Tuscan style decorating is another method of design which is inspired by the colors and textures of nature.
Do you like the play of sunshine on hills, trees, and old stone walls?
If you're attracted by buildings with an age-old look to them, such as rustic farm houses, then tuscan style decorating is one you should consider.
The history of Tuscany goes back beyond Roman times. It was a favorite part of the Italian countyside for emperors and senators. Its colors and textures are sought after just as much today as they were centuries ago.
Tuscan style decorating is a peaceful combination of natural and human elements. From the times of ancient Rome people moved away from the crowds and grime of cities and into the beauty of nature. They made their homes blend with this natural beauty which surrounded them.
This style of decor should have a timelessness to it - nothing new and shiny, just natural materials which will make your home warm and inviting. This means taking inspiration from the Tuscan countryside, as well as the houses and other buildings, some of which are hundreds of years old.
So make sure that when you've finished decorating that it all looks as though it was completed a long time ago...
Color for Tuscany style decorating
By now you'll know how to achieve this style of home decorating.
You bring the outdoor colors and textures inside your home. You'll see all the colors of nature inside - terracotta, yellow ochre, brick red and golden sand are all included.
To give contrast, touches of blues and greens are used, which also add a coolness which is appreciated in hot weather.
Often a pale color is used on walls, which provides a good background for pictures. Floor colors are usually darker, and can be of wood, tile or marble. As with all features, a natural finish is the key to success.
Use color washes or faux paint techniques to give your walls a genuine Tuscan look. Or go for the genuine article, and use Venetian plaster.
The best finish to use is one which has texture, and can have quite a rough finish, unlike other decorating styles. So if you feel your walls are looking too pristine, rough them up a little. You may find some of the paint techniques useful.
Another modern day technique you might like to try is one of the textured paint finishes which are available. These are easy to apply. Just make sure you get a good color - it's no good getting a good texture if the color is more in keeping with Art Nouveau or minimalist.
You'll often walls that walls can be painted with a soft white or gray, and then use the natural colors of wood and stone for contrast. Indeed, if you have a wall with natural brick or old plaster already there, try and use it as it is in your scheme.
Following on the theme of using natural features for tuscan style decorating, tiles, flagstones, marble or wood are all good floor finishes.
In most of our typical homes we probably don't have the option for genuine marble, but if you can use it, don't make it too formal.
Floor tiles are more often used, and can also give a very warm look to a room. These can be of clay, or rough stone. Another way to achieve a vintage look is to use different colored terracotta bricks.
Wood floors are the most common floor style, and give a great deal of scope. You can install new wood floors, or buy genuine old wood which has been reclaimed from old houses. The boards used are usually quite wide.
Don't forget you can add character and color by putting hand made rugs on your floors. Again, make sure you keep to informal designs.
In many situations the windows are left untreated, or with just a simple voile or lace curtain. In my opinion roller or roman shades a just a bit too modern for tuscan style decorating, but you can use them if you decide not to keep to rigidly to the style.
What can look good are casual curtains, especially if they are hung from a dark metal pole. Use textured fabric, or one with an indefinite pattern. This is also a good opportunity to bring some color into the room. Darker reds, rusts, greens and blues can be very effective.
This should be of a simple nature, using straight lines as opposed to complex curves. In Tuscany, the local wood is used, and is left quite rough. So don't use furniture which is heavily polished, or veneered.
Use woods which are rich and dark. Or go for an aged painted effect. If you have old solid furniture, you can easily adapt it by stripping and staining it, or by applying different paint effects.
Open cupboards and armoires are a common feature, and are used to store anything from plates and dishes, to books or clothes.
In tuscan style decorating the kitchen is one of the most important rooms. This will have a long, heavy wooden table suitable for all the family. Open shelves give storage space, and other furniture is free standing. (No fitted kitchens here!)
In keeping with tuscan style decorating, the sink will be of porcelain or stone. Hardware is often made of dark wrought iron, or copper. Marble is the ideal material for kitchen tiles, and terracotta pots and containers will complete the look.
You can use a whole variety of items for accessories. Just remember to use natural elements such as wood, stone, terracotta and marble.
You'll always see water somewhere in tuscan style decorating, so glass flower vases and indoor water features can be used.
Don't forget pictures, mirrors and other wall hangings. Pictures of the Tuscany landscape with wide skies and vineyards are an ideal way of bringing the style into your home. Tapestries hung on a stone or rough plaster wall add character and atmosphere.