16 Mediterranean-Style Homes with Global-Inspired Beauty

castle-inspired stucco home
Photo: Mark Lohman

With ties to historic European architecture, Mediterranean-style homes are reminiscent of sun-soaked, seaside locales. The elegant exteriors often feature elements such as red roof tiles, stucco walls, arches, and enclosed outdoor spaces. These Mediterranean-inspired homes showcase timeless style with global appeal.

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Mediterranean Architecture

mediterranean color country french style home
Michael Partenio

Mediterranean-style homes are heavily influenced by the architecture of Spain and Italy and other European countries, including France, Portugal, and Greece. With its emphasis on warmth and outdoor living, the aesthetic is often associated with wealth and a leisurely lifestyle. Stateside, it gained widespread appeal in the 1920s, especially in California and Florida, where it continues to be a popular style of home today.

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Small Mediterranean Houses

Mediterranean-style ranch exterior with tropical plants
Michael Garland

Mediterranean houses often boast sprawling, symmetrical facades, but this architectural style works for smaller structures. This modest home uses unmistakably Mediterranean stucco walls and a classic tiled roof with a more approachable look. Several arched openings across the front create a breezeway that offers shade and facilitates cool air flowing into the house.

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Mediterranean Home Exteriors

traditional mediterranean-style home with stone
Edward Gohlich

Mediterranean style varies depending on the specific architectural influences, but many of these homes showcase similar exterior elements. Typical characteristics include:

  • Arched windows and doors.
  • Wrought-iron details.
  • Clay roof tiles.
  • Stucco walls.
  • Spacious outdoor living areas.

Several of these distinctive exterior Mediterranean features, including the stucco and roof materials, are intended to help keep these homes cool in hot, sunny climates.

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Mediterranean Home Design

castle-inspired stucco home
Mark Lohman

Celebrate the colors and textures of Mediterranean homes with an inviting mix of aged patinas, lush landscaping, and open outdoor rooms. A medieval castle in Italy inspired the architecture of this made-to-look-old home. Rust-colored stucco siding, clay roof tiles, and an eye-catching arched entrance invoke countryside charm.

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Luxury Mediterranean Home

stucco home with clay roof tiles and french door
Ryann Ford

This large Mediterranean-style home puts a luxurious twist on traditional Spanish architecture. Reclaimed clay roof tiles and limestone-trimmed exterior windows and doors remain faithful to the home's European inspiration outside. Gas-powered lanterns, simple iron railings, and arched French doors imbue the exterior with old-world style.

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Mediterranean Outdoor Living Spaces

Mediterranean-inspired home with patio
Mark Lohman

Outdoor living spaces play a significant role in Mediterranean home plans. Lush plantings often surround large porches, patios, and courtyards. This Mediterranean-style home relies on several patios and loggias (rooms with at least one open side) to graciously extend its livable square footage for gatherings with family and friends. Climbing plants, wrought-iron fixtures, and arched doorways add more Mediterranean charm.

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Mediterranean Home Exterior Elements

Mediterranean-inspired home with stone columns
Mary Fran Brennan

The front porches of Mediterranean houses, especially those with Italian influences, are often defined by stone columns spanned by arches. Roofs feature wide, overhanging eaves with large brackets under the roofline. A variety of terra-cotta tiles top this stucco home, mimicking the look of reclaimed Italian tile without sacrificing durability.

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Modern Mediterranean Home

limestone and stucco home
Werner Straube

Mediterranean homes generally have an old-world look, but it's possible to apply the style in a modern way. Taking cues from Tuscan landscapes, this home exterior pairs limestone and stucco with over-grouted terra-cotta roof tiles to lend the home an authentic Italian look. However, a crisp exterior color palette and clean-lined windows with sleek black frames give this modern Mediterranean home a contemporary edge.

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Mediterranean-Style Landscaping

home with mediterranean landscaping
Mary Fran Brennan

Vibrant landscaping adds inviting curb appeal to Mediterranean-style homes. These gardens often feature lots of contrast, such as soft foliage against stone walls or tall, sprawling vines next to tidy clipped hedges. A curving walkway garden adds interest to this Mediterranean home exterior covered in greenery.

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Italian Mediterranean Home

stone and stucco home with clay roof tiles and fountain
Emily Followill

This Mediterranean-style home is inspired by Italian architecture and applies authentic design with unfussy elegance. Clay roof tiles, grand arches, and a mix of stone and stucco give the exterior a classic Italian appearance. Arches are used inside and outside the home to impart a sense of history.

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Colorful Mediterranean Homes

Mediterranean-inspired home with garden
Ed Gohlich

Mediterranean homes typically feature warm neutral exterior colors, but they can also exhibit more vibrant colors such as sky blue, light gold, or even pink. In addition to the stucco, roof, doors, and trim colors, the landscaping can also factor into a bright exterior palette. Here, colorful plantings tie the colorful Mediterranean house to the surrounding lawn and landscape. The homeowner chose flowers and greenery at all levels to draw attention to the two-story design of the house, as well as the front porch and two balconies.

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Spanish Mediterranean Homes

Mediterranean-inspired home with intricate tilework
Ed Gohlich

Spanish Mediterranean-style homes are typically built with clean-lined shapes and low-pitched roofs. However, more flamboyant Spanish-style homes might also feature intricate tilework, as seen above and around the front door of this house. The windows with wrought-iron details are another Mediterranean design touch.

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Mediterranean Homes and Gardens

Mediterranean-inspired home with staircase entry
John Granen

Mediterranean houses are particularly well-suited to warm-weather locations, such as California, Florida, and southwestern states like Arizona, where living outdoors is an all-year-long activity. Indoor living areas are designed to flow seamlessly into outdoor rooms, including gardens, courtyards, loggias, terraces, and patios. This Mediterranean home has vast outdoor areas where the homeowners and their guests enjoy gardening, entertaining, and relaxing.

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Spanish Mediterranean Architecture

spanish-and-mediterranean-inspired home
Ed Gohlich

This Southern California home references Spanish and Mediterranean architecture. Its low-pitched roof with red roof tiles and the home's stucco siding are perfect examples of Mediterranean design. Shutters flank the windows. Brackets at the bottom of the windows add architectural interest and a rustic look. The warm, earthy color palette takes its cue from natural colors you might find in the Spanish countryside.

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Mediterranean Home Exterior Details

home with stone walkway and clay roof tiles
Ed Gohlich

Stone walkways are a common characteristic of Mediterranean-style homes and gardens. The curved, red brick walkway leading to this home reflects the roof tiles in both color and pattern. Flowers along the path provide bursts of color.

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Mediterranean-Style Stucco

Mediterranean-inspired home
Tria Giovan

Both inside and out, stucco is one of the most recognizable features of Mediterranean homes. These thick walls help keep the heat out during the day to maintain a cool interior in warm climates. Crisp white stucco covers the exterior of this Mediterranean home, defined by stylized arches and wrought-iron accents.

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