Embracing a Greek Aesthetic
Grecian styled interiors are simple, elegant, and functional, so it should come as no surprise that this is a popular design for many homes. Whether starting this design from scratch or adding to your existing style, there are a few tricks that will help anyone master this trend. Below are the top six tips, used by designers, to create a perfect Mediterranean look.
Stone walls served a significant purpose to the infrastructure of Greek homes. Before air conditioning, inhabitants had to find ways to keep their home temperatures as low as possible, and thick stone walls served as a perfect barrier from the heat.
Although there are not strict rules when it comes to Grecian walls, since stone was a popular choice for its cooling ability, it is often seen on the Greek islands. And as a beautiful way to emphasize the use of natural materials, an important element to a Grecian look, stone can be a perfect addition to your design. However, keep in mind that not every wall needs to be stone, a single wall looks just as nice and still achieves a relaxing, cool atmosphere. Such walls are most commonly seen above or around the fireplace as well as in the kitchen.
If stone is not a possible addition to your home, there are other ways of accomplishing an elegant, Grecian appearance. For example, wall murals offer a way to incorporate a Mediterranean theme to any room, and if placed on a wall that receives plenty of sunlight the mural will further enhance the ambiance.
Blue & White
Blue and white are undoubtedly the colors of Greece. Although it is not entirely clear how this color combination managed to be so strongly identified with the Greece — some will argue it is because of the national flag, as others argue blue symbolizes the seas and sky, while white symbolizes the clouds and waves — when the inhabitants of the Cycladic islands painted their home’s exterior white, it was for a climatic reason, to reflect the hot sun.
Of course, incorporating blues and whites into your design doesn’t have to mean painting, or re-painting, your entire home white. There are numerous stylish and simple ways to use this color combination in your everyday life. For example, home accessories such as plate sets, vases or bedding, in vivid blues and clean whites, are an excellent way to include Grecian colors into your design.
Olive Trees & Oil
Not only are olive trees known to the Greeks as symbols of health, beauty, and wisdom, they also have very deep routes in Greek tradition and rituals. An olive branch would be awarded to any athlete who won at the Olympic games, as well as being used as a symbol of peace whenever the Greeks agreed to a truce with an enemy.
Elements that are related to an olive tree are a must in any Grecian inspired interior, and a fantastic and simple way to accomplish this look is by adding it to your home decor. For example, antique oil jars will look beautiful whether you decide to place them indoors or out — and depending on your personal taste, they can be used as a unique plant pot or left empty.
Using houseplants to bring out a natural aesthetic is also encouraged. A plant will represent the olive tree theme as well as add instant beauty to your room, and if you can find a pot made from natural materials — such as wood or clay — the combination will further enhance your Grecian design.
The Key Pattern
This key pattern is another piece that holds a part in Greek history. One theory, drawn from Greek mythology, is that the key pattern is a physical representation of the labyrinth that imprisoned the Minotaur. Other theorists believe this design is based on the twisting course of the Maeander River, running through Asia Minor.
Whichever story this pattern originated from, we may never know. However, one thing for certain is that this ornamental pattern is one of the most popular patterns used in Grecian interior design.
You will find this motif used on rugs, pillows, towels, window treatments, furniture, and nearly all other textiles found in the home.
For example, furniture can easily be upholstered in fabric that flaunts the key pattern. This pattern can work in any room, with any furniture, and in practically any color.
However, keep in mind that patterns can sometimes lead to a heavy look, if not implemented properly. Avoid this risk by making use of the key pattern on selected pieces, as seen in this Nandina Home design. The most interesting and eclectic looks are achieved when unnecessary noise is avoided.
When it comes to fabrics, selecting ones that are lightweight, sheer and in neutral colors are the best choices for a Grecian design. Treating your windows to light drapes will instill the room with a sense of elegance and airiness that is precisely what you are aiming for.
Delicate touches such as this lead to a fresh looking interior that is infused with beauty and simplicity. For example, sheer fabrics hung around a canopy bed will look stunning and instill a sense of Mediterranean style and class all year round, but will also be the perfect decor for the summer.
In ancient Greece, there were three types of columns most commonly found in temples, treasuries and stadiums. First, the oldest and simplest one found in Greek architecture, the Doric column. Then there was the Ionic column, found in much smaller buildings and is the most recognizable type because of the well known scrolls. And finally, the Corinthian, a more intricate and detailed column as it has leaves and flowers carved in the capital.
However, columns should not only be thought of as an ancient architectural element, but also as an excellent decorative touch that has the power to deliver a classic look to even the most modern interior design. Whether they are placed indoors or out, they are sure to enrich a design by adding drama and style.
The above two photos show wonderful examples of how to incorporate columns into a design. Whether a coffee table or a bedside table, columns will tie in perfectly with the Grecian theme and add a sense of elegance to the whole room.
If clean, simple, elegant and airy is how you would like your interior to be described, the Grecian style is something worth thinking about.