While Tuscan style homes may seem to be the same as general Italian style homes, Tuscany gave rise to the Etruscan people, who predated the Romans. The Etruscans were a proud agricultural people who were blessed to live in what we now call Tuscany. Later, the Romans arose, caring little for agriculture but a lot about living a lifestyle that stood out from the rest. Tuscan homes are is simple, direct, and sturdy, while an Italianate home displays exuberance for detail and intricacy. Here are more characteristics that go into creating a modern-day Tuscan home.
Tuscan Style—Earth, Stone, Wood
In Tuscany, the sun is hot, the land is rich, and life is good. They enjoy a Mediterranean lifestyle that embraces good food, good wine, and simple pleasures. Tuscan architectural style conveys these qualities.
A home of Tuscany uses natural materials, celebrating sandstone and limestone with oversized brick for the walls, washed in earthy colors inside and out. Expect to see simple, strong wood moldings in dark colors and exterior walls of stucco painted in ochres, reds, and the golden yellow of a Tuscan sun.
Entering the homes of Tuscany, you feel at home immediately. Wrought iron, thick shutters, and simple, strong wood furniture set the mood. Kitchens gleam with copper pots while decorative tiles in pure blues and bleached white provide accents in bathrooms and kitchens. Gently sloping roofs wearing the ubiquitous red tiles give a welcoming feeling to visitors arriving on brick-laid or stone walkways and drives.
Tuscany’s natural setting pervades its homes and has natural materials in abundance. Sandstone and limestone bricks form thick walls. Carved marble provides accents in arches, over doorways, in flooring and as window sills.
Large, rectangular windows are set deep in the walls and are framed with sandstone brick molding. The entire façade will feature simple, stout wooden shutters.
Because of the gentle climate, moving air and water was vital to the health and happiness of Tuscany’s farmers. This means the homes that evoke this style will have patios, loggias, porticos and fountains. While some American climates may not make year-round outdoor living practical, Tuscan homes having these elements can extend your time outside, starting in early spring, running through summer’s heat and late into fall.
Expect to see thick ceiling beams in natural wood, rubbed down with linseed oil or left to age naturally. Wood cupboards, simple, bulky moldings, and untreated wooden doors will bring the sense of farmhouse simplicity inside. Tables crafted from wide wood boards may sit on terra cotta tile floors.
- Wrought iron seen in hinges, handles, and kitchen hooks
- Decorative tile
- Open-shelf storage
- Sinks made from natural stone or porcelain
- Flooring choices of terra cotta brick or tile, wide wood planking, or stone (terrazzo, which is ground down in place, or pavers)
Unlike some architectural styles that accept a wide spectrum of colors, Tuscan style very much depends on a narrow band of earthy colors:
- Blues—sky blue, cerulean, and deep blue can be found in ceramics, decorative tile, and accent colors
- Greens—grass greens, the greens of Tuscany’s rolling hills, the greens of vineyard leaves
- Ochres and reds—natural, rich colors of clay, terra cotta and fertile soil
- Oranges and yellows—raw sienna, burnt sienna, and yellow-oranges that recall brilliant sunsets
Embracing the style of Tuscany’s homes means taking an honest, forthright approach to life. Within the sturdy walls of a Tuscan home, you will relish simplicity, gather around a large farm table to share intimate family moments, and feel the pace of your life slow to match the graceful bow of a setting Tuscan sun.