Crazy about medicine! Add a touch of continental charm to your home with natural materials and sunny colors
Bringing a fresh Mediterranean feel to your home doesn’t have to mean a cliched shell scheme, coastal prints and seaside blues and whites.
Far from it. But, at the same time, summer is the perfect time to take advantage of European interiors with their natural materials, soft pastels and sun-bleached shades of terracotta.
“It’s not about slavishly restoring a Mediterranean home,” says Italian interior designer Roby Baldan (robybaldan interiors.com).
Southern Comfort: Kitchen with Sage Sprout handmade Bert & May tile on the floor
“It has more to do with the joyful feeling of warmth and the slower pace of life you breathe in this part of the world.
“Consider adding items that welcome you to lie down and take your day a little slower. A chaise longue or couch, upholstered, for example, in a soft fabric, or a Berber carpet that gives tactility and lightness.’
Here’s how to channel a sunnier climate year-round.
To keep the look current, avoid bold patterns and instead contrast pops of color with subtler details. Think a collection of ceramic plates against a white wall—check out the Matisse-inspired plates at LRNCE Studio (lrnce.com)—or a cane chair sitting on a striped rug.
“Mediterranean schemes look fresh and easy,” says designer Belen White Compass (studiobeleta.com), known for her softly European schemes. “They’re never heavy, but they blend colors like yellow, blue, green and terracotta neatly.”
Adapt the trend to the milder British climate, so opt for flat-weave geometric rugs instead of traditional tiled flooring. Try Anthropologie’s blue and white hand tufted Burke rug, £299 (anthropologie.com), or Oliver Bonas’ indoor/outdoor Reversible Geometric Rendezvous rug, £69.50 (oliverbonas.com).
The key to this relaxed Southern European look is the idea of craftsmanship.
“Now there’s a general return to craft and an appreciation of artisans and the process of making,” says Roby. “At the heart of the Mediterranean look is a respect for handwork.”
Therefore, presenting wicker baskets, rustic textiles, ceramics, handmade rugs and imperfect painted pottery is a good way to bring Honey into your home.
Robbie suggests looking at Atelier Vime ( ateliervime.com ), which specializes in locally made wicker with a contemporary aesthetic, or timeless rattan furniture from Soane Britain ( soane.co.uk ).
Consider using natural materials for hard finishes, such as kitchen worktops and shower enclosures, for a softer, more relaxed look.
“Try a terrazzo kitchen worktop or use Tadelakt (Moroccan plaster) in the bathroom,” says Roby. “Decorative microcement works just as well in the bathroom, but has the same visual impact.”
Another option is to choose a traditional design in an unexpected finish, such as terracotta tiles in a hallway laid out in a herringbone pattern, or a bold geometry used as a feature wall – see the selection of handmade European-style tiles at Bert & May (bertandmay .com ).
Enjoy the fruit
Fruit motifs are a playful way to show off this trend – try The Sette’s Lemon tablecloth, inspired by Italian summer (thesette.com).
“Dress your table in terracotta shades combined with the warm yellow tones of the sun,” say founders Sophie Lamott and Chloe Bueza. “Using bold fruit and vegetable prints in your tableware and home accessories will also bring a decorative touch of Italian market culture to your home.”
Bring nature’s gifts indoors with large foliage and indoor trees planted in wicker baskets.
“Consider using elements of the outside world to enhance your space,” says Patricia Gibbons of sofa.com. “The long grasses and weathered woods have wonderful colors and textures. Use glass bottles as vases and nets for hanging plants.’