been well-loved for many years. To strike this delicate balance, splurge on great appliances, jazzy drawer pulls, and lighting but retain that lived-in charm with heirloom art and accessories.
9. Prioritize counter space.
You'll need ample counter space for all the cooking and hosting you'll do in your kitchen, so let this space designed by Mark Cristafalo be your guide. Keep small appliances and utensils tucked away.
10. Embrace a sprawling Italian kitchen.
The typical Italian-style kitchen is sprawling and airy just like this culinary hub from Childress Interiors. So if possible, allot as much square footage as you can to your cook space during the home improvement process. From the counters to the ceilings to the windows, make sure there's plenty of room to go around. That way you'll never knock elbows with your fellow chefs.
11. Expose those wood ceiling beams.
You can have an Italian kitchen without exposed wood ceiling beams, but why would you want to? Simply follow Mark Cristofalo's lead to the get the look. Oftentimes a darker wood is paired with a neutral wall and ceiling color so the beams get their chance to shine. And if your home only has conventional, flat ceilings, you can install faux beams to create the illusion that you're living in a rustic farmhouse.
12. Channel the quaint countryside with cabinet curtains.
Is there anything sweeter than the cabinet curtains Leanne Ford installed here? We think not. Ditch your cabinet fronts — maybe yours have seen better days anyway — and replace them with curtains to bring a pattern or dose of color into your kitchen. And don't even get us started on that blush-colored stove of our dreams.
13. Let open shelves showcase your favorite things.
Open storage works well in any style of kitchen, as long as you're committed to keeping your items tidy and dusted. Recreate these Italian-style shelves from Bria Hammel Interiors yourself with a vintage cake stand, a special bottle of wine (maybe a Sangiovese to keep with the Italian theme), and photos from a special trip. Need help getting started on your open shelves? Check out our styling guide.
14. Take advantage of all the storage in your kitchen space.
You'll need extra sets of plates if you go Italian style with your feasts. Before you know it, the whole neighborhood will be over for spaghetti and meatballs, so consider something like the open lower cabinetry in this cozy corner from Ginny MacDonald Design. This storage feature is both beautiful and practical — the dream design combo — since guests can spot and grab items quickly while helping you with the dishes.
15. Get creative with tile.
A tiled backsplash is expected, but what about a kitchen sink with a tiled cabinet front? This blue beauty from Hann Builders evokes a feeling of grandeur, especially when paired with the dark wood cabinets and old-school pulls. The tile adds color, shape, and a focal point: all musts for an Italian-style kitchen.
16. Focus on minimalism in your Italian interior.
Here, Villa Lena — a luxe retreat tucked into the Tuscan countryside — went the minimal route for this kitchen design idea, proving not all Italian-style cook spaces are ultra opulent. Why compete with the views of Tuscany when you could highlight wood beams, large windows, and a wooden table for two? Excuse us while we book a trip here ASAP.
17. Mix and match wood tones.
We could write a thesis paper on why this Italian kitchen from Katrin Arens is perfetto, but we'll narrow it down to a few key design aspects: the still life painting, the colorful and abundant bowls, and the distressed mix and match wood features, from the plate display to the dining table to the cabinet fronts. Are you suddenly dreaming of packing up everything and moving to a Tuscan farmhouse, too?
18. Inject some farmhouse influence.
This Scavolini kitchen takes inspiration from the Italian countryside but has all the best parts of farmhouse flair. There are butcher block counters balanced with creamy, neutral cabinets. And you can even skip the kitchen island for a functional wood table with vintage charm.