The idea of incorporating Italian Renaissance decor accents, furniture and accessories into contemporary homes is rather problematic if we realize that initially such elements were decorating princes` palaces in which life was more or less as a spectacle and at marvelous cost. Homes of current times can be made eye-catching by using the squarely Renaissance style in some rooms combined with the appropriate proportions in rooms decor of the time, but we may need to confess that we are just slightly echoing the decorative designs and shape of genuine antique Renaissance style.
The Italian Renaissance was one of the most stunning of all recorded eras of house decorating art. Then the imaginative genius of the most creative of all countries, Italy, was dedicated to the lavish decorating and furnishing of palaces and the splendid costuming of the graciousness. The average person had only the crudest supplies with which to make his house livable.
There were two motives for the kind of decorative furnishing that stamp this epoch in Italy as distinctive (as the Renaissance in England and in France was different in point of expression). There was a big revival of interest in the art and the literature of ancient Roman and Greece in the 16th century enhanced by the finding of long-buried towns. Frescoes on the walls illustrated the style of house decor and furnishings used, and very prominent artists took over these inspirations and formed the Italian Renaissance style of form and decoration.
At the same time there was a rise of trade activities with India, Turkey and Persia and merchandises from these countries flooded Italy as well as other European countries. Fabrics of Eastern dyes and weaves, silver and gold gauzes, silk damasks, blazing and gleaming with gem-like crimsons and purples and sapphire blues.
Discoveries of the ancient Rome stuccoes led to Italian designers to imitate their forebears and Greek and Roman fresco work was by and large adopted. Ground tints were laid on when the stucco was damp. Raphael with his supporters devoted themselves to decoration of walls. Superb panels and friezes, the best ever seen by the world, were the outcome. Both rich and wainscoting tapestries, leathers, silk and gold materials were generously used in all the stages of the Renaissance style. Marbleized paper, "domino", was produced in Italy throughout the 15th Century in small quadrangles and applied on walls.
The interior carpentry of the Renaissance period was remarkable. Italian walnut was used extensively; it was paneled, carved, and from time to time ornamented with gesso and gilding. The ceilings were coffered and vaulted. The walls were habitually hung with cloth. There were rich Genoese velvets and brocades, richer and softer than the dazzling colors of the Gothic style, and also gilded and stamped leather. In the 16th century, the prominent Renaissance decor principles were widespread and famous Renaissance tapestries came into use.