A touch of magic

A touch of magic

Spruce up your homes with a touch of Mediterranean magic, writes Simran Chhibber

A touch of magic

Warm, inviting and exotic — these are the three words that perfectly describe the Mediterranean. Whether it is the spectacular countryside or the sea-side winds, the blazing baking sun or the blue and green sparkling seas, something strikes a chord, something, remarkably interesting, that we want to bring back home.

Colour ideas for a Mediterranean set-up come from many sources. The striking blue seas of the Mediterranean, the white homes of Greece, the golden yellow hues of the Moroccan spice bazaars infused with the smell of saffron, cumin and a whole lot of other spices, the lush green countryside of Southern France and the sun baked clays of Spain and Italy, all lend priceless inspiration. A fine blend of all these colours, patterns and textures result in a cozy, yet an ‘out of the ordinary’ interior design.

Here are a few elements of the Mediterranean which will impart a warm, homely and welcoming touch to your home.

Let us begin with suggestions about the colour palette that will adorn your walls and become an important feature of the design. Rich, warm and bright colours inspired from the various shades of the sun, sky, sand and sea are sure to add a distinct character to your home. A balanced blend of ochre, white, ocean blues and terracotta with a touch of striking red work the best with this look. These warm earthly colours will help you recreate the delicate harmony of nature.

Rounding up the walls a bit and adding some curves can help achieve the smoothness and glamour quotient. This can be very effectively incorporated in areas like a fireplace or a chimney snout. You can even round up the corners of your room if that doesn’t mean going too far for you. Applying stucco or Venetian plaster on a few highlight walls will help achieve some texture and depth, hence, adding interest to the setup. Similar uneven, grainy effect can be achieved by using your hands to rub paint on a plastered surface.

Some wrought iron work in the form of railings, pot holders, chandeliers, light fixtures or even a couple of chairs will go very well with the palette and lend the space a dramatic character. Add in a few handcrafted tiles with Mediterranean motifs and you are ready to create an impressive focal point. These handcrafted mosaics work the best when used as backsplashes or tile countertops in kitchens and riser faces in staircases.

Brick flooring although hard, lends an earthly touch and goes very well with the warm hues. A simple white washed floor or the use of patterned tile work will bring forth a Mediterranean quality too. Stenciled mosaic borders can be incorporated in flooring design and the same can be imitated sparsely in the walls and furniture too. Terracotta, brown and brick red colours work the best in flooring.

Exposed ceiling beams in dark wood tones and complimenting solid, sturdy furniture engraved with classic Mediterranean motifs (star motif being very common) set up a homely and comfortable mood. Go with bright upholstery (eg. turquoise, deep azure), a matching rug and let in some sunshine.

Place some exotic and delicate, handmade Tuscan pottery and bring some fresh green fauna inside your home. Embellish your walls with some artwork, add some intricate light fixtures and place some burnt earthen urns in your house and voila! you are all set to live life the Mediterranean way.

As far as the exteriors go, white exteriors with deep azure, louvered shutters and contrasting shades of terracotta, burnt umber and ocher in the flooring create a great external facade. Complimenting bougainvillea bushes in deep crimson, orange, yellow and white lend exuberance and soften the outdoors.

Limestone gravel gardens are again, very popular. They create a textured surface through which plants can grow. Large terracotta pots make very good sculptural features and can be doubled up as terrace fountains. Stone and gravel along with informal plantation and burnt brick pavers set the mood for a pleasant conversation with a loved one in this Mediterranean background.

This style of interiors is best suited for hot and warm climates but of course anyone can add up a few elements and spruce up their homes.

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