Bringing Tuscany Home

When you think of Tuscany, what comes to mind? Close your eyes and dream a moment about those lovely rolling hills where vineyards offer their sumptuous fruit to the sun for ripening. The air is clean and the feeling is peaceful. The simplicity of the farm houses and lifestyle carve a niche in the soul, demanding a return to the simpler things of life. Everything is natural, quiet and it all flows together. One does not get the feeling of being jarred or pushed...ah, if only we could stay there forever. It's no wonder the Tuscan style of decorating has become such a popular way of decorating in today's homes.

The Natural Feeling of Italy's Hills

Your home may not be situated in Italy, but you can bring the flavour of Tuscany into any area of your home, making it the inviting place you remember from your dreams and perhaps visits to the area. Differing from the traditional Italian Florentine décor, Tuscany style is more rustic and mellow, much less high-brow and definitely earthy. Natural elements inspire this style as do crumbling stone walls and stone farmhouses, marble floors and sturdy wooden furniture. Intricate wrought iron accessories easily complement the décor, making your space warm, comfortable and inviting. The beauty of nature drew people out of the cities and into the country centuries ago in Italy, and people decorated their villas using elements of nature to extend the beauty indoors.

Warm & Inviting, with Lots of Wood

The Tuscan look is rustic, warm and inviting with nothing shiny or new-looking to be found. Sturdy, natural materials ensure the feeling is maintained. Roof tiles made of terracotta adorning a house built of sandstone or limestone (available in a wide range of hues and colors), and rough hewn wooden shutters covering deep-set windows signal Tuscany décor from the outside.

And, in the Garden...

A patio or portico is important to be incorporated in the garden that speaks of the Italian countryside. Sandstone bricks create a privacy wall today, where yesterday they provided protection. A fountain is the central focus of the courtyard where beautiful greenery is left to grow with wild abandon. A tall, cypress tree swaying in the breeze casts a moving shadow over the stone pathway where grass grows up between the stones. It is country. It is beautiful. It is Tuscany.

Bringing It Indoors

The feeling moves indoors with the use of stone, wood and color. Natural stone walls are left alone and perhaps Venetian plaster with a color wash covers the stuccoed walls. The traditional Tuscan room had low ceilings, but today the preferred open feeling is created by higher, plastered ceilings which sport rustic wooded beams. Natural light pours in through uncovered windows.

The Colors of Tuscany

Wood is respected and honored by being left with a natural patina rather than being painted. Earth colors abound in Tuscan style decorating. Terracotta, brick, ochre, green and a warm, golden yellow color are often seen. Blue and darker green bring the temperature down in hot weather areas. Walls are often painted in a cool, soft white or gray with accents in color, natural wood and stone to create interest. Wooden plank floors and antique rugs round out the feeling.

Once the canvas is prepared, the accoutrements of furnishings are ready to be added.