Could Italian Modernism Be the New Look of Now?

For years, the place we have looked to for cutting-edge interior design was Scandinavia. But lately, I’ve seen a bit of a shift: from bright whites to moody, desaturated colors, from simple, natural materials to more luxe styles. There are a handful of Italian designers who, inspired by the exaggerated curves and luxurious finishes of mid-century Italian design, are creating interiors in a new kind of style: still clean and modern, but also moody and immersive. Is this the new minimalism? Is this the look that’s destined to be all over design blogs in two to five years? Or just a flash in the pan? Take a look and decide for yourself.

This apartment, by Italian firm Massimo Adario, mixes modern shapes, dark, moody colors like gray and hunter green, and luxe finishes (brass abounds). There’s also that gorgeous terrazzo floor. All of these elements come together to create a space that feels definitively modern, but also out of place in time.

Some of the foremost practicioners of this look are the designers at Dimore Studio, a Milan practice whose moody, stylish interiors have captured the attention of the design world. In 2013, T Magazine featured the apartment shared by designers Britt Moran and Emiliano Salci, where the building’s 17th-century details provide the background for an eclectic mix of modern furniture.

This space, also by Dimore Studio, demonstrates the firm’s skill in mixing together moody, desaturated colors.

Another interior from Dimore Studio shows their penchant for mixing in the occasional antique. In this room, the elaborate forms of the antique mirror set up a nice contrast with the rest of the furnishings.

This Venetian home designed by Italian firm Marcante-Testa and seen on Yatzer mixes colors and styles in a very bold way. The moody hue of the walls, which corresponds with the desaturated tones of the upholstery, helps to bring everything together.

This apartment, another Yatzer find, is also a design of Marcante-Testa. The kitchen’s bold colors and playful geometries seem to hint at the influence of Memphis, the ’80s avant-garde design group. (Memphis’ founder, Ettore Sottsass, was Italian, as were many of its members.)

There were definite shades of Italian Modernism at The Design Files’ design popup in Melbourne, spotted on Vogue Living. The coloring feels right, although the furniture is still very much in the Scandinavian style. This and other spaces hint that Italian Modernism is having an outsized effect on the look of interiors right now. What do you think—is this destined to be the next “It” look? Or just a passing fancy?

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