Create a Warm, Inviting Home and Garden With Tuscan Decor!

Reflecting the long history and exquisite vistas of the Italian countryside, Tuscan décor is a lovely option for bringing a sense of antique charm and natural beauty into your home. If you hate stuffy, pretentious decorating and you want to design a cozy, lived-in feel for your house, you simply can’t go wrong with Tuscan décor. Emphasizing warm colors, natural materials, and simple details, Tuscan decorating exudes comfort, simplicity, and peace.

At its most basic level, Tuscan décor is a celebration of the beauty of nature (think vineyards and rolling hills) and the joy of food, friends, and family. That means you’ll want to emphasize:

* Rustic, country elements

* Earth tone colors, especially warm golds, terra cottas, and greens

* Natural materials like wood and stone

* Simple details, especially organic motifs such as leaves and vines

* Time-worn, aged, and distressed decor

Start by choosing several antique-look furnishings for your room. From leather topped benches to embossed wall medallions to brightly painted hall tables, the larger pieces of your décor will set the stage and help create that aged, Tuscan feel. Be sure that you steer away from modern lines and materials (including shiny metals) to maintain the time-worn country look you’re going for.

Next, work in appropriate accents. Decorative candlesticks are always a great option, as are simple urn shaped lamps. Also, consider displaying ceramic plates on a rustic hanging plate rack or grouping colorful earthenware vases on a table. Not only do these accents add splashes of Mediterranean color, they also draw on the importance of both food and simple materials in traditional Tuscan designing.

The same Tuscan style that’s perfect for your interior decorating can also make the outdoor spaces of your home seem cozy and inviting. Using earth tones, natural materials, and time-worn pieces, your outdoor Tuscan décor is an attractive, laid-back way to complement your landscaping and create that ideal outdoor retreat. By simply adding outdoor accents that fit within the theme of Tuscan decorating, you can take your garden, porch, or patio from basic to charming Italian-country!

The first step is adding a fountain. A key part of the landscape and home architecture in Tuscany, fountains integrate water into outdoor décor, becoming a featured focal point in practically every courtyard or garden. You can do the same in your outdoor space, creating an eye-catching accent and adding the soothing sound of water to the sensory experience of your garden. Opt for a simple tiered fountain in warm terra cotta colors or choose a more detailed pedestal fountain. Remember, simple and natural should be your two key criteria when selecting a Tuscan-style fountain-materials should look like stone or terra cotta, not modern metals, and detailing should be uncomplicated and reflect the beauty of nature in botanical motifs and patterns. Position your fountain as the center of attention in your garden, making it the heart of your outdoor space and the focus of your Tuscan décor.

You’ll want to consider statuary. With its storied history and ancient past, Tuscany is filled with exquisite statues from monumental architecture to simple country gardens. For the perfect Italian-inspired outdoor décor in your yard, a statue or two is a must. Keep in mind that any kind of statuary (in earth tones or natural stone colors) can work in your Tuscan decorating. Traditionally, Tuscan design would include classical forms-think the Venus de Milo-but that doesn’t mean you have to stick with traditional nudes. As long as your statue choice stays grounded in the fundamentals of Tuscan décor (natural materials, aged appearance, organic details), just about any statue can complement your Tuscan theme.

You don’t have to live in Tuscany to have the feel of a Tuscan villa. You can create that cozy feeling in your own home using warm colors, natural materials, and keeping it simple in design.

5 Calming Bedroom Design Ideas

You probably already know that your bedroom should be your safe haven… your oasis… your special place.

It makes sense… I mean, after all, it is the place you end your day with and begin your day with.

Shouldn’t your bedroom make you smile and feel comforted?

Well, if you choose to not be in your bedroom until it’s dark outside, here are some bedroom design ideas that will create a calming, relaxing space.

1. Paint your bedroom in your favorite color.

Waking up to a color you love is the perfect way to start your day.
Don’t get so wrapped up in what a bedroom should be or shouldn’t be.
If you love orange, then paint your bedroom orange.

Or paint your bedroom in the complement of your favorite color and then add accents in your favorite color.

The complement is the color on the opposite side of the color wheel.

Red’s complement is Green.

Blue’s complement is Orange.

Yellow’s complement is Purple.

So, if you love purple, maybe paint your walls lavendar and add yellow pillows and a vase of yellow tulips.

Just use colors you truly enjoy for a personal bedroom design.

2. Use one fabric, but use it everywhere.

Many people find it difficlut to coordinate different fabric patterns successfully.
In fact, many bedroom design ideas become too busy with mixes of plaids and florals.

So, choose a fabric that matches your paint color and use it in your drapes… in your bedding… and even in an upholstered chair.

If you’re really worried that this is too much of one fabric, then choose a solid fabric to go along with your main fabric.

3. Add candles and mood lighting.

Lighting can enhance a bedroom design far more than you may realize.
Yes, you need lamps for task lighting, but to really create a bedroom that is glowing, soft and relaxing you need some mood lighting.

This can be created with candles, floor cans that project light upward from the floor, wall sconces and even picture lights.

4. Add soft textures

Keep in mind that the goal of your bedroom design idea is to calm and soothe.
So, choose fabrics that are soft and cozy. Select silks, cottons and suedes. Even terry cloth can add an unexpected luxury.

Use lots of pillows for comfort, and visual interest.

5. Don’t forget privacy

In the evenings, you shouldn’t have to worry about privacy. Make sure your bedroom design ideas include window treatments that cover your windows at night. This will also close the room in and add to the coziness of the room.

Planning the perfect bedroom design idea doesn’t have to be difficult.

Keep it personal, choose the colors and fabrics you like… select artwork that makes you smile and enjoy the decorating process.

Happy Decorating!

Jennifer Thoden

Garden Decoration From Junk by Leeann MacKenzie

In recent years, flea markets, junk yards, garage and yard sales, basements and attics have all been recognized as treasure chests. These places are home to antiques, memorabilia and junk. For the people who have a vision of resurrecting cast-offs found in these places, The book Garden Decoration From Junk is one to read before setting out on your quest. The book will certainly brings new meaning to container gardening and garden accessories!

A little imagination, along with the unique suggestions from the pages of this book and your yard will have a character like no other. The operative word here is imagination and after reading this book, you will chastise yourself for throwing out some perfectly good garden accessories. Everything from tin cans to car springs and cutlery can be incorporated into your outdoor setting. Your deck, patio and yard can have unique pieces that will not be found at the local garden and yard decorating centers.

Visualize old garden tools as a support for clematis, scarlet runner beans or sweet peas. Metal containers such as pots, buckets and tin cans housing your herbs. Books and foot wear that have been damaged beyond repair or restoration once again come alive and will become the center of conversation when used as planters.

This book provides an abundance of pictures that will give you every opportunity to invent an end product that would add personality to your decor both inside and out.

The old adage that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure is confirmed in page after page in this intriguing book by Leeann MacKenzie.