Italy - Classic and Chic

They Do It So Well

It doesn't really matter what form of design you can think of - from architecture to clothing - when you think of classic and chic, it is Italian that comes to the forefront of the mind. From ancient Rome until today, the Italians have led the way in many avante guard and inspirational designs.

The Themes of Italy

There are a wide variety of styles that are incorporated under the heading of Italian Décor and Design. Regional themes, from the warmth and openness of Tuscany to the classical and sophisticated style of Venice, are characteristic styles where tradition runs deep. To those outside of Italy, design is interpreted through the lens of replicating neoclassic ideas, something preserved in history and not suitable for today, like Rococo.

After the end of World War 11, Italian creativity was liberated and from that point on Italians have been rushing toward innovation and functionality in their living space. Italian design today is cutting edge, but not in the sense of ultra modern décor and design, nor is it considered contemporary. Cutting edge in the sense of Italian design is tied to a new birth of design originating from a blending of the creativity of a large group of world class designers. These designers utilize the strong traditions of skilled master craftsmen, who come from a land of longstanding solidly constructed structures that are still occupied.

The Difference Between Design & Decor

There is a difference between design and decorating, and as a decorator, you will use the design of furniture and put it together in the best blend to exemplify "modern Italian" décor.

Italian Design Today

Today's Italian design is simple, functional and intended to satisfy the demands of a hurried lifestyle, while creating a feeling that is both familiar and comfortable. Special attention is focused on expression, which honors the long held Italian philosophy of life and art, while providing utility. If a piece matches these criteria, then it is Italian design.

Wall & Floor Finishes

Wall color is muted with a wide use of neutrals and white based tints, subtle so it doesn't intrude upon the furnishings and accessories. The days of Fresco paintings and rough walls are gone, replaced instead with smooth, sleek finishes. Pale tone on tone is acceptable, but save the deep, dark, intense colors for accessories. Paint is just to define the space. Flooring is always exquisite. Marble, terra cotta, and ceramic tiles dominate. You won't find wall-to-wall carpeting anywhere, and parquet wood floors are saved for the bedrooms.

How You Will Furnish Your Beautiful Space

Furnishings are center-stage and limited in number. You don't need many, but ensure that what you do have is of utmost quality and design. Exotic woods, like bamboo, with a deep, clear lacquer finish, and sofas and chairs which combine leather and chrome, can be introduced here. Color will come from the Persian rugs and Venetian plasters and tapestries on the walls. Look for pieces that will give impact rather than just fill the white space on the wall.

Keep your space free of clutter and choose lamps and fixtures for their artistic appeal rather than for their light. Choose one piece to remind you that the birthplace of your taste is centuries old and then you will have today's Italian décor.