Mediterranean Style Embodies Function And Old-World Charm
Of all the home designs out there, few if any, identify a region of the country as well as the Mediterranean style.
And, if you happen to to live in one of the warmer areas of the southern portion of the country, you’ve, no doubt, noticed these uniquely-designed, spacious-looking houses, which convey an old-world sophistication and charm like no other.
The very mention of the word, Mediterranean, brings to mind images of quaint seaside villages, where laughter is prevalent, romance, passion, and exotic locales for many people. The Mediterranean style had its unique design roots in temperate-climate communities scattered alongside the Mediterranean Sea – in countries, such as Spain, Turkey, Morocco, Italy, Greece, and even Croatia. This style of home lends itself nicely to the social atmosphere frequently displayed amongst the tight-knit, families living in those communities.
Architects and home builders realized that it would be wise to transfer the Mediterranean style design, via interpretive architecture – blending diverse Mediterranean culture elements — to homes in the Sunbelt regions of the United States.
That’s why these types of homes – typically one-story, but sometimes, two-story in design — are most prominent in states California, Florida, Texas, and Arizona. The real beauty of a Mediterranean style home is that it appeals to residents on two levels – functional, and aesthetic.
On a functional level, it’s easy to see why Mediterranean style homes are so popular in a climate which is often subtropical in nature. Everything about the home’s design appears to be carefully thought out – from layout to the choice of building materials. Take the roof – one of the home’s most prominent features, and which serves to identify the Mediterranean style, for example. Rounded, red clay tiles – often referred to as Spanish tiles, or terra-cotta — are typically used – they tend not to absorb heat, and have sunlight-reflective qualities. The roof’s shallow, sloping design also helps prevent heat buildup inside the house. They tiles are likely to be a shade of red in color, but are sometimes brownish or tan in appearance.
Other notable elements, with a functionality aspect:
- Wide eave overhangs help provide shade.
- Plentiful windows – typically arched, throughout the home, with the larger ones appearing on the first floor
- Open arches – allow breezes to circulate freely circulate
- High ceilings – aids circulation of air inside
- Exteriors — generally, of stucco, brick veneer, or natural stone in light colors – has a cooling effect
- Reduced electric bills – via more efficient cooling
Owing from its roots, the Mediterranean style home’s overall design features create an atmosphere, both inside and out, which exhibits a charming, as well as an outdoorsy, festive feel. These features, combined, lend themselves to mingling and pleasant conversation. The style is quite conducive to entertaining, reflecting the dwellings those friendly, social clans of the of the Mediterranean region call home.
Common features include:
- Open floor plans – roomy, and great for entertaining
- Courtyards — encourages social interaction by there mere presence
- Wood-beam ceilings – conversation starters in themselves
- Arched windows, doorways, and porticos – visually stunning
- Columns prominent on the home’s exterior
- Verandas and patios
- Balconies – on two-story homes
- Iron railings
- Outwardly-projected main entrance, or dominant front porch
- Vivid, textured color schemes on the interior walls invite the sunlight to bounce throughout the rooms
- Fountains throughout the courtyards
- Aesthetically-pleasing roof
- Rooms often situated around porch-lined courtyards
In short, the Mediterranean style home should appeal to many homebuyers. The style’s eclectic mixture of old-world grace, elegance, beauty, and nature nicely serve to fashion a unique living experience, especially for the socially-minded. In addition, this type of home makes a perfect vacation home for those of you who revel in escaping the clutches of Old Man Winter.