Tips for Creating a Mediterranean Kitchen

There are a lot of different kitchen design styles out there these days – from modern brushed steel to rustic country designs, and, my personal favourite – the Mediterranean kitchen.  Mediterranean kitchens are warm, attractive, and welcoming.  Cooking in one isn’t a chore – it’s fun.  I swear food tastes better when you’ve enjoyed cooking it.

The secret to creating a good Mediterranean kitchen is to break down the design and identify the elements that can work well in your home.   A traditional Mediterranean kitchen would suit a large home, but in a smaller modern apartment, you may have to compromise slightly.

Common Elements of a Good Mediterranean Kitchen

Colours play an important role in traditional Mediterranean design.  The colour palette that you will want to work with will depend on whether you want an African, Greek, or Provence inspired design.  African designs centre around earthy colours, while Greek design uses a high contrast palette.  Designs inspired by Provence tend to focus on floral themes with dark green, lavender, and olive being prominent choices.  African colour schemes are popular choices for kitchens because the rustic colours are soothing, welcoming, and according to some designers even inspire the appetite.

Natural Materials

The kitchen is a great place to make use of natural materials.  Oak doors, granite countertops, and luxurious waxed wooden cupboards should be prominent features in your design.  If you can complement this with cast-iron cookware, and wooden hangars and accessories, then you’ll be well on the way to a great Mediterranean design.  Other trademarks of Mediterranean design include terracotta tiles, clay cookware, and flatware.

Build-in Balance

Stone and ceramics are a huge part of Mediterranean design, but if you go overboard with them it’s easy to end up with a harsh, unwelcoming kitchen. Try to soften the cold, harsh feel of the room with some judicious use of soft materials.  If you want to retain the authentic look, then curtains, tablecloths, and kitchen rugs are good additions that won’t take away too much authenticity.

Work With Your Home

If you have a small room in a modern building that lacks exposed beams, large stone arches, and other archetypical Mediterranean features, then you may need to compromise a little to get the look you want.  There are some key features that you will be able to use – such as oak doors and waxed cupboards, but there’s no point in trying to cram too much into a small room.  It’s better to compromise and work with the room than to push forward with a design that won’t work.

You can make a Mediterranean style kitchen even if you’re limited to a small, narrow space (such as a galley style kitchen).  If your countertops are too small to go for the large, spacious granite look, consider using terracotta tiles on the counter itself, and hanging up a lot of your cookware, “country kitchen” style.  Complement your oak doors with oak chairs and freestanding cupboards, and opt for a slightly brighter look to make the room look bigger, instead of going for the stronger browns that would be used in a bigger kitchen.