THE HISTORY OF ITALIAN KITCHEN DESIGN
- June 22, 2018
- PREMIUM KITCHENS USA, Inc.
The thought of Italy often conjures up images of the kitchen. You may imagine boisterous family meals in a rustic setting accented with earthy colors. Or, you may dream about the sleek styles associated with modern Italy. Whichever image appeals to you, there is no doubt that Italy is strongly associated with food and the kitchen. It is no wonder, then, that many customers request an Italian style kitchen when they decide to renovate. In this piece, we will briefly take a look at the history of Italian kitchen design and its influence on today’s homes.
If the more rustic version of Italian kitchen designs appeals to you, then you just might be a fan of Tuscan design. This style was born out of the beautiful Tuscan countryside, with its rolling hills and cypress tree vistas. Stone is a regular feature in this style because that was a readily available material in Tuscany. Its availability and ability to withstand years of use made it a cost-effective material to use. It also helped to keep homes cool during the hot Tuscan summers.
The people of Tuscany have also always had a great deal of respect for the past. They have never believed that the old should be discarded for the new. Stone and brick walls would often remain unplastered so that newer generations could appreciate the craftsmanship of the past. This is why exposed walls are used today as an element of this style. This love of the past is also why cabinetry that appears to be distressed is often used in a Tuscan-style kitchen.
The colors used in Tuscan Italian design reflect the use of natural colors found in the region. The terracotta and burnt orange tones recall the colors of the native soil and have been used for centuries to emphasize the connection of the people with their environment. If you desire a more earthy, antique kitchen style, then you may want to look to Tuscany for your inspiration.
In complete contrast to the Tuscan style is the more modern and sleek modern Italian kitchen. This style emerged following World War II, and is associated with an interest in technology and industrial development that followed it. Think sleek, smooth-fronted cabinets in various colors and the liberal use of metal, and you will get an idea of what modern Italian design consists of.
Much of the modern movement of Italian design began as a reaction against the old ways of doing things, from government to interior decorating. The emergence of new materials, like linoleum and steel, made possible by advances in industrial technology also provided designers with new mediums to work with. Simple, geometric designs and functionality were prized more than the intricate, antique wooden furniture that had once predominated design.
Combining these novel ideas with the longstanding Italian reputation for excellence in craftsmanship and design, caused the new style to quickly gain popularity. Although it is more popular in Europe, this style is beginning to gain a foothold in the kitchens of the United States.