Having a good sense of your favorite style can be a great help, whether you’re working with a designer or shopping for decor. If you love a casually elegant, earthy look inspired by the sun and sea, Mediterranean style may be the right decorating matchup for you.
While Mediterranean-style architecture is typically found in warm-weather climates, interior Mediterranean style can be used to add warmth and color to homes anywhere regardless of climate. Add Mediterranean elegance to your home by focusing on these several key elements.
The colors of Mediterranean design can be both vibrant and earthy. Bold jewel tones, such as aubergine, emerald green, lapis blue and sunflower yellow, are set against earth-toned backdrops to reflect the region’s natural hues.
Textured, plastered walls are commonplace in traditional Mediterranean homes. Finishes can range from smooth and refined (like Venetian plaster) to highly textured and rough.
Tiled floors dominated the classic Mediterranean home, appreciated for their low maintenance, durability and cool temperature. Terra cotta was most commonly used, although limestone and marble were used occasionally in more high-end homes.
Whether on floors, stair risers, a patio or a kitchen backsplash, colorful tile is a must in Mediterranean spaces. Look for hand-painted patterned tile, or work with a pro to create a design using solid-colored tiles in geometric shapes.
RAW WOODEN FURNITURE
The furniture that has a privileged role in Mediterranean interiors is therefore also handmade, unsophisticated and marked by the passage of time. For a traditional Mediterranean aesthetic, look at conifer wood especially.
Cotton, wool and silk textiles adorned every room of a Mediterranean home. Elegant drapes, pillows and rugs were sometimes made with heavier wovens to mimic the look of tapestry.
Wrought iron can be used as a simple accessory such as on a lamp base, candelabra or chandelier, or in larger architectural elements. Elaborate scrollwork was often used, but today, more modern interpretations can add personality to a space.
In villas and palaces, Mediterranean style evolved into a richer decorative register, including ceiling frescoes and sophisticated floor designs, often featuring floral motifs or depicting mythological scenes.
Many elements in the Mediterranean architectural vernacular have smooth shapes that have been brought to life by hand. Everything from chairs to kitchen benchtops, built-in shelves and even niches are often hand-crafted.
LIGHT AND BRIGHT
Mediterranean homes always embrace the area’s plentiful, natural light. These homes wouldn’t be complete without plenty of large windows, breezy window treatments and a constant sea breeze.
This style relies on casual, rustic textures and finishes in classic European lines and forms to reflect the local landscape. Low-maintenance materials, earthy but bold colors, wrought iron accents and plenty of natural light emphasize the low-key luxe that the Mediterranean is known for.