As a stager, I am fortunate to be in all types of homes in Napa and the surrounding
communities. We design plenty of modern farmhouses, cottages, mid-century modern ranches,
and updated traditional homes. There is plenty of housing here, built in the 80’s, that is
vineyard inspired – with hints of Italian architecture. Think dark cabinetry, iron trim, and dark
colors like red, burgundy, olive green, and gold. This style of home can be more difficult to
reimagine in modern terms than other styles.
While these homes have some of the same hallmarks of Spanish architecture, like arched
doorways, faux Italian style homes don’t have tiled roofs, rafter tails, and the Saltillo tiles of
Spanish homes. The style is found most often in California’s subdivisions and was often
generically described by developers as “Mediterranean” in style.
New Mediterranean Style
Many of these homes were built in neighborhoods for families and sacrificed strong elements
of design over convenience and space for growing families. Today, young families are
reimagining these homes in a new Mediterranean style. So how do you take your 80’s home
into this new style? The style is warm, light, rustic, and very inviting. Best for families, it can
be very functional and not fussy, but still beautiful.
How to get the look
Paint walls in a lovely white; think of the villas in Tuscany or the hillside homes of Greece.
There are so many lovely whites available as the gray trend fades. Choose one that works best in the
natural light of your home.
Blue and blue-green accents are the hallmarks of this style. Create a palette of no more than
three colors to focus your aesthetic. Choose a blue you love, choosing various shades in the
same tone. For example, pair lighter blue with a rich navy or a deep turquoise with pale teal.
Pair the blues with natural/neutral tones like sandy beige, taupe greys and yellow.
Think of ways to incorporate color like your backsplash or with wallcovering. Or try smaller
pops with your dining table design and dishes. Pillows are another inexpensive way to
incorporate color and pair neutrals. Choose fabrics in linen and cotton, and texture like rattan.
Accessorize with shades of ochre and terra cotta.
Add “history” and nature to the space. Old books, shells, geodes, and old pottery are great
small touches. Bring in plants or stems in simple jugs or glass vases. Try olive branches or
bunches of lavender. Gather your collections and display them on shelves and tabletops.
Choose rugs with classic motifs in soft neutral colors or try layering rugs for a cozy feeling.
The best part of the Mediterranean décor is that you can mix modern, rustic, and collected
traditional pieces in a beautiful design.
Adding washed stone to a backsplash or fireplace is a great facelift to move your home toward
a Mediterranean style. Adding beams to the ceiling of your great room or kitchen or a rustic
mantle also add to the style. Creating seamless indoor/outdoor living is the biggest shift you
can make. Create an outdoor living space with low-cushioned seating and lush plants that
moves your interior color scheme to the outdoors spaces. Consider mosaics and tiles that work
both inside and out.
Less is more with this design style, so choose the things you love and curate your own beautiful
If you need help designing your home, feel free to call us. From professional color consulting, to interior design and styling, we can help you get on the right track and style your home with ease. Free consults are also available!