Follow These 11 New Ways to Update Your Tired Tuscan Style

Tired of Tuscan Design?

It’s certainly OK if you still love your “Tuscan”* style – it’s your home.  However, many, many clients are just plain tired of it.  There is most definitely a lot cleaner lines and soft contemporary/transitional going on these days.  The dark colors and heavy furnishings have given way to more optimistic, lighter, casual, and comfortable looks.  The topic has been popping up again, whether people just want to “lighten up” in terms of color and a fresher feel, or to de-clutter the runaway train that can happen when we latch on to a certain style – and keep adding pieces without “editing” the existing pieces.

*I’m just calling this Tuscan for the sake of this article – it never really looked like true casual, farmhouse, breezy Tuscany – it’s really a combo of formal Old World looks – to be more accurate.

Custom Valances And Chair Re-Upholstery

Where to start?

There are little changes, there are bigger changes, and there is re-decorating or remodeling. Only you can decide how much or how little you are comfortable doing if you’re tired of Tuscan.

THE #1 change we are making for our clients is…
Replacing very heavy chenille draperies and valances with lighter weight, lighter color, clean patterned fabrics that still coordinate with much of the existing furnishings!

  1. Decide what style direction you want to pursue. Don’t know?  Go to Houzz and create an Ideabook.  Start saving photos of rooms you love, add comments about the room, and share the Ideabook with me on the Amy Wolff Interiors page.  This will quickly help to determine your style! If you need help doing this, just give me a call 480-683-0200.  (Warning…this can be addicting – next thing you know, 2 hours will fly by, so do this when you have the time to play! Hint…quit after you’ve added 10-20 photos – that’s enough!)
  2. Do a quick inventory of what needs to go, what you want to keep (only if you LOVE it), what you can re-purpose, what you can update with paint or fabrics. Donate or take the unloved items to consignment.
  3. Overhaul your accessories. A lot of Tuscan style homes have too much stuff – lots of heavy accessories everywhere!  De-clutter and get rid of it.  It’s OK to keep a few items that you really enjoy, maybe 20%. This will help A LOT!
  4. Replace big heavy lamps with cleaner, lighter looking ones. Depending on the lamp, you may also be able to paint it or change the lamp shades to something that feels lighter looking.
  5. Get new throw pillows. Loose the heavy chenilles and leathers – go with lighter, brighter fabrics that appeal to you now.
  6. Change your bedding to lighter, more soothing, colors.
  7. Re-paint dark (or faux) walls to lighter and/or brighter colors. Yes, you can still have lots of color if you like!  Just lighten up the palette with more cheerful colors.  Paint over accent walls that serve no architectural purpose – those are OUT, too!  (Yes, new home developments use these – but only as “memory points” – so when you are looking at 6 different floorplans, you remember that you liked the one with the orange wall (you’ll never remember that you liked the Saguaro floorplan with the Mesquite façade!).

For those who have a more generous budget…

  1. Replace your heavy or dark window treatments with lighter color fabrics or top treatments. THIS IS THE #1 change we are making for our clients – taking out very heavy chenille draperies and replacing those with lighter weight, lighter color, cleaner patterned fabrics that still coordinate with much of the existing furnishings!
  2. Change out dark, heavy area rugs for lighter, brighter ones. A new area rug that you LOVE can establish your whole color palette and make other decisions much easier.
  3. If you have high quality upholstered furniture, reupholster a favorite chair or sofa in a more contemporary fabric.
  4. Evaluate your hard furniture. Can a bookcase be painted or re-stained another color?  Can a table be painted or a glass top added?  Is there just too much furniture for the room?  Should you move a heavy credenza to a guest bedroom and swap out a lesser quality piece?  Furniture can be expensive, so we can often find a way to re-purpose some pieces – or frame the expensive sofa with more modern occasional tables.


This is a whole separate topic that includes replacing flooring, counters, updating cabinetry, fireplaces, etc. so I’ll address that in another article. Let me know what you have done to lighten up by posting a comment below.  Give me a call if you need advice for your situation – (480) 683-0200.