A Modern Italian Style for Outdoor Living Spaces

Now that summer has finally come, with its sweet, warm breezes and languid outdoor living, you’re fully engaged in making your deck, patio or balcony as stunningly beautiful as your indoor spaces.

You may have your time-honored favorite pieces, pulled out faithfully, year after year.  Then again, you may be looking for a change that refreshes your summer experience.

A modern Italian style for outdoor living spaces can be as simple a change of seating or adding a colorful all-weather rug.  And while the mood matters, enjoying the glorious summer weather is all about comfort and relaxation.

Striking a balance between style and sybaritic pleasure is what a modern Italian style for outdoor spaces is all about.

outdoor modern furniture

Creating Intimacy

Modern furniture gets short shrift from far too many people.  They interpret its clean, simple lines as stark – uninviting.  But nothing could be further from the truth.

All you need to do is look back through the history of modern design to find examples of what we’re talking about. Eames’s iconic lounge chair is just one emblem of comfortable modern style that refutes the perception that it isn’t comfortable.

And with modern furniture, you’re able to create the same intimacy around the fire pit that you do around your dining room table or in your living room.  In fact, sleek modern lines lend themselves to exteriors.  Unfussy and unobtrusive, they offer both comfort and style.

And when it’s modern, there’s little concern about the weather, as modern furniture interpretations very often work in materials which are resistant to heat, moisture and other elemental realities that can cause other types of furniture to deteriorate rapidly.

At Home al fresco

A modern Italian style for outdoor living spaces is at home al fresco.  It’s in the open air that it does some of its most compelling work, in terms of design.

Because of the nature of modern design, outdoor furniture in this style tends not to interrupt the setting.  Rather, it complements it.  Because of its linear simplicity, modern Italian furniture for outdoor living spaces doesn’t compete with your garden, your view of the river or the forest your house backs onto.  It’s there, but subtly so, as you enjoy the pleasures of outdoor living.

outdoor living space

And comfort isn’t sacrificed with modern furniture, despite the perceptions of some.  As we’ve pointed out, the famed Eames lounge chair established modern furniture as a font of comfort.  That font, when expressed in your outdoor spaces, takes the form of sunbeds, Acapulco chairs and sensually-formed tables and lighting solutions that make being outside not only a stylish way to enjoy the fine summer weather, but an imminently comfortable one.

Tradition is a nice thing to have, but outdoor living demands the beauty of modern Italian style, bringing the brief but delicious season of summer something that reaches beyond Adirondacks and fold up chairs with drink holders.

Michelangelo Designs

Since 1985, Michelangelo has been bringing exclusively Italian furniture to the shores of the USA, offered exclusively to the Trade.

Cure the common.  Schedule an appointment.

Hot (and Not) Interior Design Trends for 2018!

Times change and so do interior design trends.  That’s not to say you should run out and replace the contents of your home.

Nope. That would be foolhardy (and wasteful).  Rather, incorporating interior design trends for 2018 may be as simple as a few key tweaks to bring your residence up to the minute.

This post is dedicated to hot (and not) interior design trends for 2018, that you need to know about.  There’s a lot of design news out there right now and a lot of it’s going to make your life better.  All of it’s going to make your home more aesthetically pleasing.

Crypton Textiles

At Michelangelo Designs’ Italian Design Center, we offer professionals in the Trade over 1,000 textile selections, so this is one we’ve dog-eared for future reference.

The demand for greater sustainability in our consumption habits extends to the fabrics we use to dress our walls, furniture and beds.  Sustainability demands that we consume less, so many of us seek durability.

And that’s where crypton textiles are making a difference.  Once upon a time, this type of fabric was universally known for its stiffness and monotonous solid colors.  But today’s rendition offers an array of patterns and a pleasing tactile quality that’s making it a growing trend in interior design.

living room eclectic style

Statement Rugs

As most of you reading will know, Minimalism is on the way out.  The practical seagrass and sisal rugs so popular in that design schema are giving way, this year, to something altogether different.

Statement rugs.

Bold colors and unusual patterns hold sway in 2018, paired with throw rugs in faux cowhide, zebra and other animal prints to create a pleasant, cozy chaos.

And everywhere you go, you’ll find abstract weaves and traditional kilims making it to people’s walls to make the most of this trend.

In general terms, the new trend toward saturated color, lush fabrics and a living space that’s filled with all the beautiful things you love is, in a word, Maximalist.  But Maximalism keeps its eye on sustainability, with the trend toward crypton textiles.  Lush excess needn’t sacrifice environmental responsibility.

So. what’s not hot?  Let’s see a couple of trends we’re happy to see the back of.

Country Clutter

The days of handpainted wooden roosters lining your kitchen cupboards are (mercifully) over. So are self-consciously whitewashed woodwork, anodized aluminum and rose gold fixtures and fittings of all kinds.   Adieu.  You won’t be missed.

Wishy Washy Colors

Blush isn’t really a color.  It’s more an absence of enough color.  This year look for super-saturated, high-pigment shades that are who they say they are.

Timidity is a thing of the past.  One of this year’s hottest trends is a farewell to blush and grey and a hello to all the vibrant colors of the rainbow.

Michelangelo Designs brings exclusively Italian designer furniture to the USA’s shores, exclusively for professionals in the Trade.

Come discover the cure for the common.  We invite you to schedule an appointment to encounter a truly inspirational source for design pros.

The Essence of a Contemporary Classic Home  

The spirit of Italian design is found in its essence.  That essence can best be summed up in one word – beauty.  And while beauty may well be in the eye of the beholder, the Italian aesthetic demands beauty in all things and that beauty is always expressed with superior quality and craftsmanship.

The essence of a contemporary classic home is no different that the essence of Italian design.  Simply. the style “contemporary classic” is directly translated from the original Italian “classico contemporaneo”.  And that’s all you need to know.

The essence of a contemporary classic home is the Italian love of beauty, realized in the finest materials, wrought into the iconic style Italy is known for all over the world.

orange sofa

Classic Materials In the Modern Age

The classic materials Italian design has been renowned for through the ages define the contemporary classic home.  Where you see fine marble cladding walls, creating elegant flooring, or integrated into elements like lamps, tables and décor, you’re looking at classic materials which have made a home in the modern age.

Upholstery is tactile and lush, ranging from velvet to fine leathers and intricate brocades.  Realized with the contemporary flair this style is known for, these fabrics enjoy a renaissance in sleek, modern settings and sinuous shapes, recreating them as modern mainstays.

Wood elements as part of the essence of a contemporary classic home have a warming effect.  Referencing a past marked by exceptionally diligent workmanship, wood appears in this style as a subtle foray into the elegance of earlier times.

Luxury For a New Era

References to Imperial Rome are a unique part of this interior design trend, with tiled floors evoking the palaces of the Caesars.

Geometric patterns which are both bold and sophisticated grace entrance halls and guest bathrooms and may be echoed throughout the home in fireplace surrounds, kitchen tiling and tiled edging in rooms with parquet wood floors.

Again, the key word is luxury.  That luxury is best expressed in the materials used in contemporary classic design, which may be marble, or natural stone with unique characteristics which come to life in your interiors.

Tufting figures prominently when choosing the right furniture for your contemporary classic home.  This upholstering technique has never been more desirable than it is right now.  Juxtaposed with the deceptive simplicity of this style, it enhances the luxurious nature of the materials employed to create the ideal home in this interior design style.

elegant chair

Sleek and Bold

Contemporary classic shapes are sleek and bold.  Clad in the luxury of velvet or leather, they’re timelessly sophisticated.  Rich mustard meets ebony and polished mirror treatments.  Deep indigo meets cream marble, veined with gold.  The interplay of light and dark, hard and soft are the most compelling features of contemporary classic, making your home both a showpiece and a relaxing sanctuary from the world.

Michelangelo Designs is home to the first and only Italian Design Center in the USA.  We invite Trade professionals to schedule an appointment to discover a cure for the common.

Designer Tips for Creating a Healthy, Non-Toxic Home

While we all desire a healthy, non-toxic home, style conscious people are usually a little concerned about introducing an element into their living space which may detract from their interior design scheme.

Well, we have good news for the style conscious.  Our designer tips for creating a healthy, non-toxic home won’t put a dent in your residential aesthetics.  In fact, with the trend toward reducing toxicity in our personal environments and the new global sustainability consciousness, you don’t have to sacrifice style for wholesomeness.

We’re about to show you some key designer tips for creating a healthy, non-toxic home.

wooden desk by a wooden wall

Avoid the Lure of Plastic

Before we warn you off plastic as part of your home design scheme, we should make it clear that not all plastics are created equal.  Today’s plastics, derived from organic materials like hemp, can make a difference to your home environment, while delivering the same stylish flair.

But conventionally manufactured plastic emits gases which are proven to be deleterious to your health.  Those gases can wind up mingling with dust in your home to create toxic combinations which exacerbate allergies, reduce air quality and make your home unhealthy.

Ventilation Matters

Adequate ventilation in your home ensures the circulation of things like dust, which can accumulate in a home that’s poorly ventilated.

Air flow moves air into your home that’s been oxygenated (especially if you live near a wealth of trees) by plant life, exchanging stale air for fresh.

Ventilation is important in all areas of your home, but the kitchen should be a focus.  That’s especially true if you char meat indoors.  The carcinogenic properties of charring when released into the air can seriously impact domestic air quality. Maybe take it outdoors.

Natural Fibers

Was your carpeting in place when you moved into your home?  If that’s the case, then chances are that it’s emitting chemical agents into the air which aren’t good for the health of your family.

Seek out flooring that’s naturally derived.  The same goes for upholstery.  Flame retardants, allergen inhibitors and flame retardants are all made from toxic compounds which are released into your home’s air every minute they’re there.

Seek out alternatives which are not only manufactured from natural substances, but which aren’t treated with chemicals purported to prevent problems you can deal with in better ways and which are unhealthy, in the long term.

living room chair

Mind the Moisture

One of the health threats in your home that’s most controllable is also one that’s very common – mold.

This unpleasant material which burgeons in the presence of moisture can cause numerous health problems.  Keep your eye on moisture incursion and do your family a favor by reducing mold.

Michelangelo Designs

These designer tips for creating a healthy, non-toxic home are offered in the hope of healthier living spaces.

There’s no need to sacrifice style for your health.  At Michelangelo, Trade professionals get it all, creating endless opportunities for visually stunning, healthy interiors.  Exclusively Italian design was made for times like these.

We invite Trade pros to schedule an appointment.

How to Use Luxury Custom Furniture in Your New Jersey Home


You’re ready to add a little luxury to your home.  Now that you’re well-established and the kids are grown and on their way out the door, you’re ready to invest in luxury custom furniture to make your dreams of a gracious living space come true.

But maybe you’re hesitating.  Maybe you believe that adding luxury custom furniture to your New Jersey home is going to make everything else look dated or shabby.  But it’s vision that dictates how you’ll achieve the desired effect and vision is a highly individual thing.

In this post, we’ll give you a little nudge in the right direction about how to use luxury custom furniture in your New Jersey home.  We hope to send you off inspired and ready to make the changes that re-create your home environment.

luxury living room furniture

Setting the Scene

Your first and most important step is taking stock of what you’ve got.  Do you want a more profound change than just a couch or a pair of tub chairs can manage?

Changing the setting is a good place to support the introduction of luxury custom furniture.  When you have the wall color and flooring right, it’s easy to build your dream.

The question of color right now isn’t limited to paint or the shade of laminate faux wood flooring you desire.  Color now shoots off in numerous directions, in brilliant statement rugs, tile flooring and wallpapers that can set the scene for luxury custom furniture.

Build it and your new pieces will feel at home with what’s already there.

Choosing Well

The living room is where many people choose to stick their toe in the water when they’re seeking profound interior design change.  How to use luxury custom furniture in your New Jersey home is boldly, but intelligently.

Your sofa may have seen better days, or maybe you need to switch up the coffee table.  But a new sofa is a stellar place to start because from there, you can build your desired theme, gradually exchanging pieces as you move along.

Select something enduring.  The latest contemporary shape isn’t going to work if the rest of your living room veers to colonialist reproductions.  Choose something that works with what you’ve got, upholstered in a lush fabric like velvet in a rich color to complement the work you’ve done on the floors and walls to set the scene.

Don’t Rush

Luxury custom furniture is an investment that will be gracing your home for decades to come, so don’t rush when selecting the piece that’s going to signal a sea change.

Take your time.  Join Pinterest and scroll through the myriad design pages you’ll find there.  When you see something you like, save it to a thumb drive named “luxury custom furniture”.  This way, you’ll develop a clear idea of what you really want and what speaks to you.

Then, choose the luxury custom furniture that inspires you.  You’ll find you want to keep going!

Michelangelo brings exclusively Italian furniture exclusively to the Trade.  Schedule an appointment.