Mediterranean Style Defined
Get inspired by these Mediterranean design ideas
Mediterranean style might be the ultimate melting pot. It travels between Greece, Italy, France, Spain, and the other countries on the fringe of the Mediterranean Sea, picking up the unique influences of each as it goes. Emphatic and evocative, this look bears hints of Moorish grace, Spanish flamboyance, French elegance, and more.
Above all, Mediterranean style is a virtual bon voyage, a trip abroad without leaving the house. It carries a strong sense of place and entices you with its exotic promise. Although it's bold and striking, this style's innate dignity keeps it from feeling over-the-top or gaudy.
These designer rooms also display Mediterranean style:
- Casual Dining Room by Jessica Helgerson
- Outdoor Dining by Suzanne Tucker
- Cozy Breakfast Nook by Deborah French
- Classic Kitchen by Heidi Pribell
• Warm, landscape-inspired colors. The Mediterranean palette draws from land and sea: cobalt blues, earthy terra-cottas, ochre yellows, dusky lavenders. It evokes long, sun-soaked days and balmy nights with the scent of salt in the air. Soft colors blend with bolder ones for an arresting contrast.
• Large-scale furnishings. No dainty spindles or petite pieces here—Mediterranean furniture has presence. Chunky legs, sturdy bases, broad tabletops, and towering case goods suit the strong sounds, sights, and flavors of this region. Choose dark woods with carved or distressed detailing, which feel more authentic than lighter, plainer ones.
• Textured surfaces. In this style, surfaces convey the impression of an artisan's touch. Stucco is a signature, but Venetian plaster feels equally appropriate. You can also give plain plaster or drywall a textural illusion with paint techniques such as rag-rolling.
• Detailed tilework. Tile—used for roofing, flooring, walls, and more—is one of the hallmarks of Mediterranean decor. Cloak walls in decorative tile mosaics; scatter hand-painted tiles throughout a neutral kitchen backsplash; use them to line an archway. Or create a display of beautiful tiles propped on easels to evoke the look.
• Dark, rich metals. Mix bronze, copper, wrought iron, and other deep-toned metals in light fixtures, railings, hardware, and more. Punched or hammered styles give them extra depth.
• Outdoor living spaces. Above all else, the Mediterranean is about enjoying life outside. Even if you live in a landlocked area where it snows half the year, you can warm your porch or patio with a few spicy touches. Think heavy iron furniture, a splashing fountain, outdoor lanterns, and whitewashed walls. Don't forget a few enormous pots spilling over with colorful blooms.If you like Mediterranean style, you may also like Tuscan and French country style. Click to explore!