In recent years, like never before, our homes have become sanctuaries. Locked down for periods of time and unable to travel, we’ve turned inwards to our domestic spaces. Against this backdrop, Modern Mediterranean style has emerged as the perfect antidote to isolation. Warm, comfortable and subtly luxurious, it’s a soothing aesthetic that simultaneously reminds us of carefree days spent exploring far-flung places.
If you think this look is for you, read on. We’ll explain the modern twist on traditional Mediterranean style and walk you through the elements you’ll need – room by room!
What is Mediterranean Style?
We’ve seen Mediterranean influences in homes in the past. If you grew up in the ’80s or ’90s, you were probably exposed to the Tuscan trend – remember the terracotta tiles, wrought iron furnishings, raffia and warm paint tones? It was a look that took its cue from rustic Italian villas – relaxed, earthy and hospitable.
Influences from other Mediterranean countries including Spain, Greece, Turkey and Morocco contributed to a style vocabulary that was:〰️ Simple
These elements applied to the use of colour, the choice of materials, and an overall approach that rejoiced in the simple things in life: good food, wine and company; nature; sunshine; and relaxed indoor/outdoor living.
The Modern Mediterranean House: What's New?
So, how does Modern Mediterranean style depart from what we’ve seen in previous decades? Here are some of the defining characteristics of the contemporary Mediterranean look:〰️ It’s pared back. Modern Mediterranean decor borrows from Scandinavian minimalism but keeps things warm and summery. It feels clean and uncluttered, yet textured and relaxed.
〰️ The colour palette is subtler. Think earthy neutrals on a whitewashed background, with well-judged pops of colour inspired by nature.
〰️ It’s rustic but chic. A healthy dose of sophistication has propelled the Mediterranean aesthetic into the 21st century. High-end furnishings showcase natural materials along with timeless design and quality craftsmanship.
〰️ Forms are sculptural. Organic shapes are accentuated in architecture, furnishings and artistic objects.
〰️ Slow living is a virtue. A conscious choice for contemporary living, sustainable materials are favoured as a way to protect the planet.
〰️ Luxury is redefined. Stripped back to elegant essentials, modern Mediterranean homes are havens of calm mindfulness and gratitude for life’s simple pleasures.
Modern Mediterranean Decor: Styling Each Room
If you’re building a home from scratch or undertaking an extensive renovation, you’ll be able to incorporate Modern Mediterranean elements into the bones of your home: arched doorways, for instance, wall niches, polished plaster, stone floors… But if you’re working with an existing space there are still plenty of ways to style your home Modern Mediterranean.
Here are some key building blocks by room.
PAINT IT WHITE
White paint is your friend when it comes to channelling the airy elegance of Modern Mediterranean style. It’s the easiest way to make your living space feel fresh, clean and spacious – creating the perfect blank canvas for you to work with. Likewise, you can’t go wrong with a crisp white linen couch (removable slipcovers will help you keep them clean!).
Against your white backdrop, you can integrate a mix of textures (think jute rugs, sisal baskets, rattan furniture, woven cushions, aged ceramics, stone carvings, raw timber coffee tables). Add layers of colour in a soft, earthy palette of neutrals inspired by terracotta and stone. Then balance rustic materials with carefully chosen streamlined elements – a designer armchair, perhaps, or a statement floor lamp.
BRING THE OUTSIDE IN
Remember that Mediterranean homes rejoice in connecting with the outdoors. If your living room flows out onto a patio or deck, good for you! Throw open the doors and let your styling and colour choices extend to the outdoor space. If your lounge is cut off from outside, it’s not a deal-breaker – try to let as much light in as possible and incorporate beautiful foliage into the space in the form of an oversized indoor plant or armfuls of palm fronds or olive branches.
INVITE YOUR FRIENDS
Your living space should feel versatile and capable of accommodating spontaneous gatherings of friends. Flexible seating options and oversized cushions are perfect in this sense. Epitomising relaxed luxury, our Huxford Grove Moroccan Floor Cushions look great in a Moroccan-inspired home. Available in three colours, they can be mixed and matched to complement your decor and are designed for informal-yet-stylish lounging. Not only do they look the part, but they’re also impeccably crafted from ethically sourced, premium curly short wool sheepskin, which is:
〰️ 100% natural and free from harmful chemicals.
〰️ Easy to keep clean. Wool’s cuticle (or outer layer) is finely waxed, meaning dirt sits on the surface and is easy to remove. Just unzip the cushion cover and take it off when you need to clean it.
〰️ Non-allergenic. Wool fibres are too long and coarse to be inhaled, making it ideal for allergy sufferers and for children. Wool is also naturally resistant to the growth of bugs and mites – guests you definitely don’t want at your next dinner party!
〰️ Warm in cool conditions and cooler in warm conditions. Wool is a clever temperature regulator: when it’s cold, the wool fibres’ cuticles close to keep heat in; when it’s hot, they open to let heat escape. Regardless of the season, these cushions are lovely to lounge on.
And did we mention that you can drag them out to use in your undercover outdoor space too? Thanks to their suede underside, they’re hard-wearing enough for use on a veranda or deck. Which brings us to styling your alfresco zone…
DESIGN AN ESCAPE
Think of all those film scenes on sun-drenched Italian terraces overlooking vineyards, or the Moroccan riads you’ve saved on your ‘Travel Goals’ Pinterest board… That’s the vibe you’re going for outside: languid, exotic, understated and romantic.
DINE IN STYLE
Dining outdoors is a cornerstone of the Mediterranean way of life. A generous, rustic table with ample seating is a great option for long lunches and lamp-lit dinners with guests. Set the table with high-quality linen napkins, artisanal ceramic crockery and elegant glassware for a refined look. Your table accessories also provide an opportunity to add some pops of colour – think ochre, blush, olive green or even deep ocean blue.
EMBRACE EARTHY ELEGANCE
Embracing the tactile qualities of materials like stone, timber, terracotta, travertine, jute and sisal in your outdoor area creates an unpretentious atmosphere that celebrates the natural world. Plants in curved white pots and aged ceramic vessels soften the look. Add low-slung outdoor seating and Huxford Grove Moroccan Floor Cushions for sunset drinks with friends or lazy solitary days reading in the sunshine.
Whether it’s a pool, a sea view, a water feature or a stylish outdoor shower, the presence of water adds to the holiday feel of Modern Mediterranean alfresco areas. Keep swimming gear close at hand in oversized sisal baskets or on rustic hooks at the door for impromptu dips or showers. Beautiful, high-quality Turkish towels are a must; they are quick-drying and lightweight and can be displayed on hooks or slung over outdoor furniture for an easy-going resort look.
Our Kas Vintage Waffle Resort Towels are a classically stylish choice. They’re made from the finest 100% Turkish cotton and available in biscotti, charcoal or olive colourways. A larger towel for tandem poolside lounging or beach picnics, our premium Kabaka Stripe Turkish Cotton Beach Blankets in beige or black with rope-edge detailing have a timeless holiday feel.
WARM THE PALETTE
The Modern Mediterranean kitchen is wholesome without being cluttered, calm but not clinical. Warm-toned materials like terracotta, stone, timber, and Moroccan Zellige tiles are favoured. Again, it’s easy to start with a white canvas and add warmth and texture.
Remember that cooking is a central part of Mediterranean life. Slow food that’s nourishing, natural and traditional places an emphasis on local artisanal products. You can channel this stylistically with potted herbs on the kitchen windowsill, handcrafted ceramics on open shelving, bowls of lemons, and timber paddle boards for mezze platters.
Simple profiles and clean lines keep the look contemporary and unfussy. The sharp geometry of cabinetry and tiling can be balanced with gentle, organic shapes in crockery, vases and tapware.
The beating heart of any old-style Mediterranean abode, the kitchen is ultimately a place to break bread with the ones you love. Design with this in mind by making your kitchen into a space for informal dining and socialising. Bar stools along a generous island allow guests to chat with the cook and graze on olives and cheeses as a meal is prepared. If you can fit a farm-style table in raw timber into your kitchen, go for it! Bench seating is a great flexible option for swelling numbers of visitors at your Mediterranean haven.
CREATE A SPACE TO UNWIND
Designing for leisure and comfort extends to the bathroom in a Modern Mediterranean home – think long soaks in the bath (freestanding for ultimate luxe vibes!) with essential oils. Banish plastic by choosing rounded ceramic dispensers for soaps and lotions, and add a natural touch with a timber bath caddy.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
The Modern Mediterranean bathroom is sparse, earthy and sophisticated. Keep furnishings simple and practical yet beautiful. Turkish towels can add a pop of texture and colour, recalling restful Mediterranean holidays. Our Huxford Grove luxury cotton resort towels are a handsome option – lightweight and quick-drying, they’re made from the finest Turkish cotton and come in a range of on-trend colours.
TOY WITH TEXTURE
A Modern Mediterranean bathroom delights in contrasting textures. While colours stay on the neutral end of the scale, the tactility of stone, tile, timber and cloth keeps things interesting. Glass, ceramic and plaster surfaces are smooth but organic, revelling in rounded forms and arched shapes. Casually draped Turkish towels on wall hooks and Moroccan-inspired bathmats underfoot soften the space.
BALANCE OLD AND NEW
Just like in the kitchen, traditional meets contemporary in a Modern Mediterranean bathroom. Brass or copper elements – in tapware or cabinetry hardware, for instance – and uneven surfaces in timber and stone can lend old-world charm, while gently curved shapes and smooth streamlined forms keep the look modern.
CREATE AN AIRY SANCTUARY
Modern Mediterranean decor in the bedroom cultivates an airy, romantic atmosphere. Throw open the windows and let the breeze in! Good storage is important, so that you can keep clutter and mess to a minimum and display only what is pleasing to the eye.
ACCENTUATE NATURAL ELEMENTS
Aim for a light-filled space with a mix of natural materials. Rattan and cane are good options for bedheads and bedside tables. A timber bench at the foot of the bed is a practical addition, and our all-natural wool Moroccan floor cushions and sheepskin rugs also work beautifully to add comfort and warmth in the bedroom. Don’t forget the restorative potential of plants – whether it’s a view to the garden or a potted tree, always integrate pops of greenery.
ADD A HERO
Incorporating a show-stopping hero piece – a raw timber four-poster bed, a designer occasional chair, or a vintage handmade rug from Morocco or Turkey, for example – keeps decor exciting in the bedroom. Just don’t overdo it; the Modern Mediterranean aesthetic is pared back, so one hero piece is enough!
MAKE YOUR BED
… or don’t! If you dress your bed in high-quality sustainable linen sheets, it’ll look good whether it’s rumpled or smooth. Linen is naturally breathable and timelessly stylish, making it a popular choice. Go for fresh white or play with a Modern Mediterranean palette of terracotta tones, ochres, olive greens or charcoal, adding woollen layers for cooler months. Style up with contemporary statement lamps or bedside pendants.
A Final Tip
Have fun! And don’t be slavish about following trends when it comes to Modern Mediterranean style, the essence of which is layered and personal.
The Modern Mediterranean home is not formulaic; stick to the basic building blocks we’ve outlined in this article, but only buy things you really love. You want your home to feel like you, so collect images that speak to you and assemble them on a mood board – then set to work making this style your own.