Adding Authentic Mediterranean Flair, The Key Design Elements You Need, Home Architecture and Interiors Images

Adding Authentic Mediterranean Flair – The Key Design Elements You Need

Give your home a warm climate makeover – Architectural Article by Houzz

30 Jan 2018

Adding Authentic Mediterranean Flair

From iconic blue and white to handmade wooden furniture, these are the ingredients that say ‘Mediterranean’

Full article first published on Houzz

Giulia Zappa, Houzz Contributor

Along the Mediterranean coast, the timeless charm of the sea melts into the distinctive shapes of classic Mediterranean architecture. Enveloped in the scents of nature, these houses truly indulge in a style that’s completely ‘southern’.

So what makes Mediterranean homes unique, and what characterises their interiors? Take a look at the following 11 ingredients as a guide to recreating, at any latitude, the magic touch that defines the timeless style of the Mare Nostrum.

In a warm climate, protection from the sun and heat is crucial for the greater part of the year, so it’s no surprise white is the predominant colour for buildings in this region. Furthermore, pale lime plaster has cooling and antibacterial properties, so it’s very widely used, making white even more widespread in Mediterranean architecture.

However, white’s significance has long overtaken its original practical uses, and it’s become a kind of aesthetic code, associated with visual relaxation and a sense of cleanliness for both the eye and the mind.

Browse Mediterranean style rooms on Houzz

More than any other colour, it’s blue that acts as the counterpoint to white’s dominance in the architecture of the region. Its diverse shades – pale blue, turquoise and ultramarine are the most frequently used – recall the sea, and are the perfect choice for breaking up the uniformity of a white backdrop.

It looks good not only on doors and window frames, but also on furniture and accessories.

Stone is one of those materials that are able to define the aesthetics of a space. Especially characteristic of the region is tuff – stone formed from compacted volcanic ash.

Highly prized and frequently used throughout the Mediterranean region, stone is often left exposed in both outdoor and indoor spaces. Furthermore, it’s versatile, allowing for the creation of beautiful pieces, such as the amazing bath in this home.

How many of these do you have in your bathroom?

From Majolica (Italian glazed pottery) to azulejos (Spanish and Portuguese floor tiles) and zellige (mosaic tilework especially typical of Moroccan architecture), glazed and hand-decorated tiles are a huge part of the Mediterranean tradition, especially on bathroom and kitchen surfaces, or in built-in stone kitchens.

The use of new or reclaimed tiles not only evokes the charm of Mediterranean style, it allows for thousands of décor possibilities through different tile combinations.

Handmade features
Whether you’re in Sicily, the Cyclades or Morocco, many elements in the Mediterranean architectural vernacular have smooth shapes that have been created by hand. Everything from kitchen worktops to built-in shelves and even niches are often hand-crafted.

These elements add individuality, especially when embellished with personal items.

Raw wooden furniture
Furniture in Mediterranean interiors is also often handmade, unsophisticated and marked by the passage of time. This furniture celebrates the beauty of the simple and slow work that lies at the heart of its creation. For a traditional Mediterranean aesthetic, look at conifer wood especially.

Natural materials
The handmade aesthetic is continued in accessories and household linens made from natural materials. This bedroom is a perfect example: cotton sheets – linen would have worked just as well – are an invitation to fall asleep, while the straw baskets are a perfect decorative accent.

New Mediterranean minimalism
It should be emphasised, however, that the Mediterranean area is not just about traditional style built up of various architectural staples, it also showcases the best expressions of contemporary architecture and design.

Especially interesting are projects that integrate the Mediterranean spirit with a minimalist touch: houses large and small that deftly mix concrete with old, original materials, essentially representing the abstract icons of traditional forms while maintaining that smooth and cosy Mediterranean touch.

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