Friday, May 13, 2011

Design A Tuscany Living Room

To design a Tuscany-inspired living room, think of the vast vineyards, gently rolling hills, and magnificent scenery for which Italy is famous. Just as Tuscany is located in the heart of Italy, the living room is the heart of a family's home. Tuscan designs are warm, inviting and regal, ideal for a lovely living room retreat. Does this Spark an idea?

Selecting Colors

Designing a Tuscan living room begins first with color, rustic, earthy tones and hues, inspired from nature itself. Deep reds, olive inspired greens, sunlit yellows, and terra-cotta oranges are popular shades. Warm browns from the earth and elegant blues of the surrounding sea find their places rooted in Tuscan design. When painting the wall, consider which color provides the energy or warmth desired. To keep the living room light, choose yellow or gold. For a vibrant energy, choose red or orange. Consider using blue and green as accent walls, although both colors are regal in their hue and can add an air of elegance.

The exact color does not need to be precise, but if the color concept still escapes the creative mind, find pictures online to inspire decorating, or find Italian art pieces that will provide a color theme.

Texture Choices

When designing a Tuscany living room, think Old World tradition. Textures are often rough, the trademark of many years of beloved use and detailed artistry by skilled workers who strove for excellence within their trade. Terra-cotta pots are popular and provide a rustic feel, while tables and chairs with wrought iron and scrolled metal detailing supply refined, elegant elements. Elaborate wooden furniture, hand painted or finished in rich warm stains, brings natural pieces to the living room.

Tapestries or Italian-inspired art pieces add decorative flare and soften many of the rough edges of iron and wood.

Arrange pieces to fit the living space. The order is not as important as the colors, textures and old-fashioned accessories that replicate Tuscany houses.


Because older styles tend to be more eclectic, lighting can come from various sources like antique-style chandeliers, various lamps and natural sunlight. Stay away from gaudy pieces, but it is acceptable to use more than one light source. Avoid recessed lighting or anything that looks new or modern. Tuscan designs are very old-fashioned in their appearance and things should look as natural as they would have 100 years ago. In going with Old World tradition, candles and lanterns work well for providing accent lighting. Use sheer or light-colored curtains to allow sunlight, or consider installing lights in various places. To mimic the appearance of a sun-drenched living room, consider installing inconspicuous lighting in discreet areas that do not interrupt the flow of traditionalism.

Special Additions

To design a Tuscany living room it is all about the final additions, small changes that can add serious design impact. While they are not always budget friendly, the result is well worth the time and money spent.

Aside from merely painting the walls a flat color, Tuscan design has many layered textures, so consider Venetian plaster. This faux technique involves spreading drywall putty on the wall with various trowel strokes. Then simply prime and paint with a glaze-paint mixture. Several coats add depth and interest to the wall. For a time-honored appearance, try hand painting or stenciling details on furniture.

Consider adding architectural features such as columns, wooden ceiling beams, stone or tile flooring and arched structural elements. If this is not feasible, use items that re-create these special touches like arched frames for art and mirrors or build custom beams and columns with spare wood. Fresh flowers, fruit baskets, vases, and urns are commonplace Italian accent pieces that add distinct flair.

To display family photos, transfer original prints into black-and-white or sepia-toned images that coordinate with the Old World design theme. Remember to keep things uniform with delicately aged accents and decorations.

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