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Use the Elements of Tuscan Design – Stone, Earth, Wood, Water, and Light

Making a statement -

Are you prepared to break away from current decorating trends that emphasize ‘global’ or ‘universal’ styles and which are intended to appeal to the broadest possible range of home buyers? If so, get ready to add character, personality, warmth and the Tuscan design feelings of security, comfort, and ‘destination sanctuary’ to your home.

The Keys for Success

- Functional furnishings with a sense of solidity; rustic finishes and textures

- Balanced use of the elements – Stone, Earth, Wood, Water & Light

- Warm, nature-inspired, color palette

- Simple, uncluttered spaces without ostentatious or pretentious décor.

Understanding the pieces of the puzzle -

Designing “simplicity” can, paradoxically, be a complex undertaking. So, before diving in, let’s review the components and principles of Tuscan design so you can create a little bit of Tuscany in your home.

All found in nature, these four keystone elements . . .STONE – EARTH – WOOD – WATER… provide a foundation for understanding how one may replicate the beauty found in the hillsides of Tuscany. They comprise a true harmonic quadrangle and are the beating heart of Tuscan design. By drawing upon this quadrangle of natural elements, you may build your own haven of comfort, warmth and style.

A fifth unexpected ‘element’ – LIGHT – is also fundamental to adding the warmth of Tuscany to your home.

Stone is the ubiquitous foundational element used for building, for decoration, and for statuary. Types of stone used in Tuscan design will generally include brick, marble, limestone, quartz and granite. The most democratic of all building materials, stone can be found in humble farm structures as well as in elaborate castles, villas, churches, and cathedrals.

Soft, warm woods balance the strength of stone, creating harmony within the Tuscan home. The predominant woods found in traditional Tuscan furnishings, from antiquity to modern times, will be those that have always been a part of the Tuscan landscape; cypress, fir, chestnut, pine, walnut and oak…

This third essential element of Tuscan design is perhaps most easily and readily incorporated through the use of clay – bricks, roof tiles, and pottery. Terracotta (literally baked earth) is seen throughout the Tuscan region of Italy, easily recognizable by its earthy, rusty red hues.

There can be no life without water. It both sustains life and threatens it; that duality making water the most intriguing of the elements. How does water fit into the scheme of Tuscan design? Subtly, discreetly, and naturally. Water may become a strong element in your design plans through the use of decorative fountains in landscaping forms, or via a large ‘villa-esque’ swimming pool. The translucent qualities and movement of water act as a balance to the stronger (stone and wood) elements of Tuscan design.

When one thinks of Tuscan design, often a golden wash of light is the first image that comes to mind. Thus, light has been added as an element, even though not traditionally thought of as part of the elements of Tuscan design.

We know, intellectually, that stone, wood, earth and water are the key elements, and yet it is that ever-present golden light that draws us into its warmth. It is the light that we desire. It is the light that will wash over our stone, wood, earth and water design elements, and provide comfort within the walls of our home.

How can one achieve the light that is so strongly associated with the Tuscan landscape, especially in northern climes and regions not in any way similar to the hills of Tuscany? Perhaps one cannot achieve the light itself, but one can recreate ambient light in a room or even an entire home through the judicious use of color and lighting fixtures (and attention to natural light).

Excerpt from Decorating in the Tuscan Style, the 162-page eBook packed with tips and techniques (and lots of photos) to help you transform your home and garden into the heart and soul of Tuscany. To learn more about Tuscan décor, visit http://www.intheTuscanstyle.com

The Four Elements of Landscaping

Landscaping is both a science and an art. It involves the contouring and modifying of the visual features of a land area. It also entails the science and art of gardening, landscape design and landscape architecture.

The visual features include four types. The living elements of landscaping include the flora and fauna. On the other hand, the nature elements are the shape and elevation of landforms and bodies of water. The man-made elements are structures such as fences, walls, statues, garden tables, etc. The last type is the natural element, which includes the natural condition of the area such as lighting and humidity.

The design of flora and fauna is covered by the art of gardening. Managing the growth of the plants is necessary to achieve a beautiful design within the landscape environment. Different characteristics of plants such as shrubs and vines can blend well with distinct man-made structures.

Nature elements are the rocks, stones and sand, the land elevation and shape, and bodies of water, such as lakes and ponds. The rocks, stones and sand add texture to the soft touch of the flora and fauna. Landforms and bodies of water, on the other hand, influence the general theme of the landscape design.

In reality, landscaping purely based on nature and living elements usually lacks something from the over-all concept of the design. Because of this, there are man-made elements that can be added to the whole picture depending on the general theme of the whole design.

The natural condition of the area will decide the mood of the design. Natural lighting can balance a naturally dense garden. On the other hand, the level of humidity and temperature can limit the options of what flora and fauna to incorporate into the design.

Overall, the resulting landscape design will depend on how each of the four elements was inter played into the whole picture. The single formula for good landscaping is achieving balance.

How a Rose Garden Could Improve the Landscaping

Enjoy Landscaping With Rose GardeningEverybody likes to take pride in their garden and one way to do that is to add a few flowers. Flowers make the garden look beautiful and fragrant and they really can make all of the difference in creating the perfect landscaping.

Landscaping Your Garden Using Roses

When you landscape a garden you are making it look its complete best. Deciding upon where everything goes and how everything should look can really help you to create the perfect, scenic garden. Rose gardening adds a touch of beauty and elegance to the landscape and that really can help to brighten the garden up and help you to enjoy it more.

Deciding upon a place to put the roses is the hardest part. You have to mix them in with other features such as rockery, other plants and perhaps even water features. A good way of making roses stand out is by buying an arbor and letting the roses grow around it. This is a common landscaping decoration and it does tend to work quite well. It can be used as a centerpiece and guests will absolutely love it.

Dedicating a whole section to your rose garden is a great idea and you may want to plan it all out beforehand. Draw how you want your garden to look and all of the possibilities you can possibly think of where the roses could go. Remember that with certain varieties of roses you have to plant them a certain distance away from each other, otherwise they will not survive long!

One of the most important aspects of rose gardening is the fact that it has to be color coordinated. If the color of the roses clash with the color of the rest of the garden, the whole effect will be ruined and you will have to start your landscaping all over again. There is no room for errors which is why everything needs to be planned out beforehand.

Overall rose gardening can be an essential part of landscaping if you are trying to make the garden look scenic and homely whilst adding a touch of elegance at the same time. Just be sure that you do plan everything carefully from the color of the roses to where you are going to plant them. Try and make the best use out of them as possible and ensure that they are planted in conditions to suit them. Roses can be temperamental so generally you do have to make sure that you are putting them in an ideal place where they will thrive, not die!