Tuscan, or Mediterranean, style is a lovely theme to use when decorating your home. Selecting earth tones and touchable textures will give you a foundation. Adding rustic, natural and sturdy looking furnishings and accessories will supply the finishing touch.
The term 'Tuscan' comes from the large central region of Italy, Tuscany, whose capital is Florence. Its 8,900 sq. mi. is known for beautiful landscapes, artistry, and culture. It is regarded as the true birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. This coastal region of Italy has become the premium place to look for style in its wonderful colors and textures. If you want to bring a touch of this countryside into your home, you do not have to travel all the way to Italy. Just try following these simple guidelines.
Color is the first consideration when looking at Tuscan style. The basic color palette comes from landscape and agriculture. The main colors used in decorating are earth tones like terracotta, olive green, deep browns as well as blues and gold. These colors call to mind bright sunny days under clear skies looking across bountiful fields and sparkling lakes. The colors are often made to look weathered or are muted, reflecting timeless beauty like an ancient villa. Some other shades in this palette are apricot, lavender, turquoise, burgundy, ocher, bronze, cinnamon, ivory and ocean blue.
Texture is the next characteristic to consider. Most often, colors are combined with textures that beg to be touched. Walls are hand plastered and have a look and feel that is unique to Tuscany. Many professional artisans are reviving these classic plaster techniques, but for those on a tighter budget, this effect can be achieved through various faux finishing techniques such as knock-down and stucco. In the interior of Tuscan villas you will find amazing masonry in the form of marble floors and countertops in kitchens and baths. Spectacular stone work also defines fireplaces and foyers bringing the earthy feeling indoors.
Furnishings are typically simple and functional. Kitchen counters may be lined with an array of cooking herbs. Furniture is often of a classic wood and leather design, and tables may also have tile or stone tops further adding to the strong connection to the land.Fabrics have long been a favorite design solution for introducing color in to a room. A decorative throw pillow, a luxurious sofa throw or a favorite wall tapestry can be an inspiration piece for Tuscan wall colors. Wall tapestries with fringe, tassels and beads are also typical of Mediterranean decor. Wrought iron, ceramic and other hard surface materials can be softened with colorful table runners, drapery and woven wall art.
Pot racks are a superb way to bring old world Tuscan style into your kitchen. The most popular style of pot rack used in Tuscan decorating is probably the wrought iron pot rack. While there are many different designs available, the best pot rack is constructed of hand forged wrought iron. Wrought iron can be formed into traditional rectangular and round shapes, as well as decorative curves and flourishes. They can be left a traditional black or painted a Mediterranean earthy color. These details lend an authentic, old world, artisan craftsmanship quality to Tuscan decor.
The patio is an important part of the Tuscan home. Wrought iron patio benches, bar stools and chairs can be found alongside tile topped tables. The furnishings are surrounded by unpolished metal urns and terracotta pots brimming with greenery. Plants such as roses, geraniums and hydrangea are native to the Mediterranean climate and will give the outdoor living space an authentic feel. Other plants to consider are climbing vines such as clematis and jasmine, potted herbs like sweet basil, lavender, and rosemary, and potted lemon trees. These plants give a fragrant scent to the patio atmosphere. Other fruit and olive trees can often be found in the yard, too.
Tuscany is a region that is deeply connected to the land. This can be seen in its earthy colors and textures and its strong simple decor.The beauty of the land travels all the way from the rolling countryside into the patios and homes of the Tuscan people. Experimenting with earthy colors, textures, and furnishings can help transform your home into a veritable Mediterranean paradise.
Yvonne Crooker is the author and can provide more information about wrought iron kitchen accessories, including wine racks and pot racks, at Pot Rack Place. Yvonne is a retired school administrator who has time now to devote to her creative talents, including decorating, quilting, and photography.