The Iberian peninsula
As we continue our expedition from Rome to Rio, there is one final stop as we move along the Mediterranean coastline. We’ve covered Italy and France, now we move southwards. Home to the great nations of Spain and Portugal, the Iberian Peninsula has been a melting pot of cultures and peoples for over a thousand years.
Traditional Spanish design
For readers seeking inspiration to create a relaxing and homely atmosphere, they need look no further than Spanish-inspired interior design. Regardless of where you live, integrating some characteristics of Spanish design will help you add a touch of the Mediterranean to your home.
Traditionally inspired design remains popular in Spain. Introducing a twist of grandeur and colour into your space will add elegance and splendour without compromising on homeliness.
While attempting a full baroque redesign would be prohibitively expensive to most, you can use elements of traditional Spanish design to great effect. The three items to consider here are lamps, cushions, and curtains. You should follow these rules below to make the most of all three of these items.
Beautiful porcelain lamps are only as picturesque as their accompanying lamp shades, windows are ugly without dressings, and sofas cold and uncomfortable about without cushions. To add beauty to these items, consider the luxurious side of the spectrum. Rich colours coupled with vintage floral patterns and opulent materials such as velvet will help you add a splash of traditional Spanish design to your home.
For colours, consider warm earth tones. Reds, oranges and terracotta are equally cosy and stylish additions to any Spanish interior design. These velvet curtains, for example, are the perfect starting point for your project.
Modern Spanish interior design
For a more modern Spanish twist, you want to maintain the theme of cosiness and warmth but substitute the traditional colour palette for cooler, more contemporary tones. Here, brilliant whites and dark greys are great options.
In this more modern theme, continue to consider floral patterns but also look at geometric arrangements as well. Again, when used in lampshades, curtains and cushions, these designs will add an exciting twist to your space without becoming domineering.
Many homes in the Iberian peninsula, be they modern or traditional, make great use of wood. Wooden beams are striking and popular but can be an expensive addition – especially if they’re not a structural requirement. Carved woods, picture frames and blinds are great alternatives to larger, more expensive options.
Picture perfect Portuguese interiors
Portuguese style is the symbiosis of neutral colours merged with pops of vibrant, pale tones. For these, look to bold tones of yellow and pale, powdery blues coupled with darker neutral tones. Browns, beige and ecru act as a strong foundation for Portuguese inspired interior design.
Pattern too is a great addition to Portuguese design but whereas the Spanish fashion is to have fluid shapes and florals, we now need to look at broad stripes and angular forms.
With this in mind, we can really look at having fun with flatter window furnishings that enhance straight-edged designs. Colourful Roman blinds with vertical stripes and roller blinds and are prime conduits for this décor trend.
To move one step closer to an individualistic blind, you could even look to replace some of the slats on your vertical blinds. Alternating colours in a vertical blind, set to your personal arrangement, can add a really personal touch to your home.
While we may have focused heavily on pale and vibrant colours in the style inspired by the Iberian peninsula, don’t be afraid to consider strategic use of darker tones too. Black hues can be a little overbearing so look to dark coco browns and natural grey tones to add subtle contrast to your chosen colour palette.
With striking, exquisitely designed tiles being a strong component of both modern and traditional designs in Spain and Portugal alike, consider integrating some into a bathroom or even hallway.
To support the vibrant colours and angular design, we suggest a faux wooden Venetian blind in a soft colour. These will keep their shape in wet areas while adding a cool charm to the vibrant tiling.
We hope you have enjoyed our look into the interiors of the Iberian Peninsula. Next month we’ll cross the sea to the UK to see how you can introduce some great elements of British style to your home. From there we’ll be crossing the Atlantic to north America before again turning south on our way to Rio.