Ways to Make Your Dining Room Furniture the Star of the Show

If you entertain regularly, you’re fond of having people over and sharing the delights of your home with them.  You’re no doubt a dab hand in the kitchen, but if you’re here, you’ve probably got beautiful dining room furniture you’d like your guests to notice.

People who entertain often focus on the more temporal aspects of having company around.  Good conversation and fine food figure prominently.  But the setting is what really makes the evening and that means creating an ambience that makes your guests feel welcome and a little spoiled.

This post focuses on ways to make your dining room furniture to the star of the show.  It’s beautiful.  You’ve chosen it carefully and now you want to create a setting that does it justice.

Read on.

The mood

If you’ve ever eaten under the harsh lights of a cafeteria, you’ll know how intrusive and annoying overhead lighting can be.  That’s why you want to avoid that effect in your dining room.

You’re not just having your friends over for dinner.  You’re inviting them into your world.  That world is thoughtfully lit with a pendant light which hangs over the center of your dining room suite, illuminating perhaps a large art glass bowl, or a magisterial arrangement of seasonal flowers, flanked by flickering candles.

Wall sconces are also at home in the dining room, providing peripheral light which doesn’t spoil the mood or detract from the central features you want most to highlight – your dining room furniture.

Lighting should cast a glow, not a glare.  Choose options which allow your guests to see the beauty around them, while making your dining room furniture the star of the show.

dining room Oreste

Grounding the space

If you’ve taken our advice about a fixture which illuminates your dining table at its center, then you’re well on your way to grounding the space and sharpening its focus to star of the show, your dining room furniture.

You’ll want to take the extra step of finding just the right rug that will be the final masterstroke toward a refined focus on the room’s central elements.

Here’s where you can go mad.  Your rug needn’t match the walls, the furniture, the art, or anything else for that matter.  It can reference them, instead, creating an island of dining pleasure by clearly delineating the space and its boundaries.

A good rule of thumb for a dining room rug is to leave 18 inches on all four sides.  If that’s not possible, choose something smaller, which leaves an 8-inch border from the back legs of the chairs when they’re pulled out (as though a guest were sitting in them).

Choosing a high impact color or pattern (animal prints like zebra, or patterns which speak of them, are huge right now) grounds your dining room and your dining room furniture becomes the star of the show.

Michelangelo has been bringing the riches of Italian furniture design to the shores of the USA since 1985.  We invite Trade professionals to book an appointment.

Displaying Old and New Luxury Furniture Together

Contemporary interior design is rapidly evolving out of constricting dogmas of consistency of styling.  Disparate styles are now brought together as a matter of routine, creating something entirely new.

This trend is reflected in the Eclectic, Bohemian and Maximalist trends which are dominating the world of home design right now.  Even in the most carefully curated rooms, the modern interior design impulse is toward mixing the old with the new.  But how?

Designers, instead of choosing an era or style, choose unifiers like color, pattern and theme to create rooms with select pieces which don’t need to come from the same era or design school to relate to one another in perfect harmony.

Let’s find out more about displaying old and new luxury furniture together.

Symmetry and line

One of the most important aspects of displaying old and new luxury furniture together is to seek symmetry and to find balance in the lines offered by pieces you already have, or plan on acquiring

Furniture pieces from different eras and design styles can work together when you consider how balanced they are.  For example, things which are a similar or the same color won’t necessarily work, if they’re so diverse in terms of scale and interpretation that they butt up against each other.

Find balance and harmony in lines that speak to and echo one another.  This is a subtle approach to blending eras and styles which takes a little thought but pays tremendous dividends.

From the ground up

When you seek to create harmony between contrasting epochs of design, the floor is always a good place to start.  Seek out a large rug to accent your furniture and create a critical focus for your disparate design elements.

Oriental rugs lend themselves very well to this, with their vibrant colors and patterns, but just as useful is a handloomed rug with a consistent pattern that serves to ground the space it’s in and create context for your design vision.

But geometrics are huge right now, so don’t rule out choosing a rug with a geometric design that’s bold and references original iterations from ethnic weavers.


Now that the rug’s down, it’s time to talk about art and how it can serve to tie your room together.  Modern art is especially effective for this.  Whether representative or abstract, modern art creates a focus which grounds your room in the modern age.  An interesting alternative is modern art referencing classic art pieces from antiquity or later ages.  This ties in with you old/new furniture mix, also.

Go large, accenting your central art piece with smaller pieces that help build on your eclectic theme.

Michelangelo Designs

At Michelangelo Designs, we’ve been bringing the riches of Italian furniture design excellence to the USA since 1985.  Since then, we’ve been marrying that excellence to American ingenuity to create the perfect synthesis.

We import exclusively Italian furniture and make it available exclusively to the Trade, in architecture, real estate development, interior design and retail.

Ready to cure the common?  Contact us.

Use Color to Help Your Dining Room Furniture Stand Out

If there’s one thing that can be said about contemporary design trends, it’s that color is back and bigger than ever.  White walls are giving way to glorious exclamations of vibrant color in every room of the home.  Even hotel properties are getting in on the color action, with many properties embracing the trend to give their accommodations a personalized touch of design panache.

In the world of design, it’s color that really winnows the conventional from the superlative.  When wisely deployed, it can create from the banal something truly sublime.

This post is all about how you can use color to help your dining room furniture stand out.  If you’ve invested in a high-end dining table and chairs, a buffet, or other fine furnishings, then the last thing you want is for it not to be noticed.

That’s why color is your friend.

red dining room

Color is now

We’ve written about Maximalist design here before.  It’s huge right now.  And you can bring it into your dining room to create the ideal environment for your stunning dining room furniture, making it the undisputed start of the show.

Ultra Violet is Pantone’s color of the year.  Upholster your dining room seating in this color and match it with a floral centerpiece that sets the scene.  Or use it on the walls to create a backdrop for your elegant furnishings.

Choose a deep, warm version of the color to envelop your guests in the cozy delights of a meal with friends, as your dining room furniture takes center stage.

Or choose Black Flame (that sensuous marriage of black and navy blue) for contrast and theatricality, with ultra violet upholstery popping against this enigmatic backdrop.


Color isn’t just for upholstery and walls.  Color can be used to place your dining room furniture at the heart of the action, by selecting artwork that does the job.

Now that you’ve got the walls painted and the chairs upholstered, choose art that’s both bold and which creates a tension between the color or colors you’ve chosen.  Your art should bring everything else in the room into focus, while creating conversational opportunities to keep your dinner party lively.

Cluster artwork around a theme or color scheme.  Choose frames that compliment your furnishings, while allowing them to shine.

patchwork chair in colors

Table settings

Table settings demand your attention, when you’re seeking to create an ambience of hospitality and sensual enjoyment around your dining table.

Choose settings which either contrast or blend with your table top (depending on the effect you’re seeking).  Layer that effect to intensify it with elegant chargers and full table settings in contrasting colors and unusual patterns.

A mix of bold, solid colors and lively geometric or floral patterns in an intentional table setting is another trend you’ll want to play with.

Color is a gift.  It brings another dimension of beauty to interior design and yet another way to customize spaces and express the homeowner’s taste and lifestyle.  We recommend applying it liberally.

Trade professionals – contact us to schedule an appointment.

Décor to Compliment Your Luxury Furniture

Luxury furniture is made to grace your living space with the extraordinary.  Meticulous craftsmanship, high-end materials and enduring quality deserve to be surrounded by décor that speaks to its excellence.

The trick is expressing yourself in the context of furnishings you’ve purchased to create a certain feeling.  Whether you’ve chosen modern, traditional or a blend of both, creating a balanced environment is top of mind when choosing décor to compliment your luxury furniture.

We thought we’d point to some key contemporary trends.  You’re here because you love luxury furniture, so you know what moves you.  We know you’ll take these décor trends and adapt them to mesh with the exquisite luxury furniture in your home.

PRO-TIP:  Contemporary trends are not to be confused with fads.  Your home is for keeps, so keep it stylish, elegant and true to your vision.

Setting the mood with color

While white walls may suit the sensibilities of some, in terms of design and décor they’re rather decisively over.

colorful chairs

The most compelling trend in wall colors for the home tracks to creating a sense of coziness and tranquility.  Walls today are taking on highly-saturated paint and paper treatments in darker colors.  While that may not be your “thing”, you can employ the trend to compliment your luxury furniture.  What’s more compelling than a plush chartreuse recliner against a deep navy wall?

Black Flame (a compromise between navy and black) provides the ideal setting for luxury furniture, creating a sensation of sanctuary and a backdrop for your discerning taste.  But don’t stop at the walls!  Take it to the ceiling and embrace another key décor trend.

Luxe fringe

No longer confined to throws, pillows, blankets and the odd Tiffany lamp, fringe has broken from its stuffy confines to take pride of place in lighting solutions, mirrors and even furniture pieces.

The touch of whimsy and over-the-top luxury provided by fringe is being expressed this season in natural, tactile materials.  Spilling over to create additional texture and interest, fringe can be deployed in numerous ways that set off your luxury furniture.

art cafe style

Get intense

With the Maximalist design and décor trend in full swing, intense color is a trend anyone can incorporate into their homes.

With the addition of select décor (arts, cushions, glass and ceramic ware), your luxury furniture is re-created in a distinct design moment.  Pops of intense color bring that moment to your aesthetic, making it your own.

Combine this trend with a soothing, unifying wall color like Black Flame and give your luxury furniture its contemporary due.  And if you’ve a piece which is a deep red hue, you’re ahead on all fronts.

Michelangelo Designs

Since 1985, Michelangelo Designs has been bringing the luxury, elegance and timeless sophistication of exclusively Italian furniture design exclusively to the Trade.

As the first and only Italian Design Center in the USA, we offer Trade professionals a creative playground, inspiring the perfect synthesis between Italian design and American ingenuity.

We invite Trade professionals to contact us for an appointment and discover the cure for the common.

Investing in High Quality Custom Furniture for Your Bedroom

Your bedroom is the sanctuary of the home.  It’s where you sleep, relax and pamper yourself.  A highly personalized space, your bedroom is an important part of your residence that people too often tend to bypass when thinking about adding high quality custom furniture.

But it’s your special space, so it’s worth taking the time to consider how you can add the luxury of custom furniture to your beloved sanctuary – the bedroom.

This post will explore investing in high quality custom furniture for your bedroom, key pieces which may be ripe for an upgrade and treatments that bring the thoughtfulness of your overall decorating and furnishing themes into the most intimate part of the home.

Mantellassi bedroom


Even if your bedroom is small, adding a seating element brings another touch of luxury and repose to your personal retreat.

Whether you choose an elegant slipper chair in tufted velvet, or have space for a sinuous chaise longue, seating in the bedroom contributes to an air of intentional privacy and exclusivity.

Add a small, round table in one of the new high gloss finishes to bring a luxurious glow to your seating area.  If your space won’t accommodate a larger seating area, a slipper chair with a whimsical cushion that complements your décor or a luxurious throw in a natural fiber, provides an additional level of pampered personal privacy.

Lighting and mirrors

Beautiful lighting solutions are one of the most important features of the bedroom.  From chandeliers over the bed to heighten its focal attraction, to bedside lamps on either side to bring your space symmetry and ambiance, lighting should never be overlooked in this space.

But the effect of the right lighting can be taken to another level when its illumination is reflected in well-placed mirrors.  Mirrors bring sparkle and a kind of magic to any space and this is no truer than it is in the bedroom.

The warm glow of light reflected in mirrors increases the ambience and lends the illusion of space, while reflecting the experiential aspects of your décor’s mood back to you.

Headboards and bed frames

The focal point of the bedroom is where you lay down at night – the bed itself.  Beyond the mattress (which is incredibly important), the frame and headboard are of to be carefully chosen.  We’d say that the bedframe and headboard are the foundation on which the rest of the room is built.

Choose a headboard to suit the mood of the room.  From four-poster treatments to sleigh beds to wraparound head and footboards, the market is limitless in terms of stylistic treatments.

Flirt with the trend to luxurious, tactile fabrics with velvet in a jewel tone against a tranquil, deep wall color.  Or make your bedding the star of the show with a neutral toned frame that works with changing seasons, but never competes with your bedding treatments as you change them.

Above all, select the pieces that speak to you of luxury and relaxation.

Professionals in the Trade may contact us to schedule an appointment.

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.