What do you think of the Mediterranean trend for arches in our homes? For many, including myself, a house with interior arches usually meant a frantic call to the local plasterer to square off those rounded edges. I have always loved them in the Mediterranean and have swooned over houses in Morocco where arches are incorporated at every turn, but at home, I was always a fan of a nice square edge to my doorways.
However, as with trends, they come and go and the trend for Mediterranean style arches has returned with a vengeance. I must say I love them in certain settings and they are perfectly suited to some particular styles, but you have to get the entire look right. I have some examples of some gorgeous homes with arches and some tips for how to incorporate them into your home or next new build here.
Which styles does the Mediterranean trend for arches suit
Remember when we fell in love with Tuscan style and then the classic French Provincial looks? At some point, we have always had a love affair with the classic styles of the Mediterranean. To some extent they are exotic, but they also suit the lifestyle and climate in Australia so well. The appeal of these styles is that they are soft, organic and enduring. Remember these are not styles in the Mediterranean, it is just the way life is. It is us that adopt these looks and then move on making them trends rather than a way of life.
Related: My Guide to French Provincial style
In addition to architectural arches, a French Provincial style also has gorgeous arched mirrors and antique Armoires with arched tops. This is a style with no shiny surfaces or hard edges.
It is no coincidence that the recent trend for terracotta has emerged with the trend for arches in our homes. We don't necessarily want the full blown copy of a Tuscan or French Provincial look, but we have come to appreciate the beauty and appeal of these styles. Remember, these aren't trends in the Mediterranean, it's just how the homes have always looked.
If you love the truly exotic look of a Moroccan style, then you will also be drawn to introducing arches in your home. My favourite part of Moroccan style are the enclosed courtyards with lots of greenery, water and handmade tiles. A courtyard like this would be incomplete without arches.
Related: My guide to Moroccan style
Spanish Mission homes are found throughout the Southern states of the US and this is a style that is becoming more popular here in Australia.
Beautifully placed either side of the fireplace, these statement arched black windows look amazing. There is no doubt that picked out in black, these windows create a very formal look.
If you prefer a more relaxed coastal style, then you can still use arches. Basically they soften the look of the interior and when not too formal as above, they can definitely add to a laid back vibe. Simple plastered arches as below with walls painted in white creates a beautiful flow in this hallway that is definitely not too formal.
Kyle and Kara Demmrich made judicious use of arches in their Mediterranean style home on the Central Coast. These guys were trailblazers in this look here and the arches worked well as they were subtle. This is certainly a gorgeous relaxed coastal home. I featured this two years ago on my blog – you can see the full home here.
The house above is a perfect example of how to incorporate arches into your home as they are judiciously placed and worked in with squares and rectangles so that the look is not overdone.
I featured this gorgeous home in Brisbane on my blog recently
This renovated Queenslander is certainly eye catching with it's beautiful exterior arches.
My tips to consider for arches
- You don't have to use arches throughout your house. These should just be a feature. For example, the majority of your windows can be square or rectangle but you could just install arched windows or doors in a living area, particularly if it opens out to a Mediterranean style garden or pool area.
- Archways can just be used in a hallway or in a master bedroom/ensuite. You don't have to continue the look throughout the house. If you consider Edwardian homes built at the turn of the last century, ornate arches were common in hallways and are still appreciated today. It didn't mean that they needed to be everywhere!
- Arched windows can be treated differently colourwise. For example these can be in natural timber while other windows are painted white.
- Consider the style that you are trying to achieve. Do you like a subtle French Provincial style or more of a generic coastal look? Do you want to incorporate more colour in your home? If so, a touch of a Moroccan style or a modern Spanish revival look may be more your thing. I can help you to define your style here.
If you are building a new home or renovating an existing one, you should check out my FREE Resource Library which has comprehensive checklists and e-books to help you with your project. You can download them for FREE here.