Turn Your Bathroom Into a Tuscan Escape

Design pros Jennifer and Kitty O'Neil show you how to create the pastoral escape of a Tuscan bathroom.

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Bold candles make a grand statement, but give off soft light.

Bold Candles

A bathroom inspired by the villas of Tuscany is a warm and inviting haven. To get this down-to-earth look, start with the golds, greens and browns of the Italian landscape. Add elements inspired by the wrought-iron benches, stone fountains and greenery of Tuscan courtyards. Then personalize it with your own touch of Italy, from your grandmother's millefiori collection to your favorite Italian scents. By combining the right materials, colors and accessories, you can turn any bathroom into a restorative retreat with an enchanting Italian accent.

From iron garden gates to terra-cotta urns to travertine courtyards, Tuscan style is rich with rustic materials. Even if your bathroom isn't wall-to-wall marble, you can enjoy stone details like a travertine soap dish and lotion dispenser. Sculptural candlesticks, like the Florentine Marble Candlesticks from Lamps and Decor, add Old World style. Top them with Vance Kitira's Timber Pillar Candles from Bo Danica. The rough finish and dark cranberry red of the candles hold their own with the grandeur of the candlesticks.

Elegant Fountain

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This fountain requires no plumbing, making for easy, elegant decor.

Terra-cotta pots are a natural for any Tuscan room. Fill these earthen containers with your favorite plants to capture that courtyard feeling. For architectural impact, flank your tub with topiaries. The swirling shape of the Italian Cypress Spiral Topiary by Home Decorators Collection mimics the ubiquitous trees perfectly. For good luck, hang Design Toscano's Villa Marchetti Lion Wall Font over the tub and make a wish. The look is 100 percent authentic, but the stone fountain is neither stone nor fountain, so you can put it anywhere — no plumbing needed.

Wrought-Iron Shelf

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A wrought-iron shelf is a functional, fashionable Tuscan piece.

When it comes to the Tuscan bathroom, picture grand, sweeping landscapes and think big. Large wrought-iron pieces provide that scale and are the right style for a Tuscan bathroom. Place a baroque towel stand next to the bathtub or go for a tabletop version like the Tuscany Vanity Towel Stand by Iron Accents. If your bathroom is as vast as the Italian countryside, you might have room for a wrought-iron vanity bench to perch on while you paint your nails or sip your cappuccino.

Ceramic canisters usually reserved for the kitchen can be perfect large-scale storage containers in the bathroom. Group them on your tub surround for a big splash of color. Look for opaque styles like Iron Accents' Saffron Canisters by Belaverra. Who knew storage could add so much drama while artfully hiding unsightly unmentionables?

Landscape Painting

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Pair Italian artwork with similar storage and accent pieces.

To establish the proper palette, bring in a stretched canvas featuring the Italian landscape. If you have gorgeous photos from your trip to Tuscany, take them to the copy shop and have a few enlarged and printed on canvas. If you're not a shutterbug, order a landscape poster like "Classic Tuscany" from Tuscan Decor. A wonderful work of art can double as a ready-made color board, so use it when you pick out your accessories and paint. The walls of a Tuscan room call for a faux paint finish — the uneven texture echoes the appearance of an aging stucco farmhouse. Whether you choose a background of mustard, burnt orange or olive green, just stick to the palette of your painting and the colors will come together and say Tuscan.

For more color, look for accents in wine red, antique gold and deep blue. A majolica water pitcher combines these colors in classic Italian style. A cobalt blue olive tray is perfect by the tub for holding mineral salts. Get merlot towels embellished with scrolls that reflect the curves of the wrought-iron pieces. Pick out a few fancy towels and mix them with unadorned ones in a coordinating color. Skip the bath mat and roll out an ornate area rug that tells the same color story. Got an antique one?

Italian Accents

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Treat your senses with Italian-inspired body splash and bubble bath.

Adding a personal touch to your decorating warms up any room. In the Tuscan bathroom, you can bring in a little personal flair by displaying souvenirs of your travels. Start with a simple Murano glass vase filled with dwarf sunflowers. Then create a special spot for your millefiori pillboxes with a decorative display, like a Ballard Designs Scrolled Shelf. Its shelves are ideal for showcasing mementos from your vacations while keeping toiletries tidy. You can even bring out your collection of spaghetti poodles.

Infuse your bath with the flavors of Italy in aromatic soaps, salts and sachets. Indulge in soothing bath products like the Olive Leaf Triple-Milled Bar Soap from Thymes. Try exotic Italian scents like pomegranate body splash and black currant bubble bath. To make your own sachets, custom-blend dried herbs like sage, rosemary, sweet bay and fennel. Once you have created your little piece of Tuscany, you can start living la dolce vita.

Resources

Lamps and Decor
www.lampsanddecor.com

Bo Danica
www.bodanica.com

Home Decorators Collection
www.homedecorators.com

Design Toscano
www.designtoscano.com/home.do

Tuscan Decor
www.tuscandecor.com

Ballard Designs
www.ballarddesigns.com/

Thymes
www.thymes.com

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