Italian home decoration has a distinctive aesthetic that is sophisticated, functional and artistic, with an underlying passion for the Dolce Vita and a playful sense of style. Just like Italian fashion, home decoration has an element of ‘Sprezzatura’; which is to say that Italians make an ultra-chic, uber-stylish home look almost as if it was thrown together without a second thought!
The Essence Of Italian Home Decoration.
The aesthetics of home decoration encompasses all the elements of life that are most valuable to Italians. These include family, functionality, style and elegance. There’s a great reverence for traditional but simultaneously new trends are incorporated into the décor without any sense of contradiction.
Home decoration should also take account of the place where you are living. For instance, if you’re living in a city apartment you may want to create a modern chic aesthetic whereas in a country villa you’ll find that embracing the materials and environment of the region will give your property a more coherent feeling.
Broad Principles For Italian Home Decoration.
The following are some of the key principles to keep in mind during interior decoration:
Don’t Be Afraid Of Imperfection.
Part of the carefree charm of Italian home decoration, particularly in rustic areas, is an openness to embracing imperfections. In practical terms this means that not everything has to perfectly match and, in fact, it can look fantastic if you mix and match different styles and patterns within a single room.
This might really go against the modern Western instinct to make the entire house fit a predetermined aesthetic but in the Italian version of home decoration carefully thought-out imperfections can be a real selling point.
For instance, mismatched tableware, antique or well-used furniture and even random paintings or wall hangings can give your property a really cozy, family-orientated feeling. However, you shouldn’t try to create imperfection and disunity for the sake of it.
Instead, you shouldn’t be afraid to include items, materials or patterns in your home decoration that don’t match everything else, just so long as they mean something to you personally. Elements in your home décor that are slightly out of place can really express your own personality as well as bring out the atmosphere of the property.
Use Traditional Techniques When Decorating Your Home.
There’s no need to abandon the traditional Italian techniques when it comes to decorating your home. For example, even though you could use a modern chemical paint, your property will look a lot better if you employ a local expert to limewash and paint your walls instead.
The same applies to furniture and other items in your home. So avoid the cheap, generic IKEA furniture and instead opt for locally made wooden furniture that you can further embellish with cushions and throws.
Make Use Of Locally Sourced, Natural Materials.
Italians are fiercely proud of their roots and the region in which they live. This not only applies to the food they eat but also to the way they decorate their homes. If you embrace this kind of attitude, even if you’re living in Italy as an Expat, you’ll quickly find that your home is starting to feel genuinely Italian!
Whenever possible you should try to use natural materials that are representative of the place that you live in. Locally made ceramics, bed sheets and wall hangings all add authenticity to your home decoration that no amount of planning could ever achieve.
As you select furniture, fabrics, wallpaper and decorative items you should constantly be trying to source as much as possible from local artisans, markets and small family-run businesses. In this way, a lot of the difficult design decisions will be determined for you by the area that you’re living in!
The Best Italian Decoration Techniques For The Summer.
The following are great decoration techniques to adopt during summer:
Mediterranean Plants Are Your Best Friend!
When it comes to creating a summery feel in your home there’s no better way to do so than to use Mediterranean plants in your home decoration. What’s great about these types of plants is that it doesn’t matter whether or not you have a lot of space.
If you live in a small property or an apartment, you can add a whole range of small, potted succulents and other Mediterranean plants. Of course, if you have a large property then you can plant citrus trees or bougainvillea in your garden or even grow dwarf varieties of lemons and oranges in your conservatory.
Another way to incorporate Mediterranean plants in your interior design is to grow a selection of herbs on your kitchen window sill. Herbs, such as rosemary, basil and thyme, all have a wonderful scent and will give your kitchen a genuine Italian summery feel, all year round! Of course, as well as appreciating the aesthetic, you can use the herbs in your home cooking; thereby combining a great aesthetic with practical functionality, all in an Italian theme.
Invest In Artisan Products From Southern Italy.
In the Southern provinces of Italy, the sun is always shining! This means that the feeling of summer emanates in almost everything they do, including food, fashion and, of course, home decoration.
Hand-painted ceramic tiles are a magnificently versatile way to decorate your home with an Italian summer theme. Brightly painted tiles in your bathroom will really lighten the room while ceramic floor tiles will cool your kitchen and give it a lovely rustic feel.
You can also add ceramic pots and earthenware decorative pieces to your tabletops to give your rooms a homely atmosphere. These types of items are easy to find in Italian flea markets at very cheap prices but you can also support local artisans and shop with them. Either way, you’ll be able to find some fantastic one-off items that will give your home decoration a unique character that reflects your tastes in Italian style.
Tableware – Select Summer Patterns And Motifs.
Italians spend a lot of time at home sitting around the dining table, sharing meals and stories. Therefore, it’s a great idea to take a leaf out of their book and use your tabletop to reflect the summer season by buying a special set of summer tableware.
Hand-painted salad bowls, plates and side dishes can all transform the room and give your home decoration a practical utility that you can enjoy every day while you eat. If you buy some really nice tableware you can even leave it out on the dining table between meals to brighten up the room. When you’re selecting your tableware don’t be afraid to mix and match different patterns, textures and styles. By layering textures and patterns on your tabletop you will give it more depth and personality. This will give your tabletop a lovely playful aesthetic that speaks to the carefree lifestyle of the Dolce Vita. Remember, for a summer feeling you might want to focus on floral patterns and bright
The Best Italian Decoration Techniques For The Winter.
The following are great decoration techniques to adopt during winter:
Use Dried Flowers.
During the winter a great way to decorate your home is to use dried flowers. You can hang them from the shelves and hooks in your kitchen or you can place them in vases throughout the property. You can buy pre-made bunches of dried flowers or you can get creative and make your own bouquets by mixing and matching different types of dried flowers.
Another way to give your home a cozy, warm Italian-themed winter feeling is to add scented flowers, such as lavender, to your flower bouquets. Adding dried scented flowers to your vases will give the room a lovely atmosphere and because they won’t die, like a fresh bouquet, they should last all winter!
Nothing is better than using candles to decorate your home in the winter. Not only can you use scented candles to warm up the room but you can also select artisan Italian candlesticks. Silver, brass and even stainless steel candlesticks are timeless and will give your home a sophisticated Italian elegance.
Of course, if you’re lighting candles in your property you need to be careful that they are away from fabrics, such as wall hangings, which could pose a potential fire risk. However, candlesticks on your dining table or on a mantlepiece are perfectly safe and the soft warm glow looks super stylish.
A brilliant way to decorate your home for the winter is to go shopping in a local Italian flea market for some antique lamps. You may have to visit an electrician to get the fittings updated for the modern world but an art nouveau or traditional lampstand will give your home an authentic touch of Italian class!
Hanging ceiling lamps can also be installed in your property to give your rooms a cozy, old-world atmosphere. When choosing a ceiling lamp you should pay special attention to the fittings and try to find ones that have elaborate patterns. This will add a distinctive point of interest to the room and is reminiscent of an upmarket Tuscan hotel lounge.
Incorporate Italian Techniques.
Whether you live in Italy or have just visited on vacation, you’re bound to have been inspired by the country’s lifestyle. From the food and wine to the art, culture and interior design, Italy has a flair for style and sophistication that is completely unparalleled.
Naturally, if you live in Italy you can easily start to buy locally sourced artisan decorations, use traditional techniques in home decoration and reflect the culture of your region. However, even if you live in the USA or other parts of the world, you can always learn from Italian decoration techniques to give your home more personality and a unique sense of place.