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Mediterranean Design

By H. Iacobacci-Miller
The Mediterranean design theme is one that is gaining popularity with it's vibrant color scheme and relaxed, clean feel. It's easy to achieve this rich, inviting style with the use of paints, painting techniques and the right accessories.

First, grab up a handful of travel and/or decorating magazines and thumb through to get a general feel for the Mediterranean design theme, the colors, textures and accessories. You'll find that the style tends to be open, airy and full of vibrant blues, yellows and lots of varying textures from the stucco on the walls to the fabrics used on the window treatments. Think sun, ocean and warm breezes……

Now, it's time to pick your colors. If the thought of a cobalt blue wall frightens you, try a washing technique to tone down the blue or choose shades of ochre or creamy whites. To add depth and texture, washing or stippling techniques work well and can give your walls an aged feel.

Depending on the room, you might want to change your flooring. Rich burnt-orange, terracotta tiles work well for a Mediterranean kitchen, bathroom or sunroom. Natural or white washed pine flooring is another option, or add grass or rush mats.

When it comes to accessorizing your Mediterranean room, keep in mind the relaxed feel that defines the Mediterranean region. Wrought iron candelabras or sconces add weight and texture. Terracotta pots filled with rich greenery are inexpensive accessories and can be left as-is or hand painted and aged. Cobalt blue glass can be found at nearly every antique mall or flea market and it's an inexpensive way to add a splash of color to any room. Hand painted tiles make rich looking coasters, trivets or candle holders.

When it comes to fabrics, always choose fabrics that feel nice to you. Just because they're pretty, doesn't mean they're comfortable. Gauzy curtains work well in a Mediterranean room. They won't compete with the rich colors on the walls and keep your room open and airy. When you have a window open and the curtains blow in the breeze, you can almost believe you're in a Mediterranean villa. Add a variety of toss pillows with ethnic designs, colors and textures. Beaded fringe and trims always add an air of luxury.

If you're looking to completely transform your room with new furniture as well, rustic pine and wrought iron furniture works well in the Mediterranean design. You can easily re-stain or paint existing furniture and slipcover any couch or chair. How far you go is up to you.

With these design ideas, you can create your own Mediterranean retreat.