If there’s a style that comes closest to the warm, cozy, and inviting kitchens of our fantasies, it’s definitely Mediterranean. Full of strong, bold colors and intricate details, there’s a very earthy and welcoming heart that beats in the center of a Mediterranean style kitchen.
The style is a diverse mix of contrasting and complementary elements – hues both rich and dark stand in stark contrast with cream and white accents, the solidity of wood and metal married with graceful, flowing designs. Truly a style deeply rooted in eclectic diversity.
If the mere thought of spending time cooking in a Mediterranean-inspired kitchen already has you making your own mood board, here are 7 essential design elements and tips to keep in mind.
Rich, natural color palette
Mediterranean color palettes draw heavily from the natural landscapes and flora of the region. Spicy reds, rich yellows, terra cotta earth tones, and ocean blues embody the Mediterranean color palette. Don’t be too hung up on just the colors, though; make sure all of the different colors are tied together with clever usage of Mediterranean decorative elements and accessories.
Gracefully swooping curves
Speaking of decorative elements, one of the most highly conspicuous attributes of Mediterranean design is its heavy use of sweeping curves and sinuous curlicues. As heavy and solid as the dark wood tones of Mediterranean furniture may make them appear, they still exude a strong sense of movement through elaborate carving. These graceful forms add a sense of fluidity to an otherwise angular kitchen and kitchen cabinets.
Signature hand-painted tile work
These ornate patterns and designs are also commonly found in the Mediterranean style’s signature hand-painted tiles. Whether you use stylish mosaic tiles to form your custom backsplash or cover your kitchen floor with Saltillo floor tiles to add another level of earthy warmth to your kitchen, tiles are an indispensable staple of the Mediterranean style.
Heavy metal accents
In keeping with the very earthy look of the Mediterranean style, metals play a large part in this style’s design aesthetic. Wrought iron, in particular, can add visual weight to and further accentuate the swooping flourishes of a Mediterranean-inspired kitchen. A wrought iron pot rack full of copper cookware is the perfect addition to your largely wood-and-earth space.
The metal accents mentioned above work exceedingly well when paired with rustic lighting choices for your kitchen. A large, wrought iron chandelier placed above your kitchen island can make for a very eye-catching statement that exudes old-world charm. Smaller wrought iron pendant lights with long iron chains and wrought iron candelabras are also good choices for both task and accent lighting.
Raised textures on walls
Nothing says earthy as much as the Mediterranean style’s textured, plaster-finished walls. Walls done in this style don’t just look good thanks to their natural hues, they also add a tactile dimension and depth to their aesthetic appeal. Whether you go for a smooth and refined look with Venetian plaster or opt for rougher stucco, textured walls add a touch of old-world charm to any space. You can add raised textures to finished walls by adding sand or coffee grounds to paint.
Dark wood tones and natural elements
When it comes to Mediterranean styled and inspired furniture and finishes, dark wood tones are the dominant choice. Rich hued wood varieties such as walnut are commonly used. Don’t forget to accentuate them further with deep staining and ornate decorative detailing. Exposed wood beams, another important element of Mediterranean design, can be stained with a darker finish to contrast with the ceiling. The dark wood tones will also contrast nicely with creamy granite counter tops and earthy textured walls.