How to Decorate With an Italian Restaurant Theme

Decorate the kitchen, dining room or other areas of your home with an Italian restaurant theme as an homage to your favorite country or cuisine. For the simplest upgrades, embellish the kitchen with inexpensive or homemade Italian-themed accessories, or go all out with a color wash on the walls, emulating the look of aged stucco.

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Quick and Easy Upgrades

  • Cover the dining table with a red-checkered tablecloth for a classic, informal Italian restaurant setting. Dress it up with a white linen tablecloth for more formal occasions. Outdoors or in a small wine bar in your home, cover a cafe-style table -- or several -- with a checkered tablecloth.
  • Add an empty Chianti bottle, covered with candle wax from a drip candle, as a simple centerpiece. For a modern upgrade, spray paint the bottom halves of several clean, de-labeled bottles with red, white or green spray paint, playing off the colors of the Italian flag. Mask off the upper areas of the bottles with painter's tape to protect them while painting. 
  • Add faux grape vines to the tops of cabinets, or bottles or cans of imported olive oil, ideally with labels written in Italian.

Wall Embellishments

Jazz up the walls in your restaurant-themed space with simple decorations such as a framed Italian restaurant menu or a vintage tin sign or poster advertising Italian wine, bread or olive oil.

  • Fill an entire wall or wall area with framed photos of Italian family members, famous Italians or vintage interior shots of Italian restaurants. 
  • Stencil or hand-write a word such as "ristorante" -- "restaurant" in Italian -- several feet across a wall in a dining area or kitchen. Project the word with an opaque projector on the wall; then trace it in chalk before filling it in with acrylic or latex paint. Use a laser level to ensure a straight line for the bottom of each letter before tracing them. 
  • Display wooden Italian kitchen tools such as a polenta paddle, ravioli rolling pin or pizza cutting board on the wall. Display them atop shelves or on a repurposed bookcase, among Italian spice tins. 

Faux Finishes and Murals

Change the look of the entire space with either a faux finish or mural, emulating the look of an old Italian restaurant or outdoor cafe street scene.

  • Color wash the walls with warm shades of yellow and orange for a look similar to stucco, no plaster or stucco required. Paint the walls in white or a light yellow; then mix clear latex glaze with orange or a bold yellow. Brush on the glaze; then rub most of it off with a rag. Work in a small area at a time to ensure the glaze doesn't dry before you get to it. 
  • Paint a mural of an Italian street scene featuring an outdoor cafe, or signage listing one or more restaurants. Project the desired image on the wall, trace it in chalk, then fill in the designs with the desired paint colors. 

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