WHEN GIORGIO Armani launched Armani Casa in 2000, it wasn't just to bring his design philosophies into the home - it was to turn his brand concept into a complete lifestyle: the Armani lifestyle. Subtle yet stylish, Armani Casa's success has since led him to venture into the world of property and spas. But in today's commercial world in which many consumers equate luxury brands with lifestyle, the idea of dressing the home in high-fashion labels has stuck. Last April the house of Versace followed suit by opening the first Versace Home Boutique in Milan dedicated to the Versace Home Collection, with an exclusive design service allowing clients full personalisation of the home - a journey through the Versace lifestyle. 'It was Gianni who started Versace interior design in 1992 with his home collections,' says Donatella Versace, creative director of the Versace Group. 'He wanted to do interior and furnishings because he was interested in blurring the boundaries between fashion and other cultural areas. Lifestyle crosses both boundaries naturally.' The Versace ethos is as glamorous and ostentatious as the Medusa logo implies, and this is still reflected in the 'classic' line of furnishings, 'which continue to feature a lot of gold and elaborate prints'. In her 2008 collection, Versace has become more confident in her abilities and has developed a more contemporary line blending an array of prints and shapes from the 1930s with modern sensibilities. 'Our furnishings are designed for people who have personality,' explains Versace. 'Someone who loves sophisticated and luxurious fabrics with striking patterns, somebody who has a taste for detail and decoration, who likes warm tones of wood, golden lacquers, soft lines and clean graphic shapes.' Home furnishings can perfectly complement apparel and accessory lines and provide the ideal way to build brand recognition as aesthetics can flow from one range of products into another. Certainly in the case of Bottega Veneta - known for its understated woven leather bags, sans logo - with its growing line of 'accessories for the well-appointed desk', which include everything from a hand-woven sterling silver magnifying loop to an engraved sterling silver bookmark, its iconography has translated well. This October, it is also launching the latest addition to its luggage collection that Bottega Veneta began two years ago, as well as the Meta arm chair, made in association with Poltrona Frau and designed by creative director Tomas Maier. Designers such as Paul Smith, Diane von Furstenberg and Marni have instead chosen to outsource their talents to existing furnishing companies by designing one-off pieces. The Rug Company, available at Lane Crawford, has collaborated with the aforementioned designers producing high-quality rugs that typify the designer's work.