Please welcome our next guest blogger, Chloe Taylor. She blogs on all things art and interior design. Today we are lucky enough to have her write a blog just for The Redesign Habit on Mediterranean interiors!
Mediterranean interior design is a pleasant travel between Spain, France, Italy and Greece. Along those amazing coastlines the style has picked up the best things from each of these beautiful countries (Spanish flamboyance, French refines, Greek cheerfulness and Italian sense of aesthetic) and blended them into one unique décor. The main inspiration is found in the sea, sun and the overall warmth and hospitality of the region, and that reflects on the colors and shapes used in designing. Essentially, decorating the house in Mediterranean style is like going for a journey without ever leaving the house.
Colors that Imitate Nature
Vincent Van Gogh once said that the “Mediterranean has the color of mackerel, changeable. You do not always know if it is green or violet, you can’t always say it’s blue, because the next moment the changing reflection has taken on a tint of rose and grey”.
It is similar with the colors of the interior of Mediterranean house. They try to mimic the hues of the sea, mixed with the sandy beaches and lavender fields of the Provence. The shades that are most often used in such décor are terra cotta, azure blue, turquoise, white, beige, yellow, brown, orange and lavender – all of them equally warm and appealing to the eye.
The Richness of Texture and Patterns
Mediterranean chic is not just visible to the eye, it is tangible to the fingers. The fascinating playful texture of the wall specific for this region is in some parts of the world even called “Spanish wall”. Ceiling applications are also captivating and use faux techniques, such as plaster and stucco to draw the eye to the sky. Mediterranean textured walls can be applied in any room, from your bedroom to the bathroom. They are also practical, because they can hide the color damages rather skillfully. The popular patterned textiles are rich with ornaments, and the furniture as well is usually adorned with ornamentation.
Embracing the Rustic
Mediterranean décor does not go well with modern furniture, not even when you are trying to achieve eclectic interior design. Instead it demands rustic and large furniture pieces to complete the picture. Those pieces are difficult to find (at least for a reasonable price) at ordinary furniture stores, but if you search through the local flea markets, you might find a large pine armory typical for Spanish home for a bargain and restore it. All you need for that is to find the right tools, and a bucket of paint (pine wood shade or some similar shade that give you that ‘old world’ aesthetic). Everything else that crosses your mind is allowed (a rocking chair, an old wood-framed mirror, etc.).
In the end, you could add some beautiful rug for an extra splash of elegance and cozyness. In a recent conversation with experts for interior design from Zado we found out that the monochromatic one could be the best choice in this case.
Life Is All Around
Mediterranean homes are full of life, and we are not referring only to the people inside them. Most of the traditionally designed spaces have an indoor ceramic wall fountain adorned with colorful (preferably mosaic) tiles. It is no wonder, because people living in this area find water the very essence of life and source of calmness. Additionally, Mediterranean homes are filled with yet another form of life – plants. And not just any kind of plants – but the one linked to the sea and beach (palms, dracaenas, etc.), large, lush and conspicuous.
The Love for Entertaining
It is no secret that people living in this area are very joyful and welcoming. For that reason having a space for entertaining and socializing is extremely important in a Mediterranean home. The very essence of the Mediterranean culture is being friendly to everyone and that implies having both outdoor and indoor space for receiving guests. Every dining room in this area has to have a table that is meant for at least 12 persons, while the living room should be filled with a lot of comfortable sitting space.
The outdoor entertaining space should be equally as cozy as the indoor. For outdoor seating Mediterranean use wrought iron and similar metals adorned with cushions, and the line between the indoors and out is usually blurred with large glass door and seamless transition. Add plants and the pool to the outdoor, and you will have the perfect imitation of Mediterranean lifestyle.
The Rich Detailing
The devil is always in the details and there also lies the key of completely mastering the Mediterranean style. From filigree light fixtures on the ceiling to armchairs upholstered in a bold antique paisley, you cannot make a mistake here.
The antique lamp, tapestry and old paintings in golden frames are another way to add that sense of ‘old world’ refines to your home. Instead of arranging the latest bestsellers on the book shelves, use old books (why not, even some of the first editions of Don Quixote) and display all sorts of Mediterranean antiques and collections. Spanish décor is specific for its oriental influences, so you can use that to adorn your home with golden and mosaic decorative accessories.
There is no place like home, and there is certainly no place like Mediterranean style decorated home. Turning your house into such peaceful and inviting oasis might not be a piece of cake, but it is worthwhile, because you will be able to transport yourself to the heaven of South Europe by just looking around.