A trip to Tuscany might be once in a lifetime, but you can make every day a European escape by creating a courtyard with Mediterranean touches.
This classic look, inspired by the villas that punctuate the Italian countryside, is particularly charming for outdoor patio areas. Though a key element in this look is limestone – which is an uncommon material in this part of the world – it’s easy to emulate the stone’s smooth edges and irregular finish using Resene FX Paint Effects medium.
To give your walls a similarly textured, limewashed look baked with earthy, Mediterranean warmth by starting with two basecoats of Resene Half Canterbury Clay. Once dry, use a wide, soft paintbrush to apply Resene FX Paint Effects medium mixed with Resene Eighth Canterbury Clay in loose, criss-cross strokes. Then, almost immediately, buff your brushstrokes with a clean, dry cloth to soften the effect and create a mottled look. Work in small sections no more than 1-2m2 at a time to manipulate the effect before it sets. Once your full surface has one layer of the paint effect applied, repeat the same process using Resene FX Paint Effects medium mixed with Resene Double Spanish White. If any areas of your paint effect look heavy-handed and stand out too much, dab and buff a small amount of Resene Half Canterbury Clay into those areas using another clean, dry cloth to pull back the effect. You may decide to add one or more additional layers of your coloured Resene FX Paint Effects medium to increase your paint effect, as it often looks best to build up thin layers for a richer look than trying to force it in one go.
If you’re building a new home and want to get an authentic Italian villa look, consider choosing a plaster façade using INTEGRA lightweight concrete cladding with Ezytex Adobe plaster finish from Resene Construction Systems, which can be painted in any Resene colour. Or, add texture to your wall with Resene Resitex Plastercote or Resene Sandtex Mediterranean effect. Both of these textured coatings can be overcoated with Resene FX Paint Effects medium in the method we described to further enhance their look.
Installing traditional shutters will give your home’s exterior a hefty dose of old-world charm; if you can’t find new or want yours to have an older look, you can often find reclaimed shutters at architectural salvage yards. Your shutters can be painted in an eye-catching colour to contrast with your wall, such as a fresh blue like Resene Fountain Blue. Or, for a more subtle palette, choose a soft green beige such as Resene Kangaroo.
A cobblestone effect underfoot will give your patio a hand-crafted artisanal vibe, and the look of natural stones is easily mimicked using Resene Walk-On paving paint. We started with two basecoats in Resene Half Canterbury Clay. Once dry, we used a professional quality flat angled paintbrush – available from your local Resene ColorShop – to hand paint our random, rounded shapes in Resene Eighth Canterbury Clay, Resene Double Spanish White, Resene Blanc, Resene Paris White and Resene Half Spanish White. Be sure to balance very large shapes with very small shapes and leave inconsistent gaps for the Resene Half Canterbury Clay ‘grout’ to show through for a more realistic effect.
A simple bistro table and chair set painted in Resene Rivergum adds European appeal while a pergola – a classic feature of Italianate gardens – painted in a white like Resene Half Spanish White or slightly green off-white such as Resene Kangaroo can provide a frame for climbing plants such as grapevines, jasmine or bougainvillea to grow and enhance your al fresco dining experience.
Styling by Annick Larkin. Photography by Bryce Carleton. 2022
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