Italy has long been known as the most stylish country on Earth. It’s home to a plethora of world-class clothing brands and architect firms and exports its design prowess all over the world.
Nowhere is the force of Italian design more apparent than in interior design. Step into any high-quality home or business in Italy, and you’ll be confronted with a veritable feast for the eyes. Suffice to say, Italian design is stunning.
But what can the average person learn from our southern European brethren? Take a look at these lessons you can learn from Italian designers.
USE THE DINING ROOM AS A HOMAGE TO FOOD AND FAMILY
Food is at the heart of the average Italian home. It’s embedded deeply in the culture. Italian families prepare delicious meals on a nightly basis and regularly come together around the dining table to enjoy a home-cooked supper. It’s an essential part of life.
It should come as no surprise, therefore, that Italian interior designers put a lot of effort into creating stunning dining rooms. High-quality linen, flowers and candles are a must (and easy to replicate). Italian designers also emphasise functional, beautiful dining tables and minimalist pendant lighting.
BRING DESIGNER FASHION INTO THE LIVING ROOM
Italy is famous for its clothes designers, but Italians aren’t afraid to bring ideas from the catwalk into their living rooms. As Haus of Design shows, there’s been a trend towards more minimalist designs in Italy over recent years. But there’s also no reason why you can’t bring creative and exciting fabrics into the living room.
You don’t have to plaster all of the walls in your home with decorative wallpaper or funky artwork – just a simple statement piece will often suffice. You could go with a minimalist design and then choose a bright, statement chair with luxurious upholstery to provide visual interest.
COMBINE CLASSIC DESIGN WITH MODERNISM
Italians aren’t opposed to blending design languages. In fact, it’s something that they love to do. Step into the average Italian home, and you’ll find classical elements blended seamlessly with contemporary. Italian designers aren’t particularly focused on being “matchy-matchy.” They prefer to play fast and loose with their design choices, experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t.
Surprisingly, many elements typically found in classically-inspired homes also work in modern ones too. For instance, if you have a clinical, modernist home, you can break the monotony with an antique oil painting in a traditional frame.
Antique oil paintings are a great addition to practically any room and can be inexpensive if you find one second-hand from a relatively unknown artist.
Another thing that works well is placing traditional chandelier lighting in rooms decorated to modern tastes. Italian designers will often surprise with the use of elaborate lighting, even in rooms which do not appear to warrant it.
There’s a lot that we can learn from Italian designers; I love how inventive they are and the mix with of traditional and modern. What I’d take away from it is the linen fabrics.
What element of Italian home styling do you love?