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Home Decor > Tuscan Decorating & Design Center > Tuscan Element Wood

The Tuscan Decorating Style:

Understanding the Tuscan Wood Element 


"I want to decorate my home in the Tuscan style. 
How do I decorate with wood for an authentic look?"

Throughout history, Tuscany has been well known for its abundant forests, making wood a choice material for use in and around the home. 

Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Tuscan landscape, the trees have been carefully fashioned over the ages to enhance the exceptional beauty of the rolling countryside. 

Centuries long, thoughtful cultivation of the wild and transplanted woods of the region has resulted in a picturesque work of "ambient art".  The landscape is indeed a tribute to the longstanding relationship between the Tuscan people and their environment.

 Tuscan carpenters and artisans have long enjoyed the wide selection of wood in Italy. The ancient Etruscans used timber from fir and chestnut trees for building most of their structures, including houses, temples, gates, bridges, and drainage works. 

Even the Tuscan column was originally made of wood, and is one of the few remaining architectural contributions of the ancient society. 

With the efficiency of the Romans, wood quickly played second fiddle to stone or brick as a building material, and became more prominent indoors as beams, doors, and furniture.  Check out 3br - ancient farmhouse, to observe the use of beams in a 16th century Tuscan farmhouse.

The most popular woods used over the years for making fine Tuscan furniture are the highly prized chestnut wood, and walnut wood used since the Renaissance, when some of the most beautiful furniture in Italy was created.  Although much of the world's chestnut trees have been destroyed by disease, Italy has managed to effectively protect it's antiquated chestnut woods, making Tuscan chestnut furniture a valuable commodity. 

Equally popular and easier to obtain, are furniture pieces made of pine, elm, and poplar.

3br - ancient farmhouse in the enchanted tuscany hillside
A 16th century Tuscan farmhouse villa featuring wooden ceiling beams and heavy wood fireplace mantle. Go see for yourself!  Click on picture for rental details.

A Tuscan handcrafted door demonstrates effective use of wood as an architectural feature.

How is the wood element used in modern Tuscan design and decorating?

Because the wooden furniture used in Tuscany stems from a vast history of artistic tradition, many styles from many time periods can be see in a typical Tuscan home.  Simple, rustic farmhouse furniture comfortably coexists with elegant, elaborately carved pieces to furnish the homes in harmony.  Whatever the style, most furniture pieces tend to be darker, in striking contrast to the bold and dramatic colors used in the Tuscan interior.

Since storage in the Tuscan home is often a main concern, some of the most important furniture pieces are chests, cupboards, and storage benches which display varying degrees of decorative carving, inlay, and painting.  Also commonly seen are the long, "family-style" farmhouse tables, and ladder-back chairs with woven seats.     

Outdoors, where durability reigns supreme, furniture is often made of the oily wood of the cypress tree, as well as wrought iron.   

The warmth and rustic beauty of wood has been a necessary component of the Tuscan home for ages.  It is this natural beauty and texture that makes wood the ideal counterpart and balancing agent to the stone element. 

For more information on Tuscan decorating and employing the Tuscan design style in your home, please visit the Tuscan Decorating Center.  Be sure to bookmark the Tuscan Design Center, and check back regularly for updates.  We are always adding valuable tips and advice for decorating your home in Tuscan style.

Tuscan style replica furniture featuring hand
carved details in dark wood tones.

Tuscan farmhouse style furniture is popular, such as ladder-back chairs and benches with woven seats.

Tuscan Wood Accessories:

Tuscan Furniture - Stone & Iron to suit your style.

Tuscan Art -  Italian landscape art brings the Tuscan hillside country to you.

Sonoma Pergola 14' x 14' Redwood Beautiful curved beams turn any  backyard into a cozy Tuscan retreat.

Where Can I learn more about decorating in the Style of Tuscany?

For more information on Tuscan decorating,  we carry many helpful Tuscan decorating books in our book department, including the book Tuscan Elements, by Alexandra Black.  Here are some other titles you might be interested in as well:


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More Tuscan decorating design tips:

Tuscan kitchen decorating

How to hang a pot rack

Elements of the Tuscan Decorating Style

Tuscan Decorating Home

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