Dream with us for a moment and picture a charming villa nestled in the Greek isles. With curved archways, plaster walls, and terra-cotta floor tile, the architecture and storied craftsmanship is just as rich as the rusty color palette. The bedding is washed linen, the pottery is hand-thrown, and the furniture is perfectly worn wood.
This is the New Mediterranean design aesthetic, and yes, it’s absolutely perfect. While the architectural elements are obviously difficult to pull off in many homes, we’re seeing more and more interiors inspired by this laid-back, coastal elegance (especially on the West Coast). From the limewash wall trend to Warm Minimalism, we’d argue that these organic, historical looks are all loosely inspired by Mediterranean interiors.
So, what exactly is New Mediterranean?
Think of it this way: If coastal naturalism and warm minimalism had a baby, it would be New Mediterranean. Inspired by sun-drenched destinations imbued with history and exuberance, this aesthetic blends hospitality and character with modern touches. The result? Spaces brimming with natural light, earth tones, unique craftsmanship, and natural, organic materials. It’s the design equivalent of wavy, salt-soaked hair fresh from the beach: natural, laid-back, and effortlessly stunning.
But how is it different from Warm Minimalism?
We get it: The two styles are definitely similar, if not directly inspired by one another. But if we were to give each look a distinct personality, New Mediterranean is basically Warm Minimalism‘s more adventurous, jet-setting cousin. Warm Minimalists might spend their free time at an art exhibit followed by dinner at a cool, up-and-upcoming (yet completely unpretentious) cafe, whereas New Mediterraneans love nothing more than lounging beachside by day, and dining al fresco and drinking wine for five-plus hours at night.
While Warm Minimalism leans more modern with clean lines and modest styling, New Mediterranean is distinctly coastal and eclectic. Warm Minimalism boasts a truly neutral palette, while New Mediterranean weaves in richer earth tones and even pops of bright color (think Santorini in Greece). Warm Minimalism embraces the less is more philosophy, while New Mediterranean welcomes character-laden heirlooms (read: artful clutter).
Why we’re loving it
When we hear words like warmth, light, and hospitality, we’re instantly interested. But in all seriousness, this aesthetic is so easy to love — it’s laid-back yet welcoming, storied yet serene, and artful without pretension. The New Mediterranean look imparts a down-to-earth sensibility that we can absolutely get behind — it’s like a permanent staycation where worries are left at the door.
How to get the look at home
Sure, we can’t all carve out recessed archways and curved shelving in our homes. But there are a few New Mediterranean design elements that are relatively easy to incorporate across the board:
- Start with a foundation of neutrals alongside inviting earth tones or vibrant accents.
- Layer in jute rugs and plenty of woven textures (baskets, pendants, chairs, etc.).
- The more richly-grained wooden elements, the better, including stools, tables, and ceiling beams.
- Decorate with even more organic materials, like linen, rattan, rope, and plaster.
- Display heirlooms and discovered artifacts that tell a story.
- Layer decor and textiles for a lived-in and well-loved vibe.
- Embrace asymmetry and a bit of that Wabi-Sabi feel.
- Ditch the drapes and let the sun flood in through the windows.
- Add in greenery, especially Mediterranean olive trees.
- Bonus points for whitewashed walls and terracotta tile (with a view of the coast to boot).
- Shop our designer favorites for this refreshingly natural style.
Want to add New Mediterranean flair to your home? Our designers have you covered. Get started with our Style Quiz!