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Camelback Mountain Villas mediterranean patio
Official Tuscan Decor Room Review

Decorating a Tuscan Garden space is easy when you follow our helpful tips. We've selected garden pictures of beautiful Tuscan & Mediterranean style gardens. Follow along while we discuss the Tuscan elements of each space. Make a list of items you have, need, and need to change. Follow the designer's "Hit List"for products & you'll know exactly where to begin. Check back often - we'll be adding more Italian garden pictures and garden ideas regularly.

Comfort & Conversation Converge in this Mediterranean Garden Courtyard

By Diane Hendrickson - See Our Hit List of Designer's Picks

Alfresco dining, coffee sipping in the piazza and family gatherings are typical Italian activities that all require the same thing: the perfect outdoor setting. Italians seem to be experts at creating comfortably beautiful spaces for entertaining friends and family outdoors. They have figured out how to take advantage of a quaint view, some fresh air, and a slower pace that affords time to enjoy the surroundings.

Sound ideal? We think so too. This time our inspiration picture features a fantastic Italian courtyard. Follow along as we break down the Tuscan elements of this space, as well as give you valuable decorating advice on how to bring this same look to your home. With a little effort, you'll soon be enjoying your own relaxing place to entertain, or catching up on a good book with a cup of coffee.

Break it Down - Mediterranean Garden Style

Let's take a look at the inspiration picture. Can you spot the Tuscan elements found there? We have identified five components essential to recreating this look...let's see if you figured them out.
Tuscan Color Palette
The Tuscan color palette is derived from the rural outdoors, & mirrors the hues of the Italian landscape.
1. Tuscan Color Palette - this courtyard features classic Tuscan hues, derived from the palette of the rustic Italian landscape.  My favorite, and a real standout, is the terracotta color found on the doors to the right, which is echoed in the seat cushions in the conversation area. The house is painted in a light beige-tan which provides the perfect complement to the earthen tones of the brown roof tiles, window trim, accent tiles, and large rustic urns. Lovely shades of green are  pulled into the space with the various
trees and potted plants. The wrought iron accent furniture in solid black finish really looks fabulous against those terracotta cushions.  Love it!

Tuscan Decor Hit List for Patio is Rustic ceramic tile in Italian Style
Noce Rustic Italian TileRustic Italian tile is a solid base for the Tuscan garden design. Click to Buy.

2. Old World Stone Accents – Stone is a foundational element to Italian design, utilized for centuries as a solid building material and for its aesthetic value in architectural details.   The courtyard floor is rustic yet elegant in a tumbled stone tile with intermittent colored accents.  The look is timeworn in neutral earth tone hues, with a hint of Mediterranean flair.  The Old world stone look continues up the stuccoed walls complete with decorative tiles, accentuating curved arches and ornate columns. The fireplace to the left sports large scrolled corbels supporting an ornate carved mantel. Large terracotta urns are strategically placed throughout the space, as  
accent pieces and planters. Even the beautiful fountain features a cast stone design, reminiscent of treasured ancient designs sculpted into fountains throughout Italy. 
Sandoval Stone Urn Outdoor Fountain in Italian Style
A fountain is the perfect focal point in Mediterranean gardens & creates a relaxing environment. Click to Buy.
3.  Fabulous Water Feature – Water is seen extensively throughout the Tuscan landscape, and      whether in a private courtyard fountain, or a deep villa swimming pool, it is indeed the necessary balancing element to a landscape so dominated by earthiness.  Pools, fountains, and other water features are common attractions in the Italian garden, and often the entire landscape is designed around these specific features.  Long favored in fountain sculptures, the stone mask on the urn fountain in the inspiration picture, makes this fountain a perfect focal point.
Multiple tiers enhance the relaxing sound of the moving water, which provides a soothing backdrop for courtyard entertaining.

Wrought iron & metal patio furniture adds Old World flair and space for conversation and comfort. Click to Buy.
4.    Wrought Iron Accents – Nothing says “old world” like good ole fashioned wrought iron. Italian gardens feature beautifully fashioned scrolled gates, fences, hinges, doorknobs and spigots in various metals fashioned by artists with an eye for certain beauty.  Softer architectural details found in the curves of scrolled ironwork serve to round out the utilitarian practicality of classical Roman design so prevalent in Italian architecture. The same is true of present day furniture, like the conversation set seen in the inspiration photo.  The boxy style of these courtyard chairs is balanced out by the circular shapes in the metalwork. The black finish is in striking contrast to the vivid terracotta shade of the cushions.
The metallic finish is repeated in the drum style end table with iron style straps in arrow finial shape, and the trunk coffee table. In the night shot, we find scrolled metal candleholders and large iron andirons in the fireplace.  

Palezetto Urn Planter for Mediterranean Gardens
Stone look planters hold beautiful greenery which softens the hardness of other Tuscan design elements.
Click to Buy.

5. Plants and Greenery – The Tuscan setting is very rural and natural.  While the Italian hillsides are ruggedly beautiful with volcanic rocks and limestone slabs dotting the landscape, nothing is more pleasing to the eye than the beautifully shaped evergreens and vivid flower arrangements in earthen pots.  The tall, conical cypress trees rise regally out of the rolling hillsides and provide striking definition to winding roadways and garden boundaries.  So, this Mediterranean garden patio features intriguing spiral topiaries, and bright splashes of vivid color peeking out from lovely flower beds, and rustic old world urns.  Naturally, charming!

Bring it Home – Create Your Own Italian Garden Space

We’ve identified what makes this space beautifully Tuscan, so to recreate this space at home we'll add a splash of creativity, and a little elbow grease.  Let’s get moving!
Define your area – Starting with the shell, evaluate your Tuscan patio area.  Is it already defined by a concrete pad, deck, etc.? That gives you a starting point.  If your area is a blank slate that’s fine. For best results, measure your space, and create a layout or blueprint for your design. For an exact look, try to mimic the scale, materials, and placement of elements to resemble those used in the photo. For Home & Landscaping Design, we recommend a visit to www.Plan3D.com. You can try it today for free!

The courtyard in the inspiration photo is surrounded on all sides by walls, one of which contains a beautifully scrolled stone fireplace. Not only does the fireplace serve as a fantastic focal point to the patio space, it also extends the outdoor season by warming things up in cooler weather. Some fireplace configurations also allow for grilling and baking making them perfectly suited for entertaining. For a smaller garden patio, consider adding a chiminea or firepit as a focal point that will define your conversation area. Designer Diane Hendrickson Hit List Pick Sonoma Outdoor Fireplace Kit for Tuscan Garden Style
Durable & beautiful, this outdoor fireplace can be used on any flat surface. Buy Now.
Here are some additional ideas on how you can gain a little seclusion and define your new space using common building materials / supplies.
  • Create a lattice surround, cover with vines
  • Hang fabulous outdoor curtains for privacy. 
  • Create faux stucco panels out of concrete board & stucco, then lean them against existing walls.  Paint in your favorite Tuscan accent color to create the illusion of an old world villa wall - no need to modify your own.
  • Build short walls out of landscaping block to “hem in” the area.
  • For floors, use tile, paver block, brick or stone to create a patio base. 
  • Install rustic tile over an existing concrete patio or use concrete paint to create a fabulous old world finish.
  • Use a neutral colored outdoor rug.

Outdoor Curtains Are Fabulous for Creating A Private Tuscan Garden Patio Space
Outdoor curtains in Tuscan hues are perfect for creating an intimate patio. Buy Now.
Add Color – Choose from classic Tuscan shades inspired by nature.  Here is the color scheme used in the inspiration photo.  I am using a Sherwin Williams fan deck and the numbers and names are shown.  You can use similar colors from the paint manufacturer of your choice.  Note: Computer monitor colors vary greatly.  Refer to paint chips at the paint store for best accuracy.
Tuscan Decor Designer's Hit List for Mediterranean Garden - Tuscan color palette Tuscan Color Palette for Mediterranean Gardens
This Tuscan color palette is similar to the colors seen in the designer inspiration photo.

Add Plants & Greenery – Remember, the Tuscan landscape is very rural and natural.  Evaluate your area for existing plants, and determine what additional varieties are needed.  If you have planting beds nearby, add spiral topiaries like the ones seen in the inspiration photo.  Plant flowers in vibrant colors with a cheery disposition.  Select plants that are suited for your growing conditions, require as little maintenance as possible, and are similar to plants commonly used in Mediterranean landscape design. Here's a short list:

  • Geraniums, Rhododendrons, Hydrangeas
  • Cypress, Lemon Trees, Olive Trees
  • Lavender, Agave, Aloe, Opuntia
  • Culinary Herbs:  Oregano, Basil, Chives, Mint
Tuscan Decorating expert selected this item Tuscan Urn Planter is perfect for Italian Gardens
This planter is reminiscent of an ancient Etruscan urn. Features handles & raised garland design. Buy Now.

Terra cotta pots are authentically Italian, and conveniently add an element of flexibility to your space.
Add Water - Nothing says awesome Mediterranean garden like the soothing sounds of moving water.  This one point alone can up your space enjoyment factor ten-fold.  Italians are famous for their elaborate use of fountains and water features.  And why not?  They are fabulous!  To recreate the inspiration photo, find a Tuscan urn fountain, or a mulit-leveled fountain with a mask or face for a spigot.   If you are limited on space, add a small wall fountain or tabletop fountain, or create your own with a large garden urn and fountain kit.  Electricity will most likely be required so don’t forget to add that into your Tuscan landscape design or blueprint.   Designer's Hit List Pick Tuscan Lion Garden Fountain
Cast stone with carved details, this 65"H fountain speaks for itself. Buy Now.

Add Furniture - What good is a beautiful outdoor living space without a place to relax and enjoy yourself?  In the inspiration photo, we can see four comfortable iron chairs with weather resistant terracotta colored cushions, and trunk style accent tables. On a tight budget?  Add one or two pieces of furniture at a time.  If your Tuscan garden space is limited, scale down the furniture size, and use less pieces.  

Add Accessories - Gates, statuary, iron wall art, baskets, outdoor lanterns, and pillows all add that extra touch of elegance to your outdoor space.   If your garden is exposed to weather, be sure to decorate with accessories that are weather resistant.  In the inspiration photo, we can see an iron style outdoor lantern, and smaller potted plants.

Tuscan Decor Designer Diane Hendrickson Loves This Patio Set Metal Conversation Set for Tuscan Garden Style
Beautiful set features scrolled back, elegant arms, & comfortable cushions in a selection of Tuscan colors like Brick Red. Buy Now.

Metal items with a powder coated or "clear coat" finish ensure durability when exposed to the elements.  Use fabrics rated for outdoor use like Sunbrella and Climaweave that resist fading and moisture.  On special occasions or when entertaining, you can always bring a few indoor accessories outside, just remember to take them back in with you when done.

You don’t have to go overboard here.  Traditional rustic Tuscan garden patios are not cluttered.  A few carefully placed items will go a long way toward making your space the place to be.  Just make sure that whatever you add, you love, and it brings you happiness.  Then your new Mediterranean garden patio is sure to be enjoyed often, and for years to come. 

Tuscan Decor Hit List for Garden Accessories Arched Tabletop Lantern for Mediterranean Style Patio
Wrought iron type accessories in weather resistant finishes are perfect for decorating outdoors. Lanterns like this one add romantic lighting. Buy Now.


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