Why do I feel like EVERY kitchen in New Jersey had this specific aesthetic in the early-mid 2000s?

I'm talking about that Tuscan villa/farmhouse aesthetic that we once considered the peak of culinary luxury, opulence, and class. This was the fanciest, most-desired kitchen you could have, and it was very much giving *Olive Garden*.

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The warm brown tones, terracotta floors, the endless crown molding, the cream-colored tiles, marble counter-tops, stone accents, the wooden cabinetry, the elaborate lighting accented with vine-fashioned iron, the dangling faux vines. More was more!

Credit: Various Catalog Images
Credit: Various Catalog Images

And the ROOSTERS. There were roosters everywhere! Why were we trying so HARD to convince everyone that we were winemakers living on a Tuscan vineyard? In New Jersey?

I ask because we had this EXACT kitchen aesthetic at my family's house in South Jersey during that time. We even had a white pillar painted with gold accents to look like marble. As if we were living in a Roman temple.

Guaranteed there was good food in that kitchen. If you spent a week in a house with a kitchen that looked like this, you would have gained 5 pounds before you left.  I can visualize Tony Soprano wandering into the fridge to grab slices of gabagool.

Credit: Various Catalog Images
Credit: Various Catalog Images

And YET.... and yet. It wasn't all cringey! Oddly enough, I do find this aesthetic homey and comforting. The sort of comfort that comes with waves of nostalgia. It was certainly a far cry from the airy, gray and white minimalistic kitchens that we mostly favor today.

Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash
Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

P.S., if your kitchen still has that Tuscan look. No offense. Because no doubt your house is the holiday destination, and when you're in this kitchen, you're family.

Let's take a walk down memory Tuscany!

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