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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.

Mission Style Lighting – Warm and Inviting Lighting Style For Home and Garden

Mission style lighting is a straightforward style of outdoor lighting characterized by its bold yet simple geometric shapes, its use of organic, earthy materials like Oak and Cherry wood; copper, brass, pewter, and iron; stained glass, slag glass, and mica. The Mission style of home design and home decorating was originally associated with the Spanish missionaries living and working in the North American Southwest.

The hallmark features of Mission design are straight lines and simplicity of design. Mission style homes typically have architectural features such as textured stucco walls, twisted columns, and rounded design of its windows and doors. Decorative touches might include patterned tile work around windows and on the walls, stone carvings, and elaborate grillwork. In contrast to Victorian decor, the Mission style is basically simple, not ornate or super detailed. The Mission style is a uniquely American offshoot of an English and American design philosophy known as the Arts and Crafts Movement.

The Arts and Crafts movement began in England in the late nineteenth century when a group of painters and craftsmen vocally criticized the mass produced, machine made furnishings and decorative products of the Industrial Era. Artists and architects rebelled against the dehumanizing effects of industrialization and mass produced products. Artist colonies were founded to explore individual craftsmanship and creativity.

American designers picked up on the style and it became very popular by the early 1900s. The Arts and Crafts Movement emphasized creating harmony between the furnishings of the inside with the surroundings of the outside. “William Morris, Gustav Stickley, and Frank Lloyd Wright are among some of the most well-known designers who produced furniture and architecture in the Arts and Crafts style, while many others produced ceramics, glass, textiles, wallpaper, and silverware in the same vein.”(Barbara Mayer)

Mission style outdoor lighting is widely available on the market today. The many beautiful choices include wall sconces, chain hung chandelier and pendant fixtures, post and column mounted fixtures – all perfect for your deck, porch, or outdoor living room and kitchen. These light fixtures are of strictly geometric design, featuring stained or slag glass, or translucent mica, set into a frame made of wood or metal. Lighting fixture color schemes are earth tones such as cream, amber, deep greens and browns, burnt yellows and oranges, dusty rose, sapphire blue. These outdoor fixtures will look and feel hand crafted even if they are not. Tiffany style glass panels in geometric, right angle designs are also easy to find. Because Mission lighting is made for inside and outside, you can coordinate your interior and exterior decorating. Great, because that holistic design approach is a main tenet of the Arts and Crafts philosophy!

Creating a Mission style for your deck, patio or outdoor living room means you can also use design ideas from styles such as Art Nouveau, the Prairie Style of architecture, bungalow style houses, Mission oak style of furniture, Tiffany stained glass, Mexican rustic, and most definitely the English landscape designers Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens. Mission style is simple and accepts a eclectic mix of elements, as long as all the elements together create squares and rectangles, strong earthy colors, and rustic, handcrafted look.

How to Incorporate Sandstone Into Your Home and Garden

Sandstone is a type of sedimentary rock which is composed of small grains of rock, sand and other minerals. Sandstone can be cut, sculpted and polished to create a number of products which are sure to add a touch of class and style to any living space. This article takes a look at several of the most popular sandstone products currently available on the market.

Columns

Sandstone columns can be placed on either side of the porch to provide a grand entrance to your home. They can also be used inside of the home to help to break up a large open space. Not only do columns look good, but they can also serve a structural purpose, as they can be used to support ceilings and roofs. Columns can be tailor made to your exact specifications. They come in a variety of styles, from plain and simple, to ornamental and decorative.

Water Features

Sandstone water features will improve the aesthetics of your home. A three tiered water fountain can be placed in the center of a large circular driveway, or in a garden, to create a glamorous centerpiece. Fountains also look particularly good placed at the end of an enclosed or walled swimming pool. If you have limited space in your garden, you can try incorporating a wall-hanging water fountain. Sandstone bird baths look great, and they will also attract more wildlife into your garden.

Planters

Planters are pots that can be used to hold trees, flowers and bushes. A popular way to incorporate sandstone into your home is to place two identical planters, each containing a pruned bay tree, either side of your entrance porch. They can come in all shapes and sizes, and they can even be custom made to your specifications. Urns are similar to planters, but they can placed onto a freestanding column to create a barrier or focal point.

Letterboxes

A sandstone letterbox will add a beautiful look to your front garden, and it will keep your mail safe and dry. Letterboxes come in a variety of styles, shapes and sizes.

Benches

Sandstone benches will make a stunning addition to any garden. Sandstone benches are timeless, and they are built to withstand almost all weather conditions. Wooden benches can easily deteriorate over time, while sandstone benches will continue to look as good as new for many years to come. Sandstone benches can be customized with ornamental etchings and decorations if required.

Tables

Sandstone tables can be built to match the sandstone benches, or they can be used with garden chairs. They will provide a beautiful area to sit and eat with friends and family. They look particularly good placed in paved barbeque areas.

When you are purchasing sandstone products, always check the quality of the stone. High quality sandstone will not only look much better, but it will also last for much longer. Always check you are purchasing from a reputable and trusted company before placing an order.