For Italians, great style seems to come naturally. Italian design,
whether in clothing, jewelry, home exteriors, or furniture, has pretty
universal allure. Italians seem to come up with the perfect blend of
charm, elegance, attention to detail, boldness, and simplicity that very
few have the potential to imitate. Though history has influenced the
look of modern Italian design (especially modern Italian furniture), it
has evolved to continue appealing to people around the world. For
interior designers and do-it yourself enthusiasts around the world,
decorating a room or entire home in Italian fashion is a surefire way to
make the home feel relaxed and sophisticated at the same time.
The roots of Italian design can be seen in the ruins of the Roman Empire. The buildings were intricate and grandiose, and interior design was a hobby for many Roman nobles. The furniture at the time was designed for maximum comfort, functionality, and aesthetic appeal, which remains an objective today. Most of these designs were heavy and ornate, and largely influenced later Italian design. This approach to interior design was to make the interior of the home reflect as many details from the exterior as possible. This remains a goal for modern Italian decorators, who try to incorporate large windows and floating ceilings for an airy feel.
The fourteenth century was a revolutionary time for design throughout Europe, and many styles of modern Italian furniture can trace their roots from this period. Baroque, Roccoco, and Renaissance styles are all genres of Italian design. Italian furniture is also referred to as Tuscan style, because many of these designs came from the Tuscan region of Italy. Heavy design was integral to most forms of Italian design, from large interior pieces made of iron or marble, to detailed mosaics and embellished, hand-painted floor tiles. Modern Italian design does incorporate these features, but typically more simplistic furniture is also included in order to balance out the feel of a room. In fact, in many parts of Italy, rustic design is favored over the more traditional ornate details.
Modern Italian furniture still incorporates many bold elements, while the design remains simplistic yet durable. Open space is essential in Italian design, and many designers have become quite adept at using strategic placement of lighting and furniture to create the illusion that a room has more space. This originated in Italy, where many living spaces are quite small. In addition, pieces of furniture that add interest (sometimes even quirkiness) to the room are incorporated to individualize the room. The appeal of a clean and uncluttered living space has influenced modern Italian furniture. Many pieces are multi-functional (such as sofa beds, which still maintain distinct Italian flavor) in order to maximize space. Indeed, incorporation of both space and light are central to Italian design.
Another feature of modern Italian furniture is the (sometimes obvious) influence of history, culture, and past designs. Although many pieces of modern furniture can appear stark and impersonal, Italian furniture does not. Perhaps the best way to describe the furniture is sleek: it has the clean lines of modern furniture, but also a distinct style that is lacking in most designs. Indeed, Italians have shown that design can be refined and sophisticated, while also creatively incorporating new materials to make exotic and modern Italian furniture. Italian ingenuity has allowed furniture design to be unique and sumptuous.
Another important aspect of not only Italian design, but also Italian culture, is the kitchen. Italians are well-known for their love of food, and most Italian festivities center around what goes on in (and what comes out of) the kitchen. Modern designers have realized this, and have begun to transform kitchens into something more than a workspace. Kitchens are now focused on as a living area, with large and inviting pieces perfect for socializing. Of course, functionality is still just as important, and designs maximize the utilization of the kitchen. As with all Italian design, kitchens maximize space.
Designing a home with modern Italian furniture can be tricky. Hiring a designer may be a good idea, but in many cases, it is too expensive. There a few things to keep in mind when decorating. Firstly, both classic and modern Italian design share features that can be overwhelming if not properly balanced. Italian furniture is beautiful, but you should avoid too many ornate pieces in the same place. Secondly, consider the colors and other details of pieces as well. Most Italian furniture is designed with Italian aesthetics in mind: lots of light and lots of space. Depending on where you live, intense colors and designs may not be appropriate for you. Do not fear: the diversity of design in modern Italian furniture pretty much guarantees that you can find pieces to work in your home. The most important thing to remember is that Italian homes have a welcoming and inviting atmosphere. If you use bold colors, try to balance them out with neutral colors, such as white and beige (these are also traditional colors in Italian design). Implement as much light and space as possible. There are many techniques to make a room appear larger than it is, and the proper placement of furniture can help with this illusion.
Modern Italian furniture still incorporates the boldness that previous centuries have provided, but do so in a way that seems effortless. Even though designs seem simple, the use of detail and color clearly shows a modern influence. Europe is frequently known for its sophistication and clean lines, but this is truer for Italians than any other group. The Roman Empire influenced future styles of furniture and other designs throughout Europe. Today, Italian design continues to make an impact around the world. Whether you choose classic or modern Italian furniture for your home, it is guaranteed that it will durable, beautiful, and creative in a way that is unique from all other designs. Though styles have evolved, the craftsmanship, quality, and attention to detail in Italian furniture is just as important today as it was thousands of years ago.