A few months ago, I had the idea of declaring the month of October the month of Italian style. Many presentations will occur this month in the Bay Area, one of them will be the event I have organized with Frette store in Stanford Shopping Centre, Palo Alto, CA. Frette is an Italian house producing luxury bed and bath items since 1860.
In October Frette is celebrating its 150th Anniversary with a new collection simply called “Anniversario”. It is my interest as a designer, to present the new Fall line and show my audience how to use it, in addition to talk about the distinctive direction Italian home design is taking this Fall 2010.
Fashion and home design are two separate disciplines always intertwining and taking oxygen from one another.
Since the beginning of time, the human body has determined any project of building. The reflection on the human body has been the vehicle that made people want to paint the body, to dress it, to build cities, to build homes and their interiors and to design our entire surroundings.
The Italian word “abito” (English: dress) takes from the verb “abitare” (English: to live, to inhabit). The dress is the first place our body lives in and the body offers infinite possibilities to relate ourselves to the surrounding space. Fashion gives us the freedom and fantasy to dress how we want and the freedom to compose our own style in homes.
To dress a home goes far beyond colors and fabrics, it is the thread, which resolves the human body’s architectural spatial challenges and satisfies the human desire to be surrounded by functional and beautiful objects.
Dressing an Italian home interior is quite simple as long as lines and forms are kept at a minimal. As an Italian born, I can say that Italians live in antiquity, we open our windows and history surrounds us, but in our homes we are very modern, we like simple, straight lines and very few bold colors.
A leather red floor would be perfect for a home studio with satin chrome furniture frames mixed with glass, as much as a white/beige striped closet doors would look so elegant on a white marble floor. Play it tone on tone and never go wrong.
Italian kitchens are not at all fussy, but functional is a must, color is optional, they are either very colorful, we like Ferrari red by the way, or very black, greige (combination of grey and beige) and rivers of white. Forget the kitchen knickknacks all together.
Italian living rooms are made for “fare bella figura” – an Italian philosophy to present a good image, to make a good impression. Our guests, when entering an Italian home, musty be greeted by beautiful things and be seated in an even more elegant room, which in some cases, the family hardly uses for themselves just to keep it new as long as possible.
Baths must have the minimal essentials.
Take a look at one of the homes in Los Altos, CA I staged in the classic contemporary Italian style.
Space in Italy is the essence. Italy is a small country, its homes reflect the restriction of space. In comparison with American homes, I must say Italian homes are very small, but they are very fashionable and efficient. If you visit a building with eight apartments, you will see eight different home styles, each one being very creative and á la page. In one of those eight styles, you bound to find a classic antique décor too.
Fashion and home design are two sides of the same creative coin, they both thrive on ideas and innovations.
Dress your home according to your character and personalize it as you would put together your fashion ensemble in the morning.
Carry a color scheme from room to room, mix modern with antique pieces, play with patterns, make art out of your memories and cherished moments, show your personality, be extravagant in small spaces, don’t forget to decorate cozy outdoor corners and make a “bella figura” with the main entry.
Hiring a professional designer, especially an Italian designer like myself will assure you the perfect look of an Italian home. I am ready to offer you my services, if you are. Ciao,
Copyright © 2010 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola is an Italian Interior Designer in business since 1990 and a former Fashion Designer. She blends well fashion and interior in any of her design work. She loves to remodel homes and loves to turn unattractive spaces into castles. Being Italian born and raised, Valentina’s design work has been influenced by Classicism and stylish, timeless designs. She will create your everyday living with a certain luxury without taking away a comfortable living. Check out her books on