Style Rules: Effortlessly Casual but not Shabby

Sprezzatura is the Italian word we’re going to use to define what this post is about.

Sprezzatura describes achieving elegance with no apparent effort.  When it comes to home interiors, living space is for living.  Plastic on the living room furniture is the most extreme expression of discomfort with any actual living going on, but there are many other manifestations of a rigidly formal interior.

To create an interior which is effortlessly casual but not shabby, it’s clear that part of your effort should be dedicated to quality.  It’s in quality and a clear aesthetic that you avoid “shabby”.

Let’s review the style rules for effortlessly casual but not shabby home interior design.

Casual comfort

white sand beach chair slipcovers

When casual comfort is the goal, you can retrofit any design scheme to express it.  Those most adaptable are American and French country and rustic.  But Maximalism is another current, hot trend which lends itself to casual comfort.

Your upholstered furniture is lush and cushy, when you’re seeking casual comfort.  That needn’t describe every single piece you own, but a key piece in each room adds to the effect.  Add slipcovers in a warm color to heighten the effect.

In a casual context, colors are usually rather muted.  This may suit some, but if your taste runs more to the bold color spectrum, add it whimsically, incorporating color in an overstuffed wingback adorned with a cranberry canvas slipcover, or add a bright area rug which ties in with key décor elements.

Cozy throws and blankets and nests of feather pillows (perhaps covered with cross-stitch embroidery) bring the look the true comforts of home, without making things look shabby.

Shabby that isn’t

Shabby chic has been around for quite a while as a design trend and many continue to employ it in their homes, either as an overall theme, or in small doses to create an inviting, relaxing interior.

But shabby isn’t always “funky” (in that bad way).  Shabby chic is more about patina and a sense of pieces having lived many lives than it is about looking worn out.  Patina is a keyword with the look we’re talking about.

Texture is another important word in the lexicon of the effortlessly casual interior.  Choose nubby, handloomed items and treatments for upholstered furniture.  If you select leather, don’t shy away from the patina indicating use over time.  That patina is an emblem of comfort, enjoyment and the piece’s witness to lives lived well.


tufted ottoman

Effortlessly casual interiors embrace you when you enter them.  Furniture pieces which work best for this look are large and chunky.  They’re not delicate, as delicacy can indicate impermanence in a living space intended to convey the timeless enjoyment of life.

Details like tufting, pleating and contrasting trim are homey and add a more finished effect.  Antiques and reproductions of antiques offer a sense of historical continuity.  No one needs to know that hutch wasn’t handed down by a beloved family matriarch.

Trade professionals seeking a cure for the common are invited to contact Michelangelo Designs to schedule an appointment.

Design Trend – When Royal Meets Rustic

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, the Royals of the world lived in far more rustic contexts than those they do today.  But just one example of the longstanding Royal affection for rustic locales is Queen Elizabeth of England’s for Balmoral Castle.

When at Balmoral, Her Majesty is known to ramble outdoors, her signature headscarf, tweed and wellington rubber boots protecting her from the brisk winds Scotland is known for.

That image alone provides a window into this design trend – when royal meets rustic.

Natural elements fit for a Queen

This design trend’s signature feature is the liberal use of natural materials, paired with lashings of Baroque ornamentation.  But there are not just any natural materials.

Burled wood features prominently, as do fur and leather.  You’ll also find brass studded upholstery and period-inspired turned wood and metalwork as the bases for sleek tables in glass, stone and wood.

Seating is coddled in lush furs (imitations for those who object), with cow skin rugs gracing highly polished wood plank floors.

Over the natural stone fireplace hangs the modern effigy of a stag, while the sitting room’s high ceiling is tamed to human scale with a large, wrought iron chandelier hanging low over the seating area.

rustic interior design

Wild meets stately

Imagine the cross-section of a large tree becoming a dining room table.  Its edges retain their natural shape, but the table top itself is heavily lacquered and supported by graceful (almost industrial) metal legs which curve elegantly outward.

Around it sit plush velvet chairs, upholstered in the traditional way – with brass studs.  In the corner, next to the sleek, modern buffet, sits a large, black leather wingback.  It’s embraced by white fur which wraps around it, nestling the chair in warmth.

The walls are as highly-lacquered as the table, covering every inch of wall space in the luxury of burled wood.  Those elegant walls are graced by large mirrors, framed in ornate resin frames in the Baroque style.

The context

So, you don’t live in Balmoral Castle.  Your humble abode isn’t equipped with vaulted ceilings supported by heavy wooden beams.  But you can still achieve this look by incorporating its elements into your home and creating a context which hints at more regal surroundings.

Textured wall treatments can easily be created.  Online tutorials abound for this purpose.  Mimic the look of wood or choose a color that works for your space sponged over with gold.  Finish the look with contrasting veining to imitate the look of marble on a feature wall.

A chandelier of deer’s horns or a vintage wrought iron piece hanging over a key seating area create the illusion of royal grandeur, while imparting a sense of warmth and intimacy.

Another wonderful way to set the scene for rustic meets royal is with wallpaper.  Choose subtle renditions which include gold or silver foil and classic patterns of vines and flowers.

At Michelangelo Designs, we’ve created a cure for the common.  We invite professionals in the Trade to contact us to schedule an appointment.

Nothing Succeeds Like Excess – 2018 is the Year of Maximalism

“Moderation is a fatal thing.  Nothing succeeds like excess.”

Oscar Wilde

Lush, sensual and rich, Maximalist design is the antidote to years of minimalism.  For some time now, the design world has counseled sparsely furnished and decorated interiors, with blindingly white walls as the backdrop.

But all that has changed.  Since 2016, interior design circles have been whispering about Maximalism.  And in 2018 it’s the most important trend, rising head and shoulders above all the others.

Nothing succeeds like excess.  2018 is the year of Maximalism and the freedom to enshrine in your home those collectible décor pieces you’ve hesitated to reach out for in recent years.

Fear not!  This is your moment.

Curated excess

On encountering Maximalist interiors for the first time, some are taken aback by the profusion of colors, textures, styles and patterns.  But that’s the whole point.

Maximalism seeks order in apparent chaos, through the employment of unifying elements like a key color or pattern.  Furniture need not all be in the same style when the balance is struck with color and form.

Interior designer, Kelly Wearstler is considered this trend’s reigning queen.  Renowned for her creation of “rooms within rooms”, she pairs biomorphic furniture forms with unifying color themes and optimal use of space.

Wearstler’s keen eye for detail defies the argument that Maximalism is about clutter.  Not at all. It’s about creating a singular environment which is bound together with forethought and sensitivity to the space itself.

Kelly Wearstler living room


Key features of Maximalism

The foundation of Maximalism lies in individual affection for specific colors, shapes and textures.  With Maximalism, you create the environment that lives in your mind’s eye.

It’s about bringing to life your dream interior and making your concept of what it should look like come to vibrant, excessive life.

Bring your affection forward by expressing it in tile, wood, velvet, or lush wallpapers with geometric or floral patterns.  The key here is not to match everything, but to unite it with the use of color, form and repeating themes.

Choose the foundation for your look in a wall color or a tufted velvet couch in a jewel tone (or even Pantone color of the year, Ultra Violet), then connect everything to that one piece, using other furniture pieces in contrasting colors (but in velvet) or patterns – animal prints are most welcome in a Maximalist room.

Maximalist decor animal prints

Whether your passion is art glass or coffee table books, share it in the room, using stacks of books as side tables bearing brass platters and topped with a majestic art glass piece.  Only your imagination limits you when you’re creating your dream interior.

It’s your dream and your interior.  Creating your fantasy, without giving the impression of needless clutter, is a highly individual affair.

The very heart of Maximalist design is who you are.

Michelangelo Designs

We’ve created the first and only Italian Design Center in the USA.  We invite Trade professionals to contact us to schedule an appointment and to experience the cure for the common at Michelangelo Designs.

Defining Design – Bachelor Pad

The term “bachelor pad” has a long history of depicting young, single male life as an endless party, peopled by other boisterous bachelors and a bevy of scantily clad women.

For many decades, the ideal bachelor pad has been typified by James Bond movies, Hugh Hefner’s lavishly decadent persona and perhaps a spicy dash of Austin Powers thrown in for good measure.

But the bachelor pad fantasy has long since faded into memory.  Today, young men aren’t the only ones who strike out from the family home in search of a life of their own.  Young women have long since joined them.

So, farewell, James Bond.  Miss MoneyPenny now has a bachelor pad too.

A bachelor pad needn’t be a cliché, for young men or women.  What it should be is a place to build a young life, to define a personal style and to grow into adulthood in comfort.

Avoid the parent trap

The first rule of defining design for a bachelor pad is not to fall into what I like to call “the parent trap”.  The parent trap is created when, having announced you’re moving out and getting your own place, your parents trap you into taking all the funky old furniture that’s been lurking downstairs in the family room since Nixon was President.

Unless you’re a DIY, up-cycling wizard with abundant time on your hands to Debbie Travers that stereo console with the non-functioning turntable, resist falling into the parent trap.

The first rule of thumb is to only allow those furnishings into your new home which you like and which you can live with.  If you genuinely believe you can live with that floral-patterned couch from the 70s that comes complete with its own duct taped repairs, give your head a shake.

Just say “no” to the parent trap.

single bedroom

Choose wisely

Driving your beater out to IKEA to buy a complete set of furnishings for your house may seem like a good idea but trust us.  It’s not.

Don’t buy all your furniture in one fell swoop.  Instead, get the basics. You need someplace to sleep and someplace to sit.  You may be taking the bed from your parent’s home with you, but if it’s a single, are you sure you want to continue sleeping on it?

You’re a grown up now, so opt for a simple platform-style bed and futon.  This inexpensive solution looks sleek and modern and the price point’s right.  You can always trick it out with an elegant tufted leather headboard a little later on.

For seating, choose a couch which is simple, attractive and covered in a durable material that’s going to stand up to your feet being on it (whether you’re a male or a female bachelor).

wall unit

Add inspiration

You’re striking out on your own, so add inspiration with art prints to remind yourself that you live there.  Art warms everything up, as you gradually build your home into a place of adult comfort.

Trade professionals are invited to contact Michelangelo Designs to schedule an appointment.

Modern Furniture Design Trends – from the 70s

The 1970s represent a distinct shift in 20th Century design sensibilities.  In the wake of the Hippie movement, men took off their neckties, opting for leisure suits in pastel colors replete with patch pockets and flared trousers.

The mainstream responded to counter-culture by co-opting and elaborating on it.  This trend extended into the home.  Suddenly the Bohemian aesthetic of the “Hippie pad” was creeping into suburban homes and urban brownstones, manifesting itself in some key ways.

And right now, the 70s are making a comeback, especially in furniture design trends and home décor.


If you miss the plush, tactile quality of velvet, now’s your moment.  Velvet is enjoying a resurgence in modern furniture design trends, covering sofas, chairs, chaise longues and benches.  Whether crushed or spun of the finest silk, velvet is on the menu.

velvet piece of furniture

But the return to handwoven textiles is also strong.  These can be introduced in wall hangings, sisal and shag rugs and oriental tapestries and carpets used as décor.  Layered or anchoring a sitting or dining area, these create a strong statement.

Color and form

Of all the design trends associated with the 1970s, color is one of the most ubiquitous.  Orange had a strong position in the styling of the times, accented by rich chocolate shades.

One large statement piece in orange says all you need it to, especially when the piece you’re using the color for is over-sized and sculptural.  A modular seating arrangement lends itself particularly well to bringing the 1970s into your living space.

Harvest gold is another key color, cooled by neutrals in macramé decor and the luster of teak, for dining tables, buffets and other wood elements, after the Danish modernist model.

orange sofa

The vintage touch

Employing vintage furniture pieces from the 70s is a balancing act. When you’re thinking about transforming your space to reflect modern furniture design trends from the 70s, you’re thinking about introducing key pieces which hail from the era.  Combining these with modern, rustic or Bohemian looks can work very well and is, indeed, part of this design trend.

This can be done in the living, dining, bedroom and other areas of the home by choosing distinctive, recognizably-vintage furniture to combine with what you already have.  Re-creating your existing aesthetic to bring the 70s into your interiors can be achieved by selecting quality consignment furniture.

Is the leather on that chair in the window a bit battered?  Even better.  The theme of this design trend is warmth, comfort, eclecticism and the gentle post-Hippie aesthetic.

Peace and love in the home?  Yes, please!

Michelangelo Designs

At the first and only Italian Design Center in the USA, Michelangelo brings professionals in the Trade a unique resource.

Retailers, interior designers, real estate developers and architects come to us to find the inspiration they need to please discerning clients.

Choose from over 1,000 textile selections, with a range of lustrous woods and rich leathers.  We’re the cure for the common for Trade professionals who seek design diversity.

Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Contemporary Furniture Pieces Can Transform Any Home!

When you’re seeking a home transformation, going beyond painting the walls is a balancing act.  Contemporary furniture pieces can transform any home – so long as you play by some simple rules of balance, concerning color and theme.

Your home reflects who you are. It’s where your soul comes out to play among those items you’ve chosen, because they speak to you.  If you’ve been timid about how you’re molding the space to your tastes and values, then maybe it’s time to take a bold step forward.  If you’re serious about transformation, then boldness is your best friend.

But before we begin our exploration, let’s look at the difference between contemporary and modern.

Contemporary?  Kind of

In truth, modern design began in the 1940s, with designers like Bauhaus.  From there, it was re-defined by subsequent designers and adapted to their cultural contexts.  Here, we see the examples of Mies Van Der Rohe and a unique conception of modernity, Italian modern, Danish modern, etc.

Mid-Century modern is probably the most enduring of all these styles, although that’s a matter of taste and historical perspective.

But when you’re discussing “contemporary” in terms of furniture design, the word doesn’t genuinely reflect what we’re talking about.  “Contemporary” can describe the design of the past in its direct context, as well as what we consider to be up to date or “modern”.

While the two words are often used interchangeably, it’s clear that they mean two different things.  So, for the purposes of this post, contemporary is going to take on the mantle of “classic”, in terms of its modernist interpretation*.

*(PRO-TIP:  What contemporary means is that it’s manufactured to the taste of the prevailing market – what sells and what’s desired by mass consumerism.)

modern dining room

It’s not the piece, it’s the context

You may feel a little strange plunking a contemporary furniture piece into your traditionally-inspired room, but you needn’t.

Contemporary furniture pieces can transform any home if you give some forethought to how you’re going to integrate them and a lot of this can be done with color.

For instance, your twin wingbacks and sofas can still feel right at home in the presence of a contemporary coffee table.  Choosing a monochromatic color theme is key to this effect.  But another trick is to reduce clutter.

But check yourself when introducing a sleek contemporary piece into a room which has been purposely designed to reflect an era.  You may need to change wall colors and reduce what’s in the room to make the transformation harmonious.

modern piece of furniture

Let your eyes guide you

Introducing contemporary furniture may require adding a modern lighting solution, or end tables.  Abstract art also supports the transformative effect of contemporary furniture.

But be aware that traditional art can be jarring in such a setting.  It can work, but only when employed sparingly, with placement in mind.

The art of transformation

Michelangelo Designs brings Trade professionals exclusively Italian furniture, featuring the most sought-after design houses in Italy.

We offer the art of transformation, rooted in the riches of Italian design tradition.  Contact us.

Finding A Beautiful Italian Leather Sofa in a Contemporary Style

Finding a beautiful Italian leather sofa in a contemporary style is the holy grail for many of today’s lovers of fine interior design.  From designers to developers to hoteliers envisioning the perfect, plush lobby, the right sofa is key.

A sofa doesn’t just need to be attractive.  It needs to be comfortable.  It’s where form and function are balanced, in living rooms, offices, fine hotels and conference facilities.

And contemporary Italian furniture design delivers that balance effortlessly.

yellow leather sofa Francine

It starts with the cow

Italy’s enduring tradition of creating fine furnishings is rooted in artisan craftsmanship in which quality materials play a pivotal role.

So, an Italian leather sofa starts with the cow.  Over many generations, Italians have perfected the art of selective breeding to produce exquisitely soft leather that’s of the highest quality.  What’s the point of covering a sofa in leather, if it isn’t the best?  The piece is intended to endure for many years.

The leather used in Italian furniture design must be flawless and meet the standards of the craftsmen who will be creating a sofa from it.  Scarred leather is rejected for this purpose and put to use for other needs.

Accepting only the best is where the superior quality of Italian furniture begins.

Standing the test of time

An Italian leather sofa is also resistant to staining (and you know that sooner or later, somebody’s going to spill something). The quality of the leather is key in this regard, because in Italy, sofas are made to last.

When finding a beautiful Italian leather sofa in a contemporary style is your quest, don’t allow a low price tag to turn your head.  What may look like quality isn’t always.  Sometimes, it’s worth paying a little extra for a piece which is going to stand the test of time and grace your space with elegance and sophistication for decades to come.

sofa Gloria from Ego Italiano

The best of Italy

Finding a beautiful Italian leather sofa is a pleasant and edifying journey through the epochs of Italian design, when you come to Michelangelo to find it.

At our expansive showroom and warehouse, you’ll find the best of Italy, featuring collections of this fabled nation’s most acclaimed furniture design houses.

We established the first and only Italian Design Center in the USA, because we wanted to create a resource to professionals in the Trade, facilitating over-and-above creativity, married to the excellence of Italian Design.

Is the sofa you’ve magically discovered not upholstered in leather?  Fear not.  At Michelangelo Designs, we offer 1,000 textile selections which include rich, sumptuous Italian leathers.  Select from names like Ego Italiano, the essence of upholstered furniture direct from Matera, Italy, or turn to Silik for its award-winning innovation.

Retailers, real estate developers, interior designers and architects will all find that ideal Italian leather sofa at the Italian Design Center, where Italian style and quality meet American ingenuity, to satisfy the tastes of discerning clients.

If you’re intent on finding a beautiful Italian leather sofa in a contemporary design, you’ve found your source, at Michelangelo.

How to Search for The Best Italian Modern Leather Furniture

If you’re on the hunt for the best Italian modern leather furniture, then you’re already a step ahead. You know where the quality and craftsmanship are and that’s a great start.

For centuries, Italian furniture design has led the way.  From the days of the Roman Empire to today’s leading-edge Italian design houses, this nation is a hotbed of design excellence and style that perfectly reflects the modern era.

But before you can find, you need to seek.  Let’s talk about how to search for the best Italian modern leather furniture.

The world at your fingertips

Finding exactly what you’re looking for is easier now that it has been at any other time in history.  With the internet, we can travel to distant lands to find just the right wing backed chair, sofa, love seat or slipper chair.

Finding your way around the world of Italian modern leather furniture is a few clicks away, leading you into the wealth of Italy’s proud legacy of style, luxury and sophistication in furniture design.

And with that preliminary layer of research done, you’ll have a much better idea of what’s available and where.

Martine leather sofa

Experiential buying

As we just said, the internet is just your preliminary foray into Italian modern leather furniture. Next, having whet your appetite, you’ll want to experience the pieces which have captured your imagination and venture forth to see your selections up close and personal.

But if you’re a Trade professional with limited time to complete a project which incorporates the best Italian modern leather furniture, then you may need an insider’s line and that’s where Michelangelo Designs comes in.

Under one roof

For professionals working in interior design, retail, real estate development and architecture, Michelangelo Designs proposes a visit to our expansive showroom and warehouse.

Here you’ll find the very best Italian modern leather furniture, expertly curated to meet the most discerning tastes.  Our collections are those most sought after by international buyers, with names like Carpanelli, Angelo Cappellini and Ego Italiano.

We’ve created this resource for Trade professionals to gather the riches of Italian design under one roof, at the first and only Italian Design Center in the USA.

Oki armchair and ottoman leather

Selection meets creativity

With Michelangelo, you’ll have access to the top tier of Italian furniture design, but we don’t stop there.  In addition to finished pieces, we offer you the ability to finely customize your selections, with 1,000 textile choices, incorporating rich, lustrous Italian leathers and rare woods.

Your clients will notice the difference when you create pieces precisely tailored to their vision.  You’ll satisfy even the most refined tastes with what the Italian Design Center brings to your creative work.

We hone the creative edge by providing a cure from the common.

Now you know

How to search for the best Italian modern leather furniture is by scheduling an appointment to visit us.  With a collection of Italy’s most notable brands, a wide selection of textiles and materials for customization and the limitless bounty of Italian design excellence, you’ll find what you’re looking for.

Contact us.

Options in Beautiful Contemporary Furniture

Everybody likes the idea of choices.  Choices give us the latitude to live our personal tastes and truly express who we are.  This is no truer than in the spaces we occupy most frequently – the home, our place of work and the places we go to relax and social.

Options in beautiful contemporary furniture are myriad and at Michelangelo Designs we honor that, with an elite selection of the Italy’s most acclaimed and sought-after design houses.  We focus exclusively on Italian design as the very apex of the international furniture design community.

We offer this wealth of options at the Italian Design Center – the first and only of its kind in the USA and we offer it exclusively to you – Trade professionals.

You need options

Design professionals need options that allow them to live out their creativity, while responding to the demands of clients who know what they want in terms of style and quality.  At Michelangelo, we bring retailers, interior designers, architects and real estate developers the luxury of a selection of Italy’s finest furniture designers, coupled with the ability to customize to client taste.

With over 1,000 textile selections at our expansive showroom and warehouse, you’ll be spoiled for choice.  That sofa may be the right shape and style, but you want it in another color; another fabric.  You want a certain type of wood.

You want something as unique as your vision, so you need a world of options that set you free to create at the highest level of your art form.

Jadore sofa

Only the best

From the sleek Opera Contemporary line, to Ego Italiano’s essence of upholstered furniture, you’ll find only the best at Michelangelo Designs.

We strive to bring our customers a source of inspiration, born in the furniture design ateliers of Italy.  Your creativity deserves the edge we bring to your vision and the numerous options for customization your discerning clients demand.

Our collections of Italy’s most luxurious brands are gathered under one roof to allow Trade professionals the full depth and breadth of Italian design tradition.

Cappellini glass table

Since 1985

Since 1985, the Italian furniture aficionados at Michelangelo have gone to great lengths to bring Italian elegance and sophistication to American shores.  At Michelangelo Design, Italian excellence meets American ingenuity, amplified by the endless possibilities offered by customization.

Your creativity comes out to play at the Italian Design Center, where you’ll find all you need to impress your clients.  Your vision is unique, so we offer limitless options in beautiful contemporary furniture from Italy.

Trade professionals are invited to contact us to schedule an appointment.  If you haven’t yet experienced the Italian Design Center, you’ll be amazed by what we’ve created here for professionals in the Trade, like you.

Offering creative professionals like you a cure for the common, we open the door to the many epochs of Italy’s design heritage, putting the tools in your hands to create something truly inspiring from the inspiration we’ve brought to America’s shores.

Come.  Find the cure for the common at Michelangelo Designs.

The Different Dimensions of Modern Furniture

The evolution of Italian furniture has led it to its unique incarnation as a contemporary style mainstay in the homes, offices and fine hotels of the world.  Satisfying the need for modern expressions in a variety of contexts, the different dimensions of modern furniture in the Italian ethos make it adaptable to most settings.

Whether your space is large or small, modern furniture responds with clean, simple lines that don’t overpower.  In the Italian design world, though, form and function mesh perfectly, creating furniture which whispers of comfort which is pleasing to the eye.

Discreet luxury

Modern furniture eschews the gilded, highly-wrought decoration of earlier styles, choosing discretion over valor, every time.  Whether you’re planning on making the centerpiece of a great room with vaulted ceilings a fine leather sectional, or you need a love seat to compliment your small but elegant pied-a-terre, modern furniture offers furniture for all spaces.


When tastes run to a discreet stylistic expression that doesn’t compete with art or décor, but quietly compliments it, modern furniture is the ideal choice.

From hotel lobbies to ateliers

The different dimensions of modern furniture represent a design world without boundaries.  Modern designers know that many spaces today are more modest and so, modern furniture is created for every possible scenario.

You no longer require a manse to find yourself seated on an Ego Italiano sofa.  The modest dimensions of your home are matched by the thoughtful work of designers who understand your needs.

But for those who enjoy grand spaces, modern furniture is the perfect alternative, building an image of tranquil sophistication, rooted in innovative design, quality materials and painstaking craftsmanship.

Modern furniture is as at home in a sweeping hotel mezzanine as it is in a humble atelier in a garret.

Sustainability and style

A sterling example of the intellectual strain in modern design is the work of the designers at COM.P.AR.  This design house has devoted itself to creating furnishings which respond to the modern demand for sustainability without sacrificing the spirit of modern design.

Compar furniture

COM.P.AR’s design team works in a state of continual reflection about the needs of the modern age, including the imperative to reduce waste in processes and materials.

There is no concept which speaks more eloquently to modernism than sustainability – something which the designers at COM.P.AR are not only aware of but practice every working day.

Tradition meets sophistication

For those who desire the lingering sweetness of the past in a modern context, Carpanelli Contemporary brings you the best of both worlds.  Employing the sinuous lines of nature, Carpanelli Contemporary translates the natural world into contemporary pieces which speak today’s language.

Carpanelli dining room

This innovative furniture design house has created a middle way in the world of modern furniture.

Another dimension, at Michelangelo

At first and only Italian Design Center in the USA, Michelangelo Designs brings you another dimension of modern furniture, with a collection of some of Italy’s most storied Italian design houses.

Trade professionals will find an exclusive selection of modern furniture, forged in Italian creative vision at Michelangelo Designs.

2018 Decorating Trends: Go Bold or Go Home!

As design years go, 2018 is not for the timid.  Featured are the geometric patterns we’ve seen everywhere in 2017, but transformed.  Texture is making a comeback, with natural fibers and other materials surging to the forefront.

In sum, it’s all about letting go of your reservations on the home front and allowing yourself to take a walk on the wild side (within reason, of course).

Let’s get into 2018 decorating trends and find out how the bold and the beautiful are expressing themselves this year.

Ultra Violet.

The Pantone color of the year for 2018, Ultra Violet is a blue-based purple which expresses the epoch of imagination and innovation we’re currently living in.

If the first word that springs to mind is “purple”, think again.  This rich color is the ideal complement and update to the recent decorating trend towards grey. Layer cousins like lavender with décor accents and contrast with another 2018 superstar, olive green.  Nuanced and emotional, Ultra Violet has depth.

Especially effective when applied in an environment which features natural materials like raw stone and wood, Ultra Violet is a touch of the mystical in a data-driven world.

Follow the bouncing ball.

Geometric patterns have been huge in recent seasons, but this year it’s the circle’s moment.  Décor pieces featuring large, bold circles (not necessarily your grandma’s polka dots) are a return to having fun with design.

Don’t limit this 2018 decorating trend to a couple of throw cushions.  Consider upholstering the seat of a wingback chair, or creating a tufted end table with a bold circle pattern.  Even your walls can’t escape, as wallpaper creators jump on board.

living room circles design

Velvet touch.

The rich, comforting texture of velvet is back for décor and home furnishings.  Plush is the word, as bold, rich color meets soft, tactile velvet.

This trend extends through the living room to the bedroom, bringing endless possibilities for luxurious headboards, sofas, dining room seating, lounge chairs and chaise longues.  Deploying velvet means stepping a little outside the ordinary to feature it in your home as a warm, comfortable aspect of graceful living.

velvet chair

High polish.

Lacquer finishes are bigger than ever and this year, they’re not just for the walls.  Furniture and cabinetry get to join in the fun.

Don’t fancy re-visioning all the walls in this high polish finish?  We agree that might be overzealous.  A feature wall, or a statement piece like a buffet, or lacquered dining room table might be the way to introduce the trend to your home.


One of this year’s most beautiful trends is that featuring tone-on-tone walls and molding.  There’s something interesting about trim which blends with the wall, creating the illusion of higher ceilings, as well.

Heighten the effect by painting a key piece of furniture in a matching color.  A dresser with gold fixtures, topped with a stunning floral arrangement in contrasting colors, adds dimension and interest.

These 2018 decorating trends are just what you need to go boldly into the new year.  Visit our website for more ideas.

Simple Ideas to Cozy Up the Guest Bedroom

There’s something a little inhospitable about accommodating overnight guests on a hide-a-bed in a disorganized spare room, filled with assorted bric-a-brac.

Books jumbled in a book shelf that’s seen better days, a throw tossed over the hide-a-bed bearing the image of Pokemon and a couple of venerable pillows dragged from an airless closet don’t exactly spell “welcome to our home”.

Add to all that the notorious discomfort some experience on convertible beds (an episode of Seinfeld comes to mind) and your guests are probably going to think you’re trying to discourage subsequent stays.

But there’s a better way.


Say “welcome” without words.

It’s time to say goodbye to your guest bedroom’s overly casual ambience, replacing it with symbols of your generous hospitality.  Saying “welcome” without words can be as simple as a bunch of tulips (available year ‘round) on the bedside table.

Anticipate the needs of your guests by creating a hotel-like experience in your guest room.  Roll fluffy, white bath towels, placing them on the bed.  It’s a simple touch, but it immediately reminds your guests of a hotel stay.  Isn’t that more welcoming than say, tossing a towel at them and hollering, “Here!  Use this!”?

We think so.

Plush comfort.

No matter how pleased your guests are to see you, nothing is more important than their comfort for accommodating, thoughtful hosts.

If you’ve been using mismatched pillow covers and a threadbare bedcover (or a Pokemon throw), it’s time to upgrade.  Replace your bedding with matching sheets and pillowcases and an attractive cover.  A duvet is a must, especially during the colder seasons and invites your guests to a restful night’s sleep.

Add to the effect by giving most of the books in that messy, haphazard book shelf to Goodwill (and the book shelf, too).  Keep only quality volumes, leaving them on the bedside table for your guests to enjoy before turning in for the night.

wall unit bed system

Harmonize the space.

Simple ideas to cozy up your guest bedroom don’t have to involve a full-on renovation.  Working with what you have is easier than you think.

Create harmony in the space by using items which complement the room’s central feature – the bed.  If the room is without window covers, this is your chance to take the bull by the horns and get them covered.

Drapes are a simple solution.  Make sure they’re lined, so your visiting guests can sleep in, if they so choose.  Complement your bed cover with a color or design that ties the room together.  Intensify the effect by adding large pillows in the same pattern or color.

A contrasting, comfy throw laid across the foot of the bed completes the look and creates the sense that you’ve prepared your guest bedroom for your beloved guests with care.

It’s the little things that make your guests feel at home, so be creative and create a relaxing environment which embraces and welcomes.

Michelangelo Designs.

Since 1985, Michelangelo Designs has been offering professionals in the Trade a cure for the common.  Contact us to schedule an appointment.