I took this picture last weekend while at Lake Las Vegas. The light was fantastic….so warm and glowing. To me this picture is very evocative of Tuscan design. First and foremost Tuscan style is about color – the color of Tuscany, Italy. An agricultural area, the colors are all about nature – deep terra cotta, golds, oranges, greens and the deep clear blues of the sky; rich but not bright. This picture has it all! While I wouldn’t suggest you use ALL these colors in the same room, you could certainly build a palette for your home around this welcoming color range.
ELEMENTS OF TUSCAN DESIGN
When you imagine Tuscany (even if you’ve never been there), you likely think of charming old villas that sit amid fields of grapes or olives. Hold that image and that feeling of age and tradition and warmth as you develop a Tuscan design. Aside from the earthy, rich colors, texture plays a dominant role in Tuscan homes. Heavy tapestry fabrics, thick chenilles, worn leather - it’s all about creating comfort using layers of fabrics and patterns. The patterns are often dense and traditional feeling; go ahead and mix a jumble of patterns letting the color tie them together.
Texture is not confined to fabrics but includes walls and woods. Tuscan walls are often heavily plastered but here you might accomplish that look with a great faux finish, or if you’ve got the money, invest in a venetian plaster texture. When it comes to choosing wood furniture, find woods that are usually dark, solid, sturdy, sometimes carved or distressed (remember the charming “old” part?) (chest by Frontgate). Natural stone for the fireplace and/or flooring, curving iron work for chandeliers (by Minka) and railings, and beautiful handpainted pottery are all the elements you’ll need to complete your stunning Tuscan style home.
If you’re afraid of straying too far afield in creating your own personal Tuscan villa, find a couple of inspiration photographs that represent the colors and textures you’d like to use and carry them with you when you shop. Exploring a theme within the Tuscan framework like grapes/wine or olives and orchards can be fun in a powder room or kitchen. Be careful the theme doesn’t overtake the other, more traditional elements of your Tuscan design.
I’ll address other decorating styles in future posts – I started with this one because the picture I took inspired me to share……