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By Kathy Anderson, Senior Interior Design Editor | Founder and owner of Eklektik Interiors.

Culture-Rich and Built to Last

Italy’s rich culture and history can be seen and felt in its influence on design throughout the world. Italian beauty, quality and durability in materials continue to set the standard for all things design. As a melting pot of cultures and traditions, Houston is similar to other major cities across the globe in that Italy’s long-standing legacy of exquisite food, wine, and architecture spill into the design world of our diverse city.

When thinking of Italian style, you might immediately picture a classic brick archway, a wine cellar, or large colorful doors. This may or may not be something you’d like in your modern home. However, the ‘Tuscan’ style is widespread and encompasses many elements of design. Whether observed in paint colors, architectural elements, space planning, or building materials, the Italian influence is undeniable and timeless. As we continue to look for lasting, quality materials, Italian influenced design will never be ‘outdated’ even though the style is centered on old and traditional elements of nature. It will continue to endure through the centuries in elegance and function.

Holding On to Timeless Tradition

In America it is easy to get caught up in a “throw away” culture, meaning most things we use every day are not meant to last. We are so accustomed to throwing something away when it has served its purpose or when the next new shiny thing on the market has come along. Italians couldn’t be any more opposite. The tradition of building with a purpose of creating lasting architecture is apparent and clearly successful. Italians celebrate their history and the architecture that has always been a part of it. They are constantly surrounded by their heritage through the buildings they work, dine, and live in. This standard is inspiring in the work we do as designers as we aspire to create lasting, timeless spaces in your home. In remodeling or new construction, a study of the way you live and designing custom spaces around that with materials that will be the most durable and functional for your lifestyle makes all the difference. We love incorporating the Italian influence on remaking and repurposing already existing, under-utilized spaces in your home to become useful and interesting.

Wine Room Requests on the Rise

Most, if not all, of our clients request some sort of beverage area in the remodel or design of their home. Italy’s stand-out tradition of fine wine and storage solutions has shaped the convention of living and dining in the western world. As we seek for exceptional living in all of our designs, wine rooms and their function have made a resurgence and are a common desire among clients in their living spaces. Some prefer a full room that serves as a place to sit and visit surrounded by their wine collections. However, the most recent trend is to work a wine storage area into the main living area or dining room where the space is comfortable and already being used for relaxing and dining. Wine storage has become a focal point in a room as it can serve as a beautiful element of art that is also highly functional. Unique ways of displaying wine can add visual interest to any room, while still serving the primary purpose of storage and ease of access, with temperature controlled enclosed cases and space saving racks.

A wine room is not feasible in every home design, but every home has a space that can be utilized as a beverage area and integrated into their most used living spaces. We have remodeled office spaces, closets, under a stairway, or a nook in the kitchen to become high class wine areas that add the wow factor to a room. No need to hide your collection away in a cellar, when it can become a unique part of your décor and integrate nicely into your already highly used spaces, creating timeless, Italian-inspired designs that promote exceptional living.

Kathy Anderson is the Founder and President of Eklektik Interiors.
You may reach her at 832.804.6300.

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