Choose Weathered Wood
Cabinets that appear to withstand time and still look beautiful and natural are a must for any Tuscan-inspired kitchen. For a gorgeous weathered-wood look, choose alder -- a species with the grain of burled wood and lots of earthy mottling. Subtle color shifts in the wood?s hue almost anticipate the patina of time.
Imbue Earthy Texture
Floors made of various-size terra-cotta bricks, laid in different patterns, combat wear and tear and add the feel of sun-baked earth to contrast the woodwork. Use terra-cotta on the backsplash, too, for a focal point with always-been-there appeal.
Go for Aged-Look Surfaces
Nothing says age like stone, especially in distressed finishes. For perimeter countertops, we love the hues and grain of marble but crave something less polished. Acid-washed marble offers a smooth, earthy surface that plays against more rustic terra-cotta backsplash tiles and floor pavers.
Mix In Metals
From cabinet hardware and faucets to ornate iron scrollwork, opt for metals that take on a patina over time -- known to the trade as living finishes. Although metals are usually protected against oxidizing with a sealer, these finishes (available in bronze, copper, pewter, and brass) are oil-rubbed or brushed, then left uncoated. The result, after time, is one-of-a-kind because no two finishes will age precisely the same way. They change in color, tone, and glow.
Give Variations a Canvas
Even the most gradual changes are easy to perceive, thanks to one element that remains the same. Smooth plaster walls painted in a natural white create a clean, consistent backdrop to view subtle variations in a room's evolving finishes.
Start with the elements that give Tuscan style its long-lasting appeal. Use that decorating foundation to customize your kitchen for your family, lifestyle, and entertaining needs.
This spacious Tuscan kitchen is a hot spot for entertaining, thanks to a 7x4-foot island. Plentiful countertop space provides room to spread out when cooking. Exposed ceiling beams, an antique pendant, and reclaimed French terra-cotta tiles lend the kitchen a graceful blush of age. Butter-color walls were inspired by a collection of mustard pots and oil jars. Accents of burnt umber, ocher, and green radiate a Tuscan vibe.
In this kitchen, an eclectic mix of finishes lends an aged look that exudes Tuscan charm. Perimeter cabinets wear a warm brown hue, while a darker shade sets off an island and built-in hutch; corner cabinets (not shown) are finished in a contrasting ivory color. Above the range, an impressive stone hood creates the look of a traditional hearth, and hand-painted tumbled marble tiles further the Tuscan elegance.
A combination of honed and polished granite adds texture to the countertops. A granite apron-front sink boldly imbues the traditional farmhouse design with a rustic character in keeping with the Tuscan look. Underfoot, a harlequin stone floor finishes the space and subtly unites the varied hues.
Tuscan kitchen decor encourages an exploration of the past. Here, a glazed finish on the island's cabinets makes it seem like an antique plucked from the countryside. The cabinets feature bold, heavy trim to give them a strength and weight reminiscent of old-world antiques. Details, such as terra-cotta rope tiles on the range hood and a distressed oak-top island, infuse the space with an appropriate Italian patina. Wood beams and a rustic metal chandelier crown the space with old-world charm.
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