Tip #1 Italian Interiors

If you are at all familiar with the concept of DESIGN you will probably laugh at out loud at the ostentatious title of this first “tip” blog. How could I possibly think that Italian interiors could be only one tip? Well, it obviously cannot but my aim here is to break it down and make inspiration digestible and tangible– there may be more than one tip technically on this post but I do not want to create an entire blog about Italian Interiors (curiously I couldn’t find one totally dedicated but I suppose I don’t speak Italian and they probably have it covered- if you know of one please tell me- thanks)


Source: Magnolia Films

Last night I saw the delicious movie I Am Love in which Russian born Emma Recchi “learns to become Italian” after moving to Milan- I suspect anyone living in such an intoxicating environment would learn very quickly the quality and grace that is requires to be Italian.

For the interior connoisseurs  you will be aware that Italy gave us Italian Baroque which means, for us, gilded frames, console tables and elaborate cabinets- a very heavy style of interiors. This was followed by a softer more delicate Italian Rococo (Rococo itself originated in France). Without over simplifying this second movement here we can be inspired by rich upholstery, lacquered furniture, Italian settees, French Rococo Chairs and a dedication to the ornate. These masculine and feminine styles still play out in the modern interpretation of classic Italian design and while modern Italian interiors focus largely on light and open spaces the decoration of these two styles still very much speak Italian to both the trained and untrained eye.


  • Despite the heavy use of colour in traditional Italian Rococo it is too much for today’s eye. A cleaner colour palette is required- cream, linen, olive green, ever green, wood, navy, licorice and gold are my pick.
  • Use brass fixtures and fittings in bathrooms for a timeless style
  • Create “seating spaces” in any spare open space. For example group two upholstered chairs with a small table to create a conversation nook or install a row of chairs against a hallway wall.
  • Tufted bedheads and ottomans- yes please!
  • Guilded mirrors that hang over console tables
  • Chandeliers- traditionally I am not going to endorse this over used trend but within this space I think it is okay and beautiful.
  • Space and more space- if you have a large home this design style is going to feel more authentic and less cluttered.
  • Quality- think about upholstering one chair in the best fabric you can afford, don’t skimp on bedlinen and use real fresh flowers- this is a culture of distinction.
  • Be tasteful and layer only one or two key colours in different textures and finishes- too many colours will not work.
  • Finally buy yourself a FENDI bag (quintessentially Italian and main accessory supplier for the film!)

Source Savio Firmino

Source Savio Firmino

Source Savio Firmino

Source Savio Firmino

FENDI Peek A Boo Bag 2010

Visit Savio Firmino for more of the above images and just to listen to the soothing score by Erik Satir- Gymnopedie (Lent Et Douloureux) it feels like watching the movie all over again.

If you’re in Sydney and want some more ideas for sources visit The Country Trader.

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