Tuscan Kitchen Soffit Ideas

frank1203January 28, 2014

Hi, my kitchen has been all redone and now I am trying to decorate. This has not been fun. The kitchen is a Tuscan theme and I'm toying around with what to do with my soffit. The soffit is about 9-10 inches high and has crown molding above it to the ceiling. It runs about 15 feet on the working side of the kitchen. I really don't want to just hang a few plaques or plates and wanted to be a little imaginative and different.

Since its an Italian / Tuscan theme, a friend gave me an idea about hanging some silk grapevine garland on the soffit with a few artificial grape clusters hanging (but not gawdy or overdone). I realize I could always stencil the area with a grape theme but I'm very intrigued by the grape vine idea. Even with googling the idea online, I can't seem to find many pictures of kitchens where people did something like this.

I ordered some grape garland online and it was beautiful but when I tried it on the soffit, the leaves were just too big (largest was about 4 - 5 inches) and made the soffit look too busy. I think if I found grape vines with smaller leaves it may look a litle less busy and more classy.

So, I wanted to get peoples opinion on this. Do you like the grape vine idea? if so, any idea where i could get something with smaller leaves? Any other suggestions for my soffit?

Thanks in advance for your ideas!

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Elraes Miller

I wouldn't grape vine the area with any medium. Specifically over a working area where cleaning would be a headache with leaves and vines. Faux silk plants are an ongoing dust job in other areas of a house.

Members are going to ask for a pic of you kitchen. Hard to envision what you are working with. Suspect the reason you can't find pics of grapevines are because they have faded into the past for decor.

Without knowing what your kitchen looks like, I love the villa kitchens with so many ranges of color and tile. And with hand made pottery. Sometimes less is more and you may not need a thing on the soffit, embracing other unique aspects of the kitchen design.

My only suggestion if you really need something on the soffit is finding some handmade tiles and placing them in small doses equally spaced.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 7:08AM
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I know exactly what you're working with. Nix hanging anything and instead put small groupings up there. Like 3 similar but different sizes of pottery.

Technicolor is right, less is more. Hanging grapes will look like you're trying to hard.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 7:33AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Not a fan of the grapevine idea....dust and grease collector in a kitchen.

Tiles, stencil, applied wooden carved onlays, or even just a faux finish paint treatment (or wallpaper) to give it that old world tuscan look and let it be.

A picture would be helpful.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 8:25AM
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Another no vote on the grapevine. Post some photos to get alternate ideas.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 9:03AM
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What if you were to paste a rustic wood veneer onto the soffit? It would enhance the Tuscan theme, add character and quaintness, look natural, without going overboard? Then paint the crown moulding a color similar to the wood veneer for continuity. You could even go whole hog and do the wood veneer on the ceiling, giving your kitchen a totally Tuscan/farmhouse/rustic look and feel.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 9:40AM
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Thanks to all for the feedback and other ideas. I agree that the next step is for me to post a few pictures of the kitchen so you can get a better sense of what I am dealing with. I do have a couple other pieces of Tuscan decor on the walls, etc. I'm also struggling with window treatments as I can't seem to find any colors/designs that work for me.
I have to tell you that I'm not at all educated in decorating and didn't understand what some of your ideas were. For example, I know what pottery is, but can't visualize what kind of pottery could hang on a soffit? Also, I'm not certain about rustic wood veneer on a soffit. Bottom line is I need to post some pics! Thanks and stay tuned!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 11:57AM
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Are you meaning to say "Set" instead of "Hang?" I think that's throwing me off. I was visualizing grape ivy hanging from the soffits. lol.

Think of ceramics. Vases and such. One large & fat piece by itself, or three pieces of varying heights together...but not in a row.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 1:44PM
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No grapes please~your friends will feel as though they're in the bar of an Italian

I'm thinking you mean on the wall soffit itself, not above it. Iron work is great in Tuscan decor. The area isn't very wide, but it's long. I can envision 2 long pieces on each end with a round or oval medallion in the center, or even a small picture.

Here's the link to a site that has quite a selection. You may even have stores in your area with similar wall decor, even a furniture store.

Here is a link that might be useful: wall decor

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 6:17PM
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Patty Cakes's idea of iron work is a great one, I think. You can find nice stuff, not expensive, on eBay.

This post was edited by Tibbrix on Tue, Jan 28, 14 at 18:45

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 6:37PM
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Wonderful ideas from everyone! Thanks! And yes of course, I mean finding something for the wall soffit itself - not above it.

With that said, many of you had asked for some pictures of the kitchen. I have just posted them in a collage (hopefully they are clear enough). I am open to any ideas that you might have - not only for the soffit, but also window treatment color and patterns, etc. Thanks so much to all. Here you go!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 9:10PM
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Sophie Wheeler

I wouldn't put a thing on the soffits. Maybe paint a richer paint color like an olive green. Definitely add under counter lighting. For a window treatment, maybe a pretty stripe roman shade with the olive green, the gold of the granite, and some red. You don't want to degenerate into a theme park caricature, so avoid grapes and fake greenery like it's your ex wife.

Sherwin Williams Relentless Olive.

Capua Cinnabar silk on Ebay

    Bookmark   January 28, 2014 at 10:54PM
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Elraes Miller

Now that I see your kitchen...there is no need to put anything on the soffits. Your kitchen is wonderful and speaks for itself. I\

I'd even get rid of the hanging things on the door and find a colorful artwork for the wall to the right. Tuscan isn't what I would describe your kitchen, but may be some details not being seen. Usually tuscan would have heavy pieces, plaster arches and textured walls and colorful tiles. You do have a lot of space to work this style in.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 7:41AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I agree about painting the soffit a deeper color. We did in our kitchen and it really made the room richer looking and brought out the graining in the wood cabinetry. I used Martha Stewart October Leaf


    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 8:07AM
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Another vote for not putting anything on the soffit.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 9:19AM
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I agree with the others; just paint, a nice deep, rich color. The soffits run into the walls, so you'd have continuity problems with decorating them or differentiating them with the walls.

Hollysprings's suggestions for color and shades are great. Love AnnieD's burnt orange soffits, but I think that would be a bit much on all the walls. Seems like a color for small wall area. If you're going for a Tuscan look and feel, you might want to think about painting the doors and wood trip too. White just doesn't cut it in a Tuscan kitchen.

Also, maybe a rug for under the table to warm and soften the room up a bit?

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 9:20AM
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I vote to either paint or add the iron work elements (mentioned above) to tie in with your light fixture and chairs. I would not do anything too decorative or fancy. Have seen some painted an accent color and then stenciled words in script but that probably would detract from the formality of your pretty kitchen. In this case, less is probably more.

Here is a link that might be useful: What to do with your soffit...

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 9:24AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Maybe a pretty jacobean valance? (country curtains)

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 9:46AM
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You have a lovely kitchen to work with, seems to me that you should forget about the soffit (we have lots of them)......you have nice neutrals and space to work with, you just need others things to look at and the soffit will disappear......you could put stronger, earthier accessories about - colorful crock, platter, sunflowers, lemons, olives, try an iron wine rack on the counter and put in some wine (or bottled water if not a drinker) with one or two of your grape leaves........I would not put iron pieces on the soffit, it might get real busy - ( maybe over the window - can't tell if that would make sense), painting the entire kitchen and eating area could work but I would consider whether a deep or bight color is too out of line with what you might be doing in the rest of your house. Perhaps what you are going for is "Mediterranean" - around here in SoCal, it is just described as Classic Californian - rather simpler and less ornate than in some areas. Get a nice basket you can put in a corner or next to something and pile that grape garland it in. - could be interesting.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 10:50AM
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I would leave the soffit just as it is. In particular, I wouldn't display any ironwork items there.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2014 at 11:25AM
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Thanks to all. I appreciate your feedback and your ideas are wonderful! It does still get a little confusing as all of you have varying and contradictory opinions. Here's some consensus though. (1) It appears no one likes the grape vine idea on the soffit. I got it. (2) many of you feel we need nothing on the soffit while others like the iron idea. I guess I need to think further on that one. (3) Repainting the soffit a different color is a little confusing to me since the soffit eventually turns into a wall and where do I stop the painting? (4) I am starting to agree that the kitchen isn't really Tuscan. What I was striving for was decorating the kitchen with Italian type decor - not Tuscan architecture. Finally, the window treatments.. Still confusing.. I like the strip sample but alot of my house has striped curtains and this would be more of the same. I was trying to find something different - like paisley or damask. frustrating!

I'm glad you all liked the room and what we have done with it so far and I can't thank all of enough for chiming in. Back to the drawing board! Frank

    Bookmark   January 30, 2014 at 6:12AM
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Hi All! I'm back again. I saw this fabric over the weekend and was wondering what your opinions would be to use as a relaxed Roman shade for my kitchen windows. I like the classy paisley design and also the 'brick / orangy" red running through the design along with the brown/olive. I have attached the best picture I can find of the fabric but please go up in this post to refresh your memory on the pictures of my kitchen and see what you think.. Thanks to all as always.

PS - For those of you who have been following this thread, I decided that I'm not going to do anything with the soffit until I get the window treatments figured out. Thanks!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 6:01AM
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Elraes Miller

I love the paisley you found. Am a fan of paisley and believe it allows more options than realized in adding patterns, mediums, etc. The colors also give you a variety of decor directions for the kitchen, paint, accessories.... A Roman drop shade would look great.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 7:52AM
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Thanks. I still question the colors on it. I love the brick/orangey red throughout but the predominate background is an olive/brown tone as you can see. Do you think that will look like it blends in too much to my wall color and doesn't give enough contrast?

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 9:05AM
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Really nice. Get a swatch and hang it on the window for a few days to see how you like it!

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 9:28AM
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Holly- Kay

I think the fabric that you found is fabulous! The taupe background looks to be darker than your walls so I think it would look good. Are there any other color ways available in that fabric? I would love to see the orangey red on a deep olive green background but I think the fabric would look lovely as is.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 10:03AM
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Hello holly-kay and thanks for the vote of confidence on the fabric that I posted. I think there are other colors available but none that don't believe they would work better than the one I posted - but I would love you to check them out. The name of this fabric is called Patna Paisley in "Spice". It is made my Robert Allen. If you go to any online fabric store and you search for "Patna Paisley" you will see a couple other color variations. One site is hancockfabrics.com or fabricguru.com. I just don't think the others had the brick red but I could be wrong. I'd certainly appreciate your input. i am still worried about the taupe/brown clashing with my walls but you seem to think it will be fine.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 12:00PM
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I think the fabric in Spice goes very nicely with your walls. Instead of thinking of individual colors and if they clash, think of families of colors .... warm, deep earthtones of reds, greens, taupes, creams and browns are classic.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 2:37PM
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Hi. Just an update on the fabric for my window treatments in the kitchen. I received a pretty nice size swatch of the Patna Paisley Spice as discussed in this thread with a picture attached above. Those who responded back felt that the pattern would work well in my kitchen. We hung the swatch in various locations and we do love the fabric and it definitely works well on the side of my kitchen with the window located near the back door but doesn't seem to work as well on the window above the sink due to placement near the cabinets. There doesn't seem to be enough contrast when put up against the cabinets - in fact the fabric seems to match the cabinets too much.. Please refresh your memory with the pics I posed above.. With that said, since we love the fabric so much, I was wondering if you thought I could add a separate solid fabric (possibly dark brown/bronze) to the Patna Paisley fabric to add some contrast. If you look closely at the picture posted of the fabric, you will see that there is a little bit of that color running through some of the paisleys now, but not near enough. Since we plan on making relaxed roman shades, I am wondering if there is a way to add some other fabric to our design. Maybe sew some solid brown fabric to the bottom of the shade where it curves? Or maybe there is some other area in the design that we could add the brown. What do you think? I just think we need a little more "pop" and I thought the brown might do it since there are many bronze accents in the room. Thanks to all for your responses..

This post was edited by frank1203 on Mon, Feb 10, 14 at 6:19

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 6:15AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I don't think adding brown trim is going to lighten it enough to give you the contrast you want. Instead, I'd suggest going with a coordinating stripe that has more brightness over the sink and stick with the paisley by the eating area. No need for the two treatments to match...they just have to go. In fact, I did the opposite...put the print over the sink and a coordinating stripe over the eating area....

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 8:29AM
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I agree with Annie, use a coordinating fabric for the sink window. A solid bronze will blend with the cabs even more than the paisley.

Re: the soffits. When people recommended painting them, they also assumed you would be painting the entire kitchen a deeper color.
The reason to place objects on a wall (soffit) is to draw attention to that area. There isn't any reason to focus on the soffits, so leave them blank. Keep your and your guests' attention on the food! ;)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 10:19AM
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