If you admire the masterpieces that were painted during the Italian Renaissance, here are some fun ways to decorate your home using the styles, colours, patterns and textures of this historic period.
Step through the front doors into your home full of beautifully detailed floral or gold patterns and feel like you are going back in time to the days of Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo.
The wall is your canvas
The Italian Renaissance is perhaps most famous for its artists, and the Resene Caravaggio wallpaper range is your go-to for both Baroque and Italian Renaissance inspiration.
Named after the famous 17th century painter, these wallpapers have a wide variety of floral designs that can remind you of paintings using thin, delicate brushes dipped in the pigmented oil paints of the past.
Some, like Caravaggio 46740, use shimmering metallic gold leaf to inlay a large fleur de lis cameo pattern onto warm purple paper.
To complement these rich patterns, use equally deep wall colours in tones of burgundy or dark violet, such as Resene Broadway, Resene Smooch or Resene Pukeko. You can think about making one wall of a room the feature using such floral wallpaper, while the other three use paint, or really immerse yourself into the design and wallpaper all the walls.
The fabrics are your jewels
In the Italian Renaissance, having access to soft, sumptuous fabrics was considered a luxury. The silk ball gowns worn by the nobility often shined with real gold threads laced in the embroidery.
Get a touch of that in your home by choosing shimmering materials such as organza, silk and chiffon contrasted with softer, luxurious-feeling fabrics like velvet and faux fur. Find cushions with gold-fringed tassels, and wrap tasselled cord ties around your curtains when you draw them closed.
The furniture builds your palazzo
Choose wooden furniture that is intricately carved and looks antique. Go to local op shops and collect a range of vintage, ornate drawer knobs, then paint them gold and screw them onto all the cupboards and doors.
For the bedroom, select a four-poster bed – you can even hang lace curtains along the top pole for an added historic feel. Alternatively, a net canopy can be draped over the top, cascading down the sides and adding a comforting touch to welcome you before you get into bed and snooze.
In addition to these ideas, there are a range of artistic DIY projects you can tackle to feel like one of the group of Italian painters.
- Recreate a fresco wall with fine art
"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art," said Leonardo da Vinci. Pour your heart and soul into some art projects of your own by cutting out stencils of baby cupids, a common image used in Renaissance paintings, and painting around the edges onto canvas for a modern take on this old style. You can also frame scraps of your leftover wallpaper and hang them like a gallery wall.
- Make a jewellery stand using an old teacup holder
String along chunky necklaces and delicate pearls on the different hooks of an old unused teacup stand and place them on your bedside table. Rings can also be looped near the ends if the spokes are thin enough. You can paint this stand gold, too, to match with the furniture knobs.
- Glue together a mosaic pattern using broken tiles and coloured glass
Mosaics were a popular form of flooring in the Renaissance, and while it is difficult to cover an entire room's floor using this artistic technique, you can cover the sides of bookcases in the lounge or cabinets in the bathroom with patterns made using scraps of tiles, ceramics, tera cotta pots and glassware.
Enjoy transforming your home into a Renaissance retreat! Buona fortuna!