House Tour: Valentina Contrasti // "AusNuance" "I love to mix styles and colours"
Italian design is famous for blending tradition with sleek, modern style. Oozing understated elegance, lighting drawing upon Italian design is both beautifully engineered and exquisitely finished. Design classics are reimagined in Artemide’s collection, and FLOS produce intricate designer pieces that reflect the iconic history of Italian interior design.
Interior designer Valentina Contrasti, or ‘AusNuance’, shares her expertise on bringing Italian style to small spaces on her blog for design lovers looking to remodel, renovate or redecorate their homes.
"I take inspiration from everything around me"
"I love to mix styles and colours,” explains Valentina. “I take inspiration from everything around me, whether I’m walking through the busy streets of Milan or just watching the world go by from my window."
Valentina takes inspiration from Italian lighting designers to maximise the impact of both natural and artificial light in her small space. And she already has her next classic designer lighting purchase planned. "The Tolomeo by Artemide, without a doubt – every small designer space needs a statment floor lamp."
Italian designer lighting is a particularly useful range to draw on for an eclectic interior style. With its reference to traditional form, and its playfulness, it’s a great style to steal for all kinds of spaces: no need for entire redecoration projects; these pieces will lift and harmonise your own unique interior look.
Valentina’s own apartment is both a source of inspiration and a truly cosmopolitan showcase for the art of living beautifully in small spaces: she lives in 50 square metres of attic space in the historic centre of Reggio Emilia. A functioning studio, showroom, exhibition space and living pinboard for her ideas and inspiration, Valentina combines Italian style history with contemporary minimalism; design features with inexpensive vintage.
Product Highlight – Italian Minimalism
Table lamp 'Lampadina'
"Less is more" - Although the 'Lampadina' table lamp by Achille Castiglioni is reduced to absolutely essential features, it does not lack that certain something. The focus is on the exceptional globe light bulb that catches the eye due to its unique look: a circular area on one side of the light bulb is satin-finished milky white and the remaining part is transparent.
Combining Italian style history with contemporary minimalism
Italian inspired lighting pieces will draw upon a rich history of experimentation with texture, and is the perfect place to find highly-polished, high-shine alongside exposed wiring, angular metal forms and rugged contrast from materials as varied and surprising as exposed mesh and unpolished concrete.
And if you’re after brights, look no further for inspiration: the Italian style goes well beyond muted greys and whites to offer a multicolour range of eye-popping accent pieces.
Valentina's Wishlist – Design Classics by Artemide