When I think of Italy, I immediately think of sun kissed colors that transport me to my favorite destinations around the country. From the turquoise water in Puglia to the pastels of Liguria, the Italian color palette is deeply rooted within a laidback lifestyle defined by the climate, landscapes and rich history.
Color is directly related to our wellbeing: how we feel, how we behave and how we interact with others. It’s a simple yet powerful tool that we can use to transform our houses into our homes and inject a touch of la dolce vita. Life is much slower here, so when you introduce an Italian-inspired color scheme in your home, it’ll encourage you to do exactly that. Slow down, come together and celebrate the simple pleasures in your everyday life.
Here are my favorite shades for creating a dreamy Italian color palette in your home.
Terracotta, which translates to “baked earth”, is a ubiquitous color and material throughout Italy. Simple, rustic, and soothing, it captures the essence of il bel paese in all its orange beauty. Terracotta owes its rich color to the presence of iron oxide in the clay and can be used in its natural form with tiles and vases, or painted onto the walls to inject bold, wrap-around warmth into a space.
From deep rust to soft corals, this color comes in various tones and is the perfect hue for encouraging conversation. Terracotta looks especially good painted as an accent on the ceiling or a two-tone wall.
Nature Inspired Neutrals
Italy is famous for using local, raw materials in its handicrafts and architecture — a celebration of the natural environment and its resources. Introducing warm whites, soft beiges and earthy taupes creates a perfect natural backdrop in your home, one that will leave you feeling calm and relaxed in no time. Wrap these colors onto walls, woodwork and ceilings. Not only is this a typical Mediterranean look, but it will expand your space, as there are less contrasts to the eye. Add figurative artwork, modern lighting and hand-crafted objects against this neutral canvas to create warmth and depth for your own little slice of paradiso.
Green is nature’s neutral: the color of balance and harmony. Transport yourself to the olive groves of Sicily, the sweeping valleys of Tuscany or the glistening lakes in the Dolomites with green — from soft sage to rich olive hues. Though I love wrapping the whole room in green, upcycling furniture or painting your kitchen cabinets is another great way to bring the natural world inside your home.
Move aside millennial pink. Italian-inspired pinks are all about the earthy undertones with their the dusty, romantic hues of the setting sun and painted houses. Pink is a physically soothing color, so wrap this onto all four walls and you’ll instantly feel your shoulders drop and your body relax. Pink is also the perfect accent color. Take this onto the kitchen cabinets for a contemporary twist on the Mediterranean style and pair with terracotta finishes and lots of greenery.
From Puglia to Sardegna, the Italian coastline is dotted with rocky coves and sandy beaches featuring crystal-clear turquoise water in endless shades of teal. A beautiful blend of blue and green, teal gives you the best of both worlds: the balance of green, with the calm of blue for the ultimate spa-like feel. Traveling around Italy I have seen this color on a lot of front doors, but if you want to paint your interiors in this gorgeous hue, take teal onto the walls in a bedroom, living room or home office. Cue all the zen vibes.
When it comes to color, what really creates the impact and determines the mood, is the combination of colors you use. Your color scheme won’t just come from the paint color. It will come from the whole interior design — the finishes, materials, textiles, furniture and personal objects that tell your story.
Italy is famous for its design and artisanship, and the country’s slow approach to life is reflected in its beautiful handmade objects. Here are some my favorite Italian homeware brands to give your spaces that finishing touch.