Similar to the french country and cottage styles, the tuscan style also is inspired by elements of nature.  It bears similarity to the french country style in that it uses wrought iron, stone, and rustic elements, however, there are differences that make it a unique style.  One of the primary elements that sets this style apart is S I M P L I C I T Y.

As one website put it, “From ancient Roman times, people moved to the beautiful hills of central Italy to remove themselves from city life, escape the intrigue of politics, and embrace the idealized culture of the country. They enjoyed the beauty of nature and incorporated the elements into their villas. These same elements are what makes Tuscan style decorating so appealing for our homes today.”  (about.com)

Common colors are Siena yellow, blues, terracotta, and brick.  Unlike the french country style that is conducive to a wide array of colors, this style is not quite so compatible.  Though any style can be modified, the true tuscan style caters to a limited set of colors.  The colors should be muted and appear weathered to create a timeless beauty.  One common color technique is stark white walls to contrast with the dark wood beams in the ceiling and furniture.

This style also features stucco, or similarly textured, walls to create the Italian country aura.  The floors are typically made of wide timber planks, tile, brick, or rough stones.  Terracotta tiling is perhaps one of the primary flooring options.

Stone, in its natural form, is a common feature of the tuscan style, as depicted in the picture above.  Tuscans respect the past and do not think that it should be removed and discarded, rather, they should be proudly displayed.  Woods that are commonly used include oak, chestnut, or cherry.  Wood with a shiny or glossy finish does not fit well with this style, just as it would be also out of place in a french country style.

Use rough wooden beams in the ceiling.  The furniture has straight, clean lines.  Wooden items typically are hand-worked.  Wrought iron adds a charming element to this style, as it does to the french country style.  Don’t paint furniture, which is different than the cottage-style we studied a couple weeks ago.

A fireplace in a tuscan-style kitchen would be ideal, but that is typically not a luxury available to most.  Use hard, dark wood for the pantry and shelves.  Kitchen counters are typically made of granite, travertine, or tile.  Some say that a wooden family dining table is mandatory in a tuscan kitchen.

This style is quite appealing to me, probably most of all the ones studied so far.  Though I wouldn’t mind using elements of it in my own home, I don’t think I would go all-out Tuscan.  The simplicity is really quite appealing, but the general color schemes are different than my preferences at this time.  Let’s keep looking!

Much of this information was extracted from http://experience-tuscany.thriftytuscany.com/the-colors-and-materials-of-a-tuscan-home-indoors/2984, but http://www.lifeinitaly.com/decor/decorating/tuscan-colors.asp was the primary source of tuscan style interior decorating!


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