A Modern & Stylish Italian Apartment Full of DIYs, Family Pieces & Color

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The homemade coffee table and Wassily chairs give the living room a totally modern, slightly industrial vibe. (Image credit: Submitted by Danny)

Name: Danny
Location: Rome, Italy

This apartment used to belong to my grandparents, and then my parents took over the rent, and now my husband and I are living in it with our mini dachshund. Three generations (and counting)!

It’s a two bedroom, one bathroom apartment on the third floor of a residential building in the center of Rome. The whole home was interior designed by my husband and I—a blend of mid century modern, timeless design, and lots of color. Since it’s in Italy, we tried to infuse some Italian style in there, too.

Our favorite part of the home is the living/dining room. It was designed to be bright, colorful, and with conversation in mind.

The dining table is a danish design, and very old! It was the first piece of furniture my grandfather ever purchased. We very carefully sanded it down and re-oiled it to bring out the gorgeous golden amber color of the wood. The bright yellow chairs are an Italian design, sold by Calligaris. Above the dining table is a stretched canvas of a photograph I took in the woods behind our home in Tuscany. We got it printed and decided it worked better in three parts, bringing a real dimensionality to the woods, so we cut it up and stretched it ourselves to bring some atmosphere and carry through the blue elements in our home.

The coffee table in the living room was also homemade. We found a gorgeous slab of marble that used to be in my parents kitchen before they renovated, and because we loved it so much, we purchased four large industrial wheels (surprisingly hard to find!) and cement-glued them to the bottom of the marble. Stylish, unique, and functional, too! Instead of sheer curtains, we decided to upgrade our look and use sliding panels (a take on the Japanese Shoji screens), because they are super easy to remove and throw in the wash, plus they’re fun, modular, and a little bit theatrical (we love rearranging them and coming up with new layouts). The Wassily chairs, which were inspired by the frame of a bicycle, have been in my family for decades thanks to my dad’s love for architecture and design. To get a textured grey wall, we mixed white sand in with smokey grey paint, and painted it on thick with no particular rhyme or reason to create an organic look that was anything but! Our favorite part about the whole living room: the Mondrian-style art piece that we painted ourselves, using an old headboard, tape, and a love for modern art. It was an easy and inexpensive way to tie in the colors from the house, and make a bold statement.

Other favorites from around the house include: the fun bedside lamps in the master bedroom, which you can position to create different characters, and our signature book stack in the guest room. We love using the Sapien Bookshelf from Design Within Reach, it’s a space-efficient and unique way to store your books, while bringing great color and texture into a room.

There’s so many more details and art pieces (and fun DIY’s!) we couldn’t fit into five images, but would love to share more with you if you’re interested! We’re so proud of the work we’ve created, and hope you like it as much as we do.

Thanks, Danny!

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