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A Guide to Mediterranean Interior Design: Styles, Colour Schemes, and Contemporary Ibiza Touches

Mediterranean interior design has long been admired for its relaxed and inviting ambience. Originating from the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, this design style is characterised by a blend of traditional elements, rustic charm, and vibrant colour schemes.


Imagine the romantic aesthetics of Southern European countries: light and warm tones in colour scheme, as well as the extensive use of natural materials such as ceramics, wood, wrought iron and cotton. This design combines boldness, simplicity and convenience.


The boho and contemporary Ibiza influences have added a fresh, modern touch to this timeless design style in recent years.


In this guide, I will delve into the various aspects of Mediterranean interior design, including its origins and influences, key characteristics, and essential materials. I will also explore the integration of boho and Ibiza elements, the importance of outdoor living, and provide tips for creating your own Mediterranean-inspired space.


Origins and Influences of the Mediterranean Interior Design Style

Mediterranean interior design is influenced by the Mediterranean region's rich history and diverse cultures, including countries such as Spain, Italy, Greece, and Morocco. These countries' architecture and design styles have evolved over centuries, incorporating elements from various historical periods, including ancient Roman and Greek civilisations, Moorish influences, and the Renaissance period.


Spanish Architecture
Spanish Architecture


Visiting the Alhambra, in Granada, Spain
Visiting the Alhambra, in Granada, Spain

Alhambra
Alhambra

The Mediterranean's unique geography and climate also play a significant role in shaping its design style. With its sun-drenched landscapes, sandy beaches, and lush vegetation, it's no wonder that Mediterranean interiors are known for their warm, welcoming, and carefree atmosphere.



Marsaxlokk Malta
Marsaxlokk Malta

Key Characteristics of Mediterranean Interior Design


Traditional Elements

Mediterranean interior design is rooted in tradition, with many of its key elements reflecting the region's rich cultural heritage.


Some common features found in Mediterranean homes include:

  • Arched doorways and windows

  • Exposed wooden ceiling beams

  • Ornate ironwork

  • Decorative tile work

  • Built-in seating and storage


Decorative tile work
Decorative tile work

These traditional elements help to create a sense of history and charm, giving Mediterranean spaces a distinct character and warmth.


Typical Mediteranean arches in Southern Spain
Typical Mediterranean arches in Southern Spain

Colour Schemes

Colour plays a crucial role in Mediterranean interior design, with vibrant hues inspired by the region's stunning landscapes.


Stunning sunset at my home in Vilamarxant, Valencia
Stunning sunset at my home in Vilamarxant, Valencia

Typical colour schemes include:

  • Warm earth tones, such as terracotta, ochre, and sand

  • Bright blues and greens, evoking the sea and lush foliage

  • Pops of bold colours, such as red, yellow, and orange, inspired by the region's vibrant flowers and sunsets

These lively colour schemes create a sense of energy and warmth, making Mediterranean interiors feel inviting and cheerful.


Greek streets
Greek streets

Rustic and Carefree Ambiance

At its core, Mediterranean design is all about embracing a carefree and relaxed lifestyle. This is reflected in the use of rustic and weathered materials, such as:

  • Distressed wood

  • Aged metal

  • Worn textiles

  • Rough-hewn stone


Open living space my Valencian country home.
Open living space in my Valencian country home.

These materials, combined with a laid-back decorating approach, help to create a sense of ease and comfort that is quintessential to Mediterranean design.


Wooden bench
Wooden bench

The Boho Touch in Mediterranean Design


Boho Interior Design Elements

Boho interior design, short for bohemian, is characterised by its eclectic mix of patterns, textures, and colours. This style is all about personal expression, creativity, and embracing a sense of freedom and individuality. Read here my blog on the boho interior style.


Some key elements of boho design include:

  • Layered textiles, such as rugs, pillows, and throws

  • A mix of patterns and vibrant colours

  • Vintage and antique furniture

  • Handcrafted and globally inspired accessories


Macrame Wallhanging
Macrame Wallhanging

Integrating Boho Style with Mediterranean Design

The boho touch adds a layer of depth and interest to Mediterranean interiors, creating a more eclectic and expressive atmosphere.


To integrate boho elements into Mediterranean design, consider:

  • Adding colourful and patterned textiles to your space, such as Moroccan-inspired rugs or kilim pillows

  • ·Incorporating vintage furniture and accessories, such as antique brass lamps or carved wooden mirrors

  • Layering textures and materials, such as combining a rustic wooden table with plush seating and soft linens


The Contemporary Ibiza Influence


Defining Ibiza Interior Style

Ibiza offers a diverse range of interior design styles, including refined rustic, worldly eclectic, cosy contemporary, minimalism, traditional countryside, and clean white-on-white. The popularity of this island, frequented by affluent tourists and expats have developed the interior design style, combining refined rustic styles with modern accents, while worldly eclectic mixes modern pieces with ethnic and oriental vibes.


Cosy contemporary is defined by comfort and simplicity, while minimalism offers a serene and peaceful space with a clean, crisp look. While the traditional countryside combines traditional style and modern elements, while clean white-on-white creates a minimalist, modern space in the bustling centres.


That Ibiza's interior style is characterised by its modern, minimalist approach to Mediterranean design. Drawing inspiration from the island's renowned party scene and luxury villas, these Ibiza-style interiors are sleek, sophisticated, and glamorous.


Modern Mediterranean luxury villa
Modern Mediterranean luxury villa

Some key elements of Ibiza interior design include:

  • Clean lines and minimal ornamentation

  • A neutral colour palette with pops of vibrant hues

  • Luxurious materials, such as marble, concrete, and metallic accents

  • Contemporary furnishings and lighting

How to Incorporate Ibiza Elements into Mediterranean Design

To infuse your Mediterranean interior with a contemporary Ibiza influence, consider incorporating the following elements:


  • Streamlined furniture with minimal detailing

  • A neutral colour palette with bold accents, such as a statement piece of artwork or colourful cushions

  • Modern lighting, such as pendant lights or floor lamps

  • Luxurious materials and finishes, such as polished concrete floors or marble countertops


Luxury kitchen in mediterranean setting

Luxury bedroom in mediterranean setting

Embracing Outdoor Living in Mediterranean Design

Importance of Outdoor Spaces

Outdoor living is an integral part of Mediterranean culture and design, with the region's warm climate and stunning landscapes providing the perfect backdrop for alfresco living. Mediterranean homes often feature spacious outdoor areas, such as courtyards, terraces, and gardens, which are designed for relaxation, dining, and entertaining.


Outdoor living in Greece
Outdoor living in Greece

Design Tips for Outdoor Living Areas

To create a Mediterranean-inspired outdoor living space, consider the following design tips:

  • Use natural materials, such as stone, terracotta, and wood, to create a rustic and inviting atmosphere

  • Incorporate greenery and colourful plants, such as bougainvillea, jasmine, and olive trees

  • Create shaded areas for relaxation, using pergolas, canopies, or large umbrellas

  • Incorporate comfortable seating and dining areas, using built-in benches, daybeds, or outdoor furniture

  • Add outdoor lighting to create a warm and welcoming ambiance during the evening hours


Patio with lots of greenery
Patio with lots of greenery

Carefree Mediterranean Dining
Carefree Mediterranean Dining

Essential Materials for Mediterranean Design


Terracotta

Terracotta is a hallmark material of Mediterranean design, thanks to its warm, earthy colour and rustic texture. This versatile material can be used in various ways, such as:

  • Terracotta floor and wall tiles

  • Decorative accents, such as pots and vases

  • Outdoor elements, such as planters and fountains


Terracotta as decor accents
Terracotta as decor accents

Natural Textiles and Materials

Mediterranean design embraces the use of natural textiles and materials, which add warmth, texture, and character to a space.


boho sun umbrellas in a beach bar setting

Some popular materials include:

  • Linen and cotton textiles for bedding, curtains, and upholstery

  • Woven materials, such as rattan and wicker, for furniture and accessories

  • Natural stone, such as limestone and marble, for flooring, countertops, and architectural elements

  • Ceramic tiles


Mediterranean dining with natural stone flooring
Mediterranean dining with natural stone flooring

Tiles play a crucial role in Mediterranean interior design, adding a touch of vibrancy and colour to the space. Mediterranean homes commonly feature eclectic tiles on floors, walls, and even ceilings. These tiles come in various styles, shapes, and colours, and are used to create striking decorative elements.


Tiles can also be used as a splashback in the kitchen or to create a graphic effect on the floor. The use of tiles is also practical in Mediterranean interior design, as they offer a durable and easy-to-clean alternative to rugs.


Bold use of tiles in this modern Mediterranean bathroom
Bold use of tiles in this modern Mediterranean bathroom


Tips for Creating a Mediterranean-Inspired Space

To create your own Mediterranean-inspired interior, consider incorporating the following tips:

  • Choose a warm and vibrant colour scheme, inspired by the Mediterranean landscape

  • Incorporate traditional elements, such as arched doorways, exposed wooden beams, and decorative tile work

  • Create a rustic and carefree ambience using weathered materials and a laid-back decorating approach

  • Add boho and Ibiza influences for an eclectic and modern twist

  • Embrace outdoor living by creating inviting alfresco spaces

  • Use a mix of natural materials, such as terracotta, stone, and textiles, to add warmth and character to your space


Romantic Mediterranean courtyard
Romantic Mediterranean courtyard

Final Words

Mediterranean interior design offers a timeless and versatile style that can be adapted to suit a variety of tastes and preferences. By incorporating elements of tradition, colour, and natural materials, you can create a warm, inviting, and carefree space that reflects the essence of Mediterranean living.


With the addition of boho and contemporary Ibiza influences, you can also achieve a more eclectic and modern aesthetic that is both unique and stylish.


 

Would you like to learn more about Interior Design? Or perhaps become an interior designer yourself? Follow in my footsteps and study Interior Design with The Interior Design Institute where I could be your personal tutor. Click here to read more and receive a discount.


rustic natural materials and vaulted ceiling


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Hi! Thanks for stopping by!

I am Marieke, a Dutch Australian interior designer, business executive, tutor, content creator and social media influencer.

 

I also write blogs on styling tips, makeovers, interior design, food and Instagram insights.

Let the posts come to you.

I'll keep you posted!

Struggling with interior decisions? Book an online brainstorming session with me and turn ideas into plans.

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