How to Make Your Home Look Like a Venetian Palace
From Murano glass to Venetian mirrors, sumptuous tiled floors and water soaked steps, few cities have such a specific and rich design history as Venice. It is as unique as it’s crumbling facades and turquoise canals. Moorish influences blend seamlessly with Italian rococo, even though the glamour is faded, the grandeur remains.
Read on for my decor tips to inspire you to bring a little bit of Venice home with you…
There is something beautiful about elegant objects
and rooms that have stood the test of time, that have survived multiple generations of wear and tear.
They might be a little worn or chipped, but this only
adds to their charm.
Dark reds, burgundy and maroon
Low, lamp lighting
Brocade and embroidered cushions
Tiled or marble floors
2. Glittering Mirrors
Venetian mirrors, with their fine details and unusual
bevelled designs are exquisite for a reason - Venice produced some of the first mirrors in the world. Glass-making is a Venetian speciality dating back hundreds of years. Mirrors in the 1400s played an important role in interiors for illumination. Before electricity, mirrors served a vital purpose to bring light into shadowy rooms.
Venetian mirrors are distinctive - they have extremely detailed borders, usually decorated with flowers and other intricate shapes. Perhaps a little fussy, they have made a comeback in recent years as interest has grown for more eclectic, maximalist decor.
3. Glass Chandeliers
Carrying on the theme of one of Venice’s greatest design exports is glass chandeliers. Again, this is not decor for those who prize subtlety. With bright candy colours and glittering translucent light, it doesn’t get louder or more colourful than Murano glass.
Glass-blowing artisans have been working on the tiny island of Murano since the 8th century. Glass making was a closely guarded secret and a highly lucrative profession. In the 1700s, developments in glass blowing techniques lead to more and more elaborate creations, such as the chandeliers that we know and love today. The most distinctive Murano chandelier is called a “Ciocca”, literally translated as “bouquet of flowers”.
4. Terrazzo floors
Another interior feature of Venetian homes is their tiled floors, called “Terrazzo”. A technique borrowed from the Romans, a layer of mortar would be spread across wooden boards. Marble stones would then be laid in intricate designs. After several months, the floor would be dried out. As the floors are one single piece, they are not effected by structural problems. The sheer weight of them, in fact, can act as an stabiliser to the whole building.
These detailed floors, usually in earth tones such an sandy beige and ochre red, sometimes used glass in lieu of marble or stone, creating yet another reflective surface - the light bounces off the canal water onto the terrazzo, a beautiful unbroken wave of color and light.
5. Venice Lido
What about some more water inspiration? After all, Venice isn’t Venice without its symbiotic relationship to the sea. Take some decor inspiration from Venice’s mini riviera. Luxury hotels like the 5-star Execelsior first became the place to be in the 1920s, hosting guests such as Ingrid Bergman and Winston Churchill. In 1932, they welcomed the first ever Venice Film Festival, now synonymous with glamour and luxury. While the location might not be as fresh as in its heyday, the nautical glamour remains.
If you find Venice's palazzo too stuffy and ornate, the Art Deco styling of the Lido feels light and airy in comparison. Think smooth lines, striped beach umbrellas and dark sunglasses!
6. Beautiful Art
Venice was also home to some of Italy’s most beloved painters, such as Bellini, Veronese and Tintoretto. From the Academia to the Peggy Guggenheim museum and the Venice Bienalle, Venice is truly a walkable work of art.
While you might not be able to bring home a Venetian master, you can certainly add some Venetian style by filling your walls with with your favourite pieces. Extra credit if your frames are gilded or mirrored.