Warm and elegant, Mediterranean style evokes the sun-drenched shores and forested interiors of Spain, Italy and Greece. This easy to replicate design style has been popular since the 1920s when it captured the imaginations of those who wished to show off their flair, sophistication and eye for detail almost as much as their wealth. Today, it’s a trend that is accessible to everyone, whatever their location. Here are some of our best tips for adding a dash of Mediterranean style to your home.
1. Discover the colours of the Mediterranean
Mediterranean style is inspired by the region’s architecture, interiors and natural landscapes. Think deep azure seas, vast cerulean skies, sun-kissed shores, warm terracotta, rich mahogany or oak and lush green pine forests when selecting colours. There are three distinct Mediterranean styles: Spanish, Italian and Greek. Although each style has its own unique character, they are all relaxed, elegant and easy to live with.
Spanish Mediterranean style
Modern Spanish interiors tend to be whitewashed, although it’s still common to see rooms painted in deep hues such as terracotta and purple. Dark colours can be rather overwhelming so, instead, consider using them for feature walls or alcoves. Blue and white tiles are popular and, in Spain, they’re on doors, doorframes, walls and even doorsteps. Indoors, use colourful mosaics or blue and white tiled tabletops, lamp bases or picture frames for an authentic Andalusian look. Terracotta floor tiles or simple varnished or painted wood are the perfect foil for comfortable furniture in wood or rattan. Make the most of features like exposed beams and arched windows. Terracotta planters are a beautiful finishing touch. Just add fragrant herbs or a lemon tree and place by the door or on the patio.
Italy – one for the romantics
If Spain is for the traditionalists, then Italian Mediterranean style is all about romance. Chic and stylish, Italians favour cleaner lines and a more minimalist look that doesn’t cut back on comfort. This is your chance to indulge yourself with luxury fabrics like pure cotton, silk and organza. Pick a large sofa and place it facing balcony doors or a window. Wrought iron is often seen in Italian seaside homes. If you don’t have a balcony, try placing end tables with wrought iron bases by your sofa or choose mirrors and picture frames in black iron. Add a large rug and cushions for colour and texture. Choose warm colours for accessories and evoke the natural beauty of the countryside with pale green or lemon walls to complement a tiled floor. Extend the trend to the garden with cypress or lemon trees, or add pots of lavender and rosemary for that inimitable Tuscan feel.
Warm and vibrant or cool and inviting, Greek Mediterranean style is an eclectic blend of textures, colours and shapes. White and blue predominate the landscape here and this is echoed by interiors and architecture throughout the Greek islands. Deep azure and sky blue bring the colours of the sea and sky indoors. Floors can be tiled or simply whitewashed to match walls. Modern terracotta tiles come in a host of shades that range from deep copper to pale peach, allowing you to create the base that is right for the size and shape of your room. Greek-style rooms are brought to life with colour. Paint shelves or window frames in turquoise or azure, add a wrought iron table and chairs to the patio, use floor cushions in shades of lavender, teal, ochre, red and lemon. Finally, place a few olive wood bowls on tables and window ledges.
2. Choose accessories with care
Creating the perfect Mediterranean style interior should be a simple task. However, it is easy to go overboard thanks to the vast choice of gorgeous furniture and accessories available today. As a rule, less is more
- Choose a colour palette and stick to it.
- Pick one large piece such as sofa and dresser and make it the focus of your room.
- Select beautiful accessories such as scented candles, paintings, tealights, lanterns, mirrors, and lamps
- Look around for unusual pieces to add that personal touch
Enjoy the benefits of Mediterranean style
Modern Mediterranean style is more than a decorating trend. Think rooms and outdoor spaces that invite relaxation and conviviality. Add fragrant plants and scented candles to create that Mediterranean ambience: bergamot, lavender and lemon are all good. Throw open the doors or light the candles and enjoy!