The warm, old world look of traditional homes in Tuscany has inspired a popular style of home decor. Stenciled motifs that evoke rural Italy provide charming finishing detail to a room decorated in the Tuscan style.
Tuscan wall motifs are versatile. They can look good in the kitchen, dining room, living room or patio and the effect is just as attractive in bedrooms and even bathrooms. The effect is one of understated old-world elegance.
Contemporary Tuscan-style decor takes its cue from the dwellings of ordinary country dwellers. Tuscan wall decorations are reminiscent of folk art and have a charming home-made quality. They served a similar purpose to wallpaper and included borders, individual motifs and sometimes entire vistas.
Tuscan Stencil Motifs
The classic motifs in Tuscan decorative work are drawn from nature and reflect the flora of Italy and the Mediterranean region. Think of Italy and olive groves may be one of the first things to come to mind. Not only does the olive branch motif evoke the Tuscan sun, but the muted gray-green color of the leaves fits perfectly into the spectrum of hues in the Tuscan palette.
Also drawn from the landscape is the popular grapevine motif, perhaps festooned with dusky, purple grapes. Other motifs drawn from nature include bowls of fruit reminiscent of still life paintings, and images of birds. A border of acanthus leaves evoke the feel of classical antiquity.
Not all Tuscan motifs are naturalistic or representational. Stencils are available to home decorators also use traditional designs, some drawn directly from Italian villas, farmhouses and other Tuscan dwellings. Roman urns and motifs drawn from classical statuary, or from designs on Italian tiles, are sometimes less strictly authentic but are nevertheless effective in Tuscan-style decor.
How to Use Tuscan Motifs
Wall motifs were traditionally used in many ways. You could create a leafy frame around doors or windows. Grapevines and similar motifs also make an attractive border or you could opt for an abstract design. Borders can run right around your room, at cornice, skirting board or dado rail level.
As an alternative to a border, you could consider using motifs almost like a picture, or as an occasional accent randomly placed here and there. Murals are also an option. You can create the illusion of a window opening onto the Tuscan landscape.
Achieving the Tuscan Look
The key to achieving the charming Tuscan look lies in the use of earthy, natural colors: burnt oranges, earthy reds, taupe, dusky pink and rich creams. Subtle greens and blues are also suitable.
The Tuscan look is comfortably worn and low contrast. Choose colors for your stenciled motif that won’t stand out from the background. To perpetuate the Tuscan theme, you can explore faux painting techniques that create an antique look.
Not only is stenciling a quick and easy way to add all-important finishing details to your Tuscan decor, but it’s fun to do and fabulously effective.
Get more ideas for Tuscan wall stencils from That Painter Lady. Then claim your free “Insider’s Guide to Faux Painting” and avoid all the common mistakes, get success tips, find the right products for the job and more.
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