So many design styles, so little time. It seems as if 2021 was inundated with an abundance of both new styles and new takes on old favorites as people began to climb out of a lockdown-induced melancholia. After being stuck inside for long periods of time last year, both designers and would-be creative cultivators started flexing their forward-thinking imaginations toward conceiving new ideas, brightening up and enlivening their spaces with an eye on a more positive future.
Tuscan style is just one of the latest in this parade of design ideas du jour that include trends like cottagecore and California cool. But unlike those other trends, Tuscan style is less a blend of design aesthetics that form a signifying and distinctive thread. Rather, it’s more a design style influenced by a specific region and overall vibe.
Instantly recognizable, Tuscan style can often be eerily similar to Southwestern, at least in terms of materials. Think stucco, terracotta, and warm, rustic woods. But where Southwestern style relies on bright colors and patterns, crafted materials like woven and handmade items, and vivid ceramics, Tuscan style design takes a slightly different approach.
So what exactly is it?
In Your Element
Tuscan style largely revolves around natural hues and rustic palettes influenced by warm earth tones. These natural design elements stretch well beyond the color scheme, extending to the materials used both in and outside Tuscan-inspired homes. Because sandstone and limestone are commonly found in central Italy, they’re often incorporated into this type of design aesthetic. Marble is another popular material that’s often used for decorative touches and indoor features like floors, arches, and pillars. Overall, these features create a natural look that evokes Tuscany’s sun-baked beauty and earthiness.
During ancient Roman times, people often flocked to the warm hillsides of Tuscany to escape the bustling and often contentious city life. Thus, their countryside homes tended to evoke warm, inviting feelings not constrained by austerity, embracing the loveliness of nature with a simplistic style that was both well used and well loved. Wide, wooden plank floors, shutters, doors, and windows create a warmth that contrasts well with color-washed stucco walls that appear as if they were borne out of the earth itself.
The furnishings also evoke this straightforward, subtle simplicity. Think clean lines, well-worn, natural woods, and accents that incorporate tile, marble, and wrought iron features. Other popular materials include copper and terracotta, but think moderation, not maximalism. Simple yet rustic touches like a terracotta backdrop in the kitchen, majolica dinnerware to add a bit of color and texture, and copper pots hanging from a wrought iron shelf. The palette, though natural, does incorporate some color. Blues and greens are used to create a cooling effect while warm ochres, golds, and yellows evoke the warm Tuscan sun.
And don’t forget about the outdoors! Tuscan-style villas often have extended outdoor areas that open up to include lovely green spaces within a central courtyard. Marble is also a central feature here, in the form of statuary or even water fountains that often form the center of attention. Still, Tuscan-style outdoor areas, while usually contained within brick or stone walkways in a courtyard design, are also meant to look a bit wild, kind of like letting nature take its course. Think wildly growing greenery swaying in the breeze, tall grasses, and an overall uncultivated look that adds to the charm and creates that countryside villa feel.
Tuscan design style is a great way to bring the natural, sun-kissed look of the central Italian countryside into your home. Just work in some warm, welcoming tones accented with muted blues, greens, and yellows, natural elements like wood, stone, and marble, and accents like wrought iron features and terracotta tiles, and you’ll have yourself a true Tuscan villa in no time.