Whether in Greece, Spain, France or Croatia, the Mediterranean lifestyle is coveted by millions of people who've had the opportunity to sample the food, climate and culture of this sunlit region. It's therefore unsurprising that Mediterranean style is a key inspiration for many interior designers, who seek to recreate the peaceful tranquillity of those white-washed villas overlooking a turquoise ocean in homes all around the world.
Inspired by the sun, sea, sand, and sky, Mediterranean decor is bright, breezy and romantic. Natural materials like wood, stone and cotton are key components of the look, with white the most important colour in the palette. Whitewashed wood, white plaster walls, and white linen sheets can all be used to set the scene and soft furnishings should be almost exclusively white, with the exception of cushions and table runners. Rich accent colours provide a charming contrast, with olive, deep orange, azure and terracotta some of the most popular choices.
Mediterranean design reflects an affinity with nature and an outdoors lifestyle, so this style will best suit homes that receive plenty of natural light and have an open, welcoming layout. Gardens and terraces should become key communal spaces, with dark wood and canvas or rattan tables and seating. This villa in Capri should inspire your imagination: the white canvas chairs and large pot plants scattered around the terrace create a romantic yet laidback atmosphere that's perfect for lunch in the sunshine. Inside, wide windows, arched doorways and tall ceilings ensure that each room feels airy and spacious.
Just as traditional interiors spill outside onto patios, nature is welcomed into Mediterranean homes with open arms. Curtains should be made from a translucent material like voile, allowing the sun to shine in during the day and illuminate the room. Fresh flowers and potted plants bring in life and light, adding splashes of colour that stand out against whitewashed walls and wooden accents.
When selecting your pot plants, choose flora that grows freely in the Mediterranean. Palms, ferns and orchids can all thrive in the right conditions, and succulents like aloe vera can be grown for a practical purpose as well as for their aesthetic appeal. Fresh cut flowers should be wild and eclectic. Choose whatever is in season or growing in your garden and arrange the blooms in a milk jug or vintage carafe.
Once you have these key elements in place, you're ready to start on the most exciting part of decorating any property: choosing unique finishing touches to put your personal stamp on your new home. The Engel & Völkers Interiors online shop is filled with carefully selected pieces, taking inspiration from the cultures and aesthetics of the many countries we have a presence in, so it's the ideal place to search for Mediterranean lighting, accessories and furniture.
Our Antique Wooden Bowl is designed with clear Greek influences, and makes an excellent centrepiece for a wooden coffee table. The Rattan Detail Thermos and matching Rattan Tray add style to an al fresco breakfast setting, set among colourful bowls filled with yoghurt, fruit and nuts. In the evenings, our Set of Two Vintage Wood Lanterns cast a romantic glow over hours spent enjoying the classic Mediterranean combination of good food, good wine and good company.