The Romance of Tuscany
This article talks about the romantic and soft qualities of Tuscan lighting and how it fits into an Italian design scheme. It tells the reader how to properly use lighting to accentuate design features, while lighting up the space. The many fine details of lighting are also discussed.
If you’ve ever visited the region of Italy called Tuscany, you’ll know why it is fondly associated with romance and matters of the heart. Tuscany is a region that lives close to the earth, celebrating the goodness of the olive groves and vineyards, and the decorating style is no less earthy and welcoming.
Tuscany lighting is soft and muted, echoing the garden at twilight or the morning dawn, however, it is not dark. At night, you can have Tuscan candleholders to bring more of that romance and joy of living to your sunset outdoor dinner parties.
Whether it’s a romantic dinner for two, an evening home alone with the cat, or a vivacious garden party out back, Tuscan decorating with light can help set the mood. For a relaxed, warm, and inviting ambiance, borrowing from old world Tuscany is just the ticket.
Some of the themes that are evident in Tuscan home decor are:
• Scrolled ironwork
• Details of grapes, olives, and Italian garden scenes
• Earthy tones like terracotta and olive green
• Lots of textures from marble, to tapestry, to ceramic tile
WROUGHT IRON LIGHTING
One of the easiest ways to start putting a Tuscan motif to your rooms is to include wrought iron lighting. Whether it is a wrought iron chandelier hanging in the dining room or a set of scrolled wrought iron sconces in the bedroom, the impact of this lighting is immediate and soothing. Add a dimmer to the lighting to vary the amount of light and set the stage for a romantic dinner for two, sans candles.
If you need some Tuscan outdoor lighting, you can go with a Tuscan-inspired candelabra, if you really want candles, for an elegant outdoor meal or a sincerer wrought iron hurricane lamp for the casual party. Black wrought iron can work in elegant as well as casual settings.
The Tuscan Details
Tuscan decorating is all about the details. You can see this is the ornate tapestries and scrollwork or designs in the Tuscan lighting. You can choose from details that echo nature like olive branches and clusters of grapes, or you can choose more elegant details like tear drop crystals that hang from iron scrollwork chandeliers. One of the fascinating things about Tuscan-inspired lighting is its versatility. It works well whether you are going for a formal or an informal look.
If you are looking to add more color, you can opt for wall sconces that can have floral details painted on them. The same with hurricane lamps or table lamps that echo a more country style approach.
Even large pendant lamps can be hung off a wrought iron chandelier base as a central focus of color, which is typically beige or off-white. If you opt for Tuscan table lamps with plain paper shades, you can still opt for some interesting earthy colors like apricot, gold, or olive green to add a different hue to the room.
Lighting Up the Decorating Scheme
With a Tuscan-inspired decorating scheme, you will most likely handsome ornkitamental tapestries, includes some marble on countertops or fireplace mantles, and add some rich art work. All of these different textures offer a number of different lighting options and can help to bring a soft muted effect into the house.
You can light up hanging art work with sconces or floor lamps. You can add multiple chandeliers to the home, not just in the dining room. You want the light to bounce off the marble and the tiles and just give the home a very soft, muted glow.
Natural lighting should be used to advantage, particularly if the view is an outside garden scene. Tuscany is an area that celebrates the garden in Italy, and it is very appropriate to have your door open to the backyard to bring some of that garden lighting in. Try to keep your drapes sparse or sheer. Barring that, you can place mirrors with iron scrollwork or gilded edges in the room to help capture the lighting from the outside. The effect should be glittery and muted, not harsh and blinding. Use lace curtains if you want to really add a romantic flare.
Lighting Up the Kitchen
The kitchen is the central focal point of a Tuscan home. It should include lighting from a fireplace, soft lighting from wrought iron candles and even another chandelier above the central island in most Tuscan kitchen designs.
A kitchen should not be dark; it should always have a good amount of light from the outdoors as well as from overhead lighting.
You need good illumination to cook with and a dark kitchen is very unappealing for homebuyers. So, if you can’t see well, thing about adding carefully placed wall sconces equidistant from each other under the cabinets to add additional lighting to your work areas.
You can add some lighting at the top of your cabinets to highlight ornamental ceramics displayed there. You can mix recessed lighting with Tuscan lighting motifs, but try to keep that recessed lighting to a minimum and well hidden.
If you or your decorator have done your jobs right, the total effect should be one of relaxed elegance (for the formal air) or casual and welcoming comfort. The Tuscan outdoor lighting should welcome your guests into the garden or line the garden pathway into the home.
The entryway should have a beautiful crystal tear or pendant chandelier and the living room can have a variety of lighting from ceiling high lamps to tabletop lamps and sconces.
The kitchen should be very well lighted and should be open to the dining room where a dimmer switch can be used to regulate the light during dinner.
A fireplace can add a rustic charm to the kitchen, dining room, or living room – even the bedroom! The bedroom itself can be an oasis of romance and charm with wall sconces, Tuscan candle holders, and table top lamps for reading. All in all, this is a style you can live in and love more and more each day.