Hand Painted Italian Furniture Part 2

Pair of Italian Neoclassical Side Chairs in Pompeiian Form Italy Circa 1900 Italian Neoclassical Side Chairs with Rare Pompeiian Backs En Grisaille. Motif from the Frieze in Pompeii's House of the Vettii

Italian styled furniture are some of the most favored styled furniture of the past. While the contemporary Italian furniture of today encompasses clean lines, bold glossy finishes, and little adornment, the classical Italian furniture of the past was just the opposite. Antique Italian furniture, especially that of the Baroque period was heavily embellished, and often richly painted. In an effort to disguise the wood at that time, artists began painting elaborate scenes on the furniture in gold leaf and vibrant colours.

The Italian paint selection often resulted from the colors they found around them. Terracotta tiling was heavily used in Italy, with colors of brown and orange shades,undoubtedly made their way into part of the Italian decorations. Different shades colors that were predominant in Italian landscapes inspired home owners and artists alike. The lighter colored blues seen in the Mediterranean sea are often colors chosen for painted furniture. The red tones of terracotta along with granite, blue-green shades of sea are seen quite often in color choices in the Italian decorating schemes. Shades of gold and cream shades were also taken from the vast details seen in the architectural around Italy.

Below are 4 guide lines to think about when decorating within the Italian style.

1.  Detail, Detail, Detail!

Many beautiful Italian interiors have a tremendous amount of hand painted details.  Get this look by hand picking stencils that you find attractive and working them into the interior such as on a painted vase, a chest showcased at the entrance of your home, or on the walls.  Most everyone has jobs these days, so the idea that everything has to be painted in the house is out of the question for most people.  So one really easy of tackling stenciling is to focus on one piece in every room.  Perhaps it is a pair of chairs that sit in the living room, or a chest, or an accessory such as an over-sized vase.  Painting a vase, or urn a bright color, detailed in gold stenciling would be a terrific focal point.

2.  Use Raised Plaster Stencils

If you want a grand look without spending endless hours hand painting your walls, opt for raised stencils.  Victoria Larsen is famous for her terrific stencils that really make a grand statement in a home.  In this post, I detail how to achieve these looks with a couple simple steps.  Her tree stencils are some of the most popular stencils she carries.

Consider this idea for your walls. If you like the look of detail, but also want to keep a clean look, consider using paint over the plastered stencils for detail without excessive color. This Italian Painted Grey Console is an example of exceptional detail, yet it isn't painted with a multitude of colors.  If you don't have all the time in the world for hand painting, consider large scale plaster stencils which you can then paint over.  Hello!  Rich detail that will have your friends amazed at your talent.

- Here is an example of a raised plaster stencil using a bit of a beige metallic paint.

-Here is an example of raised stencils with glaze. You can buy glaze in a wide range of colors.  A light yellow would bring the vibrancy into the room than brown.  Consider a darker tint of orchre yellow than brown.  Glaze is a translucent paint that can be painted on and wiped off.  When doing this, the details of your raised stencils will show up nicely.  Only a small amount needs to be used in this process.

- Here is another excellent example of a DIY raised stencil design on a piece of furniture. They used a raised stencil along with tissue paper texture and glue and gold details.  Very Italian in deed!

Ethereal Beauty’ house featured in ELLE Decoration February 2013. Photograph by Fabrizio Cicconi.

3.  Replace Your Faucets And Lighting To Wrought Iron.

If you are considering decorating with 15th and 16th Renaissance details,  decorate with period elements such as candles, marble surfaces, and wrought-iron fixtures.  Consider upgrading your sink faucets with brushed wrought iron ones that will give you that period feel.  Continue the look for your towel racks, and additional hardware details around the home.

Borrow the look from this Stunning 15th Century Stone Cottage has a hand made wrought iron 4 poster bed in the bedroom. Update this $110 dollar Black Metal Canopy Bed by making a custom headboard and foot-board out of wood, which could be attached to the frame and upholstered.  One could even make slip covers for the headboard and footboard in white with a sewing machine.  One weekend of tracing the lines of the foot-board and headboard on to fabric, you just need to make custom covers that just fit over the frame and could be tied or attached together with Velcro.

 Enhance this Wrought Iron Table, that sells for $106 with a rectagular white marble insert.  There you go!

4. Cheat With Upholstery Tacks and Used Hardware

The Italian style has always been known for their grandness, and extravagance and sheer detail when it came to interiors, art and architectural choices.

- Consider getting this style of detail  by hammering on square nail head upholstery tacks on to a brightly painted chest.  Or consider hammering on the tacks and applying paint over the entire piece for one unified look.

- Ebay has a lot of hardware lots for affordable prices making it very affordable to dress up an antique chest or trunk.  Get this late Gothic look by applying wrought iron hardware to a dated chest or trunk.


Count Raniero Gnoli’s Italian Home -Architectural Digest

Impressive 19th C Credenza from palazzo in Venice.  Delicate Venetian style painting to front panels & faux marble top.  Hinged top door with original key,  2 front doors, 1 interior shelf. Sold through       Maison de Provence

Count Raniero Gnoli’s Italian Home -Architectural Digest

Count Raniero Gnoli’s Italian Home -Architectural Digest

Delightful and feminine hand painted Venetian small chest of drawers (or single nightstand) from the 1940's in green, cream and silver leaf.  Very clean and functional. Sold through BG Galleries

Count Raniero Gnoli’s Italian Home -Architectural Digest

Count Raniero Gnoli’s Italian Home -Architectural Digest

This fine mid eighteenth century Italian rococo scagliola table top is decorated with polychrome curling foliate motifs around a central oval, all on a black ground, with a curving shaped edge. Scagliola is a technique that developed in Tuscany to imitate pietra dura, but soon evolved into a thriving art form in its own right, used for table tops and architectural elements. The top is raised on a rococo style table base, decorated with light blue paint and parcel gilding, dating from the early twentieth century. Sold through James Sansum Inc.

Count Raniero Gnoli’s Italian Home -Architectural Digest

The Beautiful Colors Of Venice Inspire In The Colors Chosen For Furniture Paint

18th-C Italian Architectural Element on One Kings Lane by Eclectic Modern & Antique Italian Imports  KATHLEEN & MAURIZIO ALMANZA- Eccola  is the name of the West Hollywood showroom of Maurizio Almanza and his wife, former Hollywood set decorator Kathleen White-Almanza. Highlighting the best of Italian contemporary design, their exciting, eclectic showroom offers a medley of masters who include Giò Ponti,  Ico Parisi, and Paolo Buffa, with just the right smattering of 19th-century objects, furniture, and lighting.

Collecting Italian Painted Furniture in Architectural Digest

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