Creating a Tuscan Bedroom

If you were to visit Italy and go to some of the wonderful old Tuscan farmhouses, you would find that many of them are still in the hands of the original families and that they continue to decorate in the same simple tradition of their Tuscan ancestors. They continue to use some of the basics which were long established, unspoken rules for Tuscan interiors.

The Tuscan Bedroom, Beginnings

Bedroom walls are often simply whitewashed and minimally decorated - most often with old family pictures and botanical or religious prints. Many beds have sturdy wrought-iron frames, although there are plenty of wooden head and foot-boards to be seen as well. You won't find quilts on the beds. Rather they are covered in white matelasse blankets. Matelasse is a cotton jacquard fabric and the term itself refers to the type of weave used in this triple-woven fabric. These simple white blankets add calm and warmth to the bedroom and the weave creates a subtle design on the cover itself. All other linens and window treatments are heavy or light-weight white cotton - natural and airy.

Iron Bedsteads or Not?

When furnishing a Tuscany style bedroom one considers the type of furniture which has been and continues to be used in the area. Typically, iron bedsteads have been used, however, you don't need to have everything in wrought iron for the bed. You can get away with a frame or base for the mattress and something for the headboard which will look "Tuscan" - but you have to be convincing here.

Bedside Tables

The use of bedside tables can be an exercise in expression. Iron stands holding slabs of white marble or rough terracotta (perhaps from a floor tile)work well. Using iron and marble are totally in keeping with the Tuscan theme and they will add beauty and originality to the room.

Storage for Clothing

A chest of drawers made of rough-hewn wood is often the choice in Tuscan décor, but if you have a large wooden chest with a marble top, you can simply add an Italian mirror on top and you will be able to include it easily in the room. No Tuscan bedroom is complete without a wardrobe. Beautifully simple and sometimes austere armoires can be found in many antique stores, or a reproduction can be purchased at most better furniture stores.

But, I Want to Bend the Rules

Perhaps you love the idea of Tuscan style décor, but not all the traditional basics work for you. You may dislike wrought iron, or decide you want something softer and more romantic. Does that mean you "can't do Tuscany"? Not at all. It is true that you get the most authentic Tuscan feel using wrought iron bedsteads, but it is possible to paint the iron white or even replace it with wooden bedsteads. If you live in an area where the traditional white cotton curtains are too heavy to allow in adequate light, you can still attain the Tuscan look with a flat panel of sheer lace, which would work beautifully.

By using soft, muted, natural color on the walls instead of whitewash, you can hold on to the lovely feel of Tuscany without having everything in the room white. The boundaries can definitely be stretched.