Designing an Authentic Italian-Style Kitchen

Published: April 9, 2021

Showhouses are finally coming back, and recently designer Meg Lavalette of Lava Interiors was charged with overhauling the kitchen in the Kingston Design Showhouse. Lavalette drew inspiration for the Italian-style kitchen from the home’s original Italian-style architecture, which helped her form her vision into that of a home in the Italian countryside. She wanted to create a space that gave a nod to the air and feeling that Italian kitchens in the country carry: an open floor plan, muted colors and a place for family to gather and cook. KBB spoke with her to find out more about the project.

By what were you challenged in this project?
Lavalette: “The biggest challenge was finding the right balance between materials and the placement of them. I think more minimal interiors can be deceptively simple without falling flat or feeling too cold. There needs to be some intrigue and careful thought and planning to the balance within the space.”

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How did you create the feel of an Italian countryside?
Lavalette: “It’s all about the mix. Using natural, authentic materials – like the Roman clay wall finish in a warm tone – evoked the Italian countryside where plaster is a typical material for the walls, as opposed to latex paint, which is typically used in American kitchens.”

Where did you bring in modern European design?Lavalette: “Europeans are keener to explore forgoing the standard closed upper cabinets, so I pushed the boundaries by keeping it completely bare. This allows for just art and lighting to enhance the openness of the space and make it more contemporary and minimal. I also played with the profile and deep finish of the contemporary ebonized white oak cabinets from Rowan Woodwork to juxtapose the more earthy, old world wall finish.”

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