Tuscan Home Plans for City Dwellers

By on November 15, 2014


Walking in Pisa, Tuscany, Central Italy, last summer (finding the leaning tower)

The madness that surrounds city living has always been the reason why urban residents desire to experience a relaxed and laid-back way of life. Inspired by the style of country homes that dot the hills of Tuscany, Italy, city dwellers have always aspired to have their own tiny Tuscan home tucked in the middle of downtown. The typical characteristics of simplicity, warmth and elegance speak well of the Italians’ passion to celebrate life with family and friends within the comforts of home. This domestic orientation has influenced even non-Italians to adhere to Tuscan home plans in constructing or redecorating their houses to have a little feel of Italy at home.

Creating a Tuscan-inspired concept for any home is not difficult since the materials needed are readily available in most hardware and décor stores. You can even order kit homes, which are ready to build, and fashion them into a quaint Tuscan home. However, the most important thing to consider in getting as close to obtaining the desired Italian feel is to be motivated by Tuscan home plans. This can ultimately lead to the knowledge about structures, features, furnishings and accessories that typically consists Tuscan homes and which can be duplicated in any location one opts to reside.

Modernized Tuscan style home

Typical Tuscan Home Features

• One of the best Tuscan home plans always feature stucco, stone or earth-toned brick along the exterior walls that make them rustic and nostalgic. Even the roof can sometimes be made of tile bricks to continue the same intimate feel all over. The roof is pitched lower than usual with wider eaves to catch rainwater. The fondness for the outdoor living and dining is best evidenced by reserving an open space in one part of the house. These verandahs or porticos are made of the same stucco or brick materials separated from the main house by arched windows and doors accentuated with wrought iron grills as defense against intruders.

• The walls are one giant work of art with large frescoes or murals depicting stunning Tuscany pastoral scenes. For the affluent ones, some artworks of the masters hang prominently on the walls. Other empty spaces are filled with tapestries or colorful quilt works to display the family heirloom for generations.

• The furniture that fills Tuscan home is often made of hardwood or stone. They are massive yet inviting and indicative of strength to support any weight that rests upon them. It is just all right to mismatch because it even brings out the rustic and aged look amidst the disorganized setting. Remarkable to note, however, is the absence of clutter despite the informal atmosphere.

hanging pots above a countertop that doubles as a table


• Tuscan home plans are always designed for family gatherings. That is why a Tuscan kitchen is considered the heart of every Tuscan home. This part of the house is given much importance because that is usually where the family prepares and eats their meals. It is also the place to gather around for chatting. A large hardwood table serves as countertop and dining table as well. Overhead, a massive pot rack hangs containing an array of cookware, herbs, or native blooms from the hillsides. The kitchen cabinets are also very simple as they overlap the terra-cotta walls with colorful designs.

• Rich fabrics are splattered as drapes for the windows, upholstery for the furniture, rugs for the floors or runners for tables. They are in bright but warm tones of yellow, orange, red, green, and gold. Traditional patterns are flowers, fruits, and vegetables superimposed on stripes of various widths.

Transforming your house and decorating it along the details of Tuscan home plans can give your house a brand new appeal. It is not only in dressing up the windows or in changing the house decors, but it is also in lending a cozy and inviting atmosphere, which makes Tuscan homes famous. Whether you have Italian blood flowing in your veins or you are of any descent, creating a Tuscan-inspired home can fulfill your desire to experience that provincial living within an urban setting. Your city friends will surely love to feast on your pasta and freshly baked bread in your brand-new Italian kitchen.

Al fresco dining


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Apartments | Travel Plans | Villas

Of Villas, Apartments and Vacation Plans

By on December 10, 2013


lignano beach
summer on the Italian coast

Years ago, I featured one of the Italian villas in Lignano. That where we stayed at with the whole family along with my parents-in-law and my brother-in-law’s family. It’s a simple compound with a pool, reachable by foot by the bus station and relatively just a few minutes away from grocery stores, restaurants, the plaza and the beach. There are also arcade centers to the kids’ enjoyment. We could bring them there if they get tired swimming.

We occupied two rooms at the second floor and from there, we could see the villa pool from the rooms. The kids would be up early, ready for the pool. There are lifeguards around and since they could be seen from our room, we do not worry a lot about their safety, oma or opa would accompany them while we have coffee or tea at our room’s balcony. They have their arm floats too and the other swimmers look out on them somehow.

lignano plaza
Lignano plaza
kids pool
kids loving the pool

We also stayed at a Villa with a lot of rooms in Balaton, Hungary, this one is more of a 2-storey house in a fenced lot with a pool too, all for ourselves. (Story link is on the sidebar.)

Renting villas or apartments when on a long-term vacation has its ups and downs. It’s cheaper than when staying in a hotel. The rates are lower, perhaps 1/3 of a daily hotel rate but convenience-wise, you cook for yourself, clean the place yourself. The extra hours you spent at the apartment cleaning and cooking could already be hours spent shopping and sightseeing unless the place offers bed and breakfast and cleaning services.

It could be said that renting a villa or an apartment for a vacation is like home away from home. You get to do the same things you do at home in a different setting, a different view and environment.

Our summer vacation may be over, winter has enveloped the region and it’s too early to plan for next year. Since we plan on going from city to city, country to country (yes, that’s a big dream on our bucket list); we are planning on renting one of the really charming villas in Athens or Barcelona, or probably an apartment in Nice. It’s a really convenient thing that online reservation websites have a long-range time-table. We could book as early as now for next year’s vacation. We’d definitely book one with pool and which is near the beach, that that serves breakfast and has house cleaning included.

pool villa
pool, seen from our room


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Apartments | Travel Plans

There is in London All that Life Can Afford

By on September 8, 2011

“You find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” Those are the words of Samuel Johnson, an English poet, critic and writer who lived in the 1700s. In part I would have to say that I agree with Mr. Johnson. London is one of the most gorgeous cities that top my list. Add to that the fact that hubby’s aunt that I love dearly has moved there, haven’t seen her in years and I would really love to reconnect. Thinking about the city makes me want to start looking for Central London Apartments which are available for lease or for sale.

But no, relocating is such a huge step, an enormous endeavor which I don’t think I nor hubby can face at the moment. However I would sure love to have a taste of life in London. I bet if I stayed long enough in London, I would horde all the Wilton baking products that I can find. Which gives me an idea. What if I start typing the words marlin apartments canary wharf on my favorite search engine? How many available apartments do you think I’d find? Could one of those be a prospective vacation house for my family?

Talking of London and being in England also means seeing the Westminster Palace, the  Tower Bridge, the London Eye,  and most of all Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton. I would definitely love to learn more about Jane and to have my own photo of her house (so I won’t be borrowing from another website…).

 (photo from

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