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How to create a Mediterranean inspired living room

  • colour palettes
  • design
  • trends
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Olivia Lowry
How to create a Mediterranean inspired living room

Whether you prefer winding Italian streets or serene Spanish beaches, there’s no doubt that UK holidaymakers love the Mediterranean. Last year over 139 million* of us chose destinations like Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece for our summer getaways. 

In this week’s post, we’re looking at why this laid-back way of living is a great ethos to apply to living room design. Here’s how to create a Mediterranean-inspired living room that extends that sunny feeling all year round.

Colours of the Med

Mediterranean interior colour palette guide

When it comes to colour, this group of countries offers up some pretty vibrant tones. We’ve taken inspiration from natural landscapes and manmade architectural elements of this part of the world. Think Olive greens, Terracotta reds, Off-Whites, Sparkling Sea Blues and Sunshine Yellows. Use this colour palette to guide your decor decisions for the best results.

Architectural + design influences

Mediterranean architecture was originally drawn from the likes of Portugal, Spain and Italy, to name a few. Over time, interiors saw influences come in from France, Greece and Morocco. The result is a blend of beautiful cultural design references coming together as one.

Porto, Portugal

Porto, Portugal (home to our factory)

How to create a Mediterranean inspired living room

There’s no mistaking the red of terracotta seen almost everywhere in this part of the world. From pots to tiles, this material’s still used for its durability and ability to keep homes cool throughout the height of summer. Nod to winding Spanish streets by introducing palms and cacti in terracotta pots to your living room.

Terracotta plant pot
Dark red wall terracotta colour

Image shared by Westwing via Pinterest

If you’re after a more impactful change, this red hue is perfect when painted on walls. Combine it with the green of some plants and natural textures like jute, for a truly holiday-like feel all year round. Explore options with fabrics of a similar shade such as Brick, shown below on the Model 03.

Model 03 sofa brick red

Model 03 sofa in Brick fabric by Swyft

Traditional patterns come into play next. Use the intricate designs of Talavera-inspired pottery to create a strong visual association to historical Mediterranean towns. Display authentic Andalucian and Portuguese bowls and plates in blue and white on walls, or use a few pieces to style coffee and side tables.

Spanish style blue and white ceramics and pottery

Image shared by pomelocasa via Pinterest

Play around with traditional tiling options for fireplace surrounds or around windowsills with intricate patterns of your choice. In Mediterranean apartments and villas, you’ll often find decorative tiles are the flooring of choice- simply for their stunning looks and practical cooling effects.

Barcelona apartment with decorative tile floor

Image shared by revistainteriores via Pinterest

Candle in terracotta pot with coffee espresso on wooden table

Bringing a Mediterranean feel to your living room doesn’t end at just how it looks. To really enhance the vibe, use scents. Try candles, oil diffusers and other home fragrances in citrus lemon, olive, rosemary, or floral notes of bougainvillaea. Using these all year round will help maintain that fresh, airy feeling and instantly transport you and your guests to your favourite holiday destinations.

Model 02 sofa whitewashed interior walls med style

Model 02 sofa in linen fabric by Swyft

Synonymous with Mediterranean architecture are whitewashed walls. Commonly seen on all manner of buildings, this finish was (and still is) the ideal reflector of the summer sun.  Keep that same cooled-down feeling inside your living room with white and off-white walls, adding a little texture in there if you want to do it properly.

Artwork in Mediterranean villa

Image shared by katelesterinteriors via Pinterest

Choose your living space’s artwork based on the Med colour palette, to contrast nicely with those off-white walls and remind you of much-loved sea, sand and sun.

Famous for afternoon siestas and a relaxed pace of life, the Med is all about creating connections with others. Make your own chilled-out social space by using floor cushions and offering up comfy sofas and armchairs in breezy linen fabrics.

Jute rug

Image shared by planetedeco via Pinterest

On the floors, keep it natural with coastal-like rustic jute or seagrass rugs. The idea is to create a space that feels just as serene as a morning at the beach or a sunset drink at a Mediterranean villa. Bellissimo. 

*Source: International tourist arrivals 2021 

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