In the last 10 to 15 years, holidaymakers from the UK have been making parts of the Med into their home away from home. The sun, warmth and the feeling of relaxation which being close to the sea can invoke is something which many home-owners try to recreate by giving their home a Mediterranean make-over.
The Mediterranean look is probably one of the most versatile looks you can create for your home. It pulls influences from Spain, France, Italy and Greece together, allowing you to mix and match styles in a way which other decorating styles don't allow. In addition, most people go to these destinations on their holidays on a fairly regular basis, allowing you the chance to bring back new items which will fit into your British Mediterranean home.
Walls should be painted in warm tones of yellows, reds, terracotta and corals. If you don't want to go too bright, try a light beige and warm it up with splashes or accent walls of deep reds and bright yellow. Other accents can be added with olive green and gold furnishings. Take your cue from the environment you find on the Med. Your walls can also be colour-washed to achieve an aged look. For a cleaner look try white walls and accent them with azure blues and teals.
Natural materials such as stone and ceramic are always a feature of Mediterranean homes. Obviously in warmer countries the usefulness of a stone floor is more than just its good looks. But here in the UK you can still have a stone or ceramic floor, but you will need to warm it up with the addition of soft rugs. Use tiles to cover walls and even tabletops.
Furniture should be simple and in natural woods. Wood fits in well with the overall colour scheme and can be easily softened by the addition of cushions and throws in typical Mediterranean colours.
Try adding tapestries using countryside themes to both your walls and furniture. This will add warmth and interest.
Keep your home very simple and almost rustic. Your home needs to reflect the simple way of life of the rural area you are trying to recreate. Use accessories you have picked up on your holidays to enhance this simple and unstructured style. Wicker baskets, hanging pots and pans even drift wood and shells can create a seaside look, even if you don't have the view to match. Try adding Greek urns, stone or marble statues and oil paintings to keep the ancient Italian or Greek theme.
Bring the outdoors indoors as much as you can. While our climate may not allow us to use outdoor space to the same extent as our Mediterranean cousins, it is still possible to adorn your home with potted flowers and plants. If you have a conservatory you will even be able to grow plants which are native to the Med such as mini olive and citrus trees. A water fountain in the garden or even inside can also give your outdoor space some of that Mediterranean charm. Obviously vines with grapes hanging down can create a little oasis in your back garden and could even produce a bottle of wine or two.
Essentially you can let your imagination run wild with this theme. Because of the mix of styles, it is not necessary to stick to one country theme too closely. You can follow the ancient ruins type of theme or you can do a modern Spanish villa. The choice is yours. Just keep it simple, sunny and warm.