Tuscan style, which is inspired by the rich colors and warm hospitality of the Mediterranean region of Tuscany, is one of today’s hottest design trends.
While stucco and a red tiled roof are the quintessential Mediterranean look, don’t worry if you your home is more traditional American than rustic Italian. You can still incorporate Tuscan décor in the interior and even add a Tuscan-inspired patio and arbor out back.
If you want to achieve a Tuscan look in any room of your home, focus on these 5 key elements of the Tuscan style.
Color. Part of the appeal of Tuscan style is its warm, rich colors, which derive from nature and, therefore, are ideal for today’s casual lifestyles. The Tuscan palette is inspired by the Mediterranean’s earth, sky, trees and sun and includes shades of brown, red, orange, yellow, olive green and deep blue. Tuscan colors tend to be rich and natural, invoking Mediterranean warmth and hospitality.
Texture. Walls in Tuscany often are made of plaster or stucco and, therefore, have a natural texture. As a result, textured wall treatments are an important part of Tuscan décor. While a professional painter should be able to create the textured look that you want for your Tuscan interior, you can also achieve this effect yourself by sponging, ragging or stippling the painted surface, using pre-textured paint to create a marble or granite look, or mixing a texture additive into paint before applying it. A texture additive is like sand. When added to paint before it is applied, it will give your wall a lightly to heavily textured finish depending on how much additive you use.
Decorative Wall Treatments. Stencils and frescoes can add an authentic, unique element to your Tuscan decorating scheme. You can apply them yourself or let a professional do the job. Stencils are the easiest to apply, and there are plenty to choose from, such as those at www.designerstencils.com or www.dresslerstencils.com. Frescoes generally are more complex, although they can range from relatively simple pictures to complete scenes such as the one shown in the video at www.ehow.com. If you are a talented painter, you may want to tackle a Tuscan fresco yourself. Otherwise, this may be a project to leave to professionals.
Flooring. Tile is a traditional Tuscan flooring material, but wood works well too. Terra cotta tiles, such as those at www.tuscan-resource.com/floortiles, will give your Tuscan interior an authentic look, but there are plenty of other choices, like the Tuscan stone sand flooring at www.homedepot.com. Some interesting wood floor options are laminated wood (www.artsparx.com) or reclaimed timber wood floors (www.elmwoodreclaimedtimber.com).
Accessories and Accents. One of the easiest ways to give your home a Tuscan look is with Tuscan accessories, like terra cotta pottery, Mediterranean painted ceramics, wrought iron hanging wall grills, woven tapestries, and copper pots. To get some ideas for your Tuscan design scheme and to see a selection of Tuscan accent pieces and accessories go to www.accentsofsalado.com.
Charlotte Kuchinsky, www.ehow.com, How to Texture to Create Interesting Wall Space/eHow.com
Wenona Napolitano, www.lifeinitaly.com, Tuscan decorating on a Dime/Italy