Establish Your Style Series: Mediterranean

It’s time to put an emphasis on all things resembling sparking sea, shining sunsets and cloudless skies. Mediterranean style evokes the local landscape through earthy tones and rustic elements, originating from Spanish Colonial style (think cozy seaside villas).

Mediterranean can be a tricky style to achieve. Err on the side of caution, you want your space to feel more Santa Barbara not Real Housewives of New Jersey. Sometimes people take Mediterranean style to the extreme going too grandiose creating a forced palatial feel. For instance, there is a limit to how many rod iron curlicues you can have. We want to avoid overkill. Let me give you an example:

Mediterranean Living Room by Cincinnati Interior Designers & Decorators Doni Flanigan

Yikes. 

Let us jump into elements of Mediterranean style. 

Tip#1: Wood Contrast/I’m Beaming: Dark, rustic wood beams are a prominent feature of Mediterranean style, particularly when spanning light colored walls reminiscent of a Spanish villa. Walls tend to be textured and should contrast highly with dark woods. Consider stucco, Venetian plaster or even drywall mud to achieve a textural surface. 

Mediterranean Bedroom by Scottsdale Architects & Building Designers Higgins Architects

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Mediterranean Exterior by Long Beach Architects & Building Designers Sennikoff Architects

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Mediterranean Porch by Atlanta Architects & Building Designers Summerour Architects

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Mediterranean Family Room by Encino Interior Designers & Decorators Dayna Katlin Interiors

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Mediterranean Kitchen by Austin Architects & Building Designers Design Visions of Austin

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Tip#2: Hand-Painted and Saltillo Tile: A staple of Mediterranean style is glossy mosaic tile hand-painted with ornate motifs. Use these for a kitchen back splash, a focal point above the stove or integrated in bathroom tile work. Another staple is Saltillo tile a type of terra-cotta tile that originates in Saltillo, Mexico and dominates Mediterranean style flooring. 

Mediterranean Staircase

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Mediterranean Patio by Santa Cruz Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Kathleen Shaeffer Design, Exterior Spaces

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Mediterranean Bathroom by London Interior Designers & Decorators Cassidy Hughes Interior Design & Styling

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Mediterranean Kitchen by Austin Architects & Building Designers Cornerstone Architects

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Tip#3: A Warm Palette: The Mediterranean palette draws its inspiration from the sun, sand, sky and bright flora presenting tones of rich, warm, earthy colors. Choose a blend of spicy red, sunflower yellow, terra-cotta orange, gold, brown and lapis blue. The neutral palette sticks with a strict series of tan, cream, taupe and beige. 

Mediterranean Kids by Edina General Contractors John Kraemer & Sons

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Mediterranean Bathroom by Scottsdale Home Builders La Casa Builders Inc.

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Mediterranean Bathroom by Austin Architects & Building Designers Cornerstone Architects

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Tip#4: Curling Wrought Iron: Mediterranean style leans heavy on dark metal details, typically in sweeping patterns of prevalent wrought iron. Use wrought iron with dramatic flourishes in kitchen fixtures and hardware, lighting such as chandeliers and staircases. Other metals throughout the space should be finished by burnishing. Choose warm metals like copper. 

Mediterranean Staircase by The Woodlands Architects & Building Designers Gary Keith Jackson Design Inc

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Mediterranean Bathroom by Stafford General Contractors Hann Builders

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Mediterranean Staircase by Baxter Design-Build Firms Nor-Son, Inc.

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Tip#5: Bright Light: Mediterranean spaces embrace all available, natural light creating an airy, breezy feel. Window treatments should be simple and crisp like sheers versus using heavy fabrics and dark drapery or opt for none at all. Remember choose light wall colors to add to the open feel. 

Mediterranean Living Room by Other Metro General Contractors Mykonos Panormos Villas

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Mediterranean Living Room by Sydney Cabinets & Cabinetry Salt Interiors Joinery

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Mediterranean Dining Room by La Jolla Architects & Building Designers Island Architects

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Tip#6: Light Walls, Detailed Accessories and Furnishings: Ornate details are crucial to the bold confidence of the Mediterranean genre. Furnishings are solid, large and elaborately carved typically in dark wood tones such as walnut or mahogany. Intricate flourishes persevere in hardware and accessories. The light surrounding walls tend to bring decor and furnishings into front and center focus. 

Mediterranean Kitchen by Emeryville Architects & Building Designers John Malick & Associates

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Mediterranean Kitchen by Scottsdale Architects & Building Designers Carson Poetzl, Inc.

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Mediterranean Kitchen by La Jolla General Contractors GDC Construction

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Mediterranean Living Room by Atlanta Architects & Building Designers Summerour Architects

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Mediterranean Living Room by Tampa General Contractors Devonshire Custom Homes

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Tip#7: Curves and Arches: Curves and curlicues swoop throughout Mediterranean style. Wrought iron staircases, votives and fixtures are seen in sinuous shapes. Doorways, hallways and windows tend to be arched and emphasized. Choose winding hardware and light fixtures that echo the theme. Build curves into architecture with cozy alcoves and arched niches for shelves or seating.  

Mediterranean Entry by Austin Architects & Building Designers Cornerstone Architects

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Mediterranean Patio by Southlake Home Builders Simmons Estate Homes

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Mediterranean Hall by Scottsdale Design-Build Firms Fratantoni Luxury Estates

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Mediterranean Entry by Portland Interior Designers & Decorators Jessica Helgerson Interior Design
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Tip#8: Courtyard Connection: From San Diego to Santa Barbara, the outdoor connection in Mediterranean style reigns supreme always evoking the surrounding landscape. Remember these spaces should feel romantic and continue the earthy palette. Use hanging lights, built-in mosaics and terra-cotta pots for bright flowers. 

Mediterranean Patio

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Mediterranean Patio by Los Angeles Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Cassy Aoyagi, FormLA Landscaping

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Mediterranean Exterior by Scottsdale Architects & Building Designers Don Ziebell

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Mediterranean Patio by Austin Architects & Building Designers Cornerstone Architects

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Mediterranean Patio by Other Metro Photographers Elad Gonen

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Exterior style: Get your villa style on with these awesome exteriors. 
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Mediterranean Exterior

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Mediterranean Pool by Littleton Home Builders Celebrity Communities

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Mediterranean Exterior by Los Altos Architects & Building Designers Stotler Design Group

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Mediterranean Exterior by Scottsdale Architects & Building Designers Don Ziebell

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That’s all folks! We have now conquered Traditional, Hollywood Glam, Eclectic, Contemporary, Industrial, RusticModern and Coastal in the Establish Your Style Series. Next up: Shabby Chic. 

Stay Saucy,

Jenn

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