*Room of the Month- featuring Tuscan Courtyard Design Ideas*
Alfresco dining, coffee sipping in the piazza, and family gatherings are typical Italian activities that all require the same thing: the perfect outdoor setting. Italians seem to be experts at creating comfortably beautiful spaces for entertaining friends and family outdoors. They have figured out how to take advantage of a quaint view, some fresh air, and a slower pace that affords time to enjoy the surroundings.
Sound ideal? I think so too. In this month's room review features a fantastic Tuscan courtyard design, complete with all of the essential elements for creating the perfect outdoor experience.
Follow along as I break down the Tuscan elements of this space, as well as give you valuable decorating advice on how to bring this same look to your home. With a little effort, you'll soon be enjoying your own relaxing place to entertain, or catch up on a good book with a smooth cup of coffee.
Tuscan Courtyard Design Ideas: 5 Things You'll Need
In my online decorating program "The Room Designer In You", I teach non-designers an easy system for recreating fabulously styled rooms (inspired by the pros) in their own homes. I love to start with an inspiration picture. Let's take a look at the courtyard picture above. Can you spot the Tuscan elements found there? I've identified five components essential to recreating this look...let's see if you figured them out.
- A Tuscan Color Palette
- Old World Stone & Tile
- Tuscan Fountain Water Feature
- Wrought Iron Accents - Iron Patio Furniture
- Italian Garden Urns & Pots - Tuscan Landscaping
Looking for more Tuscan courtyard design ideas? Check out our related posts.
The Tuscan Color Palette
This courtyard features classic Tuscan hues, derived from the palette of the rustic Italian landscape. My favorite, and a real standout, is the terracotta color found on the doors to the right, which is echoed in the seat cushions in the conversation area.
The house is painted in a light beige-tan which provides the perfect complement to the earthen tones of the brown roof tiles, window trim, accent tiles, and large rustic urns.
Lovely shades of green are pulled into the space with the various Mediterranean trees and potted plants. The wrought iron accent furniture in solid black finish really looks fabulous against those terracotta hued cushions. Love it!
Old World Stone & Tile
Stone is a foundational element to Italian design, utilized for centuries as a solid building material and for its aesthetic value in architectural details.
As you see in the inspiration photo, the courtyard floor is rustic yet elegant in a tumbled stone tile with intermittent colored accents. The look is time-worn in neutral earth tone hues, with a hint of Mediterranean flair.
The Old world stone look continues up the stuccoed walls complete with decorative tiles, accentuating curved arches and ornate columns. The fireplace to the left (inspiration photo) sports large scrolled corbels supporting an ornate carved mantel.
Large terracotta urns are strategically placed throughout the space, as accent pieces and planters. Even the beautiful fountain features a cast stone design, reminiscent of treasured ancient designs sculpted into fountains throughout Italy.
*For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I might make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Don't worry, I only recommend things I love and would personally use.*
Tuscan Fountain - Outdoor Water Feature
Water is seen extensively throughout the Tuscan landscape, and whether in a private courtyard fountain, or a deep villa swimming pool, it is indeed the necessary balancing element to a landscape so dominated by earthiness.
Pools, fountains, and other water features are common attractions in the Italian garden, and often the entire landscape is designed around these specific features. Long favored in fountain sculptures, the stone mask on the urn fountain in the inspiration picture, makes this fountain a perfect focal point.
Multiple tiers on the fountain enhance the relaxing sound of the moving water, which provides a soothing backdrop for courtyard entertaining.
Can't find the perfect fountain for your patio? Try building your own fountain from your favorite terracotta or Italian ceramic planter. Here's a great video I found with easy to follow instructions for creating your own planter and fountain in one large pot.
Wrought Iron Accents - Iron Patio Furniture
Nothing says “old world” like good old fashioned wrought iron. Italian gardens traditionally feature beautifully fashioned scrolled gates, fences, hinges, doorknobs and spigots in various metals fashioned by artists with an eye for certain beauty.
Softer architectural details found in the curves of scrolled ironwork serve to round out the utilitarian practicality of classical Roman design so prevalent in Italian architecture.
The same is true of present day furniture, like the conversation set seen in the inspiration photo. The boxy style of the courtyard chairs is balanced out by the circular shapes in the metalwork. The black finish is in striking contrast to the vivid terracotta shade of the cushions.
The metallic finish is repeated in the drum style end table with iron style straps in arrow finial shape, and the trunk coffee table. In the night shot (seen above), we find scrolled metal candleholders and large iron andirons in the fireplace.
Italian Garden Urns & Pots - Tuscan Landscaping
The Tuscan setting is very rural and natural. While the Italian hillsides are ruggedly beautiful with volcanic rocks and limestone slabs dotting the landscape, nothing is more pleasing to the eye than the beautifully shaped evergreens and vivid flower arrangements in earthen pots.
The tall, conical cypress trees rise regally out of the rolling hillsides and provide striking definition to winding roadways and garden boundaries.
So, in reminiscent fashion, this Tuscan style patio features intriguing spiral topiaries, and bright splashes of vivid color peeking out from lovely flower beds, accentuated by rustic old world urns. Naturally, charming!
Faux Brick & Stone Panels for Patios
Here's another of my favorite Tuscan courtyard design ideas:
Spruce up your backyard with Tuscan style brick or stone retaining walls, wrapped columns, or waterfalls with faux stone, brick, rock or wood panels. Molded from lightweight, durable materials, they look just like the real thing, at a fraction of the cost and weight. From pool surrounds to barbecue pits, faux panels are a fantastic solution for enhancing your backyard and patio areas in Old World style.
Tuscan Courtyard Design Idea: Add a Fountain
If you've been to Italy, you've seen a fountain or two! Adding an outdoor fountain to your Tuscan patio, courtyard or garden space sets the tone for a rustic, but relaxing Tuscan backyard. Since fountains come in all shapes and sizes, for all types of situations, I've created a roundup of some easy to install designs inspired by our favorite place. Italy! Just add water, and enjoy!
Shop Tuscan Fountains (Partner Sites): 1. Campania Pebble Fountain | 2. Cara Classica Fountain | 3. Oval Urns Fountain | 4. Tuscan Patio Floor Fountain | 5. Corsini Wall Fountain | 6. Florentine Lion Fountain | 7. Lion's Head Bronze Fountain | 8. Bisbalos Fountain | 9. San Marco Fountain | 10. Beauvais Fountain
What do you think about this room of the month? Have any favorite Tuscan courtyard design ideas to share? Let me know in the comments below.
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Attention: Any do-it-yourself project involves risk of some sort. Your tools, materials, and skills will vary, as will the conditions at your work site. Stealth Management, Inc. will not assume any responsibility or liability for damages or losses sustained or incurred in the course of your project or in the use of the item you create. Always follow the manufacturer's operating instructions in the use of tools, check and follow your local building codes, and observe all commonly accepted safety precautions.