Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mediterranean Style Bench Seats

Italy has a major influence on Mediterranean design.

Historically, bench seats were elongated, backless seats that served as seating for the common man; chairs, having backs and seats, were reserved specifically for persons of prominence. Mediterranean bench styles vary by region, with Mediterranean design being influenced by 21 countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Italy, Spain, Turkey and Morocco have had the most pronounced impact on Mediterranean design style and architectural elements. They have traded artistic talents over the centuries, creating similar Mediterranean bench styles with distinct differences resulting from a craftsman's geographical area, available resources and skill level. Does this Spark an idea?


Tuscany, located in the central portion of Italy, has a romantic, earthy influence on Mediterranean design. Rich golds, reds, greens, oranges and browns typify the Tuscan color palette. Rustic wooden benches are a favorite in Tuscan decor. Rich brown wood carved into a bench featuring a ladder-back style with woven rush seats exemplifies this old-world style. Tuscan benches are casual, comfortable and practical, looking as though they have been around for many years.


Artistic talent from the north African country of Morocco weighs heavily on the Mediterranean style. Vibrant, jewel-tone colors of royal blue, ruby red, amber orange and emerald green reflect the Moroccan color palette. A bench with ornately detailed legs and sides crafted from dark-stained wood may be topped by a brightly colored seat cushion. Moroccan furniture pieces are often enhanced by mosaic tiles, inlays and hand-painted designs.


Turkey occupies Asia Minor and a small portion of Europe, impacting Mediterranean design style. Ornate Turkish lamps, decorative artwork, hand-woven rugs and detailed furniture pieces are often found in Turkish home decor. Colorful pillows touting gold tassels, hand embroidery or exquisite fringes tossed atop an ornately crafted wooden bench add vibrant color and texture..


Spain lies in the southwestern part of Europe and strongly influences the Mediterranean interior design style. The Spanish style is simplistic and uncluttered. Rustic, vibrant hues of blues, yellows, pinks, oranges, greens and browns are common Spanish color schemes. Simple benches may be crafted from dark woods, having a worn, distressed and ancient appearance. Ornately crafted wrought-iron furniture provides a more decorative option in keeping with the Spanish style.

Tags: Mediterranean design, design style, bench styles, color palette, crafted from, furniture pieces