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Guest Blogger: Design Destination: The Colors of Italy in your Interiors

Entry #2031, January 21, 2012

When you travel, its almost impossible not to return with new inspiration for updating your home.  Sometimes it’s a small piece of art you pick up at an outdoor market, or it could be a handmade textile made in a small town you stayed in.  And sometimes an entire design or renovation theme comes together in your mind, while you’re surrounded by the art, architecture and vistas of a new place.

Italy Compilation

Bring Italy into your home interiors

So how might you use the beauty and bold colors of Italy to update your home, without spending a fortune or creating a cloying or outdated “Tuscan-themed” space?  As someone who uses global inspiration throughout her own home and art, travel blogger Melanie Hönig has some tips for doing just that.

1.  Break it Down: 

Italian style is rich and diverse, but the overall feel can be broken down into a few basic elements…intensely warm colors, arches in a variety of historic shapes, layers of texture that seem to have been built up over decades and accents of glass, pottery or metal.

2.  Don’t Make it Cartoonish: 

You can use all of these elements without creating a Disney-esque version of a Tuscan space.  Your home can be modern, bright, even clean-lined and still use the inspiration of the Italian countryside.

Red Kitchen Italy

Bring the colors of Italy into your kitchen

3.  Keep it Modern: 

The kitchen in this photo is not Italian, but the rusty red walls are reminiscent of terra cotta or Italian plaster walls.  The turquoise and metal chandelier is a bold contrast, balanced out by the pale cabinets.  The leaded glass and arched doorways in the hutch are definitely European.  There are rustic pottery accents, but the overall feel is bright and modern.

4.  Play with Details:

If you’re not planning to overhaul an entire room, just find ways to incorporate the intense colors and rustic elements of Italy in other ways.  Here are window treatments that are bright and warm, with a rustic metal tieback providing contrast.  You could also incorporate Italian elements by using orange or amber table linens with hearty pottery or rustic tiles.  Or just add a bright piece of art and colorful, Italian-inspired glass to your dark wood furniture.  Just don’t let all the pieces add up to theme park Italy!

Italian Villa Interior

Italian villa interiors with inspiring color

Italian Glass

Italian glass mimics the gorgeous interiors

And remember; leave room in your home for the inspiration that will come from your next trip, too.  The best-designed rooms are those that are created over time, with pieces that you love, from all the places you’ve been.

Melanie Hönig’s blog, is full of tips, photographs and stories about her travels and design inspirations.   Favorite destinations include Italy, England, France, China, Vietnam and Israel.  She loves to stay in villas, apartments, castles and iconic hotels, but she’s equally at home on long American road trips and in rustic foreign villages.  Melanie and her design partner are in the process of launching a collection of globally-inspired home furnishings and artworks.  Follow www.RoveratHome and you’ll be the first to know when these new items become available!

For more travel tips on Stagetecture, click here.

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