Italy - Style, Class and Finesse

When we talk about Italian style, the most frequent picture that comes to mind is Tuscan - billowing white linen curtains, rough-hewn wooden furniture, terra cotta and stone. As remarkable and alluring as Tuscan design is, it is not representative of all of Italy. Indeed, Italy today is a far cry from the Tuscany of old.

Couture Clothing and More

We are all familiar with the gorgeous couture fashions that are strutted down the catwalk, tempting us with luscious fabric and design. We covet those pieces of clothing for our own wardrobes without shame. Truth be told, the very same sense of style and relaxed luxury are present in the furniture and home decor designs of Italy today. And, once you've seen these designs you will covet them with the same unabashed zeal.

In recent years, Italian designers have taken their flare for clothing and accessories and extended it to every place good style and great taste make a difference - and one of the best places to see the fruit of these efforts is in Italian furnishings.

A Long Heritage of Beautiful Furnishings

Making furniture is a long heritage in Italy and decades of experience in such places as Brianza, Veneto and Marche have resulted in the growth of an industry which includes skilled workers and sophisticated machinery providing beautiful furniture in all price ranges.

While wood has always been the mainstay of Italy's furniture, newer materials such as steel, aluminum, glass, crystal, resin and plastics are used today to create exquisite designs. Creativity runs rampant as exciting designs issue forth from the hands of their creators. The changes in lifestyle over the decades have lead to greater simplicity and functionality in living arrangements and furnishings.

Changes in the Way Families Live Bring Other Changes Too

Where once many rooms divided the Italian house, today open spaces which lend to less formal furniture arrangements are the norm. Functional modular furniture replaces ornate carved wood and marble in order to make the pieces mobile enough to meet the family's needs. Maximum storage space is developed through the use of well designed bookcases and closets. Easy-to-clean materials such as steel or aluminum, plastic and crystal replace the harder to maintain wood and ceramic of yesterday's Italian dining areas.

A Tasteful Blend of Centuries

The typical Italian home is furnished with a tantalizing mixture of contemporary Italian furniture and traditional or antique pieces. It is not uncommon to find an antique chest of drawers next to a modern low slung sofa. As with most antique pieces of European cultures, original antique Italian furniture is harder to come by and quite expensive should you find a piece. "Arte Povero" or poor art, the modest pieces of furniture found in the homes of the poor families from the 1800s through the early 1900s are very rustic and easier to acquire. However, they don't always fit well in an urban or functional decor.

If having a piece of antique Italian furniture is a must for you, then there are great reproductions available at comparatively affordable prices. They are believable and lovely, without the high price tag.

Take Your Time and Choose The Pieces Right for You

There are myriad designs and choices to be made when you decide to decorate in the Italian style. Take the time to shop and choose the pieces that fit your lifestyle and pocketbook. With Italian style furnishings, you have much to choose from.