Tuscan-Style Decorating

Bring the warmth and sun-drenched beauty of the Tuscan countryside to your home with these tips and techniques.

Color is an essential element of Tuscan decorating and earthy hues like terracotta, deep brown, olive green, and sunny gold mimic the Tuscan landscape's connection to the earth--the rich soil, soft greenery, olive trees, and sunshine. Colors and finishes can be weathered and muted, presenting an atmosphere of timeless beauty.

In this kitchen, fabrics establish the Tuscan touch from the muted terracotta of the wall quilt to the more sun-saturated colors on the table.

Texture is important in establishing the time-softened, rustic beauty of Tuscany. Terra cotta tiles on the floor, Venetian or stucco plastered walls, baskets, hammered copper accessories, and pottery vases and jars all impart a feeling of history, utility, and texture.

Fabrics from table coverings to wallhangings soften a Tuscan room, making it feel spacious and inviting. Here the table is layered with a print tablecloth, terracotta table square, and a multicolored table runner in complementary hues. Small fabric accessories such as towels and pot holders repeat the palette and add Tuscan scenes.

The wallhanging features an appliquéd olive branch, an iconic emblem of Tuscany, as well as fabric depicting countryside scenes.

The centerpiece is simple, but full of subtle details such as the tooled texture and pedestal of the wooden bowl. Colorful dried fruits and vegetables are paired with cinnamon sticks and a carved wooden ball to reinforce the Tuscan connection with the earth.

Rustic wood, accents of iron, marble, leather, and tile all reinforce the Tuscan theme. Consider arranging mismatched ceramic and terracotta tiles on the wall or table. Use tiles as coasters or trivets or break tiles and use to make a mosaic table top.

Enjoy creating a room with the beauty, detail, simplicity, and serenity of Tuscany .