The natural textures and colors of stone, wood and water distinguishes Tuscan decor, giving the home a feeling of warmth and welcoming guests to come inside!
A Tuscan style home feels warm, comfortable and inviting and is not arranged for the sake of style alone; it has the sense of being well lived in.
The people of Tuscany are friendly with neighbors and welcome guests to stay for longer periods rather than mere quick visits.
Tuscan decor pays attention to detail with an old world flavor of simplicity, incorporating bold design elements, textural contrast and earthy colors.
Planning your Tuscan Style Decor
First, consider color when planning your Tuscan decor. The Tuscan people feel a strong connection to nature, the landscape and agriculture, so you’ll want to use a rich, earthy palette; golden olive green, terracotta orange-brown, earth brown, wine burgundy, sea blue, burnt orange, gold and green.
Often, the colors will be muted, given a weathered and aged feeling. Blues and greens help create a cooler visual effect that works nicely in hot climates like Southern Italy. Painted surfaces offer effective color even when the finish has worn off a bit, leaving a patina that adds old world character.
Second, consider how Tuscan decor uses texture. Stucco is the most common means of finishing walls in Tuscan homes, so you’ll want to emulate this rustic look in your wall textures. This can be most easily achieved using drywall or plaster hand texturing and faux painting techniques to give your walls an old world texture.
Third, consider the design elements and materials to be used in your Tuscan style decor. The style makes use of locally available materials and crafts. These products include textiles like tapestries, terra cotta tiles, wrought iron, ceramics and potteries, marble, rough stone and hard wood furniture.
Overall, the use of natural colors, textures and materials gives a Tuscan style home the sense that the outdoors has been brought inside the home!
Tuscan Architecture and Design
Homes in Tuscany have a sturdy architecture and look built to stand the test of time. Many Tuscan homes have porticos or patios, surrounded by sandstone brick walls to provide privacy. A fountain in the courtyard and decorative statues are commonplace.
The exterior of a true Tuscan home will feature natural stone, limestone or sandstone walls. Roofs have terracotta tiles, which are also a good choice for modern home construction and provide durability and longevity. Windows are set deep with wooden shutters that add rustic charm, often painted in blue or green to contrast with the natural stone finish of the walls.
Old world Tuscan homes typically have rooms with low ceilings, which can give them the effect of feeling confined and dark. More modern Tuscan rooms have taller ceilings, often with wooden beams and plastered ceilings, offering a more open, light and airy feeling. Windows are often left uncovered or with simple curtains to let in the natural light.
A natural patina is typical of wood surfaces found on cupboards, window and door frames and open timber ceiling beams. Walls are typically painted in soft white, gray or light, warm beige or yellow tones, letting the natural color of the wood and stone take center stage.
Flooring materials include wide wood planking, rough hewn timber, rough stone, and terracotta tiles. Rugs are used to add warmth and color and for ease of removal when cleaning the house.
Marble is another a common material found in the Tuscan decor, often used for flooring, pillars and other architectural details. Arches are an important architectural element one finds repeated throughout the region and are common in both exterior and interior design.
Tuscan style furniture features clean, simple lines and is usually handmade from rough sawn woods found locally, sometimes with accents of marble, tile and wrought iron. Common lighting fixtures include wrought iron sconces and chandeliers.
The Tuscan Kitchen
An important piece of furniture in the Tuscan home, the long, rectangular, family-style wooden table is a classic feature in the Tuscan kitchen, which typically includes the dining area as well.
A kitchen sink of natural stone or porcelain, with sink hardware of dark wrought iron will give your Kitchen an old world Tuscan look. And a copper range hood with tumbled marble tiles on the backsplash for your range will fit naturally
You can display copper cooking utensils, pots and pans from a wrought iron rack, accenting your kitchen with terracotta containers and a splash of color with some nice majolica dinner ware.
Food is an important part of the Tuscan lifestyle and no kitchen is complete without displays of glass jars filled with pastas, a braid of garlic or onions or garlic, olive jars, and fresh flowers from the garden.
Cupboards and armoires are typically left open, without doors, or chicken wire on door fronts in a true Tuscan home. This lets homeowners proudly display dishes, linens and other items inside. Incorporating a few open cabinets in your kitchen design will help lend to the Tuscan style.