Interior design inspiration from Italy

Interior design inspiration from Italy

When we got back from Italy, the first thing I wanted to do was start including or changing some of our décor. It turned my sadness for being gone from Italy to happiness to be back home. I am by no means an interior designer nor an expert at Italian design. You can read on to find some interior design inspiration from Italy.

I don’t know about you, but I do kind of sulk around when we get home from an amazing trip…. I’m usually just not quite ready to be gone from that beautiful destination. With that said, there are a couple things I do look forward to: (1) My routines and (2) “implementing” some things we learned to love while abroad. What I kept taking note of in Italy for when we return were some of the home décor elements.

As soon as we stepped back into our house, I set to work!

If you’re looking for some inspiration for your home, you might find this post helpful. Or maybe you will just relate to not being able to let a destination go. You might relate to wanting to “bring” back some of it with you. That’s what I’m talking about here.

Check out some other Italy posts:

Keep it minimal

I’m pretty used to clutter. I am trying really hard to have less clutter in our house, but it’s hard! There are so many memories I want to hold on to. Our household is striving to be more minimal. But I see clutter all around me — everywhere we go! Other people’s homes, coffee shops, restaurants, schools, work places to name a few.

But what we noticed in Italy was that things were relatively minimal. Yes — we stayed in Airbnbs so maybe it isn’t fair to come to conclusions based on that alone.

But the same seemed to be true other places we would go, cafes, restaurants, etc. There just seemed to be less clutter.


This was the first element I wanted to pull back home. I’m not around many tablecloths these days. Maybe it seems like an older style in America. Most of my friends and family just relax and dine around a nice wood table. We have this big beautiful old barn-wood kitchen table that I love. So on one sense, why would I want to cover that up….

The tablecloth was everywhere we went. It was at restaurants we dined at, but it was also in every home we stayed in. The dining room had a tablecloth and end tables had tablecloths.

From what we heard this was an important part of setting a table to eat dinner or lunch. You had to lay a tablecloth before anything else. Doing Italy talks about the importance of setting a table and the first step being the tablecloth.

This is just not the case for many Americans — and this is why I loved it! 🙂

I am still searching for the perfect tablecloth for our dining room table, so for now, we just laid a tablecloth over our casual patio tables. And I LOVE this!!!


Lemons grow throughout Italy. They are a staple in many recipes, most meals, and in drinks (ie. limoncello and limoncino).

They are so bright and beautiful they can be used as décor themselves.

I recently moved away from having a fruit bowl out on our counter. After-all they do last much longer in the fridge….

But when we got back from Italy I decided to put some lemons in a little deep-blue bowl. It added a pop of color in our dining area. It also makes me more likely to cut a lemon open and use it in my water, a recipe, or another drink.

Airy curtains

We have some big, heavy curtains throughout our house. I do love the look! But we noticed lighter more airy curtains through our time in Italy.

Again, I am not an expert, and this may just be random. But either way — we enjoyed it.

For example in one of our stays, they had beautiful tall french doors opening up to the balcony. You could hang some light, airy, somewhat transparent curtains over the opening if you wanted a bit more privacy in combination with flowing fresh air.

We might have to do this. We have french doors opening up to our patio, which I love having open in the summer time. However, living in the Midwest its so important to have screens. Otherwise, you’re looking at misquotes interrupting your favorite show in the evening, or a bee flying in after polinating some flowers.

French doors are not doors that cater to screens. Wouldn’t some light airy curtains be a good compromise.

Bialetti (or another espresso maker)

I love the Bialetti espresso maker. You can check out my post on my favorite morning coffee ritual where I talk all about it.

The Bialetti is an Italian product. Wherever you go throughout Italy, you will find Bialetti’s, or a smiliar device but different brand. I use mine at home all the time. But there was something more special about enjoying some stovetop espresso brewed in Piedmont, whiling sitting on the balcony and soaking in the views of the foothills.

Now my Bialetti seems so boring….

But the aesthetic that comes along with the Bialetti is very nice. We noticed this to be much more common than what you would see in the United States.

I love focusing on the Bialetti, but I would be wrong for not also saying that other types of espresso makers were common. In several of the places we stayed, they had a little electric espresso maker with tiny pods to give you a couple ounces of caffeine in the mornings. Usually we had these in places that didn’t have a kitchen (nor a stovetop).

Fresh flowers

I want to be better about enjoying some fresh flowers in the summer. One of my favorite things in Italy was walking into our large bedroom with a few hydrangeas in a vase on the dresser. It was such a nice touch.

I talked about hydrangeas in all the reasons you should visit Italy. Hydrangea bushes were so beautiful in contrast to some of the ancient stone buildings they would lay against. But adding hydrangeas inside to your vase after a day working outside would be the ultimate!

Keep it vintage and/or traditional

Perhaps along the same lines as tablecloths, furniture seemed to be more vintage and/or traditional in style. We didn’t see much of an emphasis on “modern” or the new best thing that we do get so fixated on in the U.S…. Rather than boho-chic or minimalist modern, you might be more likely to walk into a room where you can feel the warmth and the history of people walking before you.

Don’t get me wrong — Ikea is also very common. One of our Airbnbs (which we loved in Torino) was mostly of furniture with an Ikea-style. But that did not seem to be the most common aesthetic.

I say this but I’m sure I have so much more to learn…..

Include art

Italy is known for it’s art! Even if you’ve never been there, you’ve probably heard about this.

Homes weren’t decked out in Renaissance pieces of art lining their walls or ceilings. But you may see 1 or 2 pieces of art on the wall. Whether that was a framed map of the area, a photograph of the landscape, or something more abstract. Everywhere we stayed there was some level of art.

It made me think about our home. We have framed photographs of our friends and family and important places we have been. But we don’t really have framed art on our wall.

Now I want to change this! I just have to take some time to find the right piece for our home.


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