Relaxed and rich Tuscan style is based on the Old World style of decorating. Originating in, no surprise here, Tuscany, the style exemplifies the traditions and setting of a picturesque Italian villa scene – rolling hills, vineyards, lavender fields, farmhouses, perhaps a crumbling stone wall, and sun-baked terra cotta tiled roofs. With such a sweeping, heart-warming setting for inspiration, the style itself involves elegance, details, and drama, but with a comfortable, sturdy, relaxed-rustic feel.
If you’re in love with Tuscan style and want to recreate the look in your own space, read below for some tips on how to go about blending your modern amenities with Old World charms.
Bring on the Drama.
A major part of the family-centered traditions of Tuscany involve large multi-generational gatherings. These gatherings were – and are today – a way of life, and the practice is certainly reflected in the Tuscan style. Massive fireplaces, oversized architectural elements, intricately detailed pieces, and large, open spaces are all key players.
In the family-focused kitchen, center islands are large, both physically and visually, and usually made out of natural materials such as wood or stone. This places importance on and serves as a constant reminder of family and cultural roots and traditions.
Tuscan Drama Tip.
Go big or go home. In whatever way possible, make the space grand but do so with an eye to the earth. Choose authentic chunky wood beams for the ceiling, or actual stones for the wall. In Tuscan style, the real deal is very hard to replicate with success.
Let Nature Inspire Architecture.
Emphasize the earthiness that is inherent in an Italian hillside. Use rich woods, warm metals or metals with a heavy aesthetic (wrought iron, for example), and natural stone. Floors of worn wood, terra cotta tiles, or stone with mosaic inlay are all beautiful ways to help your Tuscan style reach the floor. Don’t forget to throw down some rich, deeply-hued antique rugs for full effect. Walls of rough, textured plaster will help carry the aesthetic throughout the space. Most often, you’ll want to leave your windows bare so as to allow as much natural light through as possible.
Tuscan Architecture Tip.
Reclaimed wood or chiseled stone tiles make excellent architectural options. And if you don’t have beamed ceilings but are serious about decorating your home in Tuscan style, you could always add wood onto your ceiling to give the illusion of beams, if you’re so inclined.
Choose Warm, Rustic Colors.
The rustic color palette of Tuscan style is rooted in the humble earthy hues of the Tuscan countryside. If you’ve never been to Tuscany, no worries. You can’t go wrong with warming up your space in the rich, deep hues of autumn – umber browns, olive greens, golden yellows, coppery oranges, and deep rust-toned reds will infuse your space with welcoming coziness. Use these colors anywhere in your space – on the walls, in your artwork, in your textiles, on the furniture.
Tuscan Color Tip.
Because the colors of Tuscan style tend to be on the heavy side, don’t be afraid to lighten things up with a little contrasting color. Creams and beiges or lighter Tuscan tones serve as excellent counterpoints to balance out your space.
Gravitate Toward Gently Aged, yet Refined, Accents.
You’ll want to incorporate lots and lots of wood and other natural materials in your Tuscan space. The style is almost completely nature-inspired to begin with, but not only that, it’s intertwined with a sense of history and purpose and family and depth of life. Rustic elements (think wrought iron, painted ceramics, tile) should be present, although they should not overwhelm the space overall.Your Tuscan styled home should appear rich, warm, refined, and comfortable.