Tuscan-style kitchens evoke the warmth and rustic charm of the Italian countryside. With their focus on natural materials, rich textures, and old-world details, Tuscan kitchen designs create a relaxed yet elegant ambiance perfect for cooking, dining, and gathering. If you love bringing the flavors of Italy into your home, designing your kitchen in the Tuscan style may be the perfect choice.
Elements of Tuscan Kitchen Design
Several key elements work together to create the distinctive Tuscan kitchen aesthetic. Keeping these details in mind will help ensure your Tuscan kitchen renovation stays true to the style.
Tuscan kitchens rely on natural, textured materials to create a sense of organic simplicity. Popular choices include:
- Stone – Travertine, granite, and marble tiles or slabs make excellent countertop materials in Tuscan kitchens. Stone backsplashes are also common. Stone surfaces add natural color, unique veining, and plenty of texture.
- Wood – Wood brings warmth and richness to Tuscan kitchens. Options like oak, pine, cypress, and olive wood are ideal for cabinetry, ceiling beams, and accent details. Distressed wood finishes reinforce the old-world charm.
- Terracotta – From floor tiles to pendant lights, terracotta elements link the kitchen to ancient Italian architecture. The earthy orange hue and handcrafted look suit the relaxed Tuscan aesthetic.
- Wrought iron – Hand-forged iron finishes on lighting fixtures, pot racks, and other accessories provide an artisanal, Old World touch. Wrought iron offers durability along with rustic elegance.
- Plaster – Textured plaster wall finishes provide depth and character. The organic surface helps walls feel aged and timeworn. Opt for natural earthy plaster colors.
The colors of Tuscany inspire the palette for Tuscan kitchen designs. Soft, sun-washed hues like these help set the warm, welcoming mood:
- Warm creams, tans, and whites
- Terracotta and clay red
- Golden yellow ochres
- Sage, olive, and mossy greens
- Aged wood tones
- Gray, brown, and black accents
Keep the color scheme natural and muted. Layering painted cabinets and walls with natural stone and wood prevents the space from feeling too homogenized.
Contrasting textures add visual interest in Tuscan kitchens. Think worn, organic finishes against polished and refined ones. Consider combining:
- Distressed wood with smooth marble
- Coarse plaster walls with sleek glass tile backsplashes
- Weathered beams with crisp white cabinetry
- Rustic stone floors with gleaming metal fixtures
Varying textures throughout the space prevents the design from feeling flat and adds depth.
Tuscan kitchen designs incorporate architectural elements reminiscent of rustic Mediterranean estates. These special details lend old-world charm:
- Exposed wood beams – Hand-hewn ceiling beams feel structural while providing a warm accent.
- Arched entryways – Rounded archways connecting the kitchen to other rooms mimic Tuscan home architecture.
- Alcoves – Small recessed nooks carved into walls make charming display spaces.
- Brick or stone accents – A brick backsplash or stone-clad oven hood brings traditional craftsmanship.
- Wrought iron light fixtures – Candle-style chandeliers and sconces made of black wrought iron feel Italian vintage.
- Rustic open shelving -Floating shelves crafted from reclaimed wood add handy storage and a homey element.
- Decorative corbels – Intricately carved brackets below shelves or counter edges nod to fine Italian woodworking.
Tuscan kitchens feature furniture and accessories that speak to Italian country heritage:
- Farmhouse table – A hearty wooden table makes a natural gathering place for dining and prepping meals.
- Windsor-style chairs – Wood spindle-back chairs complement the handcrafted style.
- Freestanding hutch – An antique-inspired sideboard fitted with glass cabinet doors provides charming storage.
- Wine rack – Wall-mounted iron wine racks make a fitting feature for Tuscan-inspired spaces.
- Decorative ceramics – Terracotta olive oil cruets, painted serving boards, and handcrafted pottery bring Italian craftsmanship.
Design Elements to Include
Certain elements are key for bringing the essence of Tuscany into your kitchen design. Focus on incorporating these details:
Rustic Stone Floors
Stone flooring makes a classic foundation for a Tuscan kitchen. Materials like travertine, limestone, slate, and granite tiles create a timeworn, welcoming look underfoot. go for wider planks or tiles and opt for light neutrals and earth tones. Stone floors also pair beautifully with cozy area rugs.
Wood cabinetry gives a Tuscan kitchen natural warmth. Knotty pine, oak, cypress, and fruitwoods like olive or cherry are ideal choices. Play with different stains and distressing techniques to give cabinets an antiqued, hand-finished appearance. Consider open shelving, glass-front cabinets, and armoire-style units to carry the rustic wood theme throughout.
Granite, marble, and travertine countertops complement Tuscan designs. Go for honed finishes and neutral cream, beige, or gray colors. Countertops should tie in with stone flooring for a cohesive look. Combine with wood surfaces as an accent.
Bright terracotta is a Tuscan kitchen staple. Terracotta backsplashes, subway tiles, tableware, and lighting fixtures add pops of the iconic burnt orange hue. Handcrafted terracotta items reinforce the artisanal vibe. Use terracotta accents sparingly against softer neutrals.
Wrought Iron Fixtures
Black wrought iron lighting fixtures and other accessories contribute bold traditional style. Choose pendant lights, sconces, chandeliers, pot racks, wine racks, and more with intricate metalwork and a black finish. Go for designs inspired by Old World lighting shapes.
Brick and Plaster Walls
The walls of a Tuscan kitchen make the perfect backdrop for showcasing natural finishes. Brick backsplashes, exposed stone, and textured plaster walls provide depth and character. Keep plaster wall colors soft – light tans, grays, sage greens, and almond hues work well.
Arched or Beamed Ceilings
Look above eye-level to bring Tuscan charm to the kitchen. Wood ceiling beams, arched doorways, and arched recessed nooks enhance the architectural appeal. Painted tongue-and-groove ceilings also suit the relaxed style. Add climbing vines or dangling plants for extra ambiance.
Connecting indoor and outdoor spaces suits the Tuscan lifestyle. Try open shelving filled with greenery, windows above the sink overlooking garden views, and large French doors leading out to an intimate patio or paver terrace. Create a seamless indoor-outdoor feeling.
Popular Tuscan Kitchen Layouts
Certain kitchen layouts lend themselves particularly well to achieving an authentic Tuscan design aesthetic.
Galley kitchen layouts featuring two parallel runs of cabinetry make efficient use of smaller spaces. The simple layout allows you to really develop the Tuscan style within a tighter footprint. Focus on big windows, warm wood cabinetry, and terracotta backsplashes.
Island kitchens work beautifully for Tuscan designs, especially in larger open concept spaces. The island makes a natural spot for a thick wood countertop and ornate carved corbels. Use the island to anchor the room and define the cooking zone.
U-shaped kitchens with cabinetry, appliances, and counters surrounding three sides create an intimate Tuscan workspace. Alcove displays and open shelving can be integrated around the perimeter while still allowing room for multiple cooks.
An L-shaped layout with cabinetry along two adjoining walls suits smaller Tuscan kitchens. Center appliances on one leg of the “L” and include a rustic wood dining table in the open corner area to enhance functionality.
For a modular Tuscan design, consider a freestanding kitchen. Cluster cabinets, appliances, and modular counters on a large area rug, keeping the space flexible. Go for wheels on cabinetry to change configurations.
No matter which layout you choose, focusing on Tuscan signature elements will ensure it feels cozy and full of Italian character.
Appliance Finishes for Tuscan Kitchens
Steer clear of stark stainless steel and opt for appliance finishes that feel more at home in an Old World Tuscan kitchen, like:
- Matte black – Replacing stainless with matte black gives appliances a more low-key, integrated look. Matte black ovens, ranges, and dishwashers feel classic.
- Antique copper – Hammered antique copper offers a handsome patina that pairs perfectly with Tuscan finishes. Fridges, pans pot racks, and range hoods work nicely.
- Cast iron – Traditional cast iron stove tops with enamel finishes come in soothing Tuscan colors like army green, butter yellow, and Mediterranean blue.
- Wood paneling – Some brands offer wood panels to attach to the front of dishwashers, fridges, and even microwaves to help them disappear into wood cabinetry.
- Terracotta – For an authentic touch, source specialty terracotta cookware like cazuelas, tagines, and olive oil cruets to display kitchen accents.
Aim for a mix of finishes that feels collected over time for an authentic Tuscan spirit.
Incorporating Tuscan Tilework
Tilework is another opportunity to echo old-world Italian craftsmanship. Consider these tips for incorporating tile with Tuscan charm:
Terracotta tiles lend iconic Tuscan color and texture. Subway tiles, mosaic patterns, and medallions are popular options. Mix terracotta with stone or wood surfaces.
Encaustic Cement Tile
Encaustic cement tiles offer ornate patterns etched into their surfaces. Traditional styles feature geometric designs, floral motifs, and Mediterranean color palettes. Use sparingly as accents.
Mosaics crafted from stone tesserae make artful Tuscan backsplashes. Opt for natural stone color combinations reminiscent of ancient Italian floors.
Patterned Porcelain Tile
Look for porcelain tile collections featuring Italian-inspired designs. Scenes of Tuscany, Lombardy brick textures, and mimics of timeworn floors capture the essence.
Plain Stone Backsplashes
Simple slabs or rectangular stacked stone tiles work beautifully for Tuscan backsplashes. Let the natural veining and colors of the stone take center stage.
Mix and match tilework for extra dimension, but allow the textures and colors of natural stone to take the lead.
Bringing Nature Indoors
Tuscany’s agrarian heritage informs the Tuscan kitchen aesthetic. Ways to incorporate rustic outdoor beauty include:
- Open shelving filled with arranged greenery and clay pots
- Vines trailing down from hanging baskets
- Bunches of dried herbs and braided garlic bulbs
- Olive branches, cypress sprigs, and lemons in a ceramic vase
- Sunflowers or wildflowers set in an old wine bottle
- A bowl of fresh figs, pomegranates, or lemons from your garden
- Windowsill planter boxes overflowing with thyme and oregano
Simple touches like these allow the Tuscan countryside to flourish indoors. Just avoid overly fussy arrangements for a relaxed feel.
Get inspired by this photo gallery of stunning Tuscan kitchen designs:
This airy Tuscan kitchen opens to an outdoor patio through French doors. Heavy ceiling beams, natural plaster walls, and terracotta floors embody Tuscan simplicity.
The exposed brick backsplash and hood from this stove give an authentically weathered, organic look juxtaposed against crisp cabinetry.
Light and airy with terracotta tile floors, this spacious Tuscan kitchen centers around a large island accented by carved corbels.
Arched brick alcoves like this one provide charming character while displaying cherished kitchen items.
The rich wood countertops in this kitchen contrast beautifully with the stone backsplashes and floors.
Design Tips and Tricks
Use these tips to ensure your Tuscan kitchen design stays true to form:
- Soften overly modern elements like stainless steel appliances by integrating them into deep cabinetry. Keep surfaces natural.
- Add texture to flat cabinet doors using wire brushing techniques to distress the wood.
- Install interior wooden shutters alongside windows for a quick style boost. Opt for soft sage or sky blue.
- Include a built-in wine rack – either carved from wood or wrought iron. This is a quintessential Tuscan element.
- Incorporate dried herbs, braided garlic, olive branches or dried flowers in terracotta pots on open shelves.
- Choose unfitted stone backsplashes and counters with slightly imperfect edges and overhangs for an ancient look.
- Add accent arches. Try an arched window over the sink, arched alcoves in brick or stone, or an arched doorway to an eat-in area.
- Hang a wrought iron pendant light low over a kitchen island. Choose a style inspired by antique Italian fixtures.
- Attach weathered reclaimed wood planks or beams to the ceiling for instant Old World character.
With strategic details like these, it’s easy to transform a basic kitchen into a flawless Tuscan escape.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
Steer clear of these pitfalls when designing your flawless Tuscan kitchen:
- Using too many polished, perfectly matched surfaces. Opt for some visible wear like distressing or chipped edges on wood for authenticity.
- Going overboard with intricate tilework. Simple, handmade terracotta tiles work best for Tuscan farmhouse style.
- Choosing vivid “Tuscan stucco” paint colors. Keep plaster walls soft and neutral like almond, tan, or pale sage instead.
- Including too many ornate carved wood elements. Restraint with careful accents makes a better impact.
- Positioning cabinets in straight, rigid formations. Tuscan kitchens have a casual, collected feel.
- Using elaborate stainless range hoods as a focal point. A stone or brick arched chimney-style hood is a better fit.
- Going fully rustic. Balance worn, salvaged finishes with some refined and sleek surfaces like marble.
- Using elaborate window treatments. Simple linen curtains or wood shutters suit the Tuscan style best.
Editing out ornate elements that feel too baroque or cluttered helps keep a Tuscan kitchen relaxed yet luxe. Focus on warm simplicity.
FAQs About Tuscan Kitchen Design
Get answers to some common questions about bringing Tuscany’s old-world charm into a kitchen design:
Is marble a good choice for Tuscan kitchens?
Yes, marble is an excellent material for Tuscan kitchen surfaces! Marble countertops and backsplashes bring natural veining, luxurious texture, and an authentic Italian vibe. Opt for white Carrara or darker gray