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Transform Your Kitchen Into A Cucina

Every visitor to Tuscany comes away with a desire for a capacious kitchen full of warm tones, tomato-based aromas and handsome tiles. Let me show you some insider’s trade secrets to create an Italian cucina in your home.

Replace stone with porcelain
Go for large, rustic porcelain tiles with distressed edges in sizes ranging from 18″ x 18″ to 20″ x 20″ squares or rectangular 16″ x 24″ in an offset pattern. Porcelain is half the cost of stone, at $5 to $7 per square foot. A big advantage of porcelain is that it is maintenance free.

Pattern counts (go large)
Creating a pattern with rustic porcelain by using different sizes (16″ x 24″, 16″ x 16″, 8″ x 16″, 8″ x 8″) achieves that Old World ambiance. For extra drama, add some tumbled sheet mosaics around the island as an accent. Stone sheets with mesh backing at $20 to $40 per foot can be sliced apart and used as a detail. It’s inexpensive, because you get several linear feet from one sheet. Your border costs run $5 to $8 a linear foot depending on the number of rows you choose.

Mix different sizes of the same material
Create a custom design for your backsplash, using different sizes of the same material by cutting off the mesh mounted material. Texture and movement make for a unique, dramatic backsplash. I recommend combining 4″ x 4″ tiles with 1/2″ x 1/2″ mini mosaics, octagons or 1″ x 3″ tiles.

Go for tumbled stone with accents
Combine tumbled marble with architectural metal 2″ x 2″ inserts to coordinate with satin nickel faucets and sinks or kitchen hardware. Why not try mixing tumbled stone with hand-cast, custom-glazed tile inserts or rustic glass? The look is made very exciting by adding pattern and color, while saving precious dollars.

Try mosaic borders
Pre-designed mosaic borders make a perfect accent over the range.

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