I’m the first to admit that I’m an addict when it comes to Italian mid century design. I simply can’t get enough of it. Chic Italian design immediately conjures up images of la dolce vita; of glamour and impeccable style. So when friends returned from a stay at the contemporary design hotel Capri Tiberio Palace in Italy, well, they just couldn’t stop talking about the fabulous décor and I had to see for myself. They weren’t kidding when they described the interiors as an homage to the world of their jet setting parents, and as the second oldest hotel on the island, this place has seen it all!
Situated on the bluffs overlooking the crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the newly refurbished Capri Tiberio Palace is like an old friend who knows her style is timeless and thus doesn’t have to dance to the tune of today’s fashionistas. You get a sense of the history of the place the moment you enter the lobby: colors and patterns swirl in a harmonious dance across the space. The tile mosaic of the floor is the perfect backdrop for the bold hues of blue and green that make up the scattered carpets, while graphic prints on the furniture provide necessary shocks of drama. There is a real art to layering, but it is flawless in this inviting space. In my own projects, I tell my clients that they must invest in good floors – either tiled like these shown at the hotel, or with rich woods that provide the backdrop for the entire concept of the room. You can always swap out a carpet you grow tired of, but the floor is there to stay, so best get it right from the start!
The riot of colors and patterns continues in a quiet corner of the lounge. There are some great decorating tips to take from the chic hotel inspired decor of this property. A small section of the wall becomes a vibrant focal point to this room by draping it in a bold pattern wallpaper. Too much could be overkill, but just the right amount makes for a real statement. And I love that the mirrors hung against it help to tone it down a notch, but they are also each a different shape to add interest – like the grouping of differing framed artwork on the wall to the far right of the image. Keeping it all just a bit unexpected!
The bar at the Capri Tiberio Palace is all about chic Italian design. Here the rhythm is all about regimented control, which provides a perfect contrast to the bold color combos found in the hotel’s other inviting spaces. There is a real sense of movement in the march of polka dots across the façade of the long bar mirrored in the line of pendants (which j’adore) hung above. And the alcove provides another example of a great focal point, this time by using rows of hats hung in impeccably straight lines. This is another great and easy tip: how original and simple objects grouped together add personality to a space.
A good contemporary design hotel is only as good as its rooms, what does chic Italian design look like in 2014? Well, here it’s about mixing colors and keeping accessories to a minimum. Each of the rooms at the hotel is decorated in a similar minimalist style, but with incredible rich hues of colors. And thankfully there aren’t any of the kitchy paintings you so often find in hotel rooms – do I really need a pastel of the cliffs of Capri when I can look out the window at the real thing? In your own home, don’t be afraid to use strong colors and different patterns all in the same place. Everything ties in beautifully here belying the fact that it’s not just randomly thrown together, but actually curated perfectly.
The Capri Tiberio Palace is the perfect destination hotel. Chic stylish interiors coupled with that killer view make for my kind of get away. And there’s just something so enchanting about Italian mid century design. Maybe it’s that even 60 years on it still looks fresh and modern and perfectly suited to today’s lifestyle.
Next time you’re looking for inspiration for your home’s décor, pick up a copy of Travel & Leisure along with Elle Décor – you never know which will prove to be your better muse!
richard rabel: interiors + art
interior design and art advising
new york city