Tuscan Home Decorating – The Accessories

Tuscan-inspired home decorating is a beautiful, popular and extremely versatile decorating style. It is warm and can have a rustic or polished look and feel that is reminiscent of the Tuscan region of Italy. Yet its versatility allows it to work in harmony with almost any other decorating style…whether contemporary, metropolitan, country French or traditional just to name a few.

This harmony is achieved through the use of colors, textures and accessories. You can refer to my previous articles for more in-depth information on colors and textures. In this article I’m focusing on the use of accessories…one of the most important, versatile and easy means of achieving a rich, interesting look in any room of any style.

An accessory is defined as a subordinate or supplementary part, object, or the like, used mainly for convenience, attractiveness, safety, etc. Although this definition categorizes accessories as “subordinate or supplementary,” they are extremely important in establishing or completing a décor look. What this definition has captured well, though, is attractiveness, convenience and safety – and these are traits you should look for when selecting décor accessories for your home. You can use accessories liberally for an overall look, or sparingly as an accent only. Following are some examples of attractive, convenient, and often functional home decorating accessories that reflect a Tuscan, Mediterranean or Old World style:

Vases, Urns, Pots, Tubs – can be made of ceramic, terra cotta, stone or earthenware, polystone or other resins, glass or iron. These pieces can stand alone or can be used to hold fresh flowers, dried herbs, wine or other beverage cans and bottles, fresh or artificial fruits and vegetables, ornaments, hand towels…the uses are endless in any room and with any style. Also endless are the colors and finishes. You’ll find both bright and muted colors in rough and polished finishes.

Platters and Bowls – work especially well in kitchens, dining and great rooms. A beautiful, hand painted platter attractively displayed on an iron stand does double-duty as an accessory and a functional serving piece. Bowls are a perfect catch-all for fruit, vegetables, mail, keys change…you name it.

Trays – can be attractively displayed on a stand when not being used for service. A large wooden or metal tray can be placed on an ottoman to create a unique and useful table top. A wicker tray or basket can hold fresh fruits or vegetables to create a “market” look in your kitchen as you prepare meals for family and friends.

Boxes – covered or open, large or small are perfect are interesting and beautiful to look at and can hold untold treasures, create extra storage space or keep your remote controls out of sight when not being used. Group them with several others of similar style or other accessories.

Candles – whether actual flames or new, safe LED candlelight, candles provide a warm and inviting glow in any setting. Use them liberally indoors or out. Display them at varying heights by using votive holders, candlesticks of varying heights and widths, lanterns and wall hanging holders. As long as you keep safety in mind, you can’t go wrong with an abundance of candlelight.

Photos and Prints – in beautiful frames are a wonderfully interesting way to show off your family, friends, pets, travels and hobbies in photographs. Architectural and landscape prints with unique matting and frames can add the finishing touch to any area. Objects beautifully displayed in framed shadowboxes are also interesting and work well in hallways, bed and bath rooms. Frames come in all sizes, shapes and materials and are just the right thing for counters, table tops, shelves, pianos and walls.

Mirrors – in beautiful frames become works of art. They can make a small room look larger, a dark room lighter, bring the outside in and reflect all of the beauty found in your home. They can be any size or shape. Use them in any room for a great effect.

Clocks – keep us on time and in style. Choose any size from table top to 30″ wall clocks. Clocks make a unique and functional statement and work well in any part of your home.

Dinnerware – Don’t forget your everyday or more formal dinnerware. Colorful pieces of dinnerware can be displayed on open shelves for an interesting focal point. And when set on your table, they speak for themselves and reflect your love of the good life.

Plants and Flowers – either live, preserved or dried are natural, warm and inviting. Use them in any size and location. Pair them with other accessories.

I hope you are beginning to see how many everyday items can become works of art or focal points of interest when creatively displayed in your home. Move things around from time to time and see how you bring new life to them and their surroundings.

Remember, there are no hard and fast rules or boundaries in Tuscan decorating. Don’t be afraid to use a variety of colors, textures and textiles. A sleek ceramic urn can add a splash of color to a monochromatic, contemporary look. A rustic bowl in a country French kitchen can make a functional decorating statement. Try a vintage clock in a traditional home. Tuscan décor accessories are harmonious with any style and should not be rigid and matching.

Whether you’re decorating an entire home in a Tuscan style or are just looking for a few ideas or decor accessories to enhance what you already have, you can’t go wrong with the Tuscan style. Tuscan or Mediterranean home decor is casually elegant and perfect for everyday life in any home.

Extreme Spring Home Makeover – 6 Easy Ways to Update Your Home Decor

As the signs of spring make their first appearances in nature, it’s time to wake up your home design, as well. From fashionable new window treatments to freshening up the home décor that you already have, we have tips to help you bring in Spring with style!

1. Brighten Your View: The Value of Updated Window Treatments

New, updated window treatments can make one of the most profound changes to the look and feel of a room. With spring in the air, you want to maximize the natural light that flows into your rooms. Choose something light and airy, like a soft drapery or a sheer window shading.

Worried about privacy? Many sheer window treatments offer optional room-darkening vanes that you can adjust for a look and feel that is tailored to your unique needs.

Sunscreen window shades are also especially popular options that will prepare your home for the glare of the sun and the heat of the upcoming summer.

2. Get organized!

Did you know that extra clutter and crowding in your home décor can drain your energy? So, in the spirit of Spring’s renewal and rebirth, start organizing all the clutter that has accumulated throughout the winter. Overwhelming? Take it room by room, one week at a time. Slowly but surely, your cupboards, medicine cabinets, and even closets will bring feelings of peace and calm.

Your newfound organization will save you time (you won’t spend extra time searching for things!), and it will do wonders for lifting your mood, as well.

3. A Change Will Do You Good: Rearranging Furniture and Home Accessories

Okay, so you’ve purchased the latest in closet organization products and you’ve updated your home’s window treatments. Your next steps don’t have to require purchases at all. Look around you- most of your furniture has probably had the same position for years. Change it! Simply switching the placement of a couch, or repositioning the TV can make you feel like you have a whole new room.

Not much room for movement? Change and update the smaller things, like pillows, throws, and lamps.

4. Color Me Beautiful: The Power of Paint

You’ll find that I mention the power of fresh paint in almost every home decorating article. It’s really that important – and valuable. Adding a new color, brightening up the existing one, or changing the texture can give the room a completely new feel.

5. Think Outside the Home

After winter has left its cold, often dingy mark, the outside of your home needs some extra TLC. Be sure to wash the doors (especially your front door) and windows, and touch up the paint if necessary. Hang a wreath of silk spring flowers, or place pots of the real thing on your porch!

Don’t forget the garage, the driveway, tool sheds, and any other areas that may be less visible in winter, but when left to the bright lights of Spring, can sully the look of your fashion-forward home.

6. Cleaning

You can’t have a Spring Home Makeover without it – cleaning. But it doesn’t have to be something you dread. Start by making a “to-do” list for each room – everything needs sprucing up this time of year. Clean or replace shelf liners, and dust everything from the countertops to the dresser drawer handles. And don’t forget to clean your window treatments! Check the instructions first, but most window treatments need little more than a light feather dusting or a low level dust buster to freshen them up.

Once you have your “to-do” list, set the cleaning mood: play your favorite music, light some candles or spray some room spray, and enjoy the prospect of a fresh start for Spring!