A Taste Of Tuscany: Southern California Homes Take On Italian Flair

Written by Posted On Sunday, 16 January 2005 16:00

If you've ever been to Italy then you know the richness of the warmth of the colors, style, architecture and design can leave an indelible impression in your mind. These days no need to travel 15 hours to experience Italy; a taste of Tuscany is exploding all over our coastal city homes from the interiors to the exteriors. But does the Tuscan appeal having lasting power?

Architect Paul Thoryk has taken several trips to Italy to capture the essence of its style. "I traveled all over the world, Italy being one of the places, Spain, Europe, South America, studying all of the traditional forms of architecture. So then I came up with a style called: Contemporary Heritage," says Thoryk. He says it's timeless architecture, "The things that make them interesting, the walls are thick, the texture of the stucco, the colors… Tuscany has that," says Thoryk.

Thoryk's architecture firm has been designing custom homes for nearly 40 years. He says, "If you do it correctly they'll always be in vogue. It won't be one of these contemporary styles where angles are going this way and that way and curves are going this way and that way and another three months from now a different style is in."

Coastal cities are ripe for the Tuscan appeal; the earth tones, mixed with splashes of vibrant color fit in naturally; creating a relaxed, comfortable feeling.

Thoryk borrows the best features of Tuscany or European architecture, "I take the features I like and then I incorporate them into a more contemporary style of home, our style of living today, because the rooms back then were just square rooms with hallways." But he is careful to maintain the artistic integrity of the traditional architectural characteristics.

And it's not just new homes that are taking on the look and feel of Italy. Thoryk says when his empty-nester clients ask for a remodel, "The first thing that I do is open up the kitchen. It's like going into these Italian restaurants and you see everybody doing display cooking," says Thoryk. He says clients whose kids have left the home often opt for fewer walls and less separation of the rooms such as the dining room, kitchen and living room areas.

Interior designer and consultant, Gaye Evans of Unique Visions in Carlsbad, California, says many of her clients are, "bringing the outside in." Evans says about four out of five of her North County Coastal clients want a Tuscany look inside their homes. She says often they're trying to match the architectural feel of the home. But she says subtle changes are starting to emerge, "You're seeing now a lot of the clean lines of Europe coming in, which is still Italian, but it's not the heavy Tuscany. It's the clean lines and you have the high lacquer, it's a very metro look."

With everyone living such fast-paced lives, Evans says simplicity is becoming yet another popular trend. She says the change in style will still reflect a Tuscan look but will also incorporate a simpler style "considered the true Italian, European, more contemporary look."

Doug Niel, head of floor sales at Superior Floor Designs in Encinitas, California, says it's quality that attracts his customers to the Italian flooring, "A lot of the people like the millings that the Italian companies do. They use Swiss machinery, which is a little superior to most of the machinery used in the States to produce the wood flooring. So that what you get is a tighter fit, especially on the engineered floors."

While the quality of work and the authentic and aged look of the Italian architecture is capturing the hearts of homeowners, unfortunately, business owners are yet to adapt the traditional afternoon siesta!

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Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is an award-winning journalist, an author, customer service trainer/speaker, and founder of Setting the Service Standard, a customer service training and consulting program offered by Live Fit Enterprises (LFE) based in San Diego, California. She is the publisher of Live Fit Magazine, an online publication that features information on real estate/finance, physical fitness, travel, and philanthropy. Her company, LFE, specializes in media services including marketing, PR, writing, commercials, corporate videos, customer service training, and keynotes & seminars. Visit her magazine website: www.LiveFitMagazine.com.

Phoebe's articles, feature stories, and columns appear in various publications including The Coast News, Del Mar Village Voice, Rancho Santa Fe Review, and Today's Local News in San Diego, as well as numerous Internet sites. She holds a California real estate license. Phoebe worked for KGTV/10News in San Diego as a Newscaster, Reporter and Community Affairs Specialist for more than a decade. Phoebe's writing is also featured in Donald Trump's book: The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Buying Foreclosures. She is the author of If the Trash Stinks, TAKE IT OUT! 14 Worriless Principles for Your Success.

Contact Phoebe at (858) 259-3646 or phoebe@livefitmagazine.com. Visit PhoebeChongchua.com for more information.

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