Celebrate the art of easy decorating and do as the Italians do by creating a gorgeous, effortless backdrop for your interior with earthy paint colours, lots of linens, understated fittings and an outdoor room you will actually use. Here are five of the quickest, most effective, ways to change the look of your interior and exterior dramatically, for a lot less money than you think.
PAINTERLY PAINT PALETTE
Colour is the quickest way of adding warmth and character to a space; choose earthy paints and limewash finishes like they do in Italian farmhouses and villas that create harmony throughout, and form the perfect backdrop to everything.
Lighten your rooms with linen. Fabric like linen dresses our rooms and adds beauty and comfort to our lives. It is the quickest way to change the look of an interior. Have loose linen slip-covers whipped up to lighten heavy chairs and sofas. They dramatically alter a room, bring harmony to discordant pieces of furniture and make everything relaxed and elegant – all for a fraction of the price of reupholstering them completely. Plain colours, neutrals and stripes work best – the Italians have been using linen slipcovers for centuries.
BRONZE WINDOW FITTINGS
Try changing your window rods and poles for slim bronze ones with an antique-finish. Adding texture through window fittings adds character and instantly ages a room, making it feel Italian.
Don’t confine books to shelves. A pile of interesting or beautiful volumes on a table or stool, or in a basket next to a favourite armchair, means no one need ever be bored in an Italian household.
Grab a bunch of aubergines, lemons or tomatoes from the local markets, and pile them in pedestal bowls on benchtops and dining tables. They are one of the cheapest and chicest decorating accessory, which you always see in Italian houses. Or go one step further, and add a lofty plant: anything from a potted lemon, or olive tree on an entry table will pack a lot of punch.