Creating Mediterranean style home
The azure skies, green hills and rocky coastlines of Italy, Greece and Spain can be called to mind no matter where in the world you live by decorating your home in a Mediterranean style. This style's interior design invokes warmth and brings a sense of expansive landscape indoors through use of natural materials and clean, simple lines.
Casual furniture in a grand scale made of warm woods in rich, dark colors is commonly used throughout the house. In addition, mosaic tile-covered tabletops and countertops are also distinct features of Mediterranean interiors. Potted plants are also welcome additions to the home.
Natural materials like stone and wood characterize Mediterranean interior design. Textured stucco on the walls or ceiling add a sense of age and solidity to a room, and can easily be replicated with modern textured paints. Light-colored woods can create a clean-lined, tone-on-tone style in conjunction with stone flooring and warm-colored walls, which pairs gray walkways and flooring with pecan-colored wood siding and constructions. Marble columns, cornices and deep moldings are also characteristic of Mediterranean design style.
Tile plays a vital role in Mediterranean decorating. Natural stone varieties include slate, granite, marble or travertine. Manufactured tile options include ceramic and terra cotta. If properly cut, finished and installed from a reputable source, stone or manufactured tile floors are easy to clean and will not be slippery when wet. Colorful ceramic tiles also provide a classic Mediterranean decorating accent. Shades of sea and sky blue as well as floral colors like hot pink or dusty orange can be used to top a table, be set into a stucco wall, or simply be used as trivets and coasters.
Mediterranean kitchens are characterized by sculptured stucco ventilation hoods, tile counter tops, kitchen islands and large, wooden kitchen cabinets. Kitchens are often decorated with ceramics, food canisters and copper accessories.
Textiles for Mediterranean window coverings are generally sheer and airy, allowing light and breezes to blow through, while upholstery fabrics, carpets and pillows tend to be dense, natural-material tapestries that balance the heavy stone and wood interior construction materials.
Mediterranean decorating style is characterized by a backdrop of color that is a sandy neutral, yet also has a rich depth. From old Spanish homes to modern buildings like those that won the 2011 Ceramic Tiles of Italy Design Competition, walls in the Mediterranean style build on shades of warm white through ivory, sand and beige and on to deep egg-yolk yellow or a sun-kissed shade of burnt orange. Using two or more shades of closely related color, such as a lighter shade on decorate moldings and a darker shade on areas of a wall that recede, adds to creating a sense of expansiveness.
The sheltered courtyard or private walled garden is a classic Mediterranean landscaping feature. Mediterranean interior design can bring the feel of a courtyard indoors. Small water fountains and large mirrors bring a sense of light and the outdoors inside. Native Mediterranean plants in large terra cotta pots, such as palms and pines, add to the authentic effect. A collonade of stone or stucco-covered wood, or a false collonade affixed to a wall, perhaps with a false-roof overhang covered with terracotta tile to shield warm downlighting, will create the sense of an outdoor room indoors for dining or reading and relaxing in Mediterranean style.