Characteristics of Mediterranean Decor

Who doesn’t fantasize about trips to warm climates in the winter? Sunshine, sand, lapping waves, utter relaxation. Perhaps that’s why so many choose (or wish) to outfit their homes in Mediterranean decor; it evokes visions of sun-filled vacation days.

Mediterranean style, however, can be tricky to get right. Too much or the wrong pieces will come across as tacky or gaudy; too little will not make an impact. Plus, Mediterranean homes are, by definition, not modern; those who wish to keep their decor up-to-date may be hesitant to incorporate Mediterranean characteristics for fear of clashing.

That’s why we’re outlining the most important elements of Mediterranean decor. Choose some or all of these features to infuse your house with the flavor of the Middle East and experience just a bit of a getaway every time you come home.

Color

Mediterranean style features bold, vibrant jewel tones and saturated earthy shades of the landscape (terra cotta, turquoise, rust, yellow) contrasted by bright, clean whites.

Bathroom by threshold interiors
Vigo Mediterranean Seashell Vessel Sink with Waterfall Faucet
Photo credit: Luke Gibson Photography
Texture

Touchable walls are a huge hallmark of Mediterranean decor. Stucco and raised plaster lend subtle visual interest to any room.

Photo credit: Goyo Photography
Living Room by K. M. Skelly, Inc
Kitchen by Pyramid Builders
Tile

Some Middle Eastern motifs feature limestone, but the classic look is terra cotta and hand-painted tile; arabesque and Moroccan tile are popular as well.

Bathroom by Cassidy Hughes Interior Design & Styling
Bathroom by Plath & Company
Staircase by Cason Graye Homes
Furniture

Authentically Mediterranean furniture is rustic, typically heavy medium-dark wood with ornate hand-carving.

Bedroom by Vanguard Studio Inc.
Entry by Christina Karras
Dining Room by Hendricks Construction
Textiles

Fabrics feature heavily in Mediterranean design, mainly silk, wool, and cotton in a variety of applications: tapestries and wall hangings, drapes, rugs, pillows, and the ubiquitous Moroccan pouf.

Living Room by Maraya Interior Design
Hall by Tracy Murdock Allied ASID
Kitchen by Christina Karras
Hardware

The go-to metal for this style is wrought iron; use it on door hardware, pulls, railings, or light fixtures. Include scrollwork for a truly authentic effect.

Bathroom by Est Est, Inc.
Kalco Lighting Avondale Sconce
Miller + Miller Real Estate

 

Entry by Robelen Hanna Homes – Luxury Homes & Remodeling
Curves

Mediterranean style is all about the soft edges rather than straight lines; embrace the curves in architectural features (like doorways or windows) as well as fixtures and fittings.

Bathroom by Gordon Stein Design
Acryline Encore Collection Mediterranean Air Tub
Entry by Wesley-Wayne Interiors, LLC
The great outdoors

The inhabitants of Mediterranean areas tend to spend a lot of time outside; their architecture reflects continuity between the indoors and outdoors. Even if your climate is far from balmy, make your Mediterranean home open, light, and airy to emphasize the connection to the outdoors.

Patio by Allan Edwards Builder Inc
Patio by Cornerstone Architects
Dining Room by Tucker & Marks
 What’s your favorite vacation destination?

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