This article was written exclusively for Peroni Nastro Azzurro by Elisabetta Rizzato, the creator of ITALIANBARK – a travel and design blog showcasing the best work inspired by and made in Italy.
Italian home interiors are synonymous with elegance and style. They are often taken as a model of an elegant and stylish way of decorating and they are often imitated for their simple yet refined style. It almost seems that Italian interior style is even more appreciated by people outside Italy than by Italian themselves, as it is actually a heterogeneous style that everyone in Italy interprets in their own way.
But what are the common features of Italian interior style? Are there some characteristics that identify Italian homes and that can be taken as inspirations for our homes as well?
MATERIALS AND COLOURS
Italy has a strong historical heritage and this reflects in many home interiors that are the result of different traditional features matched with contemporary ones.
Starting from the flooring: not just wood or simple tiles. In Italian homes there are several kinds of different flooring are both beautiful and traditional. See for example cementine tiles, a heritage of late 19th century architecture, which are very popular in Italian homes today but also very trendy outside Italy. Another sample is the terrazzo flooring: very popular at present, it was the typical marble flooring of the Venetian houses of the 15th century and offers a mix of several different stones and materials with a polished finish.
Italian history can be found also in the colour of the paint of Italian homes. Terracotta is one of those typical colours with far roots in Italy (even if terracotta was not exactly invented in Italy), especially in Tuscany – Italians love the colour’s warm hue.
Italian décor style is not afraid of using colour, even if neutral colours, white and black are the favourite palettes in contemporary Italian homes.
DECOR AND SPACE
Many Italian homes are the result of restoration of ancient buildings, postwar homes and old farmhouses. There’s an increasing appreciation towards the old, especially when matched with the new: Italian interiors are often a mix & match of different styles, of classical and modern design. Italy also has a strong heritage in the design field with its roots in the fifties and sixties. There are many design icons that are still popular at present and that Italians love to add in their interiors – you can about some of the Italian design icons of the sixties here.
What about the layouts of Italian homes? Contemporary Italian houses are often characterised by an open kitchen which is integrated in to the sitting room, in a unique living space which is the core of the house. This is because Italian homes are becoming smaller at present, meaning that the kitchen is rarely one unique room. This living room is a light and airy space, where Italians spend most of their time.
The bathroom is another important space in Italian homes, which must be as cosy and comfortable as the other rooms and is often decorated with great attention towards details.
Last but not least, the garden. Almost every Italian dreams of a beautiful garden outside their home, so much so that the famous Bosco Verticale - an innovative concept of high-rise where green is fully integrated in the architecture - is an Italian creation!