Mediterranean architecture originates from the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, including Spain, Greece, Italy and Morocco. It is characterised by simple lines and a minimalist, romantic aesthetic that harnesses the warmth of natural tones. The architecture creates privacy and a sense of tranquillity, while still facilitating intimate family living.
In this Q&A, Maddie Kidd, a Senior Interior Designer at Hall & Hart, discusses the source of inspiration and hallmark characteristics of Mediterranean design and shares her insight into why Australians are falling in love with this romantic European aesthetic.
Where did you draw inspiration from for the exterior and interior colour palette used in designing this romantic home, the Santorini?
The Santorini is a romantic residence that goes beyond the classic Greek blue and white colour scheme and instead channels the essence of the Mediterranean's neutral colour palette, the rugged charm of European shores and life under the sun. The colour palette is reminiscent of a seaside villa where the land meets the sea with texture and natural materials in a palette of nature’s warmest tones.
Maddie says, “Mediterranean culture has a strong connection to the natural landscape with sun-soaked beaches and rugged coastlines, presented in earthy tones. How could you not draw inspiration from that! I wanted to showcase these origins throughout the home to evoke a sense of belonging between the exterior and interior materials and seamlessly connect the indoor and outdoor living spaces with warmth and textures.”
What are the key design features of a Mediterranean home and how have these been translated into the Santorini? Were there any specific design elements or themes you wanted to emphasise?
Maddie says “The Santorini has a warm and welcoming ambience, created to be loved across generations. Both the facade and interior showcase understated traditional elements such as exposed beams, decorative ironwork and textured walls that complement the Mediterranean-inspired aesthetic. The incorporation of soft whites and sandy hues throughout the residence, coupled with the bold timber accents achieves the perfect balance between fresh and warm.”
These traditional elements in the Santorini collectively create a distinctive Mediterranean aesthetic that celebrates history, culture, and the natural beauty of the region.
Architectural arches that add a sense of elegance and continuity to the design
Terracotta elements infuse warmth
Open internal spaces extend the living space outdoors, such as the internal courtyard. These serve as a focal point for socialising, relaxation and entertainment
Natural colour palette with pops of earth-toned colour
Walls rich in texture walls
Intriguingly shaped furniture and decor
Exposed beams contribute to the rustic charm
Graceful shadow line skirting
Traditional timber-style doors and architraves
Why do people fall in love with this timeless, romantic design and how do you see the Santorini fitting into the Australian way of life?
Australians love to entertain at home and merge the indoors and outdoors to maximise daylight hours during long summer days and evenings. During the cooler months, we like to retreat in a cozy, natural setting with an abundance of natural light and space to still savour as much of the outdoors as we can. The Santorini provides this way of living, a lifestyle that is quintessential to Australian culture.
Maddie says, “People fall in love with Mediterranean design because of the simple, natural, and fresh finishes promoted by a neutral colour palette that will stand the test of time. The open plan design invites natural light and fresh air while being complemented by intimate spaces to retreat. This transforms the home into an ideal family home with elegant spaces to play, entertain or just be. The indoor-outdoor connection between the courtyard, family and alfresco is perfect for Australian entertaining. The ability to open the entire living space balancing airflow and natural light and adding freshness throughout the space is how Australians love to live.”
What’s your favourite design feature within this home and why?
“It’s cruel to be asked to only discuss one!” Maddie said. This entire home showcases so many incredible design elements but my absolute favourite one is the beautiful bridge on the first floor. A stunning floor-to-ceiling arched window beams in a flood of natural light and gracefully connects the ground floor. The internal bridge guides you to an incredibly designed master suite, where a strategically lowered feature wall is positioned to enhance the area behind the bed. Lowering the wall created a beautiful balance in the room, it feels comfortable and inviting, which is exactly the mood you would want from a master bedroom.”
How does Hall & Hart work with clients to create a cohesive and functional space that also reflects their personal style?
"Every client we work with has an emotional connection to the design of their home. We introduce our clients to their design team right from the beginning, fostering a mutual understanding of their vision and aspirations, while also aligning these with their budget. We invest time to understand the functionality of each space, ensuring that the space aligns perfectly with its intended purpose. This approach is key to a cohesive design. It’s so important to get it right, from the start.
We bring their plans to life with concept books and 3D images, acting as a guiding thread throughout their journey. This gives our clients confidence in their design and selection choices as they come to the end of their design journey and they move into construction feeling confident .” Maddie said.
Nick Rawson, Design and Pre-Constrction Director at Hall & Hart discusses bringing the Mediterranean style home to the Australian market.