Define The Style: Mediterranean Design

by Drew Henry

Welcome to Mediterranean Design 101!  

Beautiful views, fresh sea breezes, and a glass of wine poolside…what’s not to love about the Mediterranean? Mediterranean style is airy, relaxed, and timeless. So, it’s no wonder why so many people around the world choose to embrace this look in their homes. But, what is Mediterranean design, and how can you add Mediterranean style to your home? Don’t worry! The LiLi Team defines the style and answers all your questions. Now, it’s time for Mediterranean Design 101. Class is in session! 

What is Mediterranean Style?  

Mediterranean style is a variation of coastal design channeling the architecture and feel of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Mediterranean style is warm, airy, and timeless. While it is specific to a region, people have recreated the look across the world, from Europe to California. Typically, Mediterranean design feels more at home near a body of water. However, you can add Mediterranean touches to your home no matter where you live. It’s all about the lifestyle!

Mediterranean design embraces indoor-outdoor living and natural finishes to create an effortlessly chic appearance. The goal is to create a home that feels relaxed yet elevated. Mediterranean style typically features white walls, exposed wood, earthy color accents, patterned tile, and plenty of natural light. Plus, outdoor spaces like a terrace and pool cabana are a must if your home has the space and a view. 

Take a Trip: Where to Find Mediterranean Style Inspiration 

Grab your passports because we are taking a trip to find Mediterranean style inspiration! Twenty-two countries border the Mediterranean Sea, which means there are a lot of variations of the style you can embrace in your own home. For example, you could lean into an Italian or Spanish look which both utilize white walls, exposed beams, and patterned cement tile in their designs. Or, you could cross the sea to Morocco, where the style welcomes rich colors, carved woods, and arabesque tile designs. Finally, you can round out your trip in the South of France and add a more glamorous French Riviera flair to your Mediterranean design plan. The French Riviera flourished in the 1930s, combining classic Mediterranean architecture with enchanting Art Deco elements like rattan furnishings, chandeliers, and shimmering brass inlay tile

9 Ways to Add Mediterranean Style to Your Home

Now that you know a little bit more about Mediterranean design, it’s time to recreate the look for yourself. Here are 9 ways to add Mediterranean style to your home. 

1. Embrace Indoor-outdoor Living 

The Mediterranean region is known for its gorgeous weather, which is why millions of people travel there every year to enjoy some fun in the sun. To recreate the Mediterranean feel in your home, embrace the indoor-outdoor lifestyle of the region. Treat outdoor spaces like indoor rooms, furnishing patios with comfortable lounge chairs, tables, and occasional seating. Also, establish connections from the interior to the exterior by adding large doors to the outside. 

2. Take a Dive in the Pool 

If you can, add a pool to your backyard to bring home that seaside feel. Mediterranean design is associated with coastal regions. However, a pool is the next best thing if you’re landlocked! When designing your pool, select a vibrant glazed tile to accentuate the border. Our LiLi Glaze Tiles are safe to use in the pool and are inspired by the colors of the sea — perfect

3. Utilize Stucco and Terracotta on the Exterior 

Nothing feels more Mediterranean than a white stucco house with a terracotta tile roof. If you are building a new home, embrace these material selections. If you are renovating, consider painting your existing exterior white and look for places to add terracotta accents. For example, you could tile your stoop, place terracotta pots in your garden, or use the color for shutters and other accents. 


4. Keep the Walls Neutral 

Keep the white walls going inside the home. In classic Mediterranean design, many homes feature white plaster. Choose a warm shade of white to keep your space feeling light, bright, and airy. Don’t worry. There will be plenty of opportunities to accent with color!

5. But Welcome Bright Color Accents 

While Mediterranean design embraces white walls, that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to incorporate bright colors. In fact, the white backdrop is there to help the color accents stand out more! Bring in a nature-inspired color palette of terracotta reds, ocean blues, earthy greens, and sunny yellows. Consider adding pops of color to your kitchen backsplash, powder room flooring, throw pillows, and art. 

6. Expose Those Wood Beams

Along the Mediterranean coast, some homes are more than 100 years old! Expose or add in wood beams to give a sense of old-world charm. Consider going for a distressed look to incorporate even more character. 


7. Accent With Wrought Iron 

Black wrought iron accents are another key component of Mediterranean design, especially if you are channeling an Italian or Spanish feel. You can add wrought iron accents through staircase railings, balcony railings, fencing, light fixtures, or even furnishings. 

8. Accentuate Those Curves 

Archways are a huge component of the Mediterranean style. If you are building a new home, consider adding arches to doorways, balconies, or even shelving nooks. If you have arches in your home already, accentuate them! Consider trimming archways with a small 4x4 patterned tile for instant Mediterranean charm. 

9. Go Bold With Patterned Tile 

Patterned cement tiles are a staple in Mediterranean design. Go with a classic old-world pattern or reinterpret the look with a modern variation. Cement tiles will give you a seaside vacation vibe and a lifetime of durability. Did you know that cement tiles have been used in the Mediterranean region and Europe since 1850? Now, that’s some authentic style! 

Take Your Mediterranean Design Plan in Any Direction

Just like a trip, the Mediterranean style can go in any direction. Will you choose to embrace an old-world Italian look or adopt a modern take on Moroccan design? When it comes to this laid-back style, the choice is yours! Just remember our design tips, and you will have the Mediterranean retreat of your dreams. 

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