"I never regretted any trip I took, no matter how inconvenient, expensive or unnecessary it seemed to be at the planning stage. I only regretted the trips I didn't take."
This quote is from my travel journal in 2005. I had graduated college and decided (bravely!) to live in Italy for several months before starting work in my field. The summer before, I had completed a study abroad program in Italy with Michigan State University's Building Construction Management and Interior Design programs.
During this trip, we previewed up-and-coming construction techniques. In addition, we took a peek into the historic preservation processes required for major historical sites such as the Duomo in Milan, Italy. I was impressed by it all! To this day, my time abroad influences my approach to design and overall aesthetics. Here are some of my favorite design inspirations from my travel to Italy…
Inspiration #1: Colorful Window Details
I absolutely loved the windows I encountered while abroad. So much life is created by the simple act of adding a window box with flowers. I often found stark contrast of the rustic, old-world charm of the window frames themselves in perfect opposition to the wild, colorful life in the overflowing window flower boxes, basking in the sunlight.
These flower boxes were full of life and vibrant colors, giving the buildings a dose of delicate life in the modern world, though many were centuries old. Speaking of windows, check out my post on How to Install Curtains to Make Your Space Look Its Best.
Inspiration #2: Stunning Doors
The gigantic doors I found in Italy were stunning. Many of them soared at heights 4x or more my own height of 5'9," and some of the doors were 20' high or more! I took a photo in front of some doors in Florence, and you can see how tall the doors are compared to my height!
Inspiration #3: Modern Kitchens and Fireplaces
One thing that definitely surprised me about my travels was how thoroughly modernized design is abroad!
I expected this old-world country to be more old-fashioned. And in some instances, you'll still find that old-fashioned rustic charm you would expect. But peering into many local homes would show you a different story. These homes are thoroughly updated and modern in an exquisite way.
You would see sleek modern slab-front kitchen cabinets, often with no hardware in sight. Modern minimalism style is in full swing here, while in the US, it is probably the rare exception, style-wise.
I loved this kitchen design and the way everything is so clean looking and efficient. I also appreciated the design of this fireplace, with built-in wood storage.
Overall, I love the European take on design, from personal fashion to interior design. The aesthetic feels both completely effortless, yet also totally noteworthy. It's hard to know where the effort starts and stops. Design is meant to be consumed and enjoyed, yet not in a way that feels purchased or mass-produced as fashion often does in the US.
We are only a phone call away if you're ready to infuse your passions, travels, and personality into your home. We look forward to hearing from you!