A Tuscan Design Center Featured Article - Focus on Tuscany
By Diane Hendrickson
Tuscan Decorating Element -Water
Perhaps the smallest, and most discreet of all the Tuscan elements is that of water. Despite it's transparent qualities, water is seen extensively throughout the Tuscan landscape, as well as in the smaller setting of villas and farmhouses. Whether in a private courtyard fountain, or a deep villa swimming pool, water is indeed the necessary balancing element to a landscape so dominated by earthiness.
Tuscany is heir to generous natural supplies of water, with a vast network of rivers that meander throughout the region. These are the essential waters that quench the thirsty hills of Tuscany, and provide a welcome relief from the hot summer environment.
While water plays the obvious important roles on the interior of the Tuscan home in kitchen and bath, it is outdoors where water is masterfully used as the aesthetic agent in creating the farmhouse and villa gardens. Pools, fountains, and other water features are common attractions in the garden, and often the entire landscape is designed around these specific features.
A typical small, formal garden may feature a solitary stone fountain surrounded by brick or gravel pathways, lemon trees in clay pots, and a lush surround of flowering vines or hedges. A less formal, or rustic garden commonly incorporates the use of vines, or fruit and olive trees. One cannot forget the ever popular geraniums, planted in terracotta pots for a splash of color, which happily sprinkled throughout the countryside. A cheerful planting of culinary herbs such as thyme, rosemary, oregano, and basil, with their fragrance and aesthetic appeal, are most appreciated when found within easy proximity to the kitchen.
Used in the Tuscan garden since Roman times, the lion's head as well as other animals, are long favored as fountain sculptures. Mythological creatures, and stone and marble masks make the perfect focal point when incorporated into the Tuscan garden as a water feature.
A symbol of rest and relaxation, the modern Tuscan swimming pool is usually cleverly tucked away behind the villa, out of sight. Designed largely for it's aesthetic qualities, great attention is given to the design and location of the pool, and it's ability to blend into the surrounding environment. Often the edge of the pool is even with the surrounding landscape, and a simple terracotta rim is employed so as not to distract from the view. Often to the observer, the end of the rectangular pools appear to fade seamlessly into the vista. Rather than viewed as a status symbol, the Tuscan pool is a rustic, practical, water feature which serves to maintain the harmony of the Tuscan garden.
Decorating in the Tuscan style can be fun & easy!
The "Designer-In-You" Home Decor System
will show you how.
You can also check out the beautiful book Tuscan Elements by Alexandra Black.
Click on this Tuscan Decor Books link to purchase.