Once we figure out what “Mediterranean Style” means we think that’s how we want to decorate the house. After all, we’ve moved to the south of France so we want our home to reflect that choice but just what does that encompass? There are the colors, the styles, the materials, the furnishings, the accessories, etc. I think that we’ve discovered the traces of where to begin.
The website for one of the US television networks specializing in homes and gardens said that Mediterranean style takes its inspiration from the outdoors: the yellow of the sun (and sunflowers), the blue of the sea, the terracotta of the rooftops, and the lavender of the fields. It goes on to say that mosaic tiles play an important role and since every floor, many walls, and the whole roof is tile, I think we have that part covered. Accessories could include items made from bronze or wrought iron contrasted with filigreed lights around the room. The article concludes with details about using layers of paint and glaze over plaster and sandstone walls. No problem there in a house that’s had many owners and many coats of paint over the last 100 years.
When you move into a new home, probably one of the first things that you do is to clean. It’s not necessarily that the previous owner didn’t do a good job but once you’ve finished dusting, vacuuming, scrubbing, washing, and fine-tooth-combing every millimeter of your new place then it truly starts to feel “your own”. That’s how we got our first clue about in what decoration direction we might be heading based on some traces left behind.
The first room we started on was the kitchen since those shiny surfaces would probably be some of the easiest ones to clean. There’s a small cabinet in there that houses the electric meter and circuit breakers and right around the tiny latch I noticed a color other than white. It was the blue of the sea. On we moved to a bedroom and despite the coat of white paint that had recently been applied there was the yellow of the sun shining through on the edge of a doorway. So far so good; our vision of what colors to use was coming together. We walked out onto the upstairs terrace and the terracotta roof tiles of the den were staring us right in the face. Then we looked down at our feet–green! Green?
At some point it appears that the walls and floor of the terrace, if not the entire outdoor area, were painted hunter green. Perhaps a former occupant grew tired of 300 days of sunshine and yearned for something less arid? We’ll be getting a pressure washer for the courtyard and terrace to erase those traces and replace them with other colors that come to mind when you think “south of France.”