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LA DOLCE VITA: NEOCLASSICAL ITALIAN INTERIOR DESIGN IDEAS

Elevating Your Home with Neoclassical Italian Interior Design: Timeless Elegance and Grandeur for Your Never-Ending Italian Summer

A wooden bar cart with bottles on the top and an old school stereo system on the bottom. There is a painting hanging above it with a gold frame and floral curtains next to it.
Photo taken in the living room at the villa I stayed at in Northern Italy

When it comes to interior design, there are countless styles to choose from that each elicit different feelings and styles of comfort. One style that has stood the test of time and continues to captivate homeowners and designers alike is Neoclassical Italian design. After returning from a two-week trip to the Italian regions of Lombardy and Tuscany, I couldn't help but get swept up in the romance and style of the architecture and decor seemingly oozing out of every corner. This timeless aesthetic draws inspiration from the grandeur of ancient Rome and Greece, and beautifully combines classical elements with modern sensibilities. Alongside some snapshots of the gorgeous interiors and architecture from my trip, we'll explore some key ideas and principles of this design style that can help you infuse a touch of Italian design sensibility and timeless elegance into your home.


1) Architectural Symmetry and Balance


Neoclassical Italian design places a strong emphasis on balance and symmetry. Think of the classical temples of Rome and Greece with their perfectly symmetrical facades and harmonious proportions. To achieve this in your interior design, consider using architectural elements such as columns, pilasters, and arches. These features can create a sense of order and balance in your space, making it feel both elegant and inviting.


2) Timeless Color Palette


A side table next to a large window with natural light shining in. There is a burgundy lamp surrounding by books on it and there are two matching stools next to the table.
Classic color palette featuring this gorgeous deep burgundy accent

A classic Italian interior relies on a refined color palette that exudes sophistication. Opt for shades of ivory, cream, soft pastels, and muted earthy tones. These colors not only create a serene and timeless ambiance but also provide a perfect backdrop for showcasing architectural details and luxurious looking furnishings.


3) Luxurious Furnishings


Two chairs in a study area draped in luxurious pink fabric with bows tied behind them. There are in front of a built in desk area with shelving above with many books lining them.
Fell in love with these two chairs in the study area draped in this luxurious pink fabric

Furnishings are a cornerstone of Neoclassical Italian design. Look for pieces that blend classical motifs with contemporary comfort. Elegant chaises, tufted sofas, and ornate (or antique!) dining chairs with carved details can serve as focal points in your design. Don't forget to incorporate rich fabrics like silk, velvet, and damask, often in muted colors or with delicate patterns.


4) Classical Motifs and Accents


A window framed by floral curtains and matching wallpaper.
Perfectly matched muted floral curtains and wallpaper in one of the bedrooms

This particular design style embraces classical motifs such as Greek key patterns, acanthus leaves, and medallions. You can introduce these elements through decorative accents like cornices, moldings, and ceiling rosettes. Consider using wallpaper with neoclassical patterns in accent areas or incorporating classical sculptures and artwork to enhance the overall aesthetic.


5) Statement Lighting


A blown glass chandelier in Palazzo Blu in Pisa in the grand dining room.
While this photo was taken at Palazzo Blu in Pisa, I found blown glass chandeliers like these everywhere. Surprisingly funky take on the grand, crystal chandeliers you might expect to see in places like these!

Lighting plays a crucial role in this romantic and charming design style. Chandeliers with crystal accents or antique brass finishes can add a touch of opulence to your space. Consider wall sconces and table lamps with classical detailing to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.


6) Polished Flooring


Gray marble flooring on the first floor of an Italian villa. There are cinched and draped cream curtains covering the floor to ceiling windows on one wall.
Very earthy gray marble (or stone) flooring on the first floor of the villa

Marble or polished stone flooring is a hallmark of Neoclassical Italian design. It not only adds a sense of grandeur but also reflects light beautifully. If you prefer a more budget-friendly option, porcelain tiles that mimic the look of marble can be a great alternative.


7) Artful Details


A marble statue of a woman in draped clothing with a dog behind her. They are surrounded by ivy covering the walls.
A cheeky neoclassical sculpture by the pool area

This style of architecture and interiors thrives on artful details. Try incorporating decorative mirrors with gilded frames, intricate ceiling medallions, and neoclassical sculptures (miniatures will do the trick if a full sized sculpture isn't your thing). These details add depth and character to your space, making it feel like a journey through time.


After spending a beautiful two weeks in Italy, it became quite clear that the even the most commonly seen interior design is a style that exudes timeless elegance and refinement. It's a perfect choice for those who appreciate the beauty of classical aesthetics and want to infuse their homes with a sense of grandeur that feels accessible and tasteful. At Build Forward, we specialize in creating stunning interior spaces that reflect your unique style while incorporating design principles that stand the test of time. If you're ready to infuse your home with your dream interior design style and sensibilities, don't hesitate to contact us here or email us at info@webuildforward.com. Together, we can help turn your vision into reality and create a space that you'll cherish for years to come.

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