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What Makes An Italian Kitchen So Different

Jul 23, 2008
It's all very well trying to stay loyal and buy British but when it comes to re-fitting your kitchen, you are never going to beat an Italian kitchen. The design is always going to be one step ahead of the rest of the world as Italians are known for their commitment to high fashion and style no matter what the genre.

Take a look around on the internet at Italian kitchens and you will be awestruck by their simplistic beauty. Classic Italian kitchens have the beauty and elegance of beautiful, natural woods and you can rest assured that they are built by master craftsman that have inherited a skill of cabinetry that has been passed down through the generations.

Polished wood that holds a depth you can just lose yourself in is a characteristic of Italian kitchens but they don't stop there. New and imaginative ways of using wood are being explored all the time. Ways to treat wood that allow it to be used in almost any context make the possibilities endless and rarer woods from sustainable sources can look amazing if you have the funds to treat yourself. Even as much as laying the wood grain at a different angle will be enough to bring your Italian kitchen that unique feel.

For those looking for something more upbeat and fresh, Italian kitchens come in designs that push the boundaries of what is expected from kitchen design. Colour is a big thing at the moment and it has been applied through the use of coloured glass to bring a contemporary feel to the kitchen, making it a social room as well as a functional space. Strengthened, coloured glass is both durable and scratch resistant with a high gloss, easy clean surface. It injects a shot of colour into an otherwise bland room.

The Italians have always been known for their bold colour choices and have, thus far, never got it wrong. Making strong statements applies to their homes as well as their fashion lines in designer clothing. For those who are slightly more daring and with a penchant for the highly visible, unusual aspect, Italian kitchens now come with a choice of door surfaces in gold, silver or copper leaf. Not for the faint hearted!

Of course, the look for all these kitchens needs to be done in moderation. Italians don't only pride themselves on their boldness but also on their exquisite taste. Balance is the key to that taste and this is found through their use of brushed stainless steel and frosted glass. These are brought into the Italian kitchen design as elements of calm. Also, an aspect that lends itself to calmness in what would normally be a fairly buzzing, chaotic room is the use of symmetry.

Symmetry is not something that is essential in the kitchen but, as they have found, it helps restore a sense of calm. It also makes the overall look a lot more pleasing to the eye and leaves you with free reign to explore the added extras that make the kitchen the heart of the home. With symmetrically laid out cupboards, you can afford the injection of colour, you can afford to have a few handy gadgets, all stylishly produced of course, out on display without the look becoming messy.

Try as you might, beating an Italian kitchen design is going to be a tall order.
About the Author
Interior design expert Catherine Harvey looks at the aspects of Italian kitchens that make them so special.
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