Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Greek interiors inspiration

(Disclaimer: In my last ditch desperate attempt to come up with a interesting post in this holiday frenzy I pulled this one out. But I just realized this was posted here when I did a guest post for Priya at OUATT a while back. So for those of you who may have missed it, here it is! For those who DID read it in OUATT, skip it....... and go back to whatever productive thing you were doing! )

This is like that game you play at parties. I'll say a word and then you say all words that come to mind. OK, ready, set, go...............GREECE!

Chances are you said Athens, the Parthenon, Olympics, Greek Gods, Food, Souvlaki, Feta Cheese.....?? (I tried this on my husband and he said Achilles, Piraeus and Gyros..????) How about Blue and White? Did you include those words? All of Greece and especially Mykonos and Santorini are full of white houses set against the azure blue backdrop of the waters!

A lot of people think this is because of the colors of the Greek flag...but its really more for practical reasons! Houses in Greece are traditionally covered with a layer of plaster (Sovas in Greek). This layer is made out of calcium carbonate or lime stone. This plaster is regularly maintained by whitewashing by the same material. Now calcium carbonate is very bright white, so bright that under the bright summer Greek sun it can give you a headache. So people add a bit of blue color in the whitewash to "break" the brightness. So there is aways blue in the whitewash even if it looks white to you, and by adding more blue you can have nice white blue designs.

Why blue? and not green or yellow? Well actually there are green, yellow, red even purple. People were using what ever color they could find. But blue was the most common because long time ago there was a cleaning agent called "loulaki" literally "lilac" that had that distinctive blue color. It had the texture of a toilet tablet and people using it for washing clothes and every house had some. So you get your bucket of white wash, you drop one two tree whatever tablets of "loulaki" and away you go.

The standout features of a Greek home are its materials. Pieces with bold textures such as sculpted stucco, earthenware tile, embroidered wall hangings and hand-painted tiles create a striking contrast. Furniture is bold, windows are large and ceilings are high. Terracotta floors are at home with indigo accessories and vivid white textiles. The decor is simple, with clutter hidden away. The overall effect of Greek Mediterranean home decor is to create a homey, artful space. Dramatic Mediterranean blue features in the kitchen make the room a gathering place. Ceramics and metal pieces are popular for cookery. Foyers tend to be grand as a way of welcoming loved ones. Trees and large plants can frame the entrance. Iron wall sconces, lanterns and rustic wooden tables add to the impact. Golden yellow is a major color, seen on interior walls, floors, cabinets, upholstery and furniture. Dark, burnt oranges and terracotta adds drama to an accent wall, cabinets, rugs and shelves. Ceramics and kitchenware may have splashes of poppy red, sunflower yellow, cobalt blue and olive green.

So if you want a home with a distinctive Greek flavor...take a look at these pictures and get inspired! Will you believe me when I tell you this is an apartment in China!!! It looks and feels so calm and serene like its right on the ocean!











Aaaahhhh, doesn't it make you want to get on a plane and head to Greece right away?
Images via

9 comments:

Greek Restaurant Owner said...

There are many more regions in Greece that historically supplied a nectar to humans that was also fit for Godly consumption.
By the way olive oil was also considered to be one of the nectars of the Greek Gods. No wonder red wine just seems to go down so well with so many of the great tapenades, salads, breads and spreads that are associated with traditional Greek cuisine.
I have some of wine list westchester has.

TIP Homes said...

Lovely post,Kamini :)
I have a love affair with Greece and this brought back so many memories of the wonderful time I had there.

Kamana said...

oh you just make me dream

Sudha said...

Having lived in the mediterranian for an year, i fell in love with the crisp white and bright blues....it was magical..thanks for sharing it K

Kamini said...

TIP Homes and Sudha...am so jealous. Am hoping to go next year....lets see!

Laura said...

How lovely. I especially like the cabinets in the last picture! <3

Plaster (and mud, stucco, etc.) like this always feels so cool and calm and relaxing to me.

Sound Horn Please said...

Very nice gyaan gained about why blue is the most commonly used color. You think this applies to India too? I noticed that most poor households in India paint their doors blue- the ambedkar blue as it is known in India. I even asked a friend's dad who works for Asian Paints- No luck so far!

GB said...

I think I need to start reimagining m,y whole color scheme---my home looks so "dark" to me now. I need happy, crisp colors!!

Iniyaal said...

Plaster walls with white and blue.. Just a look at the pics calms and soothes my mind. Lovely pics and interesting information.