5 Ways to Stay True to Classic Mediterranean Design

Mediterranean architecture has a number of features that distinguish it from other styles. Stucco walls, tile roofs, a steep overhang that creates shady areas for enjoying the mild outdoor climate, and sunny colors are among its distinctive aspects.

Your Mediterranean home’s interior should reflect this homage to the southern European coast with elements that connect to sunny skies, warm hospitality, and an appreciation of nature’s bounty.

1. Natural materials

Mediterranean cultures use many natural materials that create a look that combines beauty with substance. Carved wood furniture, metalwork candlesticks, ceramic tiles, terra cotta pots, basketry, and dried herbs or flowers all provide a warm and earthy feeling. Use these to create a relaxed and interesting environment for yourself, family, and guests.

2. Sunny colors

The palette of the Mediterranean coast and countryside should give your rooms a feeling of sunlight, blue skies, green hillsides, and ruby red wine. Lighten these up with the colors of the coastal regions, such as seafoam green, sandy tan, and bright coral. Mix stark white with terra cotta, rich browns, or metallic shades of silver and gold for an Old World effect.

3. Artisan craftsmanship

Fine artisans and craftsman populated the countries of the Mediterranean from Medieval times onward, and they shipped their creations to markets around the world. Take a cue from these early artists by making your home a showplace for beautifully crafted pieces. Carved woods, intricate beadwork, artfully wrought metals, and painted dinnerware will add rich color and expert craftsmanship to your rooms.

4. Sensual textures

The Mediterranean has always been a place of sensual delights, where trade goods cross trails from a variety of countries. Select woven textures with ethnic designs, soft silks, skilled embroidery, and dried raffia to make your environment rich in opportunities to appreciate the sense of touch. Velvets, brocades, and woolens all can play a role in providing memorable sensations in your Mediterranean retreat.

5. Vintage artwork

The walls of your Mediterranean home should recall the history, culture, and lifestyle of the countries of this region. Consider hanging paintings of villas, vineyards, hillsides, and the terraced coast communities that are common to the region.

Look for rich, evocative colors and quiet atmospheres that suggest the traditional flavor of Mediterranean cultures. Experiment with eye-catching arrays of artisans’ tools or pottery to create a unique effect. Work in some intricate wrought-iron grills or Moroccan tiles to suggest the flavor of the local trade routes.

Use candles, brass light fixtures, pillows, and lush drapery to create a feeling of comfort and hospitality.

Written by James Parsons for Avalon Construction Corp

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