Mediterranean house: architecture, ideas, inspiration & pictures

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Mediterranean Houses

Originated in countries north of the Mediterranean Sea, including Spain, Greece and Italy, Mediterranean style has claimed its popularity from coast to coast especially in the Philippines. From textured walls and warm colors to wrought iron balconies and flourished landscaping, Mediterranean style simply oozes your home with grandeur and distinct character.

Selecting, balancing and maintaining these features can prove quite the challenge; but not to despair, as we have provided the key elements and essential components to create the gracious and vivid appeal of a Mediterranean house.

1. The key elements of a Mediterranean house

Mediterranean houses echo the relaxed lifestyle of the region and draw on multiple design elements to create an elegant look and feel. Red tiled roofs are the most common roofing design used in a Mediterranean style house. These are shaped like half a tube to shed water easily and the air pocket in the tunnel of the half-tube helps to keep air cool. Moreover, the tiles are fire-proof, so it is the ultimate choice for houses.

For centuries, stucco has proven to be one of the most enduring, versatile and weather resistant exterior wall finishes available; and with its variety of colors and textures, stucco continues to be one of the most popular wall systems. Stucco walls are the common wall systems for a Mediterranean styled home to protect the exterior wall surfaces from rain, sunlight and hot temperatures, which are all evident in the Philippine climate.

The feature of arches goes back to Roman times, and is a self-supporting element that allows building of lighter weight and sturdier walls. Each of the stones next to the keystone in the arch atop the side columns distributes weight to the sides and downward.

Ornamental detail is another important key element. Houses usually feature flourishes ranging from large, heavy wooden doors with ornate carvings to the use of multicolored tiles for the risers of staircases.

In addition, mosaic tile designs embody the beauty of a Mediterranean interior. Bring the designs into your home on the floor or a kitchen backsplash or on something you can take with you if you move, like a mirror frame or a tabletop. You can also simulate the look of tile with a stenciled mosaic border on floors, walls or furniture. Compliment this feature with accessories like burnished bronze urns and filigree light fixtures to exemplify a Mediterranean look.

2. Warm colors that compliment your Mediterranean house

Mediterranean houses display the warmth and character of the region surrounding the sea it’s named for. Both the sea and surrounding land of this area are reflected through the use of warm and cool color palettes that feature a melting pot of cultures, design options and visually pleasing homes.

Azure, cool greens and the neutral white palette can decorate the exterior and interior of the home as well as the warm color palette reflected by the choice of gold, earthy terra cottas and bright yellows. This potpourri of color choices tie the climate of the Mediterranean and Philippine region with its artistic and eclectic design choices resulting in a truly unique architectural style.

3. Architectural features for your Mediterranean house

This style is a distinct design that features the showcasing of structures that will define your home more. If you have the space in your front or back yard, adding an extra architectural feature like a pergola, gazebo or fountain will not only make it look better, but will make it more livable. Hire the perfect landscape designer and architect, and enjoy the desired output.

A gazebo can offer you a bit of shade while capturing the Mediterranean feel. Consider adding sheer curtains to the exterior of the gazebo or even a retractable screen that gives you a bit more seclusion while keeping bugs at bay. For shade or just a place to sit, pergolas are another option.

Fountains can also provide an attractive, calming aspect. If you don't have a view of water, you might want to include some sort of fountain or pond in your yard to embrace this element that is so important in Mediterranean style. A water feature like a fish pond or water garden can add the relaxing, peaceful sound of cascading water.

4. Mediterranean landscaping ideas

Lush foliage is best suited to Mediterranean-style homes. Drought-tolerant plants are a great look and also provide a riot of color, not only in bloom but in foliage. Leafy trees provide both interest and a thoughtful ecological approach to the Mediterranean garden.

Beautiful golden paths lined with Bougainvillea, Calachuchi, Euphorbia, and a sprinkling of planted pots will liven up your front yard and backyard garden. While of course you'll want to keep the greenery in your front yard in order, adding large planters and vines will give off a lush garden feel without the maintenance.

5. Mediterranean-styled pathways for your home

Any home that looks inviting from the street needs a path or walkway leading to the front door. Mediterranean homes lend themselves to several options.

Paths of decomposed granite which have the added bonus of being both inexpensive and drought resistant will bring the convenience and appeal to your front yard.

Terra-cotta pavers or Spanish tiles are also perfect for landscaping. The same materials can be incorporated elsewhere on the front of you home, like on stairs, porches or patios — even walls.

Also, the Mediterranean is one of the few styles that frequently include a courtyard. Too often we find that homeowners treat this as forgotten outdoor space. Go beyond by just adding a few potted plants or flowers and make it into an extension of your home as an outdoor living room. With some simple outdoor furniture, it can become a wonderful space for entertaining guests or just relaxing and reading a book.

Phantom retractable screens for arched porches and courtyards can give you privacy without detracting from the curb appeal of your home. Recessed into arches and columns, the screens are not visible unless in use.

These bold and striking ideas about Mediterranean style showcases an exterior that is immediately recognizable and offers stunning interior curb appeal with its use of smooth stucco exterior walls, substantial columned beams, soaring entrances, ornate ironwork and balconies, large viewing windows and tiled roofs.