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Italian Style Decorating

 

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For decades, Italy has inspired us: the rolling hillsides of Tuscany, the history of Rome and the artistic masterpieces of Florence. Incorporating this colour, texture and beauty of Italy into your own home can be comforting, stylish and welcoming and bring a touch of “la dolce vita” into daily life.

If you’ve ever visited the canals and cafes of Venice or the rural beauty of Umbria, you already know the captivating quality of this country. The warm stone and intricate mosaics of Italy’s ancient cities work surprising well for today’s families.

Italy and design are synonymous. Furniture design in Italy is a skilled trade that has been passed down from one generation to another for hundreds of years. Contemporary or modern Italian furniture is made of the same old world craftsmanship, but with a totally different look. Wood, luxurious leather and chrome are combined into ultra sleek, smooth and elegant tables, chairs, desks and sofas for today's lifestyle while retaining the quality and durability that Italian design is renowned for.

In Italian style decorating it's all about, texture, colour and theme. Colourful tapestries and paintings stand out when added to simple styled Italian furniture in a room. Decorating with artworks inspired by the rolling hills of Tuscany, windows, arches, architecture and Italian food are a popular choice. A wall tapestry draped elegantly brings colour, softness and dramatic design to a kitchen, dining, living or a bedroom wall.

Marble is a widely used material for entry floors, hallways and in bathrooms. Tiles in sea-inspired hues bring to mind the Roman baths, especially when paired with marble accents and white accessories. While you might use finely crafted terracotta or ceramic tiles for the majority of the space, consider creating a tile border made from iridescent sea glass for a taste of the Amalfi Coast.

Italian kitchens are as beautiful as they are functional. Good cooking, good friends, your favourite wine, sitting around the family table and enjoying good conversation are at the heart of the traditional Italian home.

To bring a touch of old Italy with its rustic charm into your kitchen here are a few ideas:

  • In the Kitchen above the counter, hang beautifully framed kitchen art. Three small, framed vintage prints of fruits or vegetables add simple sophistication, while a pair of fine art prints of food in bold colours creates a touch of Tuscany. Linen-looks make for an interesting display. For a timeless, weathered look vintage posters can recreate that special atmosphere of your favourite Italian bistro.
  • Another staple to the Italian culture is the use of fresh herbs. Oregano, basil, flat-leaf parsley, rosemary and sage each add an authentic taste to recipes with a quick snip. Grow small pots of kitchen herbs in containers and place on a sunny windowsill to let their scent waft throughout the home for a pleasant homely ambience. Another idea is to hang a wrought iron pot rack above a sunny window and fill it with terracotta pots of Italian herbs for a charming and practical display.
  • A large family kitchen table makes a welcome addition to an Italian style kitchen. Use colourful dinnerware with warm earthy colours inspired by Italian culture.
  • To compliment your table setting use linens with rich colour and texture.
  • Large family-style serving platters can be used for display and for when friends and family gather together over a meal.
  • Use earthenware jars with green, blue or yellow glazes to hold utensils near the stove, or biscotti on the counter.
  • Display Italian pottery pieces in a pattern and plain colours. Use plate hangers to allow hanging on the wall or easels to display them on flat surfaces.
  • Display a collection of decorative bottles or antique decanters filled with preserved vegetables, olive oils, spices, and dressings on an open shelf or kitchen countertop.

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