European Trend Watch: Blending Modern, Antique, & One-of-a-Kind

Julie Jurden

Modigliani values the personal touch above all. We reflect this not only in our customer service – we relish answering questions and helping customers pick out gifts – but also in our commitment to bringing truly handcrafted Italian ceramics directly to tables across North America.

We believe in preserving the traditional production of our pottery and dinnerware that our artisans have learned for generations. We value the beautiful quirks that show our pieces are genuinely one-of-a-kind – the kiss of a thumbprint sealing the hand-braided handle to the body of our Festa pitcher, for example. Because they are handmade and hand-painted, no two pieces from Modigliani are exactly alike – and that’s how we like it. That’s why you won’t see our artists replaced by automation or machinery; rather, you’ll see apprentices coupling with seasoned artisans to learn the traditional craftsmanship required to produce our high-quality products.

Happily, we aren’t the only ones who prize the unique and handcrafted. We keep an eye on European trends, and according to our Italian artisans and associates, interior decorators, fashion designers, and even chefs are blending classic and modern styles to create truly a singular aesthetic.

2015 European Design Trends

Combining Classic & Modern for a Unique Look

Modigliani’s own Chief Executive Loredana Spagnoletto sums up the trends we’ve seen reflected at home and lifestyle shows like Ambiente and HOMI:

“The tendency for the home and table for 2015 is a blend of classic and retro style with traditional and new materials; the colors are fresh and cheerful, with artistic details. The contemporary design blends with the genuine antique or the piece discovered at your grandmother’s house. The purpose is to get a home that looks elegant and luxurious, but especially original and unique – a one-of-a-kind home with a great personality.”

We see the emphasis on the traditional and unique in Milan’s HOMI exhibition. In one vignette, rustic tables lend an old-world feel and warmth to an industrial brick backdrop; a Grecian-inspired lamp, ornate black mirror and numerical prints seamlessly blend old and new. In another, industrial pendants hang over an eclectic grouping of apothecary jars, an iron bust, antique books, and a silver and crystal-accented candelabra.


The recent Ambiente show in Frankfurt, Germany shows that these trends are spreading internationally. A gallery wall of gilded mirrors exudes collected elegance when arranged over an intricately-carved wooden bench, bringing in the artistic and unique details Loredana highlighted. The fur shag pillows perched atop and modern-lined tables clustered in add contrast and interest.



Reinventing Design With Color & Creativity

Loredana also notes that designers are trending toward bold colors (like our Primavera line!) and reinventing furniture and materials creatively to make spaces and pieces unique:

“Second-hand furniture, recycled in creative ways and sometimes mixed with pieces of contemporary furniture, add to the unique and individualistic look.  Old, restored furniture coexists with hand-embroidered curtains and a coffee table crafted of reclaimed wood, together with vases made on the lathe. Colorful and cheerful objects and dishes are inserted make the environment dynamic and more alive. Imagination and creativity are a must for the upcoming seasons.”


Our own Modigliani display at Ambiente shows how a creative spin on an ordinary thing – a manzanita branch – can add an unexpected element to a traditional tablescape featuring the updated Extra Virgin collection and amber glassware similar to the Villa d’Este.


Bringing Authenticity to the Table

Designers are not the only ones incorporating old and new: in food, Loredana notes, there’s also a “a return to tradition and authenticity, with an emphasis on foods that are healthy, natural and not too processed. For the fanciest parties, the menu will include recipes reminiscent of rural tradition or family memories, all served in dishes that transmit the warmth of tradition and the pleasure you feel when you “Embrace la grande vita!” Slow-roasted herbed potatoes, ancient grains like emmer, and sustainably-grown heirloom tomatoes with locally-farmed mozzarella are all European-inspired dishes that fit the bill.

Food is not the only part of your table that can be attuned to these trends; Modigliani invites you to celebrate the old and new, the handcrafted and authentic, the colorful and the one-of-a-kind, with our handmade Italian ceramics. Our handmade and hand-painted dinnerware, serveware, linens, and decorative ceramics can be mixed and matched, so your only aesthetic limitation is your own imagination. Collections range from modern (La Forma del Sogno-Rosso) to traditional (Frutta Laccata and Galletto), showcasing every shade of the rainbow (our POP and Rosso collections will surely satisfy your color cravings).

We are proud to bring the history and heritage of Italian ceramics directly to North American tables. With Modigliani, you can emulate European stylings in your own home and create beauty in everyday moments. We like the sound, and look, of that.