Mediterranean Sea … This name, even for a person who never considered himself inclined to romance, evokes gentle waves, clear waters of bays and bays, snow-white villas immersed in greenery, rocky islets scattered across the water area, warm sea breeze, ancient culture and traditions.
It is not in vain that the Mediterranean Sea is called the “cradle of civilization” – it was on its shores that the famous city-states of Greece appeared, ancient culture arose, and large trade cities of Italy developed. It is not surprising that it was this sea, located between southern Europe, northern Africa and western Asia that gave the name to one of the most popular styles in interior design..
What are the features of the Mediterranean style? What are the key points in this interior design can be identified? And, finally, how to create a Mediterranean-style interior in an ordinary city apartment at no special cost?
Bright, extraordinarily cozy Mediterranean-style bedroom
A bit of history
Before starting a story about the main features of the Mediterranean style, I would like to pay a little attention to its history. To understand how this style of interior design was formed, it is necessary to remember that many countries are located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea: Tunisia, Algeria, France, Croatia, Spain, Greece, Lebanon, Slovenia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Albania and others, only 22 states.
The formation of the Mediterranean style, of course, was influenced by the East, in particular, the Moroccan style, and the design directions that dominated the Spanish and French Riviera, however, this style owes its appearance to Italy and Greece, which have become real “trendsetters in this region. “.
The Mediterranean style in the interior arose after the Second World War, when the inhabitants of Italian villages in search of work were forced to move to cities and brought certain elements of their village style to ordinary city apartments. The ancestor of the Mediterranean style is considered the Tuscan style, which appeared in the 40s in the region of the same name in Italy.
Of course, more often houses are decorated in the Mediterranean style, but there is no reason to abandon this direction when choosing the design of an ordinary city apartment.
In turn, the townspeople, coming to villages on the coast of Greece and Italy, also brought urban novelties into rural life and furnished the interior to their liking. It is thanks to this mixture of urban and rural design directions that the Mediterranean style emerged, which has been popular in many countries of the world for over 60 years..
If you try to describe the Mediterranean style in the interior in a nutshell, then “archaic simplicity” is best suited. In such an interior there is nothing pretentious, pretentious, no deliberate luxury – only practicality, functionality, a lot of light and lightness. The Mediterranean style is alien to being overloaded with design items and furniture, decorative elements and textiles are used minimally and in this respect it is very similar to the very simple, “rustic” country style so popular in America. However, the country is more colorful, bright, the Mediterranean interior is calmer and more peaceful..
All the countries of the Mediterranean region are characterized by hospitality and the cult of delicious food. Suffice it to recall at least Italy with its traditional crowded family dinners with pasta and pizza, the French Riviera, where the feast can last for several hours with a tasting of exquisite dishes and noble wines, the states of North Africa, where it is customary to treat a dear guest first, and only then ask about business … They also love to relax in the Mediterranean, siesta in these hot countries is not a luxury or a whim, but a necessity.
This attitude towards food and relaxation has led to the fact that the dining room, kitchen, living room and bedroom have become the dominant zones in the Mediterranean interior..
That is, those places in the house where you can first sit, chatting with friends, are. In this regard, the Mediterranean style is most often used to decorate the kitchen, living room and dining room. By the way, in country houses, whose interior is decorated in this style, all these three rooms are often combined into a single space, which becomes a place of attraction for the whole family and the main room of the dwelling..
Combined Mediterranean style kitchen, dining and living room
Another difference between the Mediterranean style is maximum convenience and comfort for all inhabitants of the house or apartment. If the chair is soft and it is obligatory by the fireplace or wine cabinet, so that everything is at hand, if the sofa is a low sofa with an abundance of pillows, if the decoration of the windows is then blinds and light air curtains, if the bed is a huge bed with snow-white veil.
Such an interior is not an exhibition of designer novelties, it is intended to serve for life: here they dine, receive guests, swear and make peace. Mediterranean style allows you to create in the room a unique atmosphere of a real Home with a capital letter, cozy, dear and hospitable.
Since the Mediterranean is a hot region, the color scheme in this direction of design is intended to soften the hot rays of the sun, to make the interior “cooler” at least visually.
It is worth noting that in terms of colors, the Mediterranean interior is usually divided into Greek and Italian directions. So, for the Greek variety of this style, the traditional shades are blue, blue, white, lemon yellow, emerald, blue-green. All these shades can be called “cold”, “sea”.
The Italian interior is more saturated – cream, deep sun-yellow, terracotta, olive, ocher-yellow, brick, bottle green shades dominate here.
However, the Greek and Italian colors can be perfectly mixed with each other, so it is often impossible to say which direction was chosen in a particular case..
A riot of colors in this living room betrays the dominant position of the Italian trend
When it comes to lighting, it is customary in the Mediterranean style to make the most of natural light. Of course, in a private house it is easier to equip panoramic windows to the floor in order to provide free access to the sun’s rays, however, in an ordinary apartment, light yellow, white, olive or blue walls themselves will make the room brighter and more spacious..
In addition, one of the main principles of the Mediterranean style is to ensure comfort for residents, therefore the lighting system should be as convenient as possible – located above each separate zone, and switches should be at hand.
In the Mediterranean interior, wallpapers are practically not used, the walls are simply painted in one of the selected shades: white, olive, blue, cream, almost any, located in the range from green-blue to yellow-orange. In this case, it is not at all necessary to achieve the ideal smoothness of the surface – deliberately rough, textured plaster, on the contrary, will give the room a special “rustic” flavor. Thanks to this feature, the Mediterranean style allows you to beat the natural unevenness of the walls, but open brickwork in such an interior is very rarely used – only for finishing the fireplace and small sections of the wall.
A striking example of the use of various shades in the decoration of walls and ceilings – as a result, an original, very cozy interior was obtained
The ceiling is always light, often with rough beams, although you can also find modern options – a plasterboard cornice, complex lighting, and so on.
The beams on the ceiling of this attractive kitchen are purely decorative.
When choosing a floor covering, it should be borne in mind that the Mediterranean style presupposes a uniform floor design in all rooms. That is, it is not worth experimenting, highlighting individual areas of the room with the help of different floor coverings, creating podiums and thresholds is not worth it, it is better to choose one material, thanks to which the rooms will smoothly flow into each other, creating the visual integrity of the space.
The most traditional flooring material in Mediterranean interiors is ceramic, unglazed tiles.
If such a floor seems too cold for our climate, you can lay a warm floor, in any case, it is the tiles, be they ceramics, marble or tiles, that most often become the hallmark of this style.
A wooden floor also has a right to exist in a Mediterranean interior, but wood should not have a pronounced texture, dominate over other design elements.
Of the economical options, you can use both high-quality linoleum and laminate, it is optimal if such a floor covering will have a texture in the form of the same ceramic tiles, creating the appearance of using a more expensive material.
The floor is traditional for a Mediterranean interior – ceramic tiles of the same color in all rooms, with a small, unobtrusive decor
By the way, in the Mediterranean style, tiles or mosaics are used quite widely – both in wall decoration, for example, to create picturesque panels in the living room, and in the bathroom, and for facing the kitchen apron, as well as the facades of kitchen furniture and countertops.
Ceramic tiles, glazed or not, can also be used to decorate the backsplash and countertops
As for the carpets, they are also quite appropriate in such an interior, but without bright patterns and ornaments, plain rugs, cane or seaweed mats, homespun stripes in stripes of traditional Italian or Greek colors are suitable..
The Mediterranean style implies the use of a large number of natural materials – the more stone, wood, ceramics in the interior, the better, although overdoing in this respect is also risky.
Accordingly, it is better to choose wooden furniture, for example, massive, squat sofas on a wooden base with light covers, tables on stable legs with a wooden tabletop that is not covered or decorated with tiles, classic wooden chairs, usually without soft upholstery.
Wicker furniture also often finds its place in Mediterranean interiors, and the Italian trend is characterized by sofas, tables and armchairs with wrought iron elements. Such furniture can be compared with a country or garden furniture, they are united by simplicity, closeness to nature and reliability..
A bed with a wrought-iron headboard and massive wooden racks will perfectly fit into the Mediterranean interior
If we talk about furnishing the rooms in general, then an important, central place will be occupied by the table – how can it be without it to adequately receive guests and have a pleasant time with your family in the evening! The table can be truly huge if the size of the room allows, or it can be a small coffee table, but in any case it just has to be.
At the same time, the countertop can be almost any – decorated with bright tiles, glass, made of artificially aged or painted wood.
A fairly large wicker table took the central place in this bright living room, became a real highlight of the interior
Another traditional piece of furniture for the Mediterranean interior is open shelves; it is not customary to hide dishes or souvenirs behind solid matte or glossy facades, on the contrary, ceramics is becoming one of the important elements of decor. Storage spaces can be plasterboard niches on the walls, a massive sideboard with transparent glass doors, light open wooden shelves.
In this delicate, bright living room, a prominent place is occupied by cabinets with open shelves, as well as an original table in the form of a chest of drawers, convenient and very simple
In general, any classic furniture with light carvings, as well as objects in the style of minimalism, will fit well into the Mediterranean interior, the main thing is that their parameters and colors are combined with the decoration of the room.
Textiles and decor elements
Textiles in the Mediterranean style of the interior do not play an aesthetic, but rather a functional role. Natural fabrics are usually used, such as linen and cotton, they are most often used to decorate pillows, mattresses and bedspreads.
On the windows, blinds made of bamboo, matting or wood take their place, sometimes Roman blinds made of natural fabrics are used. The window openings are effectively framed by light, light curtains, chairs can be decorated with fabric covers, a table – a snow-white or cream embroidered tablecloth with lace.
In the Mediterranean style, you will not find bright, ornamental fabrics – only white, cream, ivory, light blue shades, with modest, somewhat naive embroidery or thin lace. There are no too lush lambrequins or canopies here, the main principle of using textiles in a Mediterranean interior is utility, no luxury or chic.
As for accessories, you can give an ordinary room in a city apartment a completely Mediterranean look with the help of Moroccan lamps, Spanish-style ceramic dishes, Italian wickerwork, as well as all kinds of marine paraphernalia, for example, seashells, sea pebbles, and so on. Also, any DIY accessories are welcome..
Moroccan lamps – openwork and unusual will be an excellent addition to the Mediterranean interior
And another very important nuance – a Mediterranean-style room cannot be imagined without fresh flowers. Palm trees, ficuses, citrus trees, yuccas – the choice depends only on the preferences of the owner of the house. It is better to plant plants in simple ceramic pots and tubs, plastic that is banal and inappropriate in such an interior should be avoided.
Houseplants are one of the characteristic features of the Mediterranean style
Mediterranean style is an excellent option for those who would like to create a homely, but at the same time festive atmosphere in their house or apartment, decorate the room in a relaxed, light style, without pathos and chic.
To create a Mediterranean interior, you do not need substantial expenses at all – you just need to get rid of the wallpaper, paint the walls in a light shade, choose matte white, gray or a laminate with a tile texture, paint the cabinet with a worn effect, decorate the ceiling with decorative beams and sew light covers for upholstered furniture. Competently using inexpensive accessories, finishing materials and textiles, everyone can create a corner of the Mediterranean coast at home..