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Tuscan décor style guide: how to achieve this rustic Italian look at home

Check out our essential guide to Tuscan-style décor and read up on the key elements for achieving this rustic Italian scheme that will fill your home with sun-baked shades

Tuscan décor style guide: how to achieve this rustic Italian look at home
Published: January 5, 2022 at 2:41 pm
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As we welcome more and more natural tones and textures into our homes, the sun-drenched, crumbling stone and rustic charm of Tuscany is a growing inspiration point for interior design.

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Appealing to both minimalist and maximalist interior fans, the muted tones, textured accessories and time-worn aesthetic of Tuscany can be dialled up or pared back to your own taste. Central to this style is mixing old and new, similar to shabby chic styling or cottagecore decor for a look that feels timeless and chic.

What is Tuscan-style décor?

Drawn from the natural landscape that surrounds this region of central Italy, Tuscan decor is centred on the rich tones of sun-baked stones and browns, terracotta tiles and olive groves. Naturally sourced materials such as wood, linen, rattan and even rope provide plenty of rustic character and charm.

The Tuscan look is all about creating a sense of sunny warmth in your home, with decor on the slightly darker shade, reminiscent of seeking shade from the Italian heat. Keep the main furniture items sturdy and simple, then add interest with wooden accents, earthenware crockery and ornaments and soft furnishings in velvet, linen and heavy cotton.

If you're thinking that your home isn't a tiled Tuscan villa, then don't worry as there are plenty of ways to introduce the Tuscan vibe to a new-build or period property. By following our five-point guide below, you'll be able to welcome plenty of Italian warmth and style to your home. These design principles can work with other interior styles such as mid-century and boho, so you can soak up as much or as little Tuscan charm as you wish.

Key elements of Tuscan décor interiors
  • Sun-baked shades of terracotta, sienna and warm stone
  • Natural materials
  • Exposed wooden or stone floors
  • Stripped-back walls and texture
  • Rustic features, including ironwork and ceramics

Tuscan décor inspiration

Use warm colours

Deep yellows, terracottas, rusty reds and warm creams are the central shades of this look, with olive, sage and forest greens providing a hit of freshness. Keep the greens slightly muted to match the timeworn shades of the earthy shades. Houseplants can provide this green hit; consider eucalyptus, Mother in Law's tongue and Swiss cheese plant for their darker tones. These plants are also pretty hardy, so don't require a lot of care. Create an indoor oasis with houseplants in terracotta and stoneware pots to whisk you away to the tranquility of a villa in the sun.

Bolder colours such as cobalt blue, deep purple or cool turquoise can be introduced to the scheme, but it's best to limit these to accent colours. Soft furnishings are a great option for adding warmth in both texture and colour – rust-toned cushions and rugs or a muted mustard sofa will all lift a cream scheme.

Tuscan inspired sofa

Above: Rene three-seater fabric sofa in in Heritage Saffron, £1095; Knot floor lamp, £269; Nordic Oak coffee table, £329, all from Furniture Village

For a more muted take on the sun-baked colourway, choose warm creams and pale terracottas to inject a more subtle level of warmth into your space. Rather than bright white, creams, stones and pale tans offer a more gentle, sun-kissed background colour for your home's interior.

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Above: door painted in Stony Ground exterior wood and metal eggshell emulsion, £32 per 0.75ml, from Farrow & Ball

Introduce lots of natural materials

Tuscan décor features a lot of natural wood. Darker wood is mostly used across the ceiling beams, furniture and flooring, with lighter woods appearing on accent pieces or accessories. Heavy, sturdy pieces provide the feeling of rustic charm, so opt for thicker legs on sofas, tables and chairs with simple designs and few details. Add comfort to the wooden furniture with soft furnishings in cream, pale grey and stone tones, with linen or velvet to maximise the texture.

Dining table with chairs

Above: Cookham oak round extending dining table, £800, from Olivias

Porcelain, marble and stone also feature a lot in Tuscan décor, which you can introduce in your wall, kitchen unit and bathroom treatments through countertops and tiles. Choose warmer-toned tiles and marble or marble-effect surfaces, which can then guide your wall and flooring choices in the rest of the room. Cream and aged white work better in a Tuscan scheme than brilliant white, as they will keep the look feeling more subdued and timeless.

Patterned tiles on a kitchen wall

Above: Sunset Astro tiles, £69 per sq m, from Porcelain Superstore

When it comes to accessories, choose ceramics, earthenware and wood for your ornaments and styling. Display milk jugs, vases, ceramic plates and sculpted curios on open shelving or from wall hooks to add interest to the scheme. As Tuscan décor is a celebration of rustic tradition, vintage and well-loved pieces will add lots of personality to the space, which you can curate from your own items or search retro finds from antique and charity shops and reclamation yards.

Exposed wooden and stone floors

Keeping Tuscan homes (and their residents!) cool from the hot summer sun, floors are kept exposed to keep the temperatures down. Flooring materials include rugged stone, wood, tile and marble.

For a more budget-friendly take on the exposed look, you could use LVT or laminate tiled or wooden flooring, which create the same visual effect but are easier to maintain and warmer underfoot for colder climes. Similar to Tuscan-style furniture, choose a darker wood stain for the flooring, which you can brighten with a warm cream on your walls and window treatments.

Wooden flooring with a chair and hallway table

Above: Palazzo Cinnamon Oak extra matt flooring, from £62.49 per sq m, Quick-Step

Marble or marble-effect flooring and tiles is an opulent take on the exposed floor, and will create a sense of grandeur throughout your home. Choose a design that contains a vein in a warmer or cream tone, which will pick up with the other cream and stone shades in the scheme and prevent the look feeling too modern.

Stripped-back walls and textures

Raw plaster and stonework are a key feature of traditional Tuscan homes. Similar to Spanish-style homes, vintage Tuscan homes have thick plaster walls, with the mottled plaster left exposed for texture and colour. In older Tuscan homes, frescos, murals and tapestries provide further colour and interest.

While you may not want to make your pink plaster a permanent fixture of your room, you can recreate the plaster look with patterned wallpaper, create the effect of raw plaster or give rag painting a go to create a colourwash effect. This will create the aged effect of Tuscan terracotta, whatever the age of your property!

03. Lights & Lamps

Above: Ovor overreach floor lamp base, £129; Hao rattan easy-fit lampshade, £45, both from Lights and Lamps

To prevent the mottled look feeling too dark, brighten it with mood lighting in the form of standard lamps or table lights. Rattan and linen shades will tie in with the rustic feel, which you can pick up with macramé wall hangings as a nod to vintage tapestries. This stripped-back effect works well with industrial décor, too – column radiators, matt black hardware and exposed stone.

Celebrate rustic features, such as wrought iron and ceramics

Running throughout each of these style principles is maximising the use of rustic features within the space. As well as wooden flooring and furniture and terracotta elements, wrought iron is a prominent feature in Tuscan décor. From iron lamps and light fixtures to bannisters, curtain rods and beds, iron adds an element of toughness to the soft, crumbling tones of a Tuscan farmhouse. Achieve this juxtaposition of tough with soft in your own home with black metal pieces layered up with cosy textures, such as a black wicker chair with a linen tasselled cushion.

Give a wooden dining table a metallic edge with wire or metal dining chairs and a wrought iron candelabra, or keep it sharp and classic in the bedroom with a wrought iron bed paired with linen textiles and light walls for a soothing scheme.

Cornish Bed Co.

Above: Hampton double bed frame, from £1,375, from Cornish Bed Co.

Lastly, clay and terracotta are the hallmarks of Tuscan décor. From sun-cracked roof tiles to traditional water jugs and tableware, these elements are abundant in Tuscan homes and are a quick win for your own styling efforts. Choose an unglazed finish on your ceramic finds for that rustic edge, while chipped or cracked pieces create a sense of history, each with their own story to tell. Place your task lighting near these clay pieces to illuminate their uneven texture and create a languid mood to cast you away to a Tuscan sunset.

Terracotta vase on a wooden table

Above: large terracotta vase, £59, from Barker & Stonehouse

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Inspired by our Tuscan decor tips? Check out our other style guides, to discover how to achieve every look, from cottagecore to Scandi!

Authors

Thomas PoadSection Editor

Section Editor, Your Home

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