Such a question is very suggestive. It conveys a statement – it clearly says that Italian decoration has always been in demand – and only asks, why that is so. So, for a start, it only seems fair to invite you all, dear readers, to a voyage through history – tracing back the trail and roots of this popularity – because the question, being suggestive or not, conveys a message that the bottom line is accurate, after all.
It might seem at first a little bit far-fetched, but still, since we want to do justice, we should define the meaning of such a commonly used word as “always”. No need to get completely philosophical – what we are seeking an answer for is only the meaning of always in the context of this title. Here, ‘always’ seems to mean the time since we can talk about Italy – or the time since we can talk about decor. Or: maybe the time since we can talk about both.
Modern Italy is a relatively young country, but its culture and its history have their roots in ancient times. The Great Roman Empire had its capital in Italy – and back then that city was the undisputed capital of the world, too. It was the source of all style and glamour – it was the place where the pace of living was being dictated. Rome was the city all roads led to, and – for that matter – started from. What about decor, then? Well, it is about as old as the human race itself – if nothing else comes to mind, think about those drawings on the walls, thousands and thousands of years ago, when living in caves was still such an enticing prospect that all who could ‘afford’ to, opted for it!
So, focus back on Italy. Such a pivotal point of political power, economic success, and military superiority as Rome at the height of its potential, always works like a magnet for wealth. And wherever wealth accumulates, culture starts to flourish – home decor might not be crucial for every single human being with only a fragment of the sense of aesthetics – but still, there is a difference between hanging random pictures on the walls or choosing chairs that are matching the style of the table inherited from one’s grandparents – there is a difference between that, and, setting up an authentic design in a home as professionals do.
Home decor as a form of art is the privilege of professionals – and such a profession could only be paid for by the wealthy. Rome, and in a way Italy, has been the first such epicentre of home decor in the history of the Old World – Rome, and therefore Italy, is where this business in Europe originates from. Tradition is important, but it’s not everything – and this is especially true in the decor business.
Italian decor has not failed on that account either. It might have almost taken a millennium after the fall of the glorious Roman Empire for Italian culture to become a worldwide – or at least an Old Worldwide – standard again. But it happened in the late 14th century – and this time it did not even have to be backed up by political or military means. It was a strictly cultural success driven by the sheer, stunning power of the Renaissance movement. And when the Renaissance became obsolete in the wake of a series of political and economic changes, Italy was the source of the next definitive methodology according to which, among other things, homes were considered to be the very best designed.
Baroque is often looked at as the invention of the Catholic Church – and that might be true.
Still, the first advocates of the movement were the Italian masters, again. And it spread all around Europe from Italy, again.
After approximately three centuries spent in a sort of hibernation, contemporary Italian décor is about to conquer the world again – and this time, thanks to globalization, the world does not solely mean Europe. Italian décor nowadays is not a phenomenon spread over all social strata – authentic Italian home design has something exclusive, something glamorous about it. It’s a kind of symbol for wealth and prosperity: a language that speaks in a visual tongue – a language spoken all around the world, mostly at the highest levels of society.
It says that white is beautiful – that tradition is important. It shows how contemporary solutions can be merged with the kind of great beauty only found in the vintage. It demonstrates how the exterior is an organic part of the interior. It has a lot to tell about the clever use of large, open spaces. It makes every other language superfluous – it freezes the throat; it makes the jaw drop.
Has Italian decor always been in demand? Well, as long as always means since times of antiquity, the answer is a definite, big YES. And not only a simple “YES, it has!” – the fact is, it’s been SO much in demand, that over certain periods of the European history, nothing else was, only that unadulterated Italian stuff.
And now, back to that dubious “Why?”
Why is blue the dominant colour of the sky?
Why can human beings not fly?
Why do so many stupid questions start with the word “why”?
And if the bigger picture is still not crystal clear, than all that there remains to be suggested is to read this little article through again from the very start. Why has Italian decor always been in demand? Just because it’s Italian decor we are talking about here, dear readers – a phenomenon that always has been, IS, and always will be in demand.