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Guide to Creating an Old World Kitchen

Classic architectural elements, vibrant colors and distressed finishes create a warm family-gathering place.

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Photo 1 of 4Natural stones are often combined with cherry wood floors or walnut cabinetry to set the Old World scene. Design by Gail Drury.

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It's new but appears timeless. It's robust and rustic. It's Old World, and it's large in scale and largely handcrafted. In fact, the craftsmanship is one of its key characteristics, says Mary Broerman, a California-based interior designer whose work is regularly featured on HGTV.com.

"Old World style, to me, means bringing in classical architectural elements or styling," says Ann M. Morris, a Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer based out of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Reflecting antiquities, she says the design style resembles Greek, Roman and Old English elements on a grand scale. You might think of what you would see in a stone castle.

Since kitchens back then were a far cry from today's modern facilities, she says, the design today should mimic what it was in some way, such as the use of freestanding furniture. The kitchen should include a fireplace, Morris says.

Thick wooden beams exposed from high ceilings and iron forged pot racks or baker’s racks are common in the Old World kitchen. Also look for screened scrollwork and wrought iron chandeliers. Metals play a key role in this timeless design style that isn’t afraid to age like the patina you can expect from copper.

Borrowing inspiration from the sun, wine and ocean, vibrant color plays a vital role in this design style that may incorporate various shades of ambers, reds and blues. The point is, when you’re in the room you should feel as though you’re someplace else, Broerman says.

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