How to Design a Mediterranean House

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Mediterranean style architecture, reminiscent of villas on the Mediterranean coast, can be found throughout the world. The style is inspired by Spanish, Moorish, Tuscan and French architecture and has many distinct features. You can design a Mediterranean home for a relaxing yet elegant atmosphere by learning about both its exterior and interior characteristics.

Exteriors

  • Mediterranean style homes have a distinct style with elements found in Italian villas, Spanish Revival and Mission Revival homes. You can design a Mediterranean house to be a bungalow or to have several floors.

    Exterior walls may have a smooth, flat finish, stuccoed or covered in large stones. Exterior walls are often painted using pastel colors such as pink, orange, peach or yellow. However, homes are also painted in cream, beige or white.

    When designing the roof of a Mediterranean home, it should be flat or low-pitched. Terra cotta tiles in orange or red are used to cover roofs. They help to keep the home cool when the weather is hot.

    The exteriors of Mediterranean homes are characterized by exposed wooden beams, large, arched entrance doors and large arched windows with wooden shutters and wrought-iron grilles. Balconies also have wrought-iron or wooden grilles. The entrance is often a grand portico with stone columns, balustrades and ornate iron work.

    If you're planning on designing a large home and have enough space, consider adding a grand driveway with a large water fountain made of stone at the center. Driveways can be paved with cement, made of cobblestone or pebbles. The landscaping for a Mediterranean style home includes lush gardens with palms and large, potted plants.

Interiors

  • When you design the interior of any home, consider that the interior architecture should also reflect the exterior's design. You might want interior walls to be heavily textured and painted with the same pastel colors used on the exterior walls. Accent colors include red, cobalt blue, olive green and bright yellow. Wall hangings, such as tapestries, give focus to a room and add textural contrast to stone and metal.

    Mediterranean homes are known for their asymmetrical layout and open, airy living spaces. To allow the breeze to flow through on a warm day, you may consider adding a large, open porch which can be enclosed with wooden shutters.

    Mediterranean kitchens are characterized by sculptured stucco ventilation hoods, tile counter tops, kitchen islands and large, wooden kitchen cabinets. Kitchens are often decorated with ceramics, food canisters and copper accessories.

    The flooring for Mediterranean homes is usually made of terra cotta tiles although you can use other materials such as wooden planks, granite, marble and even cork. Floors are often covered with large Persian carpets. Ceilings usually have large, exposed wooden beams.

    Casual furniture in a grand scale made of warm woods in rich, dark colors is commonly used throughout the house. In addition, mosaic tile-covered tabletops and countertops are also distinct features of Mediterranean interiors. Potted plants are also welcome additions to the home.

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