Tuscan Wall Stencils – How to Easily Create That Beautiful Old-World Style

The Tuscan style is popular with home decorators and professional designers alike. Tuscan motifs, used as borders and accents, add the finishing touches to a Tuscan-style room and are easily accomplished using stencils.

Tuscan wall motifs are versatile. They can look good in the kitchen, dining room, living room or patio and the effect is just as attractive in bedrooms and even bathrooms. The effect is one of understated old-world elegance.

The traditional homes in Tuscany that inspired this popular contemporary décor style are rustic and informal. Few were the homes of the wealthy and the style has a home-grown feel and folk art quality. Tuscan mural decorations (and in some cases, entire murals) served to add accents and visual interest to rooms, in much the same way as people elsewhere used wallpaper.

Tuscan Stencil Motifs

The classic motifs in Tuscan decorative work are drawn from nature and reflect the flora of Italy and the Mediterranean region. Think of Italy and olive groves may be one of the first things to come to mind. Not only does the olive branch motif evoke the Tuscan sun, but the muted gray-green color of the leaves fits perfectly into the spectrum of hues in the Tuscan palette.

Another popular motif is the grapevine, with or without bunches of succulent grapes. Acanthus leaves, evocative of classical antiquity, are another favorite choice. Traditional mural decorations include other motifs drawn from nature, including birds and bowls of fruit.

Not all Tuscan motifs are naturalistic or representational. Stencils are available to home decorators also use traditional designs, some drawn directly from Italian villas, farmhouses and other Tuscan dwellings. Roman urns and motifs drawn from classical statuary, or from designs on Italian tiles, are sometimes less strictly authentic but are nevertheless effective in Tuscan-style décor.


Tuscan homes used decorative motifs in a variety of ways. Borders are one obvious choice for contemporary homes, and can run all the way around a room, close to the ceiling, or like a dado rail or even at skirting board level. The motifs were also traditionally used as surrounds to add interest to features such as doors and windows.

Tuscan stencils need not only be used to create a pattern or design that is repeated all around a room. Tuscan murals can be wonderfully effective. Trompe l’oeil windows that apparently afford a glimpse of the Italian landscape are another option.

Achieving the Tuscan Look

The key to achieving the charming Tuscan look lies in the use of earthy, natural colours: burnt oranges, earthy reds, taupe, dusky pink and rich creams. Subtle greens and blues are also suitable.

Aim for low contrast. Your stenciled motif should blend with the background, not stand out. You can also use faux painting techniques to artificially age your paintwork, adding an antique look that is in keeping with the Tuscan theme.

Not only is stenciling a quick and easy way to add all-important finishing details to your Tuscan décor, but it’s fun to do and fabulously effective.