The Greek Islands are the birthplace of the ultimate summer house, and they've been doing it with style for thousands of years. Here's how you can add a little bit of the Aegean home interiors to your summer home's architecture and interior design for a chic alternative to the typical American cottage.
White, White, White
Greek homes are known for their whitewashed walls both inside and out. On the exterior, it reflects the harsh sunlight and gives a pleasant uniformity to island villages. Historically, it also made all the houses look alike, so it was hard for pirates to find their way around the islands.
To make your house look like it's on Santorini or Mykonos, it should be completely white with just little pops of color here and there. This gives summer homes a breezy open feeling inside and makes them easier to clean too. To go with the all white color scheme, keep your decor ultra minimal and resist the urge to fill open spaces.
Because they're often made of stone or covered brick, Greek homes often have banquet seating incorporated into the architecture. In addition to built-in dining sets, you'll also see window benches and L-shaped sofas with neutral cushions and a few bright pillows.
Built-in features are everywhere in Greek homes. Often the kitchen shelves are part of the walls and left open to view colorful glassware and hand-painted ceramics. Living rooms frequently sport carved out nooks for books and candles. Even the bathrooms have little built-in ledges for storage.
A key feature of the Greek summer home is the sleeping loft. Often these are only separated by a simple curtain or merely set apart by a low arch in the wall.
If you have an alcove or stairwell in your home, it's the ideal place to try a sleeping loft. Kids love them, and when you don't need the extra space for house guests, it affords you a quiet spot to curl up with a good book or take a nap.
Greek sleeping lofts are usually just a couple of steps up from the adjoining room and like everything else, are incorporated into the walls. Beds are simple one-layer mattresses or futons on the floor or a small raised platform.
Exposed Elements from Nature
Island homes in Greece almost always reflect their connection with the natural world. Big hunks of rough wood form window headers and ceiling beams. Instead of blasting out a large rock, a home is often built around it, using it as a natural wall in the shower or feature in the main entrance.
If you don't have any native stone in your home, you can add a wall of rock and chisel out places to hold lanterns or bars of soap. A massive plank makes a perfect fireplace mantle. It doesn't really matter where you put these elements, just that they're included somewhere in the home as a fun surprise and tie to the land and sea.
While owning a getaway in the Mediterranean may be just a pipe dream, you can have your friends and family convinced they just stepped off the boat in Paros with a little bit of ingenuity and creativity. Opa!Share