Tuscan Style Decorating for Bedrooms, Part II:
Get The Tuscan Bedroom Look

Use the Tuscan style decorating photos, tips & tricks below to help you create a seriously charming Tuscan bedroom ...

... with all the right accessories for an authentic Tuscany look.

Decorating Tuscan Style Bedrooms, Part I

... was all about creating Tuscan bedrooms in the traditional Tuscany look & feel. However, the austere, rustic approach to interior decorating Tuscan style won't give you great results if:

  • you live in a modern apartment (with a view to skyscrapers);
  • you would like to create a more romantic atmosphere in your Tuscan style bedroom;
  • you need to integrate a few contemporary items into your interior decorating Tuscan style.

This page shows how to create a Tuscan style bedroom from scratch, without first having to build an ancient Tuscan farmhouse around it ;-)

Tuscan Style Decorating For Bedrooms, #1:
'Town-House' Tuscan Style Decorating

contemporary bedroom in San Gimignano, Tuscany

No matter which Tuscan bedroom style you favor, you'll get the most typical and distinct 'Tuscany look' by using iron bedsteads.

Of course this doesn't mean that

  • your bed needs to have both a head and a foot, or
  • that any of it has to be black.

Essentially, all you need is:

  • a frame or base for your mattress, and
  • something  that will look convincingly 'Tuscan' as a bedhead.

The picture above shows a Tuscan bedroom in a townhouse in San Gimignano. The room has a thoroughly modern feel to it, even though it is decorated very much within the traditions of vintage Tuscan interiors:

contemporary Tuscan armoire

The walls are still white, but the graceful, iron bedhead has been painted white as well.

The Tuscan bedding has received a full color makeover, with a modern-style comforter in blue and decorative cushions.

The wardrobe is new, but just like a typical Tuscan armoire used in traditional  Tuscan style decorating, it is

  • fairly large
  • angular and simple
  • freestanding, and
  • made of medium/dark brown wood.

The owner has softened the austere, high-contrast look by adding the birdcage and the hallstand - both echo the playful, elegant white lines of the romantic bedhead.

writing desk and Tuscan window treatment in San Gimignano

The beautifully traditional Tuscan window treatment (left - essential when you're interior decorating Tuscan style) is a full-length curtain made from panels of fine white cotton, connected by strips of lace (have a look at the close-up photo, below right).

This type of cotton curtain is very common across much of Italy - not just in Tuscan style decorating.

close-up of white tuscan window treatment

Cotton weaves offer some protection from the relentless, briliant summer sun. However, if your room is a bit on the dark side, or you live in a distinctly 'non-Mediterranean' part of the world where the daylight is much softer ...

... you'll be able to salvage more daylight with a more translucent fabric at your bedroom window. For example, a flat panel of sheer lace would work beautifully for a Tuscany look, too.

Tuscan Style Decorating For Bedrooms, #2:
'Iron-Free' Tuscan Bedrooms

wooden bedstead in Italian stile liberty

Wrought-iron beds can look great, but they aren't essential for decorating a Tuscan style bedroom.

Many Tuscan bedrooms have wooden bedsteads, like the one in this picture (it belongs to the wardrobe on the page about traditional Tuscan bedrooms.)

This bed dates from the turn of the 20th century; it was made in Tuscany in the "Stile Liberty" - so named after the London department store, Liberty & Co., which was wildly popular with the art nouveau  crowd in Italy at the time. (Liberty's still produce some of the original fabric prints!).

The photo below shows a detail of the bedhead, with its sparse, beautifully carved design.

stile liberty carved bedhead

As you can see, the original beds were not exactly kingsize.

So the owners took them apart, had a new bed base made, stained it to match the original wood color, and then fixed the two old bedheads and feet to the brand new base.

The proportions work really well - a great idea you could try, too, if you come across antique bedsteads that were made for people smaller than you & yours!

wooden bedsteads in a Tuscan village

Come to think of it, you could take this further still, and opt for creative Tuscan style decorating that doesn't require any original Tuscan furniture at all ...

... so how about making the head & foot of the bed yourself, or having them made, from a simple length of wooden board?

You could go for a straight, rectangular shape and add a 'Tuscan' detail, like a small inset tile (check them out at thatsArte.com), or you could cut out softer and rounder lines, as in the little picture to the left.

Wax the wood, or polish it, or leave it completely untreated. And then ...

... Pretty It Up.

White Tuscan bedlinen

Shower the bed with white cotton bedlinen, edged with lace.

Use antique pillowcases, of different sizes if you want, and stack them against the bedhead.

If antique ones are hard to come by, mix modern ornate and plain ones to create a scrumptious, lavish, summery display of Tuscan style decorating.

Tuscan bedding, white crochet bedcover

Cover the bed in a white cotton jacquard bedspread (the style is sometimes called matelassé), or choose a textured coverlet in a solid, light color.

If you can get something handcrafted, either new or antique, that would be even better - as long as it's made of cotton, in white or a light color.

It doesn't have to be Italian to look the part!

Here's a more detailed close-up of the coverlet on the Stile Liberty  bed above.

The blanket was sourced at a local Tuscan flea market; it dates back to the early decades of the 20th century (and I dread to think how many weeks it took to crochet!)

If you can get something similar in white, cream, or another soft color - grab it, and don't let go! Find a way to integrate it into your Tuscan style bedroom, even if you're using a quilt or a comforter on the bed.

Tuscan Style Decorating For Bedrooms, #3:
Romantic Tuscan Style Decorating

Tuscan window

So you've read this far, and interior decorating Tuscan style might still look a bit, um, white  to you.

Well, a frugal Tuscan style like this usually works a treat in rustic Tuscan interiors, with views like the one to the left (by the way, this counts as "bad" weather - everyone was complaining about it.)

Anyway ... if you happen to live in an urban environment, you may want a little more color - or more 'romance' in a Tuscan style bedroom, to make up for the lack of countryside views and nightingales singing under your window at night.

Here are a few ideas:

1. Paint the walls. In Tuscany, with so much color and heat outside the houses, white walls actually help to cool things down a little on the inside. But in Berlin, Brussels, or Baltimore, a yellow umber or pale terracotta colorwash can provide some much-needed warmth.

2. Color the bed spread. In Italy, I've occasionally seen quilts in florals, and a few in deep burgundy reds. Golden yellows and mid-tone blues or greens are used sometimes as well.

3. Hang drapes around the bed. This is not generally done in rustic Tuscan style decorating, but that doesn't mean you  can't do it. You could hang a bed curtain from the ceiling or from a bed crown, or from a canopy-style bed frame.

contemporary rustic tuscan bedding

The photo to the right was taken in a small, pretty Tuscan interior design shop (La Bella Toscana in Bolgheri), and it shows the way things are going in Tuscan home design (I've seen similar styles in other modern Mediterranean interiors):

  • Lots of neutral colors
  • a few color 'splashes' on textiles and/or accessories
  • colorwashed walls that recall natural surfaces (rock/brick) or exterior Mediterranean paint colors
  • iron tester or four-poster constructions
  • and coarse or translucent linen/cotton drapes around the bed.

It is, of course, possible to go much more opulent than that.

If a lavish Tuscan bedroom is what you're after, have a look at the chapter on Tuscan style decorating for different Tuscan bedroom styles (photos of palazzo  bedrooms come towards the end of that page).

Also, have a look at these tomes about Tuscan Style Decorating:

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