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Decorating Ideas for a Mediterranean Style

    Color, Wood and Tile

    • The tile floor and wrought-iron furniture of this courtyard are typical of Mediterranean decor.

      Mediterranean style takes its cues from the colors of the earth, the garden and the ocean. Choose white or light-gray walls for an open, airy feel, or go bold with red, peach, terra cotta, orange or sunny yellow. Sponge layers of the same paint on top of each other for a rustic look. Or, to achieve the effect of a room baked for years in the sun, coat a section of wall with paint, and then, using a dry, stiff brush, gently sweep through the paint using strokes in different directions. Keep wooden beams exposed and stain them in dark colors, or treat them with a pickling finish so they appear old and weathered.

      Eschew carpet in favor of wooden or tile floors. Tile especially is a hallmark of Mediterranean homes. Look for large, buff-textured tiles in natural colors. Neither the edges nor the finish should be too smooth or too crisp; you want the floor to look well loved, even if the tiles are brand new. Create warmth by spreading the floor with rugs of wool or tufted cotton. To decorate your kitchen, look for ceramic serving pieces in the Tuscan style, hand painted with pictures of olives, fruits and vegetables, and wooden bowls and salad spoons. For dining, find a huge wooden kitchen table made of age-treated wood, one big enough for a dinner party with all your friends, and a collection of mismatched wooden chairs to go around it.

    Bedrooms and Patios

    • A Greek bedroom features cool mint walls and a plain but rich chocolate bedspread.

      The Mediterranean bedroom is a haven of rest and simplicity, with few, if any, distractions. If you must have a television in your bedroom, place it in a wooden cabinet and keep the doors closed until you need it. Choose a wooden or wrought-iron bed frame, and dress your bed in natural fabrics in solid colors. Instead of a duvet or patterned bedspread, go with a vintage cotton bedspread and heaps of knitted blankets. Curtains should be thin and sheer instead of heavy and opaque, or they can be done away with altogether. Small touches, such as a ceramic pitcher full of flowers, can help bring nature into your bedroom and make the indoors feel more connected to the outdoors.

      No Mediterranean-style home is without its patio or balcony, no matter how small. You can achieve the look of a seaside getaway with a few bright geraniums in terra cotta pots placed on a bed of pea gravel, and wrought-iron cafe-style chairs set around a table with a mosaic top. Set a small glass-topped table to one side, ready to hold plates of tapas or meze and pitchers of sangria for your guests.

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