Whether modeling your home after a beautiful Tuscan villa, or a chic Milanese apartment, incorporating an Italian touch will add culture and style.
Traditional Italian design is often described as rustic, with either whitewashed or earth-toned walls and lots of open space. Italian culture is centered around a love of family and friends, and rooms are designed to fit many people.
Exposed wood, earthenware, and ceramics give Italian spaces a warm, rustic feel. Flooring is often made of terra cotta, fired clay, ceramic, or marble tiles. Color schemes range from rich dark woods and burgundy, brown or gold furnishings, to whitewashed walls, crocheted lace curtains, and lots of natural light.
Food plays a huge role in Italian culture, and the kitchen is the heart of the home. Italian kitchens tend to be eat-in, with a dining table and chairs or an island with barstools. Medium to dark woods and earth-tones tile floors create a rustic charm.
Tiles may be used on the walls as well, even just as a backsplash to the counter. Like the color palette of the room, the lighting should be soft and warm. Low overhead lighting is ideal, and if there’s space, consider installing track lighting or wall sconces.
Of course your kitchen wouldn’t be complete without a wine rack. There are many options out there, so you can find one to complement your kitchen. Warm, functional, and rustic are the crucial elements of any Italian kitchen.
The Living Room
Like the kitchen, the living room should feel warm and comfortable. Natural, rich tones, patterns, crocheted table runners, woven textiles, leather and wood furniture all come together to create a space that feels beautiful, but also lived-in.
Other touches include:
- Exposed wood beams.
- Exposed brick.
- Lamps, candles, chandeliers.
- Large, colourful wall art.
- Leather cushions.
- Heavy, earth-toned drapes.
- Brick Fireplaces.
Italian bedroom design favors clean linens, and an uncluttered style. Above all, the Italian bedroom should be clean and functional.
Italian bed frames usually feature large, cushioned headboards. Furniture comes in clean linens, and geometric shapes, like a rectangular night table, or square ottoman.
Stay away from funky colors and stick with neutral tones: white, cream, black, beige, brown, and other earthy colors. Similar to the rest of the house, a touch of exposed brick or wood wouldn’t go amiss in your Italian style bedroom!
When designing your bathroom, you can look to old world Italy for inspiration, or go more contemporary with ultra-modern design. Going old-world would involve adding the earthy colors and tones described earlier, as well as additions like gilded flowers around a mirror, exposed tile, or a ceramic mosaic sink. As for the finish, stick with something like pewter or copper.
Ultra-modern ideas fall into the same line as bedrooms: timeless elegance, with clean linens, and no clutter. Modern bathrooms favor a shiny metallic finish, and geometrical, sharp shapes. The more traditional ceramic sink can be switched out for a clear glass sink to create a sleek modern look.
Whether it’s just a touch of Italy here and there, or a full-on makeover, the functionality and timelessness of Italian design would suit just about any home. Use these tips to get started, and embrace Italy’s classic design!