Italian home décor is not really what you see in the glossy magazines. Although romantic and perfect for a summer vacation, most homes in Italy do not look like Tuscan country houses or Milanese lofts. Most residential homes in Italy are in towns and cities and living in an apartment is more common that owning property and an independent villa.
Many families have holiday homes in the country or at the beach which they share in turns with relatives. Not surprisingly, the holiday homes have more eclectic interior design as each family member leaves something of their own style behind and family heirlooms and collectables become part of the décor.
In general, Italian home décor is quite simple and practical. In large cities like Milan and Rome, space can be hard to come by and sharing a 2-bedroom apartment with roommates is not unusual for university students and new families.
Not every home will look like the one in the image, and nor should it! Everyone has their own style and personality, but if you like the Italian aesthetic, there are some things you can do to make your home more Italian style.
Paolo De Poli and Gio Ponti Italian Design / Photo CC0 Public domain
Italian design and Milan have been in the spotlight since 1961 when a group of furniture manufacturers inaugurated the first edition of Salone del Mobile. It was held at Fiera di Milano and 328 companies participated. The first edition had 12,000 visitors, 800 of whom came from foreign countries. In the last edition in 2019, there were 360,000 visitors and manufacturers, suppliers, designers and architectural studios from 186 countries participated.
Salone del Mobile is a much-awaited event for both the industry and the public. Although it is the 60th anniversary since its founding, due to the international health emergency, the 59th edition of Salone del Mobile was postponed and will be held Sept. 5 – 10, 2021.
The Fuori Salone fringe events such as those held at the showrooms of the Scalo Milano Design District are a celebration of Made in Italy design and creativity.
Whether you actually live in Italy or not, you can enjoy the best of Italian interior design with these quick tips for adding some great Italian style to whatever room you are working on.
Kartell Battery / Photo Kartell @ScaloMilano
First and foremost, Italian interior design is about simplicity and functionality. Italian designers and architects have been perfecting this style with simple shapes and colors. It’s a matter of creating an overall feel that is inviting while also expressing creativity at the same time. Masters like Paolo De Poli and Gio Pont are celebrated in museums around the world for their striking designs.
Geometric shapes, bold colors and use of innovative materials are also a signature element of Italian design. The mini table lamp by Kartell is a perfect example. The actual name for the lamp is Battery because it is 100% rechargeable for up to eight hours. It’s easy to move from room to room or to use for outdoor lighting during warm evening get-togethers.
Invest in quality
Quality kitchen design by Scavolini @ScaloMilano
Italian decorating is an art but it is also an investment in quality. Having quality furnishings, fixtures, appliances and utensils are key. Investing in quality is a failsafe way to gain value for your money. Although more expensive, quality items will last longer than their cheaper counterparts. The old adage “cheap is expensive” rings true also in home décor.
The kitchen is one room where “invest in quality” should be your mantra. The Italian kitchen is the nucleus, it’s the most used room in the house and gets the most wear and tear throughout the years.
It’s not only design that defines an Italian kitchen. Use of space and functionality are vital. The Scavolini name has become synonymous for high-end kitchen design. Scavolini designs range from sleek, minimal, to earthy and cozy and offer beauty, fine craftsmanship and Made in Italy materials and finishes.
Make a Statement
The C-Lazy by Calligaris @ScaloMilano
Italian furniture is typically characterized by a number of different features and qualities. Firstly, it is always made with the finest materials. This contributes to the strength and durability of the furniture. If you are looking for furniture that can last you for many years to come, then Italian craftsmanship is a perfect option. In addition to quality materials, shape, form and comfort are essential. Having a quality piece of furniture that stands out, creates an aesthetic and is pleasing to look at brings beauty to your home.
The C-Lazy by Calligaris is a functional statement piece available in leather or fabric upholstery. Calligaris is a Made in Italy brand which started in 1923 as an artisan’s workshop in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region producing the Marocca, a traditional straw-back chair. Today it is a prominent furniture manufacturer with pieces decorating luxury hotels, high-rise offices and homes around the globe.
Accentuate with textiles
Home accents and linens by Carrillo Home @ScaloMIlano
Italy has been producing textiles since the Middle Ages. The selection of Italian fabrics includes a variety of cottons, linens, wools, silks and velvets. An Italian home is not complete without fine textiles used as accents like wall and table coverings, curtains, bed linens, throws and towels.
Some of the most well-known manufacturers of fabrics from Italy include Reevèr, Riviera and Linea Oro and can be found at Carrilo Home. Home textiles are seasonal, so be sure to have a summer set and a winter set for curtains and bedding.
Where to Buy
Scalo Milano Outlet & More has the largest Design Outlet District in Europe / Photo courtesy Scalo Milano
In addition to over 150 fashion stores, the Scalo Milano Outlet & More houses the largest European Design District with 15 mono-brand home furnishing showrooms offering up to 70% discounts on all brands.
Shipping abroad or local delivery can be arranged for all purchases at Scalo Milano Outlet & More.
Located just 15 minutes from the Milan city center, get there by Free shuttle service or the S13 railway link which stops in front of the outlet at the Locate di Triulzi station.
Non EU tourists can benefit from Tax free services.
See a complete list of Fashion and Design Stores:
Article by Celia Abernethy for EasyMilano.com
All images courtesy Scalo Milano Outlet & More