There’s something truly special about the Mediterranean and the beautiful homes that look out over the sea. Whether your inspiration stems from Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Morocco, or more, it’s easy to incorporate the feeling of a European paradise into your living room.
If you’re pining for white-washed buildings against a sapphire blue seascape, check out these ideas for a Mediterranean-style living room.
18 Ideas for a Mediterranean Style Living Room
- Choose Natural, Earthy Colors
- Bring the Mediterranean Sea Inside
- Encourage Conversation
- Add Spanish Flair with Dark Colors and Textures
- It’s All About Archways
- Go for Vintage Decor
- Expose Those Beams
- Warm Up the Room with Romantic Lighting
- Contrast Old and New
- Moroccan Atmosphere
- Let the Light In
- Show Off Stoneware
- Create an Island Oasis with House Plants
- Embrace Gold Tones
- Go Monochrome
- Keep Things Light and Bright
- Go All-Natural
- Get Medieval
The first design element that really makes a Mediterranean room stand out is the natural color palette. If you’re going for a more Greek-inspired look, white-washed walls are a must (more on that later).
By contrast, a Spanish or Italian look can get away with being a little darker, more inspired by the colors of stoneware that permeate through this design style. Rich browns, tans, beiges, and greys all work well to compliment small accents in blue or red.
2. Bring the Mediterranean Sea Inside
If you’re going for a look that screams oceanside European villa, be sure to bring some blue into your space. deep azures contrasted with light and bright walls call to mind images of the whitewashed houses of Santorini or the sparkle of the sunlight on the Meditteranean Sea in the summer.
Try layering different shades of blue against light and bright surfaces using throw pillows for a casual seaside look.
3. Encourage Conversation
The living room is the perfect place to incorporate the laid-back and familial style of the Mediterranean. You want your space to be warm and inviting; the kind of place where the family gathers together and creates memories.
Try a sectional sofa that curves around in a U-shape, creating an intimate atmosphere that encourages lively conversation and interaction.
4. Add Spanish Flair with Dark Colors and Textures
There’s something truly special about Spanish architecture. To bring some of that rich and regal atmosphere to your living room, think colors and textures. Choose items in heavy, dark woods and metals, like the lighting fixture, candelabras, and mirror pictured.
These elements add a medieval feel fit for Queen Isabella herself, but if you like your decor on the more modern side, make sure that their shapes and silhouettes are more streamlined.
5. It’s All About Archways
From entryways, windows, doors, and more, curves and arches dominate the Mediterranean design style. This design style is all about soft, natural curves, so be careful not to overdo it with sharp straight lines and instead opt for round furnishings and elements.
If you’re remodeling with a Mediterranean aesthetic in mind, consider adding large, arched windows that bring in lots of natural light, or adding an archway to existing open-plan space.
6. Go for Vintage Decor
Few decor styles are as far away from modern as the Mediterranean style. You want your design scheme to have a lived-in look, so surround yourself with decor that has a vintage feel. Look for items in antique stores, flea markets, or estate sales. On the other hand, when buying items new, look for pieces in rich warm woods, leathers, and metals that have just a hint of patina to give your living room a sense of time and history.
7. Expose Those Beams
Common threads in Mediterranean design include light walls, neutral tones, and exposed beams. If you’re lucky enough to have beams exposed in your house, let them shine! Exposed beams should be a feature, so plan your decor to match and/or complement the beams.
Matching your flooring (hardwood, laminate, carpets, or rugs), to the tone and shades of your beams will contrast nicely with the light wall colors and open up space, making it feel bigger.
8. Warm Up the Room with Romantic Lighting
Mediterranean design is all about natural tones and colors, taking inspiration from oceanside elements like stone, wood, and sand. Your lighting scheme should be no different. In fact, you want your lighting to complement the natural tones of your decor and also give your living room a vintage, old-world atmosphere.
Embrace natural light during the day by letting the sunshine through open windows, but for the evening, choose warm, low lighting and distribute it evenly throughout the room.
9. Contrast Old and New
You don’t have to time travel back to the 19th century to fully embrace a beautiful Mediterranean scheme. If your tastes lean a little bit more modern, you want to enhance any natural statement pieces in your living room (like big windows, stoneware, exposed beams) by decorating with modern, streamlined pieces.
I love this example because the classic chandelier echoes old-fashioned candlelight chandeliers, but with a simple, minimalist silhouette.
10. Moroccan Atmosphere
If you’re inspired by the Mediterranean, you don’t have to emulate Greece or France. If you’re looking for a little bit more of a Middle-Eastern feel in your living room, take inspiration from this example. The wide low-rise sofa, patterned rug, and groupings of lanterns give off streamlined, modern versions of classic Moroccan shapes and silhouettes.
To take it even further, incorporate more warm tones like reds, golds, and burgundies in your decor, lighting, and soft furnishings.
11. Let the Light In
One of the biggest draws of a Mediterranean decor style is the big windows that let in lots of natural light and connect the outdoors with the indoors. Unfortunately, not every home or living room will have the luxury of huge, beautiful open windows. Try to embrace all the light available to you.
If your windows look good without dressings, show them off! However, if you’d prefer a bit more privacy, choose curtains in a thin, light, natural fabric that allows the light to pour in.
12. Show Off Stoneware
If you’re lucky enough to have a beautiful stone wall in your house, show it off as an accent! Remember that Mediterranean style is all about embracing natural elements and there’s nothing better than a brick or stone wall to bring the natural elements indoors.
If your stoneware is a darker color, consider lightening it by painting the stone a white or off-white, or for a more subtle look, whitewash the stone with a diluted paint solution. This, contrasted with darker floors, opens up the room and allows the natural light to fill the space.
13. Create an Island Oasis with House Plants
Bring the seaside ambiance into your living room by incorporating a variety of plants and trees. Choose plants in different sizes, from trees that sit in the corners to small plants that rest on the coffee table. When choosing plants, make sure that they complement the space in terms of color, size, and climate.
What is the lighting situation in your living room? Does the plant look good with the color palette you’ve chosen? How many plants do you need to fill out your space properly?
14. Embrace Gold Tones
A Greek or Spanish influence is nice, but if your heart is in Italy, bring in the beautiful golden tones of the Tuscan fields to warm up your space. Paint your walls a light, warm off-white and accent with warm-toned lighting. In your furniture, choose dark wood and upholstery in reds and golds.
Up the ante by echoing the Italian renaissance through ornate, Baroque decor and accents for a more luxurious feel (Check out the chandelier fireplace and crown molding in this example).
15. Go Monochrome
Sometimes you don’t want a whole lot of color. For some, the living room is most serene when the color palette is focused on only one or two colors in varying shades and tones. For a Mediterranean scheme, play with whites, creams, browns, and beiges to emulate stoneware or a rocky shore to create a cohesive, calming, and natural scheme.
Mix it up with some metallic accents. Monochrome palettes give you a chance to play around with textures and patterns without worrying about coordinating colors.
16. Keep Things Light and Bright
Greek-inspired decor typically plays up the contrast between bright white walls and the wooden accents of the room, like headboards and flooring. It also opens up and makes space feel bigger, allowing sunlight to pour in. This example is a very modern take on the Mediterranean and takes this contrast to the extreme.
Instead of light-colored wood accents, the browns of the floors and furniture are dark and the scheme looks almost black-and-white, giving the traditional Greek look a new, modern edge.
17. Go All-Natural
When choosing fabrics for your throw pillows, curtains, rugs, and more, it’s important to keep in mind that the overall aesthetic of a Mediterranean home thrives on an old-world, natural look that doesn’t mix well with synthetics. In this Tuscan-inspired living room, the soft furnishings all consist of a light, breezy natural fabric.
In your own design, stick to fabrics like cotton, linen, muslin, etc., and stay away from shiny or synthetic-looking fabrics that take away from the natural beauty of the room.
18. Get Medieval
You might look at some of the more modern examples on this list and cringe. What about the beautiful and traditional elements of an old Italian villa?
What about the romance and elegance of a Spanish castle? Don’t be afraid to stay true to your style and when all else fails, go all out on your Medieval Times dreams!
The great part about the Mediterranean style is that it encompasses a variety of styles, cultures, and time periods, so don’t be afraid to go bold. In this example, the designer took a nod from the Spanish Colonial style to create an opulent and elegant room.