Have you ever wished that you lived in an elegant Tuscan villa or a sleek, modern Milan apartment? You can have the luxury of these exotic abodes without ever having to leave the United States by incorporating a few Italian design elements into your home decor.
Five elements of Italian design
To recreate the stylish look of Italy in your home, consider:
1. Open spaces with lots of light. Open rooms with minimal furnishings and ample windows and artificial light are hallmarks of Italian design. Uncluttered is the rule for this design style, and homes designed in this way feature a variety of storage options, such as chests and ottomans with inside storage to keep possessions out of sight. This design style favors monochromatic area rugs in place of carpeting.
2. Natural, muted colors. A neutral color palette that favors whites, browns, beiges and blacks is another key element of Italian design. Color can be added for dramatic effect with accessories, such as throw pillows, blankets and colored glass bowls or lamps.
3. Emphasis on gardens and plants. Italian design frequently blurs the line between the outdoors and the indoors with large windows that overlook the ever-present garden, as well as dramatic house plants and potted trees inside the home.
4. Minimalist furnishings with sleek lines and sexy curves. Italian design relies on a few, well-chosen and well-made pieces of high end Italian furniture as opposed to the crowded, overstuffed look of French or English country design. Wooden and metal chair frames are favored, as well as high-end fabrics, such as damask and silk.
5. Distinctive architectural features. Italian design isn’t limited to the interior of the home. Exterior design elements include wrought-iron fences, balconies and balustrades, tile roofs, classic arches and French doors (often used in pairs).
You don’t have to live in the hills of Tuscany or in stylish Milan to enjoy Italian design. Simply focus on an open floor plan, add lots of light, keep your palette muted with a splash of color in the accessories, add a few well-made furniture pieces — such as those made by Sparco Home & Lifestyle — and bring the outdoors in with houseplants and over-sized windows.