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Dreams of Mediterranean splendor come to life in this Italianate-style home. This classic architecture, with its tall, narrow windows, arched features and low pitched roof, brings to mind breathtaking villas clinging to the ruggedly scenic bluffs along Italy’s Mediterranean coastline. The golden color of the stucco walls brings a glowing warmth to this home, as though kissed by the rays of the setting sun. The solid, arched doorway, painted in a soft burnished brown, exemplifies the grandeur of this home. Window trim in pure white adds a refreshing quality to the home while the roof trim in a whispery-soft shade of off-white brings quiet emphasis to the roofline. Just as the granite cliffs tower above the pristine beaches along the Italian coastline, the slate gray roof shown here provides a majestic topper to this stately home.
Imagine a land where turquoise waters lap gently against sun-warmed shores, salt-scented breezes infuse the tepid night air and crumbling remnants from ancient worlds dot jagged sea cliffs. This picturesque postcard come-to-life is the glorious Mediterranean region. Not only is this area filled with awe-inspiring, natural beauty, but it possesses a diversity of cultures within the myriad nations lining its sandy shores.Let the radiant colors of the Mediterranean be your inspiration when selecting colors for your home. From the shimmering blues of coastal waters to the vivid yellows and reds woven into decorative textiles, the Mediterranean provides a profusion of options to guide your color choices and evoke the exotic ambiance of the Mediterranean in your very own home.
Find ideas for easy DIY projects to refresh your home, inside and out.
Surrounded by luscious fruit trees, golden sun and fresh air, whiling away an afternoon on a Tuscan-style outdoor patio will make you feel as though you’ve been transported to the peaceful, rolling hills of Northern Italy. Visions of olive trees flourishing on sunny hillsides, surrounded by grand, centuries-old villas will come to mind as you quietly relax in your patio. With walls painted the color of a sun-dappled field of wheat, it’s easy to lose yourself in such an Italian fantasy. This gorgeous outdoor living room uses brick and terracotta to play up the neutral wall, while vibrant throw pillows and colorful barware give the courtyard a festive feel. In Italy, life is a celebration, and this outdoor extension of your home will make it a perfect place to do so.
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The bustling coastal towns of Morocco are rife with outdoor markets, or souks according to the local vernacular. From the hawking cries of street vendors to the scents of exotic spices emanating from the countless food stalls that line the snaking alleyways, souks are a cacophony of sights, sounds and smells. But perhaps most captivating of all is the kaleidoscopic array of handicrafts for sale. Morocco is a country bursting with cultural and artistic beauty, and the local craftsmen strive to capture this indigenous beauty in their wares. Skilled local artisans paint intricate geometric patterns on ceramic tiles, weave rich, vibrant hues into beautiful textiles and forge the elaborate metalwork found on traditional hanging lamps.This stylish home has definite North African influences such as the curving scrollwork, the archway above the alcove, and the vibrant decorative accents. In the morning, sip a cup of steaming hot tea on the outdoor patio as you watch the sun hit walls painted in a soft, honey-cream shade. The golden glow will reflect the ever-present hues of the shifting sands that cover much of this magical desert nation.
For decades, the French Riviera has been known for its sophisticated splendor, understated opulence and old-world charm. Cities such as Nice and Cannes perfectly capture the romantic feel of carefree days spent lounging under the sun, followed by sultry evenings spent dancing into the night on palm-fringed seaside terraces. Resembling a charming villa set on a hill overlooking the Cote d’Azur, with its refined, suave colors and terracotta roof tiles, this home pulls together the unique design elements that give it such an enchanting appeal. The delicate curve of the arched door is accented by the bas-relief work above it, both painted in an elegant, deep blue-green. Set against a warm, mellifluous golden wall, the front entrance brings to mind the grandeur and style of the south of France.
The influences of Spanish, Moorish and Islamic cultures are exquisitely represented in the magnificent Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain. This vast historical and architectural wonderland boasts spindly columns, arched arcades and light reflecting pools where kings and queens of old retreated to keep cool on sizzling Spanish afternoons. This palatial jewel of Moorish Spain combines the best of Spanish, Moorish and Islamic architecture and design. On a much smaller scale, this home with its rounded center tower and the arches surrounding the entranceway and windows speak to its Moorish influence, while the intricate brickwork and tile details evoke the artistic beauty prevalent in Spanish architecture. The chalk-white walls reflect the sun’s dazzling rays and keep the interior cool, as they also set off the deep verdant green of the window trim. Just as the unique intermixing of cultures added elements of surprise and interest to the Alhambra Palace, so it has for this enchanting family home.
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From European, North African and Middle Eastern influences, countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea represent an extraordinary crossroads of culture and design. Whether you look to the seaside villas of France, the hills of Moorish Spain or the deserts of North Africa, the Mediterranean boasts a beguiling quality that lures travelers back again and again. Find inspiration from this fascinating mix of cultures and styles to bring your own personal flair to your home. Let the diversity of Mediterranean culture combine to create your own unique place in the sun.