What are the main characteristics of a Mediterranean house?
Mediterranean style, as we know it now, came into existence in late 19th century. This style blended all the architectural legacies of the Mediterranean region including renaissance, neoclassicism and those from the Spanish and Andalusian architecture. It created a very enduring style of design for the residential houses and eventually became hugely popular in Canada. Many of the historic Mediterranean houses still exist in and around Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. This doesn’t imply that the appeal of the Mediterranean house has waned in the modern time in any way. Prospective homeowners of Canada still feel enamoured by the charm of Mediterranean architecture.
Mediterranean houses exude warmth that is difficult to replicate with any other design. This type of house plan boasts of a rectangular design and symmetrical rooms. The rooms are often designed around a central courtyard. They are generally spread on one or two floor levels. One or several of the windows can be designed with ornamental arches. It is common for this type of houses to have balconies with wrought iron boundary walls.
Roofs are generally clad with tiles. The burnt Sienna colour of these tiles is one of the major characteristics of Mediterranean homes. The stucco walls of these buildings give them an unusual appearance. While designing a Mediterranean home, try to create a seamless transition between the interior and exterior of the house. You may seek assistance of an interior architect with expertise in Mediterranean design to do so. Install large windows and doors and design a light filled, cheerful and breezy interior. This contributes to the comfort and happiness to the inhabitants of a house.
Which materials are best suited for my Mediterranean house?
Traditional Mediterranean structures are designed with lot of indigenous materials like sun baked mud bricks, rammed earth for building thick walls etc. Not all of these may easily be found in Canada. But you will find other suitable alternatives that will let you design an authentic Mediterranean residence. To clarify your design or material related queries, consider seeking help from an experienced architect.
Use of sun dried clay brick and terracotta brick is common in Mediterranean buildings. They help you keep the interiors cool in the hot summer months. Walls designed from quality bricks are durable and capable of withstanding the elements of nature. You may also think of constructing stone walls in your Mediterranean house. Stones filled in a galvanised wire mould are also used to build the walls in some Mediterranean structures. These designs are influenced by similar structures of the traditional Spanish buildings.
The walls are plastered stucco plaster. This gives them a characteristic rough appearance. Stucco walls tend to increase the durability of the structure. They are easy to maintain and have fire resistance capabilities. Stucco walls also keep the interiors warm in the winter months and cool in summer. The flooring is designed with stones, bricks or terracotta tiles. You may use granite or marble tiles to design the flooring.
Clay roof tiles specifically designed for the Mediterranean roofing system are easily available in the Canadian market. You must also invest in terracotta shingles. Choose tiles that boast of a water resistant glazing. Along with tiles, you will need concrete and wood to complete the gable roofing system of a Mediterranean home. The cost of building a home heavily depends on the size of the structure and materials chosen for this structure. But it would be possible for you to build a Mediterranean style single family dwelling by paying $400 CAD $600 CAD per square foot. Prefabricated Mediterranean houses are available in a lower price than this.
What are the pros and cons of a prefabricated Mediterranean residence?
Prefabricated structures are cost effective. High quality prefabricated structures are also considerably durable. You have a variety of design options to choose from. You may opt for prefabricated houses with a central solarium for that genuine Mediterranean feel. Houses with cascaded roofing system are also very popular among the prospective owners. Prefabricated designs also take less time to be installed on site. However, you do not have the option of custom designing the interiors according to your choices and needs. Prefab houses have a lower resale value as many people consider them to be a cheaper option to a traditional building.
What are some of the best colour schemes for the exterior of my Mediterranean house?
For the interior and exterior of your Mediterranean residence, choose earthly tones accentuated by warm colours. Shades of brown, terracotta, orange, yellow, rust etc look gorgeous in a house designed in this style. You may contrast these tones with a warm shade of cream or white. Bright and bold accent colours like red and turquoise can be utilised to highlight special sections of the façade. You may also choose a spotless white colour palette for the façade of your home and use bright red or cool blue for the shutters and doors.
How to increase the curb appeal of my Mediterranean home in Canada?
To increase the curb appeal of your Mediterranean house, consider designing a Mediterranean style garden on your front yard. Decorate the space with rose vines, cypress, palm and olive trees. Build a gazebo and make a small outdoor seating arrangement. To further stylise the garden invest in water features like cascading fountains and build trellises along the boundary walls. Seek suggestions of a landscape designer to improve the charm of your garden and supplement the beauty of the façade of your house.