Italian Kitchen Decor

by Giorgina Devereaux





Italian kitchen decor brings to mind breath taking images of the rolling hills of Tuscany with its beauty and splendor, along with pots of aromatic food simmering over the stove. 

For some, their incredible love and passion of the Italian culture serves as an inspiration when decorating their kitchen in an Italian theme. 

Since the kitchen is the heart of our home, and is where everyone gathers, it’s important that it be a space that is inviting, warm, and cozy. 

The beauty about Italian kitchen decor is that it incorporates natural materials, earth tones, and architectural accents that make it welcoming while giving it a dose of charm. 

Your Italian kitchen decorating scheme can be achieved by combining rich colors, natural features, lighting, furniture, wall art, and accessories.  The result will be an Italian kitchen that is enchanting and bursting with character.

Color:  In Italian kitchen decor, the most commonly used colors are those that resemble the Italian countryside, such as, earth tones, rich golds, blues, and green colors.  Blue reminds us of the sky and sea while green is reminiscent of the rolling, grassy hills. 
 

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To give your kitchen warmth, you may use deep red, orange, and yellow colors.  Also, since lavender fields are abundant in Italy, a hint of purple can be used in your kitchen to add to your colorful display.

Natural Features:  Along with having a beautiful assortment of colors, it’s important to include natural features in your kitchen.  An excellent Italian kitchen feature is ceiling beams. 

To keep costs down, instead of opting for wood, you can install decorative faux beams that come in a rustic style for that weathered look.  The faux beams are lighter in weight and are available in different finishes.  You can also choose to add decorative straps to the beams, which enhances their beauty.

Natural choices for countertops and flooring for Italian kitchen decor are stone, slate, granite, or terra cotta.  This will definitely add to the magnificence of the kitchen and give it a more Italian feel.

Lighting:  The ideal lighting choices for your Italian kitchen decor are those that give it an Old World feel, such as wrought iron fixtures.  

You can find wrought iron fixtures that feature elegant scroll work, dark rusted iron, or a distressed look.  It creates a fabulous focal point in your kitchen that adds drama when illuminated.

Furniture:  When selecting furniture pieces for your Italian kitchen decor, consider choosing those that appear as if they’ve been in your family for generations.

In doing so, it gives the kitchen character and the feeling of being lost in time.  A good choice is large, wooden furniture that is similar to a farmhouse style kitchen table, along with wooden chairs that feature rush woven seats. 

Also, benches are fabulous because it provides additional seating since several can sit on it, which makes for a more intimate gathering. 

The use of a wooden block carving island, kitchen island, baker’s rack, sideboard, chest of drawers, and cookbook shelf are additional furniture pieces to consider including in your Italian themed kitchen. 

Wooden Block Carving Island/Kitchen Island:  You can find wooden block carving islands that resemble a century old table with a thick top and hand turned legs. 

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Some also feature a center drawer perfect for cutlery and a storage shelf below.  It makes a stunning statement in your Italian kitchen decor and further helps you achieve that Italian look.

Kitchen islands are a remarkable way to get additional prepping and storage space in the kitchen.  You can choose from different colors and designs that have granite, marble, stainless steel, or a wooden top. 

Not only are these islands functional, but they also add a touch of elegance to your kitchen.  Some islands feature pull-out work surfaces, wine storage, shelves for cookbooks, a hidden spice rack, trash can and cookware storage areas, drawers, paper towel holders, hooks that function as utensil storage, and industrial strength casters for easy rolling. 

Baker’s Rack:  A baker’s rack offers storage solutions while giving you an attractive alternative to display your colorful dinnerware and glassware.  Some are available in an open-air wall rack that is crafted from ornate iron with four shelves. 

Other baker’s racks offer three shelves, two pull-out drawers, a wine rack, and a lower cabinet perfect for storing utensils, plates, and treasured recipes.  It is also great for stashing linens and items that need to be accessed quickly.

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Sideboards:  Sideboards lend beauty to Italian kitchen decor and also have generous storage capacity.  They are a great place to safely keep glasses, delicate dishes, and utensils.  You can find them in classical, handcarved detailing on solid wood, with exotic wood inlays, or in distressed wood. 

Some come with a marble or wood top, two cabinet compartments consisting of rounded doors with an adjustable shelf, and several drawers. 

Chest of Drawers:  A chest of drawers makes a lovely piece in any Italian themed kitchen.  Some feature four lower drawers perfect for tableware storage, such as, extra kitchen items and linens, as well as a subdivided drawer for flatware.  It also has four top drawers that you can pull down flat, which gives you the convenience of easy reaching for small pantry items.    

Cookbook Shelf:  A cookbook shelf is a wonderful way to show off your favorite cookbook collection.  However, its use is not limited to just storing cookbooks.  You can display a few of your favorite bottles of wine, decorative accessories, and other commonly used items, such as spices. 

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Italian Wall Decor

Wall Art/Accessories:  Art is a very important feature to include in a Italian kitchen decor as well as in any room because it is an expression of who we are and depending on the art piece, it can evoke feelings of happiness, warmth, and appreciation for human creativity.

Canvas Art/Wall Art Plaque:  You have many lovely pieces of art to choose from whether you opt for canvas or wall art plaques.  These pieces include art that portrays stunning images of the Italian countryside, villa, and gardens. 

You can also find art designed by a 15th century architect known as Van Utens.  Van Utens designed villas and gardens for the illustrious Medici family and he painted his plans on elaborate half-rounds.  These beautiful half-rounds have been replicated in wonderful detail.  One of his famous villas is called Cafagiolo and it has been reproduced on canvas as well as on a wall plaque.

Wall Mural/ Trompe L'oeil:  Trompe l’oeil is French for “to trick the eye.”  This is a painting technique that creates the illusion of a three dimensional area through the use of shadows. 

You can choose to have a mural painted that features the Italian countryside, the rolling hills of Tuscany, grapes, vines, as well as architectural elements, such as columns, windows, and doors.  It tricks a person into believing that the setting is actually real and makes an incredibly beautiful statement in any kitchen.

You can also opt to have a gorgeous tile mural backsplash of Italian still life consisting of wine, olives, grapes, and cheese mounted above your stove or cooktop.  Other tile murals depict cypress trees, arches, windows, wine, cheese platters, and sunflower fields.  It makes for a fabulous focal point in your Italian kitchen decor.

Wall Lettering:  You can express yourself through Italian kitchen decor by displaying your favorite quote in the form of wall lettering.  You can choose the style, color, and size of the font and it is easy to apply since it comes with an adhesive backing.  You can also have the quote of your choice made in a stencil. 

Some commonly used Italian kitchen decor quotes are:

  • Mangiando insieme, godiamo la vita (By eating, we enjoy life)
  • Samore buoni amici e famiglia (Good friends and family)
  • Felicita! Buoni alimento, Vino, Musica ed Amici (Good food, Wine, Music and Friends)
  • Entri Come Amici, Vada Come Famiglia (Enter as Friends, Leave Like Family)
  • Celebri La Famiglia, Celebri Gli Amici, Celebri La Vita! (Celebrate Family, Celebrate Friends, Celebrate Life!)
  • Vive Bene, Spessa L'amore, Di Risata Molto (Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much)

Other Wall Accessories:  Other great wall accessories to consider incorporating into your Italian kitchen decor include personalized or decorative wall plaques, Italian wall plates, Italian style clocks, a shadow box, faux vines and grapes, and hanging strings of garlic bulbs from the wall.

Personalized/Decorative Wall Plaques:  Personalized and decorative wall plaques for your Italian themed kitchen come in a variety of styles and sizes. 

For instance, you can have a wall plaque personalized with your name on it, such as “Lina’s Bella Cucina” (Lina’s Beautiful Kitchen). 

There are other lovely wall plaques that feature a lovely scroll of grapes, along with the following phrases:

  • Vive Bene, Spessa L’amore, Di Risata Molto (Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much)
  • La Vita E Bella (Life is Beautiful)
  • Una Mamma Italiana E Una Benedizione Di Dio (An Italian Mother is a Blessing From God)
  • Sempre Famiglia (Family Forever)
  • Benvenuti Amici (Welcome Friends)
  • La Dolce Vita (The Sweet Life)
  • In Vino Veritas (In Wine There is Truth)
  • Mangia Mangia (Eat, Eat)
  • Buon Cibo, Buon Vino, Buoni Amici (Good Food, Good Wine, Good Friends)
  • Chi Mangia Bene Sta Molto Vicino a Dio (Those Who Eat Well Are Close to God)
     

Tile Wall Art/Wine Grapes Plaque:  Italy is known for its wine and produces a heavenly selection of grapes.  What better way to celebrate the essence of your vintage than by displaying a tile wall art set of grapes adorned with white, deep red, and rose colored grapes or a plaque consisting of different clusters of wine grapes.  It makes an exquisite accent.

Blackboard:  You can find a blackboard that features a vine of grapes, along with the words, “Bella Cucina” at the top or one that says, “Cappucchino Served Here.”  This is perfect for writing a quick reminder or displaying the menu of the day.

Italian Wall Clocks:  You can find clocks in different styles, sizes, and colors.  For instance, one clock features the words, “Buona Fortuna” (Good Luck).  Other clocks have a wine barrel design, along with grape accents, a picturesque Italian villa in the background, and a personalized clock with a half-round image of a villa designed by Van Utens.  Not only are clocks functional, but they make a nice decorative accent.

Italian Wall Plates/Ceramics:  There is an assortment of colorful Italian wall plates and ceramics that depict Italian scenery, such as Venice, Rome, and Florence, as well as images of Sicilian sunflowers, pomegranates, whimsical flowers, and animal themes.  Also, Majolica and Deruta offer a fabulous selection of wall plates consisting of colorful geometric designs and images.

Wall Wine Racks:  A wall wine rack makes a beautiful addition to your Italian style kitchen.  These racks are available in an ornate iron with a lovely patina finish.  Some come with cradles to accommodate anywhere from 10 to 18 bottles of wine. 

Shadow Boxes:  An incredible wall accessory is a three-dimensional shadow box that contains a few bottles of vintage wine, a wine label, a cork, a cork screw, and a cluster of grapes.  It is framed in a dark wooden frame and is easy to hang.  This makes a lovely addition to Italian kitchen decor. 

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Miscellaneous Accessories:  Other miscellaneous accessories to consider are those that contain materials such as, brass, copper, clay, or terra cotta. 

Also, woven baskets are commonly found in Italian kitchens and give you needed storage space.  

It is important to include a lot of decorative jars, such as, a biscotti jar, canisters, along with table accessories that include salt and pepper shakers, a spoon rest, a butter dish, creamer, sugar bowl, and an Italian cheese bowl that has painted images of peppers, ropes of garlic, or grape vines.

Lastly, to finish off your Italian kitchen décor, you may want to consider switchplates that have a grape design, a hand-antiqued finish, or made from terra cotta.





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