Greece, Tuscany, Italy, Southern France, Spain, Morocco – all countries of the Mediterranean and direct influences of Mediterranean-style décor. It is a style that reflects all the beauty and splendor of the region, with its cobalt blue seas, bright sunlit days, and colorful countrysides.
My own dream house would have vibrant blue walls, high ceilings, rounded archways, open rooms, and lush open gardens. With my California upbringing, I am swayed by the Spanish influences of Mediterranean Style. It is very popular in the southern states and gaining popularity throughout America.
Whether you steer towards the elegant and wealthy or the simple and country, you will have to decide on a color scheme. This will depend on the region of influence you want to emulate. The Mediterranean is a little Greek and Roman, a little Spanish and Moroccan. All these regional styles, though, will mirror the tones of the sky, sunset, and ocean. Design patterns and textures pick up colors of light and dark blues, light and dark reds, and a splash of terra cotta, olive green, or gold.
I suggest using a theme to help with a color scheme. Italian could be dark red or burgundy, with greens and golds reflecting wine country colors. Moroccan could be brilliant reds, oranges, and yellows, highlighted by cobalt blue walls. Southern France could blend the browns, sunflower yellows, and purples of the Cote-de`azure.
Keep in mind that everything in Mediterranean design is large: furniture, fireplaces, windows. Kitchens will have large oven areas and plank tables, always open to friends, family, and neighbors. Bedrooms commonly have armoires and massive beds, and bathrooms are designed in marble with water features, statuettes, and plants.
Living room furniture can be simple or formal, with ornately turned legs and feet with heavy burnished hardware. The quality of furnishings is high and primarily handmade. Pieces consist of long-lasting, heavy woods and leathered upholstered arm chairs and sofas.
Accessories in Mediterranean style not only reflect the countries' influences, but also the religious and spiritual influences of history. Mosaic tiles, taken from Spain's Islamic influences, are often found on tabletops, countertops, and even as a part of wall adornments and picture frames. Rich colored tapestries depicting religious scenes give walls a focal point in a room, as do wrought iron and metal-framed works of art. Draperies of heavy textured satins and light airy sheers are used, but mostly to frame the windows or add romance to the bed. Use Turkish style rugs on polished, hardwood floors to center furnishings.
I truly could go on and on because the combinations are endless. I love history and Mediterranean style touches the core of it from Greece to Spain and back again.
The style is warm, rich and breathtaking. Enjoy your transformation, be it to a small room or entire home. Be sure to consult a good designer and a remodeling contractor. And when it is all finished, bask in the sun of Mediterranean style decor.
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