“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.”
— Giuseppe Verdi
Maybe you’ve been missing the beautiful Italian countryside, or perhaps you just dream of having a home that merges old-world style with natural beauty. The Tuscan decorating style is filled with earthy colors, beautiful architectural details, and elegant accessories, and all of these sophisticated styles can be added to your home with a few simple and budget-friendly decorating hacks. There are some DIY options available to you or you can simply shop for Tuscan decor for the home to give your home that decorating makeover with a little Italian flair.
One of the hallmarks of Tuscan style is an attention to architectural details that are often overlooked. You can bring your own Tuscan look to a room using a stencil, some plaster, and some paint! While you can use ordinary craft stencils for this, you may not get a design that’s raised high enough to be noticeable, and there are special plaster stencils designed for this kind of technique. After securing your stencil and mixing your plaster, you apply the plaster with a putty knife and lift off the stencil. Once it’s dry, you can paint the wall using a glaze or a thin coat of paint to give the plaster design a bit more definition.
To give your walls or your furniture a nicely aged Tuscan look, you can use a faux painting technique. You’ll need at least three different paint colors: a light earthy tone, a reddish medium tone, and a darker brown tone. Use the light earthy tone as a base coat for the wall and allow it to dry. Mix the dark brown paint with the glaze mixture and use a light sea sponge to color wash the paint. Finally, finish the design with the reddish shade in a glaze, applied with a sea sponge. While the red paint is still wet, you can use a large dry paintbrush to add brushstrokes in the design for a beautiful patina.
Metals like copper, brass, bronze, and steel can make a beautiful addition to old-world design styles, but for a more realistic antique look, you’ll want to age the metal. You can find beautiful metal platters, cake pans, trivets, and other pieces in thrift stores, and you can age cabinet hardware to give the room more character. Aluminum can be soaked overnight in equal parts bleach and vinegar for a crusty “rusted” appearance. To age brass, cover a bunch of copper pennies in ammonia; add the brass piece and let sit overnight for a varied patina. Other types of metals can be aged with a variety of methods, depending on the patina you’re looking for.
Accessories are Everywhere!
Once you begin looking for objects for your Tuscan decorating project, you’re likely to find accessory and furniture ideas everywhere! Almost any piece of furniture can be transformed into a Tuscan piece with some new paint, some molding, and new hardware. Accessories can be as simple and ubiquitous as old wine bottles, or they can be as eclectic and unusual as architectural pieces, aged to match the decor. Don’t neglect the most Tuscan of all design elements: living things! Pots of small flowers, bundles of drying herbs, and a fresh bowl of fruit are all staples in the traditional Tuscan household.