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Traditional Italian Style.
Traditional Italian DecoratingItaly as long been known as the center of good taste. Whether you're talking about food, art, fine wine or decor, Italy is simply known for having the best.
However, although traditional Italian decorating styles feature exceptional materials and beautiful details, it somehow manages to be grand and comfortable at the same time. In fact, many people feel that the Italian style of decorating is among the most welcoming and comfortable of all the styles.
The Renaissance PeriodThe Renaissance period was known for its attention to culture and history, in contrast to the dismal Dark Ages period. A renewed interest in the grandeur of the Roman Empire sparked a far-reaching cultural rebirth in Italy. In fact, the word "Renaissance" actually means "reawakening" or "rebirth." During this period of time, there were a lot of changes and an overall sense of reform.
This renewed interest in culture and history created sparks in almost every aspect of daily life in Italy. It was during this time period that there were great advances made in mathematics, science, philosophy, architecture, art, and of course decorating. As relics from the ancient ruins continued to be rediscovered, the influence of these past styles began to be seen in decorating styles. These styles became very popular and in fact set the overall trend in decorating for centuries.
Furniture StylesBecause of the influence of the styles of the Roman Empire, furniture styles featured a classic sense of refinement and grandeur. However, the influences of the Gothic period can also be seen in furniture styles of this era. As a result, it was common to see dark woods, beautifully crafted carvings, and ornate details.
Fine woods such as walnut, oak, ebony and rosewood were often used in furniture construction. In addition to the beautiful wood finishes, furniture pieces were frequently adorned with marble, mother-of-pearl, marble or ivory inlays or exquisite marquetry work. Because of the focus on history and past cultures, it wasn't unusual to find a somewhat eclectic mix of furniture and accessory styles. However, the overall look was always beautiful with a sense of comfortable splendor.
Colors, Textures and TextilesEarth tones and colors commonly found in the Italian landscape are common in this style of decorating. Frequently reminiscent of a warm sunny Italian day, the colors used in traditional Italian decorating styles include terra cotta shades, warm brown and red tones, gold, cream, blues and greens. Overall, the color palette has the pleasant Mediterranean appeal of the combination of natural land and sea colors.
It's common to find marble featured in traditional Italian decorating styles. Frequently used for countertops, floors, in bathrooms and even for furniture accents, marble and other stone materials are often seen as being representative of the splendor of the Roman Empire. The beautifully decorative stucco known as Venetian plaster is also commonplace.
Wall tapestries featuring scenery were commonly used for decoration as well as for insulation. Traditional Italian tapestries often include medieval scenes, biblical themes, or even mythology. Window treatments are generally lighter as compared to the heavier curtains of earlier times. However, in the case of furniture upholstery and bedding, luxurious fabrics such as brocade, silk and velvet were commonly used.
Decorating AccentsTraditional Italian artifacts are the hallmark of this style of decorating. Family crests, beautiful oil paintings, Oriental or Persian rugs, and terra cotta or stone pieces are all right at home.
Statues crafted from ceramic or plaster as well as figurines and busts add to the historic appeal of this decorating style. Wall tapestries, wrought iron pieces and anything reminiscent of Italian history work well as decorating accents.