The Rendezvous collection is full of easy charm and is characterised by laid back shades and muted, warm tones with each pattern given direction by floral motifs similar to those seen in Mediterranean pottery. This nature inspired, whimsical range would be put to best use in a Tuscan style home that draws its inspiration from the country homes of the rolling hills of central Italy’s wine country.
If this is a style you would like to faithfully recreate in your home, this handy step by step guide should see you on your way.
The colours of the Tuscan countryside are the centrepiece of this much loved design style. Soft lavender evokes the fields of lavender grown for the region’s famous perfume industry. Sunflower yellow, deep red, and bright orange come from the sun-filled days. The deep, azure blue comes from the pure blue sky. White, ranging from pure white to slightly yellow, linen white reflects the dazzling sunlight shining through the windows. Gentle green mirrors the rolling, grassy meadows. Tuscan style mimics the life of rural Italy: carefree, relaxed, and friendly. Pick out the gentlest of these shades through paint, wallpaper, blinds or curtains then add sparkle and interest by including the brighter shades in the shape of the finishing details. Such details in an Italian country home should be kept simple and useful. In the original farmhouse, there was little money for frivolous items. Colourfully painted, earthenware crocks; shiny, copper pots; natural, reed baskets; sturdy, wooden wine racks; iron baker’s racks; are commonly used.
Interesting texture variation can be created by offsetting any of the Rendezvous curtain fabrics against purpose aged walls. The walls of a Tuscan style house are usually lime-washed, timber-beamed, or roughly plastered. Again, the aim is to capture the feel of a country farmhouse. Wall colours are natural, in shades of local stone and clay, from mustard to a red, dusty clay colour. Stencilling on the walls, perhaps a wheat shaft design, may be used to add interest.
Farmhouse living is also represented in the style of furniture used. Simple and robust handcrafted wooden furniture typifies the country style. Since early Tuscan houses had no closets, large armoires were (and remain) popular for storing clothes. Furniture makers used the woods that were cheap and plentiful – walnut and pine. Another hallmark of an authentic Tuscan style home is a large, wooden, dining table. Since the kitchen was the hub of activity in a farmhouse, this table was very important. The ideal country table is sturdy, rectangular, and large with simple lines and lots of eating space. Mismatched, high-back, wooden chairs with woven, reed seats are the perfect accompaniment.
Finishing with the floors sees all of the usual themes remain strong. As with the walls, floors typical of the countryside are used to create Italian country style. Clay tiles, in shades of pink, honey, or deep brown, are common. So are wooden parquet floors rubbed with white paint to create an aged effect. Natural reed matting or Oriental, Turkish, or Indian rugs over wooden floors can also be added for extra warmth.