Illustrated Architecture Dictionary .......... Illustrated FURNITURE Glossary

Mediterranean Revival Style
1918 - 1939

The Mediterranean Revival was an eclectic design style that was first introduced in the United States about the end of the nineteenth century, and became popular during the 1920s and 1930s.


Although architect Addison Mizner did not invent this style, he glamourized it to the extent that it became the pervasive architectural theme of Florida during the 1920's real estate boom.  It is now called "Mediterranean Revival," reflecting its synthesis of both Italian and Spanish motifs.  It has also been known variously as Spanish Colonial and "Mongrel Spanish."

Ornate low-relief stonework and tile roofs are the hallmarks of this style. 

A profusion of arches, columns, parapets, and wrought-iron details is often present. 

Exterior walls are sometimes made of buff-colored bricks but are more commonly  composed of hollow tile blocks covered with stucco.

This style originated in countries north of the Mediterranean Sea, including Spain, Greece and Italy, and is often referred to today as "Spanish modern." Mediterranean-style furniture ranges from simply functional to extremely formal.

Pieces are short, with ornately turned legs and feet; hardware is heavy and often burnished. Walls are predominantly textured. A bullnose edge is a common design detail on countertops and fireplace mantels.

Here's how the style breaks down:

Colors: Mediterranean colors echo those of the sea and sky and, depending on the region, can also include warm terra cotta, lavender and yellow.

Tile: Mosaic tile designs embody the beauty of a Mediterranean interior...

Accessories: Burnished bronze urns, filigree light fixtures and a wrought-iron fireplace screen exemplify a Mediterranean look with a Moroccan influence.

Texture: Layers of paint and glaze are hand-rubbed onto plaster or sand-textured walls to add visual depth. Simulate the look of a plaster wall with a textured finish using tinted drywall compound and colored beeswax.

- HGTV, Mediterranean Style 101

Examples from Buffalo:

Photos and their arrangement 2006 Chuck LaChiusa
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