Italian Interior Design: An Introduction
It is no secret that most Italians have an inherent eye for good design, and Italian love for home is second to none. Take these two and combine them, and what you get is the essence of Italian interior design. If you are looking for a way to meet all that you require from your home and make it the cynosure of all eyes at the same time, look no further than interior design from Italy.
History of Interior Design in Italy
The history of Italian interior design is pretty long and elaborate, interior designing was a hobby of the Italian nobility from the Roman times. Not only did the Romans create architectural marvels, they designed the interiors of their structures for maximum comfort, functionality and aesthetic appeal. With the centuries, the Roman villas with their ornate architectural details gave way to relatively simple structures, built for durability.
But as is apparent in the distinguished Tuscan villas and the luminous Mediterranean beach houses standing till this day and inspiring a million other homes, Italians did not sacrifice the beauty of a building for its long life.
Modern Italian Interior Design
Modern Italian interior design in its stark lines might be somewhat different from the houses of the 18th and 19th centuries, but it has a few things in common with its historical counterpart.
The love of open, well-lighted, airy spaces, for one. Most Italian interior designers today, whether fans of classic designs or followers of edgy chic, design living spaces with lots of light and air in mind.
And the second rule they adhere to to try and bring as much of the exterior into the interior of the house as possible. This could be in the form of big glass windows that open into the garden, or floating ceilings.
A few things have radically changed,however.
The first is the interior designer's preoccupation with clever and aesthetic space utilization. Some urban homes in Italy tend to be small, and interior designers try their best to allocate space, doors, and windows to give as much a semblance of open space as possible. The tricks designers use to enhance space include the strategic placement of furniture and lighting. Italian designers tend to excel in both of these areas.
Secondly, the average Italian home is now a self-contained modular affair, and this calls for creative solutions to spatial and aesthetic issues. Italian interior designers have responded with bold, individualistic, intelligent and often quirky suggestions to make the home an interesting living area.
Thirdly, modern kitchens have evolved into living spaces, where people entertain guests or spend their spare time, and this has also affected interior design. Kitchens are now more open, and the ventilation from the living room and other areas has improved.
Last, but not the least, designers also have to keep in mind that most Italians now prefer the clean, uncluttered look. This has brought a lot of concealed storage solutions into the realm of Italian interior design. Another feature is the use of furniture for dual purposes: a sofa by day often converts into a bed by night.
But along with the challenges, Italian interior designers have a great asset. They can draw upon a sizeable pool of traditional artisans who can help customize a house to the specific beauty and functionality requirements of a homeowner.
In order to help readers understand Italian interior design in depth and detail, Life in Italy brings together a collection of articles that address many aspects of interior design in Italy.
Introduction by: Damyanti Ghosh, October 2009