The Mediterranean is not just a geographical location it’s a state of mind and a way of living life. People of the Mediterranean share a love of being together and celebrating family, friends, food and laughter. The crystalline blue waters, razor-sharp light and the far off horizon provide an ever present reference. Homes tend to have a strong relationship with the outdoors, surfaces are typically hard wearing and pristine. Starting from the ground up, floor tilesbeing typical thanks to their durability and resistance. After the summer holidays spent lounging by its shores wanting to take a part of it home with us is understandable. The good news is that it’s possible to introduce the Mediterranean ambience into our homes. The following suggestions are a good place to start.
The living spaces of the Mediterranean
The rooms of the Mediterranean home tend to be more fluid with an indoor / outdoor feel that recalls the courtyards that are so typical of the Mediterranean culture. Covered areas for al fresco dining and afternoon siesta are ubiquitous. Establishing a connection with the outdoors is therefore a key component of recreating the Mediterranean vibe. Sliding, folding or double doors to a garden or patio helps break down barriers and if the same floor finish is installed outdoors as indoors all the better.
Materials that evoke the Mediterranean
Typical Mediterranean flooring materials include timber boards sourced from its indigenous trees. Floor tiles with ceramic, porcelain or stone options being very popular. Theses floors are made more comfortable by laying down colourful rugs and mats which can also express the vibrant tones and motifs that are popular along the Mediterranean. Avoiding wall to wall carpet means less dust and is a perfect match with under floor heating. Wall finishes can also feature ceramic or porcelain tiles either around a fire place or as a feature wall. The textures, colours and materials of the Mediterranean such as sand, metals and water are evoked through the designs.
Colours of the Mediterranean
The sky blue of the Mediterranean can be recreated with paint and fabrics and is especially effective when combined with white. Use contrasting shades of blue, dark and light tones in order to create visual interest. Soft and earthy green tones reflect the landscape of olive groves, Mediterranean pine, eucalyptus and other shrubs. Plants and soft furnishings are a great way of introducing these colours into living spaces. Roof tiles and pottery crafts are expressed in terracotta and neutral tones that can also be recreated in flooring finishes.
Unlike more northerly climes the design and architecture of the Mediterranean is exuberant, organic and closely connected to the earth. Not surprising given that Western civilisation was born around its fertile shores. And even today the Mediterranean diet is associated with long life and vivacity. Organic silhouettes, textured surfaces, vibrant colours and geometric motifs are combined in furniture and accessories. The kitchen and dining table are pivotal to the Mediterranean lifestyle. As such particular attention should be paid to these elements to help recreate the very essence of the Mediterranean.