Ask anyone when they’re at their happiest, and they might just answer ‘when I’m on holiday’. It’s the one time of year when you can switch off from work, explore new places, and indulge yourself to the max.
For many people in the UK, the Mediterranean remains the ideal place to take a break. Whether you’re fond of wandering the sun-baked streets of Nice, or exploring the ancient cities in Italy, here’s how you can inject some of the glamour of the Med into your living area.
Bring the magic home
It’s actually surprisingly easy to introduce some Mediterranean magic into the lounge. Here are a few good ideas:
Change the art on the walls. Warm, vibrant colours will immediately remind you of the sun, sea and sand that you love abroad. Painted tiles or other traditional art also work well. For example, Andalusian bowls, mounted on the wall, are immediately reminiscent of warm, sunny Spain.
Introduce some exposed brickwork. If you’ve got the right sort of property, you might be able to chip away at the plaster to reveal naked brick beneath. Alternatively, brick cladding systems create a rustic brick effect, minus the hassle. This will bring a hint of Mediterranean monastery chic into your lounge.
Get some Cannes glitz. Alternatively, you could look to luxe locations like Monaco and Cannes for your inspiration. We’re talking plenty of polished metal, opulent materials like satin, plus plenty of large, high-impact mirrors to bounce the light around the space.
Cushion on the floor. Want to make the room feel ultra-relaxed, like a classic beach bar? Buy some large cushions and scatter them on the floor. They also create a great social space.
Embrace natural elements. If you’d like to get the vibe of an Ibizan cabana, get some refurbished floorboards on the floor, and invest in some rustic wooden furniture. Rattan sofas and chairs will also add to the laid-back atmosphere. Plants are also useful for creating a sense of a holiday environment. A palm in the corner, combined with some cacti in the shelves, are all you need to make your living room feel more tropical.
Remember the scent. When people think of the Mediterranean, they often think of certain evocative scents. For example, the smell of lemon, myrtle and bergamot captures the atmosphere of a coastal village in the Italian Riviera. A great place to find inspiration is in the world of fragrance – type in ‘women perfume 2019’ into Google and see what scents come up, as a lot of modern perfumes take the Med as their reference point.
Go traditional. If you’re a fan of historic European palaces, then you’ll need elegant furniture, such as sofas upholstered in pastel satin, and opulent woven rugs on the floor. Coffee and side tables should be polished wood; preferably with some detailing.
Lively colour palette. There’s no hard-and-fast rule for the colours you have to use, but generally speaking, if you want to create a warmer effect, you should choose shades that are vibrant; like burnt oranges, bright yellows, rich reds and warm blues.
Invest in some beams. Wooden beams are often present in traditional Mediterranean homes. They’re not hard to fake in your own house either. Mix dark beams with bright white paint underneath to create a more ‘period property’ effect, or use lighter wood if you want a more contemporary look.
White walls. Sometimes, simplicity is the most effective approach. Paint the walls and ceiling white, then let the wooden furniture and flooring do the talking. Likewise, any bright and beautiful artwork you have will be showcased perfectly against this simple backdrop.