Mediterranean Interior Design: 7 Tips for Bringing Old World Elegance to Your Home

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Updated on June 30th, 2023

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Step into a world of timeless elegance and Mediterranean charm as we explore the captivating realm of Mediterranean interior design. Whether you reside in a bustling metropolis like Nashville, TN, or are seeking to transform your suburban home in Sarasota, FL, this design style brings the allure of the Old World right into your modern abode. 

In this Redfin article, we’ve enlisted the expertise of professionals to share their top recommendations on how to infuse your home with the essence of Mediterranean living. From vibrant colors to rustic textures and a seamless blend of indoor and outdoor spaces, get ready to transport yourself to the sun-drenched coastlines of Italy, Greece, and beyond. 

Wooden chair lounge at modern Mediterranean farmhouse

1. Focus on the small details 

When it comes to Mediterranean interior design, one of the key aspects that sets it apart is the emphasis on small details. Paying attention to intricate elements can transform an ordinary space into a haven of old-world elegance.

“This could mean adding a unique hand-painted tile to a usually basic white stair riser, incorporating arched details like a curved marble backsplash when it would typically be straight across, or replacing white builder-grade vent covers that once ‘blended in’ to the wall with an eye-catching decorative iron register cover,” suggests LS Design Studio

Mediterranean style bathroom

Courtesy of LS Design Studio

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2. Make new elements feel like they were part of the original design 

In the realm of Mediterranean interior design, seamlessly integrating new elements into an existing space is a skill that truly enhances the authenticity and cohesiveness of the overall aesthetic.

“Our goal at the end of any project is to make all of the new design elements feel as if they were perfectly preserved in the home over many years and breathe new life into the existing architecture,” continues LS Design Studio. 

Steps tiled with Mediterranean designs

 

Courtesy of LS Design Studio

2. Incorporate objects that exude a sense of being discovered How to add rustic elegance in your Mediterranean interior design

This style embraces the idea of a curated space with a rich history and storied past. Seek out antique furniture, vintage artwork, and unique artifacts that evoke a sense of nostalgia and craftsmanship.

“Décor pieces should also evoke the idea of found objects rather than new, polished ones. For example, a wooden bread bowl filled with moss balls paired with some brass or ceramic candlesticks would be an ideal styling solution for a coffee table. Large terracotta vases filled with cut branches would be perfect for a dining table or kitchen island. Because this style is all about comfort, don’t overthink it too much,” recommends Christy Maingot Interior Design

Mediterranean designed living room

Courtesy of Christy Maingot Interior Design

3. Add a mixture of texture and layers 

Focus on incorporating a variety of textures and layers that enhance and add depth to simple walls.

“The New Mediterranean interior is all about simplicity and celebrating craftsmanship. Use a mix of natural materials to give the house texture and layers: stone, terracotta, rattan, linen, leather, seagrass, marble, wood and metal. Make it fresh and contemporary by adding some white,” shares Jet van Basten Batenburg, Interior Designer and Owner of COUVALOUP.

“Whitewashed walls will give an instant Mediterranean feel when combined with wood and neutral fabrics. Use elements that are tactile and light: jute and basketry are both functional and beautiful.”

4. Incorporate signature Mediterranean elements 

To truly embrace the essence of Mediterranean interior design, it is essential to incorporate signature elements that are synonymous with this timeless style.

“One of the biggest signature looks is the use of low-pitched barrel tile roofs. There are many colors to choose from today, but traditionally red was the most common. Symmetry features and the use of repetitive details, such as soffit corbels and banding, are important as well. Stucco exterior walls painted a white or light color give a home that signature Mediterranean look,” recommends David Grussgott from ATELIER DESIGN GROUP.

“Thick and chunky door and window banding with other ornate trim work and details. Lastly, you should have some big columns to add the old-world feel. Connection to the outdoors is also important. Plants and lots of light should do the trick.”

5. Utilize marble throughout your home

Marble, with its elegant white background adorned with gold veining, is a quintessential element in Mediterranean aesthetics, and it can be enhanced in various ways.

“When envisioning the Mediterranean style, it’s natural for Italy to be the first association due to its role as the origin of our timeless and refined Calacatta marble,” shares Primestones. “With its white background adorned by delicate traces of gold and gray veining, Calacatta marble exemplifies the essence of elegance. Similar to the Mediterranean style itself, the stone’s intricate layers of hues and veining come together to form a breathtaking natural masterpiece.

Here are three tips to enhance your marble surfaces: 

  • A honed surface feels incredibly soft and velvety under your fingers and will not show any signs of edging when acidic liquids such as vinegar or lemon juice are spilled, however we highly recommend cleaning all spills up promptly.
  • Adding a sealant to your stone will help resist stains and preserve the stone of daily wear and tear. Make sure to speak with a professional about which sealant is best and what aftercare will look like for you.
  • Marble absorbs heat and can withstand the temperatures of pots and pans that come directly from your oven or stove.”

Mediterranean style kitchen design

Courtesy of Primestones

6. Create Mediterranean elegance using accent pieces 

Incorporate accent pieces like antique furniture and art inspired by architectural elements from Mediterranean countries.

“You can recreate an  old-world look with a few accent pieces mixed in with a simple sofa upholstered in linen or velvet, a great Persian-style rug, leather, linen, or upholstered chairs, walnut tables with turned legs, decorated chests used as a coffee table, or at the end of the bed. Add a touch of tapestry in a pillow or on an upholstered club chair. Colorful tile can be used as an accessory or on a stair riser or backsplash. A fountain, wrought iron pendant lights, and wall sconces can complete the desired look,” shares Gabrielle Gliniak from GGID Interior Design

Mediterranean style furniture

Courtesy of Gabrielle Gliniak

7. Incorporate your Mediterranean style outdoors

Extend your Mediterranean style outdoors by incorporating materials, colors, and a relaxed, earthy ambiance in your garden

“In Mediterranean inspired home design, the materials, colors, and relaxed, earthy feeling of the house may continue into the garden. If your garden has free-standing or retaining walls made of concrete, you can cover them with stone veneer or textured stucco colored to match the house,” recommends Richard Held, Designer and Contractor at Mediterrasian Landscapes.

Backyard Mediterranean design

Courtesy of Mediterrasian Landscapes

“Drought tolerant plants from the Mediterranean region or one of the other areas of the world that enjoys Mediterranean climate, such as the California coast and Australia, can provide beautiful color, texture, and sculptural form to your garden. This garden features Phormium ‘Black Adder’, Helictotrichon sempervirens, and Agave ‘Blue Glow’.

Mediterranean plants

Courtesy of Mediterrasian Landscapes

If you are represented by an agent, this is not a solicitation of your business. This article is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice from a medical provider, licensed attorney, financial advisor, or tax professional. Consumers should independently verify any agency or service mentioned will meet their needs. Learn more about our Editorial Guidelines here.
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Holly Hooper

Holly is part of the content marketing team and enjoys writing about home improvement and lifestyle. Her dream home would incorporate both an industrial and biophilic design.

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