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The history of Italian decor borrows from traditions thousands of years old. While the ancient Romans spared no pains to make their interiors look aesthetic and comfortable, the nobility of the Middle Ages was not so far behind in its resplendence.
This was followed by the refined sophistication of home decoration during the Italian Renaissance, and though home decor remained in the background in the subsequent centuries, the Art Deco period brought the glory back into Italian home decor.
Decor in the Italian home is an inspiration for home decorators and property owners worldwide. Be it romanticism or stylishness, Italian decor delivers it every time. But home decoration Italian style is not merely about aesthetic qualities alone, it is also very much about functional utility.
In this article, Life in Italy would explore the principles of Italian decor when it comes to various parts of an Italian home: the living room, the bedroom, the kitchen, the bathroom, and the garden.
Italian Inspiration for Newborns
If you have a little one on the way, consider taking inspiration from two of the enchanting places in Italy when decorating your baby's nursery: Tuscany and Venice!
A nursery inspired by the hillside towns and countryside landscape of Tuscany is the perfect haven to relax with your baby. Tuscan homes tend to be furnished and decorated with natural materials like wood and pure cotton. For a bed, choose a rich walnut sleigh crib. If you are crafty, you might consider giving furniture hand me downs a new look with an antique paint treatment.
Choose colors that are soft and soothing. Paint the walls in colors such as yellow, sage green, lavender or cream. A mural or "fresco" can be commissioned for the walls of if you are creative, you can paint it yourself. Create a scene from Tuscany complete with mysterious cypress trees, a stone farmhouse, a vegetable patch and baby animals.
Light fixtures that speak of art and create atmosphere
Before discussing lamps and other lighting devices that in Italy represent a vast area of artistic production, it may be of some interest to the reader to be informed that the attention to detail in home decorating in Italy extends to the plates of light switches. While most homes tend to use the modern white plastic plates, or else brass plates, there are also other materials, particularly wood, that are used for more selective decorating.
Terracotta: The beauty of Fired Earth. Part II
Written By: Jamie Sue Austin
Terracotta also finds itself in many architectural settings. Once limited to base relief and frieze decorations terracotta has expanded into modern settings with strikingly modern designs. This fireplace by sergio Valenti ( see our Terracotta Gallery ) mimics the appearance of carv ed wood and stone while retaining the warmth of traditional terracotta coloring. The intricate knot work carving and floral medallion across the mantel gives this piece added elegance and serves to break up the sharp horizontal and vertical lines of an otherwise visually imposing piece.
Terracotta: The beauty of fired earth, Part I
Clay. Earth. Dirt. Soil. From such humble beginnings man created an empire. Bricks of clay built homes and tiled roofs and pavements. From the ground came plates, bowels, pots and containers of every shape and size which held food, water, and various goods. Ovens of dirt baked both bread and gave warmth. Man, himself, is said to be created from clay. Christian, Islamic, Greek, African, and many other mythologies attribute man's origins to the muck and mire of wet earth. It is no wonder then, with man being born from the earth that clay would be among the first materials to be transformed by the ingenious hands of man.
Fantastic Americana Pieces You Can Add to Any Décor
I'm Italian. Well, Italian-American. My mother was born in Italy. She moved here when she was still a child back in 1956. She was heavily influenced by both cultures - still is. I've inherited that from her, among other things.In my own home, I mix my Italian and American backgrounds in my décor; or, I try to at any rate. I especially enjoy classic Americana pieces from the 50s, 60s and even the 70s. They're kitschy, campy and wonderful. It can make any room feel like home. Americana transports you body, mind and soul into a simpler time. Americana décor is classic. It can be classy - or sassy. It can also be glamorous. In this article, I'm going to do a little window-shopping and pick out a few pieces that can make your Americana theme room - or any room for that matter - a real visual treat.
Monochromatic Color Schemes
Color, and lots of it, is in, and the popularity of monochromatic color schemes is fading fast. However, if you love the understated elegance and soothing feel of your monochromatic decor there are some things you can do to update it without losing the overall effect.
First, keep in mind that monochromatic does not mean that every item has to be exactly the same color. You can add several different shades of a particular color and create a tasteful tone on tone look. Your room will retain the same calming essence, but it will gain some visual interest.
Color Theory and its Benefits in Interior Design
Sir Isaac Newton developed the first circular diagram of colors in 1666. Since then, scientists and artists have studied modern color theory, amassing a vast collection of rules and formulas. So, what do those rules and formulas have to do with making a small room seem larger? It's all about optical illusion; one of color theory's clever mysteries. With a few basic principals, you can improve that small space that always seems too packed, even when it's tidy and in order.
Color enthusiasts have known for ages that colors create optical illusions, but it wasn't until modern times that these effects were mapped out and documented in a scientific manner. Here is an example: if you place two squares - identical, except for the fact that one square is black and the other is white - side by side, the black square will appear to be smaller than the white square.
A Classic Trait of Italian Homes
The rooster is the bird to use in your home decorating these days. Whether you are an animal lover, a country girl or just like to keep up on all of the trends, you can add some "country charm" to your home by using the rooster in your decor. A country kitchen is warm and inviting with colors like yellow, red and orange to add to the ambiance of the room. Previously, popular kitchen themes were the goose, cow or the pig, but today the rooster takes all.
Italian Country Decorating for Your Home
Are you looking to bring a bit of Italian Tuscan countryside into your home but don't think you have the budget for it? With the central themes of Tuscan decor being food and nature this is one of the most popular and easiest styles to replicate and with a little creativity it can be one of the cheapest too.
Italian Decorative Accessories: Tuscany
Although Tuscany occupies a large geographic area in Italy with many different environments, and although it comprises a wide range of housing solutions (ranging from simple farmhouses to magnificent castles and luxurious country manors), there are certain underlying themes and decorating solutions that are generally recognized as being characteristic of interior decorating "Tuscan style". In an earlier article, we discussed the use of natural color schemes and materials. In the present article, we are going to begin looking at some of the specific details of Tuscan style decoration, and we will start with what might be called the kitchen.
Interior decorating in the Tuscan style
Tuscany is one of the largest regions in Italy, and over this large geographic extension there are many types of interior decoration, ranging from the magnificent interiors of the palazzi or castles of Florence or Siena, to the majestic decorations of manors of the rolling countryside and hill towns; to the sober interiors of stone farm houses to the ultra-modern furnishings found in many medieval buildings nestled in the villages and this historic centers. Obviously, it is difficult to speak of a "Tuscan style". And yet this is the case because there is an underlying inspiration that unites all of the various home decorating solutions that one can encounter in this splendid region.
Aged Italian Fresco : Colorwash Tuscan Finishing
You don't have to travel to the historic and artistic-rich Italian cities of Rome and Florence to attain the skill of fresco. The up and coming popular faux finish, colorwashing, will transform any room in your home with the look and feel of an age-old renaissance painting.
Create a Tuscan Look With Plaster
What images do we conjure when we think of Italy? The rich farmland and the sparkling Mediterranean sea? The sun ripe olives and the heady aroma of lavender? The ageless villas replete with a patina of age and history? The thick stone walls of these older Italian homesteads, with their lavish, hand-troweled plaster, are still as beautiful and practical today as they were hundreds of years ago. The walls keep the warmth in during the cold months, and withstand the beating sun during the warm months. Many families still live quite comfortably without central heating and cooling within the walls of these timeless abodes.While plaster itself is difficult for at-home do-it-yourselfer, there is a significantly easier (and less inexpensive way) to create this effect in your own home!
A Story of a Style II
The forms and designs for the decoration of furniture and ornamental pieces made wide use of arabesques, with round and oval shapes prevailing over squares and rectangular designs. Surfaces were heavily faceted and filled with small mirror inlay. In architecture, spires and pinnacles became prevalent, for example as in the case of the Chrysler building in New York. There were numerous illustrious interpreters of this style, ranging from Coco Chanel in clothing design to Tamara de Lempieka in painting. Until then the only metals used in the manufacture of furniture and ornamental objects were bronze for the more important pieces and brass for such things as handles and locks, but subsequently other metals were used, such as aluminum, wrought iron, and chrome, for example for tubular columns.
Story of Art Deco Style Part I: Rome Quartiere Coppede'
We were taught at school, or better still we were brainwashed, into believing that languages were divided into two broad categories: those that were generally defined as "living" and those considered as "dead" languages. The former were those languages spoken in some part of the globe, while the latter were only studied, but did not constitute a means of communication anywhere in the world except under exceptional circumstances when used for dialogue at elevated cultural levels.
5 Steps to a Romantic Home
Italians are successful at creating elegant and relaxed homes by following five simple rules.
Mix don't Match
Many Americans opt to buy their furniture in entire sets, when Italians prefer to mix and match.. One way to do this is search for pieces you truly love. Look at a variety of different places. Go to flea markets, antique fairs, yard sales, upscale boutiques, and outlet stores to look for a chair or bed that catches you eye. Furniture from different periods can compliment each other as long as the scale works in the space. Deciding on a color scheme is one way to tie everything together. Never feel pressured to fill up a new home in a hurry. The best approach is making slow and thoughtful purchases over time.