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The Romance of Italy

Adding a Touch of Italy to Your Home

You might feel inspired after all the delicious dinners to add some Italian style to your home decor. Here are a few ways to capture the classical romance of the region.

Three simple touches: "Lemon trees in terracotta pots, candlestick lamps and silk damask cushions," says Jane Gordon Clark, artist, interior designer and author of the definitive guide to Mediterranean design, Italian Style. "Each of these pieces can add that distinctive feel of sophistication."

One of the perfect places to add some Italian style is, of course, in the kitchen. Clark says that items like hanging copper pans and pots and herbs, like basil, thyme and rosemary grown in terracotta pots can be beautiful as well as functional. "A simple wood table, cane chairs and big oval serving dishes can complete the look," Clark says. Clark also suggests including Italian pottery, like plates, jugs and bowls.

At Bella Vita Ceramica in Pipersville, Pa., you can purchase online a whole collection of imported Italian pottery, from biscotti jars, oil and vinegar servers and soup tureens all in warm tones usually with fruit, floral or classical motifs.

Now just as there are regional cuisines, there are many distinct design styles in Italy. Here is a rundown of some regional looks:

  • Northern Italy: "Definitely influenced by Alpine style – wooden chalets with pine plank interiors and hand-painted furniture," Clark says.
  • Milan, Tuscany and Rome: Think old world grandeur, like a Michelangelo painting. "Lots of grand trompe loeil painting on the walls, Renaissance damasks," Clark says. "Suites of ornate furniture – chairs and settees in carved and gilded wood, opulent silks." This is not a look to be done on a budget.
  • Southern Italy: "Lots of decorated tiling, very colorful!" Clark says. This rustic, fresh look can easily be incorporated into a decor by using the right colors and motifs.

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