Mediterranean style can be found anywhere in the world, but it originated in the coastal countries of the Mediterranean, stretching from Spain all the way to Turkey. Italy gets a lot of credit for Mediterranean style, but its cultural and historical influences are extremely broad. Ultimately, this style focuses on simple, understated and elegant luxury, making it particularly well-suited for bathrooms.
Because it spans so many countries, cultures and eras, Mediterranean-style is quite malleable and resists hard-and-fast categorization. However, there are certain elements of this design style that are fairly consistent, having survived through the ages due to their versatility, comfort and attractiveness. Certain key components of a Mediterranean bathroom are needed to be considered to achieve that relaxed, traditional, and grand aura.
One of the hallmarks of Mediterranean bathroom design is the use of a particular color palette Mediterranean design tends to incorporate colors inspired by the natural beauty of the Mediterranean regions, often featuring deep, warm earth tones like browns and rusty reds, as well as bright, sun-washed hues including crisp whites, warm yellows, bright turquoises and brilliant blues. Colors can be deployed as a primary scheme on walls, ceilings and floors, or they can be used as accents throughout the design, on backsplashes, bathroom accessories and linens. Some homeowners choose to focus on one tone for a more monochromatic approach, whereas others will mix and match from the full range of Mediterranean-style colors.
Moreover, characterized by the use of trademark colors like ochre, terracotta and soothing blues, Mediterranean-style bathrooms tend to feature surfaces that are matte or distressed, rather than sleek, shiny or modern in appearance. The prevailing theme is comfort and relaxed elegance, in a space that feels more like a vacation villa than a place to visit prior to your morning commute.
Mediterranean-style bathrooms often have a heavy emphasis on tile. Traditional terracotta-style tile can be found on counters, cabinets and sink tops, as well as in showers. This style of tile is now available in a wide range of colors and looks, including sleek, glossy versions and weathered, matte finishes. For more uniqueness, ornate backsplashes or wall tile in hand-crafted mosaics bring a luxurious feel to your bathroom.
Floors may be traditional terracotta tile or marble; sandy, natural colors and finishes are popular. Hand-painted or distressed finishes on wood furniture or trim can add to the laid-back feel, and some styles even feature murals or garden scenes on walls or hung artwork.
When it comes to furniture in Mediterranean bathrooms, the casual, comfortable and sun-drenched feel is often extended. Benches, cabinets and chairs in natural wood, often painted in trademark Mediterranean colors like rust, yellow and bright blue, can add a lively, color-saturated element to the design. Furniture may sometimes feature natural weathering or hand-distressing for an even more casual and relaxed design. Some bathrooms are connected to your personal dressing room, so make sure Mediterranean style flows in continuity with the colors. Think about tangerine cabinets with blue handles for a Moroccan touch to your dressing room..
Another design element that's often featured in Mediterranean bathrooms is the curved or arched doorway for bathroom entrances or shower stalls. This distinctive architectural style is a classic trademark of Mediterranean design, and it can make any bathroom immediately recognizable as one that features this style. This flowing, curved style can also be reflected in the shape of elements like mirrors or furniture.
Textures and patterns are also heavily featured in Mediterranean-style bathrooms. Terracotta or mosaic-style backsplashes may feature abstract patterns or depict scenes of life by the sea. Curtains and linens often feature intricate patterns, and walls are often textured via glazing or applied textures like stucco. Imagine taking the perfect steam bath while appreciating the beauty of textures and patterns in your bathroom. Inlaid patterns on furniture, plus distinctive ornamentation like fringes or expertly carved arms and legs on chairs or tables, can continue the ornate style that's at once casual and formal, elegant and relaxed.
Accessories and decor in Mediterranean-style bathrooms often continue the theme of laid-back luxury, with artwork featuring pastoral scenes or seascapes and natural elements like plants or stones all common. Fixtures like faucets and showerheads are often made from traditional metals like bronze and copper, sometimes featuring distressed or oil-rubbed looks
Lighting is a key feature of Mediterranean-style bathrooms, with natural taking a starring role. If your bathroom design features a window or multiple windows, make sure that any curtains or shades are semi-transparent to ensure that sufficient light will enter the space. For the lighting scheme in the bathroom, many homeowners choose a mix of task and decorative lighting, with task lighting illuminating the shower and sink areas, and decorative lights placed strategically below and above cabinets to create a space that's lighter and brighter still.