Italian Rustic Inspiration: A Trip & A Book

This year our family vacation has been bumped around so much that I'm looking at the second week of August as the first time we'll all get to stop working for a bit, read, eat and allow our inner clock springs to slow down long enough for a few deep thoughts to occur. I can't wait.

Last year we went to Italy for two weeks in June and had a beautiful adventure in Florence and at a Tuscan farmhouse. I want to revisit that trip now with a few pics and a recommendation for a great book that goes beyond pretty, to show you how things are really done in old Tuscan houses.

Above are some of my pics of the Tuscan farmhouse we stayed in. It had thick stone walls, brick floors and was cool all day long, even though the sun outside was blindingly hot.

If you want to take something home with you, however, this is great new book that I have been referring to this year:

>> Italian Rustic by Elizabeth Helman Minchilli

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This book will give you a little escape, even while you remain in the city hard at work. And then later on, it will provide a great resource should you want to copy some of these design details into your own home.

The writer is an American who lives in Italy and previously wrote a book about restoring her own home (Restoring a Home in Italy). After writing that, she got so many requests for more detailed information, that she wrote this book, which documents the materials and processes that go into Tuscan homes such as Italian plaster walls, stone walls and terra cotta tile floors. There's even sourcing for how to find Italian materials in the USA. It's a great source.

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.