If you’re into home décor, you’ve likely heard about Tuscan style. It often combines natural stone, wood and color in a rustic yet elegant way.
Inspired by elements of nature and the sun-washed hills of Italy, Tuscan style often includes aged finishes, intricate patterns scrollwork details and iron accents. For materials, you’re likely to see a lot of travertine stone, terracotta tiles, marble and hardwood. Many Tuscan-inspired houses feature plaster or stone walls and beamed ceiling.
The typical Tuscan color palette includes a warm mix of earth tones and neutrals and, including rusty orange, burgundy, yellow-gold and moss green. And furniture is often sturdy, heavy and made of hardwood. But the vibe is warm, cozy, inviting and well-worn.
Creating a Comfortable and Sophisticated Retreat
In the ancient Roman times, people began to move into the beautiful hills of central Italy in a concerted effort to remove themselves from bustling, politically-inclined city life. As more people embraced the idealized culture of the country, they gained a greater appreciation for the beauty of nature and began to incorporate these rustic, outdoor elements into the interior spaces of their villas.
It’s purposeful that for many Tuscan-inspired homes, very few items look shiny or new. It’s all about Old World charm. From sandstone or limestone exteriors in a wide range of hues, to deep-set windows protected by wooden shutters, the reach is for a rustic look. Terracotta roof tiles are common. You want to seek out sturdy materials that stand the test of time.
Outdoor spaces are immensely important, and many homes will have a large patio or courtyard. Water fountains are also extremely popular, as is greenery. Think tall Italian cypress trees, ornamental grasses, hedges and boxed hedges in terra cotta pots. Driveway and walkways are often done in stone or brick (rather than concrete). Natural stone walls are often used to unify spaces. However, if you use stucco or plaster, color washing or faux painting techniques provide a more weathered, well-loved look.
Bring the Outdoors Inside
Marble or travertine floors are often used on the interior. Decorative details such as arches and pillars are also frequently incorporated. Any wooden surface — including cabinets, doors, shelves, and framing around doors and windows — is often left in its natural patina, rather than painting the wood.
Older Italian homes were typically small with boxy rooms and low ceilings. Today, Tuscan-inspired homes have an open, airy feeling with tall ceilings that use plaster or wooden beams. Heavy window treatments are abandoned, and windows are left uncovered to take advantage of natural light.
Texture and color are very important. The warm colors we mentioned are essential, but blues and lighter greens can visually lift a room to help provide a cooling effect. Look for wide wood planks, rough stone, clay tiles, unevenly-colored terracotta bricks and antique rugs. Furniture should have simple, straight lines with a worn, distressed look.
Kitchens are often the showstopper inside any Tuscan home. You’ll find large sinks made of natural stone, copper or fired clay. Open shelves display ceramics, pottery and large glass jars. Iron racks allow you to hang copper pots. Cabinet hardware is typically dark wrought iron, and backsplashes are often created using tumbled marble tiles. And a long, family-style wooden table is a must to achieve a look that feels warm and welcoming.