Whether it’s the architecture, the setting, the view, the decor, or the overall feeling that the Spinaltermine Villa resonates, it’s simply divine. Nestled within Umbria’s scenic rolling hills, with stone walls, marble floors, wood beams, a neutral palette, impeccable taste, stunning views and all the modern comforts one could ask for, this villa is the total package. But there’s something about the kitchen – a light, bright, convivial, gathering space where you can not only cook, but socialize, sip coffee, eat or drink wine while perched at the counter – that’s extra attractive. Here’s how to recreate this magic in your own home.
This eat-in island is the focal point of the room (and the fact that it overlooks the massive windows and incredible Italian countryside doesn’t hurt either). The real advantage of this style of island is that you can cook and entertain at the same time, without missing a beat – a dream for the avid home cook who always gets stuck in the kitchen during dinner parties. To reproduce this island style, look for simple lines, natural materials and neutral colors. A salvaged wood island like this model from Restoration Hardware is great because of the versatility of its sizes (three to choose from) and finishes (natural, gray, brown and black). The Bluestone Kitchen Island from Crate and Barrel is a bit darker and smaller, but accommodates storage on one side, seating on the other and is made of solid reclaimed pine with a wax-finished bluestone top. Finally, at Williams Sonoma, an island that is a bit more ornate but has shelving, cupboards and room for seating, along with an Italian basalt top made from volcanic rock to boot.
If you’re going to entertain in your kitchen, you want your guests to be comfortable. That means giving them a stool with a back so that they have something to lean into and relax – versus being perched (and possibly hunched) on a plain old stool. The style to choose will really depend on the model, size and color of your island, so here are some ideas to get the ball rolling. This West Elm industrial-style stool introduces dark wood and steel to the party, all the while working with a traditional or modern setting. Bonus points because there’s a spot to place your feet. For something a little softer and more refined (and also from West Elm), these solid wood John Vogel Bar and Counter Stools come in two sizes and have hand woven seats that are sure to only get more comfortable with age.
If you’re really going to cook in your top of the line kitchen (and not just pretend you do!), it’s worth investing in a top of the line kitchen range. There have never been more stylish, high-performance, restaurant quality ranges on the market than right now, from custom gas ranges to induction tops that fit in seamlessly with your counter. Part of the Sub Zero family, Wolf’s exclusive gas ranges come in a variety of sizes and models to suit any home cook’s needs. Jenn-Air also has a great selection in their high-end range, from six-burners with a griddle to a full induction stove top. Finally, the award winning designs from Miele are what happens when the kitchen meets technology, with a side of German engineering. Yowza.
Simple, floating wood shelves can be utilitarian or decorative, depending on your kitchen space and storage situation. In this Italian villa, they function as a bit of both, and if you want to keep to the same style as the minimal wood ones here, there’s some nice reclaimed wood options from West Elm (although the brackets are visible) or brass and wood floating ones from Anthropologie. Another direction to go in is with farmhouse-style shelving units like this L-Beam wall shelf (also from West Elm) that can be mounted, or this country-chic Dutch industrial double shelving unit from Restoration Hardware that comes in different finishes and is on wheels in case you need to move it.
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