7 Mediterranean kitchen ideas that are all about warmth and character

Mediterranean kitchen style embraces warmth, charm, and character in abundance

Mediterranean kitchen
(Image credit: Estudio Gomez-Garay/Jessica Helgerson Interior Design & Aaron Leitz/Kate Nixon)

Mediterranean kitchens exude warmth and charm, which is probably why this kitchen style is so well-known and loved. An element of rustic blends with a welcoming color palette, adding character and a truly homely feel.

Kitchen ideas really vary between style, but Mediterranean kitchens add an abundance of warmth and character to a scheme, and offer the versatility to embrace traditional charm or a more modernized interpretation.

From terracotta tiles and earthy colors to Mediterranean decor and architectural details, we've asked interior designers how they've created Mediterranean kitchen style in their projects past and present. 

7 Mediterranean kitchens that showcase the warm, characterful style 

Every style of home can embrace the design elements of Mediterranean kitchens. The warm, homely feel of the spaces paired with timeless charm, there's something so special about this style. And where better to be inspired than the kitchens of the Mediterranean themselves? From traditional kitchen designs to more modern interpretations, they all have the same design elements at their core.

1. Install terracotta floor tiles for an authentic scheme

Mediterranean kitchen

(Image credit: David Lucido/Ori Harpaz)

Materials play a huge role in Mediterranean kitchens, particularly the flooring. While many styles favor a hardwood kitchen flooring, Mediterranean kitchens almost always feature tile floors, and one of the most traditional options is terracotta.

'We introduced the Mediterranean style with terracotta flooring that can be used both indoors and out. We complimented the flooring with earth tones in the cream marble and aubergine cabinets, and brought in natural materials like rattan sconces and organic wood barstools,' explains interior designer David Lucido.

This mix of organic materials and warm neutral palette is core to Mediterranean kitchen design, especially in regions such as Spain. The dark wood of the kitchen island contrasts beautifully with the warm white on the walls and the natural hue of the terracotta floor tiles.

2. Source materials made by Mediterranean artisans

Mediterranean kitchen

(Image credit: Estudio Gomez-Garay)

The term Mediterranean covers a lot of countries, and although there are commonalities in the kitchen designs, there are different influences evident in different regions. For an authentic Mediterranean feel, try to source items such as tiles and decor from artisan makers in Mediterranean countries.

'The materials chosen respond to the constant Arab influence in Andalusian lands. The tiles are hand-crafted and custom-made for this house in the Moroccan city of Tanger,' explains Iciar Elvira Gómez-Zuloaga, of Estudio Gomez-Garay.

Introducing the handmade element to the design adds character and a more lived-in aesthetic to the space. There's also no better way to introduce Mediterranean style to a kitchen than using materials made in those very countries and supporting traditional craftsmanship.

3. Take inspiration from Greek design

Mediterranean kitchen

(Image credit: Lime Deco/Vangelis Paterakis)

Greece is one of the most admired locations on the Mediterranean sea – famed for its white buildings with blue roofs and picturesque landscapes, it will come as no surprise that some interior designers are taking inspiration from the Greek decor and architecture, and designs of the islands when creating a Mediterranean kitchen scheme.

'As I envisioned designing a Mediterranean kitchen on the Greek island of Chios, my inspiration drew from the tranquil surroundings. The whitewashed buildings and cerulean waters sparked a vision of simplicity and serenity,' explains Maria Chatzistavrou, of Lime Deco.

'I sought to blend rustic charm with coastal elegance, incorporating natural textures and vibrant accents reminiscent of the island's landscape. From the smooth stones to the azure hues, every element was carefully chosen to evoke a sense of Mediterranean bliss. This kitchen embodies my reverence for the island's beauty and timeless allure,' she explains.

4. Decorate with an earthy color palette

Mediterranean kitchen

(Image credit: Kate Nixon)

Warmth is key when designing a Mediterranean kitchen, and the color palette plays a pivotal role. Earthy hues are the most popular – think of sandy tones and shades of brown and golden yellow.

'I've always been obsessed with creating kitchens that are at the heart of cozy and comfortable interiors, adorned with great art and filled with food, family, and friends. I strive to design spaces and pieces that are classic, comfortable, polished and practical – equally at ease with elegant entertaining and everyday family life,' says interior designer Kate Nixon.

'Embracing a layered, earthy palette reminiscent of the Mediterranean, I find joy in the intricate details that evoke a timeless charm. It's about capturing that ‘new spirit, old soul’ essence unique to the finest Mediterranean-inspired kitchen designs,' she adds.

5. Embrace original features

Mediterranean kitchen

(Image credit: Jessica Helgerson Interior Design/Aaron Leitz)

Architectural details add so much character to a Mediterranean kitchen, so make a feature of exposed ceiling beams if you have them. Darker woods feel authentic in Mediterranean style, and painting the rest of the ceiling white adds a lovely contrast and allows the beam work to become the focal point.

'I introduced Mediterranean style into this kitchen with handmade terracotta floors, wooden beams, and an earthy color palette,' explains Jessica Helgerson, principal and design director at Jessica Helgerson Interior Design.

Introducing the patterned floor tiles in a complimentary color to the ceiling beams pulls the scheme together and adds a sense of cohesion – keeping the rest of the kitchen neutral creates a sense of authenticity and tradition.

6. Introduce vintage kitchen decor

Mediterranean kitchen with vintage decor

(Image credit: Kate Nixon)

Mediterranean kitchens have a lived-in family feel to them – they are the heart of the home, so it's important to create a space that reflects this. Even in modern Mediterranean design, handed-down and vintage items are encouraged, especially when it comes to decor.

In this Mediterranean kitchen, marble kitchen counters have been paired with brown cabinetry, adding warmth and authentic Mediterranean style. Worn cutting boards, vintage art, and a patinated terracotta plant pot have all been introduced to add a more rustic element to the scheme, instantly making the kitchen feel more homely and lived in.

7. Add Mediterranean style with traditional details

Mediterranean kitchen

(Image credit: Jerry Jacobs Design/Victor Elias)

While color and materials play a big part in a Mediterranean kitchen, architectural details are also important. In this kitchen, decorative plaster moulding has been introduced around the tall ceiling, while arched details have been added throughout the kitchen design.

'Some Mediterranean style details are the arches (visible above the range and in the cabinetry), the colors, Marbles Roso Navona, and white French Limestone. The ceiling height and proportion are so too,' explains architect and interior designer Jerry Jacobs.

Mediterranean kitchen design is all about embracing warm colors, charming decor, and traditional materials. Whether it's the terracotta floors, architectural details, or artisan tiles, there's a unique charm to these kitchens that can't be ignored.

Molly Malsom
Content Editor

Molly joined the Homes & Gardens interiors team at the start of 2024 as a content editor. Her undergraduate degree was in Magazine Journalism and Production, which she studied at the University of Gloucestershire. Before joining Homes & Gardens, she worked for two interiors titles across both print and digital channels, writing about a range of topics from room design ideas and decorating trends to the best places to source pre-loved homeware.