Ten Ways to do Tuscan on a Budget

Pamela Cole Harris

Sun-drenched days under the Tuscan sky…pasta and wine under olive trees to the sound of the courtyard fountain. Sound wonderful? Yes! But if you haven’t won the lottery and a move to Tuscany isn’t in your future, you can bring that warm Tuscan feel to your home (even if you live in Buffalo!). Here’s how on a bargain budget:


1. Bring color and texture to your home with rich, earthy reds and oranges. If red is too much for you, try a warm muted yellow or creamy stucco.

2. Copper pots and copper trimmed baskets can still be found at thrift shops. Find dried flowers, artificial fruit and ivy to fill the pots and baskets for a taste of an Italian vineyard.

3. Look for terracotta pots and lots of them. Fill them with greenery (and a few artificial grapes) to create a Tuscan feel in your room. Arrange them in groups of three or more!

4. Scavenge architectural features from salvage yards or garage sales. Old iron gates, windows or bits of railing can create rustic wall art.

5. Change your cabinet door fronts to chicken wire! Not only is it decorative, it is also practical (and cheap)!

6. Build a visual sense of having a grotto with tall artificial plants and a wrought iron archway to separate a special, intimate corner of the room. Check your local garden center for ideas!


7. Cover old picture frames with strips of leather cut from thrift shop coats. Wind the strips around the frame and secure the ends with a hot glue gun.

8. Mismatched ceramic and terracotta tiles can be arranged as a group on the wall or table. They can be used as coasters or trivets. Or they can be broken and used to make your own mosaic table top! Just add grout and tile to an old thrift-shop table!

9. Remember the old wrought iron accessories of the 60s? They are still available at thrift shops. They make wonderful additions to your Tuscan room!

10. To create the feeling of a courtyard indoors, install a fountain! A terracotta or stone-look fountain in the corner surrounded by plants and a small wrought iron table is a wonderful place to have breakfast. It's almost like being in Italy!


Have fun with your décor! Use your imagination to bring faraway places to your own home! Hmmmm….maybe I will do that Amazonian jungle bedroom I've always wanted!

About The Author: Pamela Cole Harris is an editor, writer, eco-decorator and the author of “100+ Wildly Imaginative Ways to Create Your Own Coffee Table (available at http://www.lulu.com/pamelacoleharris ... Visit her website, http://www.homeandgardenmakeover.com , for her unique view of home decorating and remodeling (and a free monthly newsletter!).


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January 20, 2004
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