The Mediterranean island of Sicily has maintained such a distinct culture and history from the rest of Italy, it might as well be its own nation. Set just across the Strait of Sicily from Tunisia, this stunning volcanic landscape has been a cultural crossroads for millennia, influenced by Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Phoenician, North African and other cultures for an unparalleled flavor that remains truly unique.
That extends to its interior design style, too. Sicilian decor is the next big thing, bursting with rustic materials, lush textures, and colorful patterns that’ll have you feeling like you’re lounging on a sun-baked terrazza overlooking the sea. Here are four simple tips for incorporating this up-and-coming trend into your home:
Old, weathered items with lots of character and natural materials like wood and woven seagrass will bring an essential rustic element to your Sicily-inspired decor. If you find a clay jug, copper pot, or antique oil painting at a thrift store that’s a little dinged up, all the better. Items that proudly bear their age and sense of history will keep your freshly updated decor from looking as if you just picked up a bunch of cheap reproductions from a-big box store. If you’re up for a bigger project, you might even consider plastering an accent wall for the look of a real Sicilian grotto home (or achieving a similar effect with all natural, zero-VOC lime paint from Color Atelier).
When it comes to color, don’t be afraid to go bold here. Saturated hues in warm tones like marigold, poppy, umber, and sienna paired with Mediterranean blue invoke the cheerful scenery of Sicilian streets, where vivid murals complement crumbling stone walls, cobblestone pavers, and marble archways. For inspiration, check out Dolce and Gabbana’s “Divina Cucina” collaboration with fellow Italian brand Smeg. Released back in 2017, the collection isn’t available anymore, but it’s a great reference for beautiful color combinations and could even inspire a little hand painting of your own.
Colorful Patterns and Motifs
Speaking of murals and hand-painted accents, patterns are a huge component of Sicilian style. One of the most common motifs you see in Sicily is the Triskelion, the three-legged woman that appears on the official flag of the autonomous Sicilian region (as seen above on the facade of Giammona House in Taormina). Suns, citrus fruits, flowers, and Greek-inspired patterns are also popular. One easy way to incorporate traditional Sicilian patterns into your decor is through maiolica ceramic tiles, which are also sometimes translated into textiles. Short of traveling to Sicily in person, Etsy might be the next-best source for maiolica treasures.
Mix and Match Style
To modernize your Sicilian-style interiors, just mix in plenty of modern and contemporary elements, and remember to edit carefully. The difference between effortlessly chic and old-fashioned Nonna can come down to a streamlined leather sofa, a backdrop of minimalist white walls, and stripped-down statement lighting like this natural brass Mondrian chandelier featuring hand-blown Murano glass spheres. And resist the urge to fill in every open area to maintain a healthy balance of negative space and interesting focal points.