Make Good Choices in Tuscan Decorating Style
What have you seen or experienced that has made you a fan of the Tuscan decorating style? Some lucky individuals have been able to travel to Italy and view the rolling hills and vineyards, perhaps stay in a Tuscan bed and breakfast, or take a scenic tour of all the country has to offer. Others have dreamed of the journey after seeing movies in full, brilliant color. Whatever your inspiration, you can make very good choices in Tuscan decorating style.
Like any style of decorating, you do not have to make your entire home one theme. You can use colors, textures, furniture, wall art and coverings and accoutrements to bring in the style to your overall décor. You can select one room in the house where you want to pull out all the stops. The choices are endless as are the ideas and treatments available.
Begin with wall color. The Tuscan decorating style generally uses neutral colors on the walls to invite coolness during the hot days. Most true Italian walls are thick and rough-patterned with genuine plaster. The original homes are quite old and the plaster has cracked from age. If this is the look you want for your walls you can purchase wallpaper that mimics the effect. If you prefer a smooth wall, use a color like beige, soft matte rose or muted yellow-gold. Many decorators obtain an aged appearance by using one solid color background and applying ‘aging’ with a sponge from one or two paint shades darker.
Flooring in the Tuscan decorating style is most always hardwood. It will not be like today’s narrow wood or engineered flooring. A home in Italy would have wide plank floors with no polish or shine. They are well-worn. They also made use of tile resembling terracotta or red brick which obviously has lasted for generations. If you already have modern wood floors or neutral carpeting, you can purchase a large Tuscan-inspired rug that may be close to room size. If you are redecorating your kitchen, there are peel and stick tiles that resemble brick or terracotta.
Those who have been inside a genuine Tuscan home know that the first feeling they get is one of comfort and welcome. Tuscan rooms are large with high ceilings. There are tricks of the trade to achieve these dimensions for less grander sized rooms. One of these is choosing light window coverings – like full sheers – and hanging them from where the wall meets the ceiling rather than from just above the window. Like a heavier person wearing a three piece ensemble in the same color without a break in lines, the room will appear taller and not short and pudgy.
The furniture will be made for function and comfort. The sofas and chairs will be over-stuffed. You can use sofa and chair coverings that resemble the Tuscan decorating style to place over your more modern upholstery. This idea gives you an extra advantage. If you ever come to the day when you want to change your style, simply remove the covers and you have your original upholstery that has been protected.
Solid furniture such as tables, chest of drawers, sideboards and such will have the same aged look. In the rural farmhouse these items were made for practical use. Oftentimes what served as a dining room table would have been used as a modern island would be today. Women would sit around the table with the uncovered wide wooden slats and pound dough for pasta and bread and cut the fruit for the pies. Bowls would sit around for stringing beans and cleaning other garden vegetables. When dinner was ready the table was cleaned and repurposed for eating. If you have a modern wood table you can purchase an Italian-inspired tapestry table runner and upholster your chairs in a similar tapestry or fabric.
If you can only afford a few things at a time, you may want to look at wrought iron pendants to hang over the dining table or kitchen counter, or candle sconces for the fireplace area or dining room walls. You can even use some potted areca palms for greenery.
Nothing brings the Tuscan decorating style into a room better than several well-placed framed Tuscan-inspired paintings. You can select from large works of art that may hang over a sofa or cover a wide space on the dining room wall. Tuscan prints of vineyards, courtyards, mountains and valleys will be painted in rich golds, greens and reds. Do not expect to see fine detail because these paintings are meant to evoke feelings of warmth and not so much for the appreciation of the artist’s technique.
Another item that invites the feeling of Tuscany into your home is a nice hanging wall canvas. The ‘frame’ will be of aged wood or the wrought iron look, and the painting will be printed or painted on canvas. These pieces tend to have more detail than the framed prints.
Don’t forget those little things when thinking about Tuscan decorating style. You can purchase inexpensive Italian-inspired ceramics and vases for occasional tables. You can even have small occasional tables as well as wine cabinets or stands. Nothing says Tuscany like wine.
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Lee Brown is the co founder of interiordezine.com, she has worked in the Interior Design Industry for over 23 years, specializing in commercial, hospitality, high end architectural homes and retail design. Over the past 13 years Lee and Chris Brown have been collating their wealth of design knowledge to provide free interior decorating education to the world. Make sure you register for your free ecourse today. Free Interior Decorating eCourse