Tuscan Wall Stencils

Tuscan Wall Stencils
by Debra That Painter Lady Conrad

The Tuscan style is popular with home decorators and professional designers alike. Tuscan motifs, used as borders and accents, add the finishing touches to a Tuscan-style room and are easily accomplished using stencils.

Tuscan wall motifs are versatile. They can look good in the kitchen, dining room, living room or patio and the effect is just as attractive in bedrooms and even bathrooms. The effect is one of understated old-world elegance.

Contemporary Tuscan-style decor takes its cue from the dwellings of ordinary country dwellers. Tuscan wall decorations are reminiscent of folk art and have a charming home-made quality. They served a similar purpose to wallpaper and included borders, individual motifs and sometimes entire vistas.

Stencils for the Tuscan Look

Traditional motifs in Tuscan mural decoration are inspired by the natural world and the landscapes of the Mediterranean. Olive groves and vineyards may come to mind if you think of the environment of this region. The subtle gray-green of the olive branch motif is typical of the colors that characterize the palette of Tuscan-style decor.

The grapevine, perhaps hung with heavy bunches of purple grapes, is another motif that is typical of Tuscan mural decoration. Motifs that evoke the ancient world are also popular, such as branches of acanthus leaves. Bowls filled with fruit and images of birds are among the images traditionally used.

Plant Stuff

Not all Tuscan motifs are naturalistic or representational. Stencils are available to home decorators also use traditional designs, some drawn directly from Italian villas, farmhouses and other Tuscan dwellings. Roman urns and motifs drawn from classical statuary, or from designs on Italian tiles, are sometimes less strictly authentic but are nevertheless effective in Tuscan-style decor.

Using Tuscan Motifs

Wall motifs were traditionally used in many ways. You could create a leafy frame around doors or windows. Grapevines and similar motifs also make an attractive border or you could opt for an abstract design. Borders can run right around your room, at cornice, skirting board or dado rail level.

Stenciled motifs can also be used individually, almost like a hung picture. Murals of rural scenes can make an interesting feature. A trompe l’oeil window that seems to open onto a vista of fields and olive groves is one choice.

Realizing the Look of Tuscany

Color is the key to the Tuscan look, no matter what design you choose. Natural, earth colours – antique whites, smoky pinks, deep reds, burnt oranges and dark yellows are essential to the Tuscan look. Warm, muted greens and blues also fit well in the palette.

Age, wear and atmosphere are part of the Tuscan style. Faux painting techniques offer various ways to antique and distress your decor. The key to the look is low contrast and subtle shading.

Stencils are an invaluable aid to helping you to achieve the cozy, old world look of Tuscany that has so inspired professional and amateur home decorators.

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