Mediterranean-Style Homes: A Modern Twist on Italian Renaissance

A Mediterranean-style home with low-pitched roof and wide eaves, a stucco veneer, and around the entry way a stone veneer and a sidewalk with landscaping in the center.

A Modern Mediterranean-Style home in Columbia, SC with a stucco finish and natural stone accents — built by Blythe Building Company.

Mediterranean-style homes are very popular for luxury homes today. The home above is one of our latest new construction homes in Columbia, SC.

Mediterranean home plans work well in warm-weather climates where homeowners can enjoy indoor-outdoor living practically year-round.

Let’s dive into the world of Mediterranean homes and luxury architecture that has stood the test of time and still captures the hearts of people around the world today.

We’ll explore topics like:

  • What is a Mediterranean-Style home?
  • What do Modern Mediterranean-Style homes look like?
  • The three main types of Mediterranean-style architecture
  • Modern Italian Renaissance Architecture inspiration

Elegant Living Space With Dining Area Living Room Custom Built Ins Covered By Beautiful Wood Doors A Gas Fireplace And Sliding Black Steel And Glass Doors To A Large Back Porch 1

Mediterranean home decor in a modern Columbia, SC home in 2023 includes a richly paneled wood coffered ceiling, tile accent wall around the stone fireplace, and bold geometric designs on the wooden doors covering a wet bar and TV viewing area.

Above is a view of the interior of our latest custom build — in a  Mediterranean home style.

What is a Mediterranean-style home?

This type of architecture comes from the countries that are found along the Mediterranean Sea like Spain, Italy, and Greece.

It is a specific type of luxury architecture that provides a palatial feel and the most exquisite natural materials that was developed several centuries ago.

5 Mediterranean home exterior features

Exterior Mediterranean-style homes work beautifully in relaxed, warmer climates and tend to have the following types of elements…

Symmetrical facades

Mediterranean-style homes often emphasize symmetrical facades for the placement of windows and doorways on either side of the entrance. They may also have identical wings on each side of the front entrance.

Rear View Of Luxury Home Large Back Porch With 3 Archways And Rectangular Custom Pool With Natural Stone Pavers And White Pool Chairs

Rear exterior view of a Modern Mediterranean home in Columbia, SC with three large archways along the back porch overlooking a stone pool deck and custom pool with tanning shelf.

Stucco exterior

Stucco is a very durable material that can handle the strong UV rays and heat found in the Mediterranean region. It’s also great at keeping the inside of the home cool as it absorbs heat during the day and releases it at night.

Stucco can easily be molded into many decorative shapes like arches, niches, and moldings. So this material is perfectly suited for the various Mediterranean styles.

Red tile terracota roof on Mediterranean style home.

A low-pitched tile roof over a round building in Palos Verdes Estates, CA.

Low-pitched roof (often tile)

The low-pitched roof is common because it helps to keep the inside of the home cool on hot, sunny days. The lower slopes provide wider eaves with greater shade for the windows of the home.

A low-pitched roof also directs water farther away from the home’s foundation which helps protect the home from water damage in heavy rains. With traditional terra cotta tiles, the roof line has a very distinctive appearance and sense of stability.

Greek-style Mediterranean balcony overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and a sail boat.

An outdoor balcony of a stucco Mediterranean home on Santorini Island, Greece.

Outdoor living spaces

For people living around the Mediterranean Sea, the warm, sunny climate provides ample opportunities to enjoy eating and entertaining outdoors. Having a courtyard, balcony, or terrace is essential to be able to best enjoy the sea breezes and the delightful evening weather.

These outdoor living spaces also make a perfect place to enjoy a wide-water view or panoramic view of the mountains. A courtyard is also a great spot for a water feature like a fountain in the center of a garden.

Italian Renaissance home with iron balcony and plants in Italy.

A wrought iron balcony on a historic old home in Taormina in Sicily, Italy.

Wrought iron window grills or railings on balconies

Wrought iron is a traditional element of home architecture in the Mediterranean region. Iron is a very strong material that can easily be molded into intricate shapes and designs and it can hold up under high winds and salt exposure.


Table and open French doors in dark wood and a Mediterranean-style indoor-outdoor living space.

Mediterranean home interior features

Mediterranean-style home interiors tend to have a lot of archways, wall niches, wood ceiling beams, and large doors that open onto outdoor living spaces.

Mediterranean home design usually has warm, earthy colors like deep browns, terra cotta, deep reds, yellows, and oranges. They utilize natural materials such as stone (marble, limestone, or travertine) wrought iron, and wood. Brick, copper, and other rustic materials add a lot of charm and character to the interior spaces.

Fabrics used in these homes generally include linen, cotton, or silk. The natural textures, warm colors, and comfort combine to create an inviting atmosphere.

Kitchens and bathrooms often have intricate tile work with breathtaking patterns and designs. Often, there are no upper cabinets, but rather, open shelving, pared with understated decor.

Mediterranean interior homes tend to have open floor plans and seamless living spaces that flow from outdoors to indoors. And don’t be surprised if you see an emphasis on symmetry – like pairs of chairs, couches, or sconces — along with a focus on harmony so that all of the elements work together well.

Also associated with the interior of Mediterranean-style homes: geometric patterns, crisp white walls, clean lines, neutral tones, and plenty of natural light.

Double 4 Panel Door Entryway With Handmade Floor Tile Black Steel Windows And Patina Finish On The Walls

A modern take on the interior of a Mediterranean-style home with white walls, rustic ceiling beams, handmade floor tile, and oversized pottery – by Blythe Building Company.

What do Modern Mediterranean-style homes look like?

Today, luxury Mediterranean homes combine the elegance and style of the past with the convenience and technology of today for a match made in heaven.

A Modern Mediterranean home incorporates contemporary design features, materials, and architectural style to complement the best of the traditional Mediterranean style.

Luxury home plans like this use concrete, steel, and glass and fuse them with the older materials of stucco, brick, terra cotta tile roofs, and natural stone. They may also have sustainable solar panels or energy-efficient lighting and appliances.

Modern luxury homes also tend to have a more open-concept floor plan rather than separating rooms the way some traditional floor plans do. And they usually have minimalist decor with a neutral color scheme and contemporary furniture.

Traditional Mediterranean homes tend to be more ornate in details, tile patterns, and decorative architectural embellishments.

Luxury Back Porch With Wood Paneled Walls And Ceiling Black Steel And Glass Sliding Doors Seating Area Dining Area And Large Outdoor Kitchen With Built In Grill And Sink

A large, luxurious wood-paneled back porch in a Modern Mediterranean style with a natural stone-tiled floor.

Just like with traditional Mediterranean homes, indoor-outdoor living is still a prized feature of Modern homes in this style. This huge back porch with steel sliding doors that open to become an indoor-outdoor space overlooks a gorgeous natural stone pool deck and custom pool in the backyard.

Below, we’ll check out some of the more traditional styles that inspired Modern Mediterranean home architecture.

Italian Renaissance Exterior by Andrea Palladio.

Facade and exterior of Villa La Rotonda or Almerico Capra Valmarana designed by Andrea Palladio Renaissance Italian architect.

Three main types of Mediterranean-style architecture

If you love to learn about the history of different types of architecture, we’ll take you on a little journey around the Mediterranean Sea to the three major types of architecture from this area.

  • Italian Renaissance
  • Spanish
  • Greek

Each of these styles embraces the Mediterranean vibe but adds its own unique twist. Whatever your favorite type is, there is a way to incorporate it into your very own modern dream home

Italian Renaissance-style Cathedral in Italy.

Cathedral of Florence in Piazza del Duomo, Florence, Italy.

Italian Renaissance style

The Italian Renaissance style lends itself well to luxury home design with its stunning architectural details, bold colors, and imposing geometry.

What is Italian Renaissance architecture?

The Renaissance was inspired by ancient Romans and Greeks. The architects and artists of Renaissance Italy used those ancient designs to create something new and exciting during the 14th-17th centuries.

This new way of thinking, building, and designing transformed the Dark Ages into the Enlightenment Age. It replaced the Gothic style with a revolution in thought and style.

St. Peter's Bascilica in Rome, Italy.

St. Peter’s Basilica in the evening in Rome — Italian Renaissance architecture.

The St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome is, essentially, the highest point of architecture during the Italian Renaissance.

Italian Renaissance architecture includes the following elements:

Columns, pediments, domes, and arches were prominent features. Precise ratios of height and width along with symmetry, harmony, and simple geometry became important.

This gorgeous architecture continues to inspire designers and builders today around the world.

Spanish-Mediterranean style home with a stucco finish and red terra cotta roof.

A Spanish-style home with a stucco finish on a beautiful sunny day with a lush, green yard.

Spanish style

Mediterranean Spanish-style homes are often more simple than Italian-style homes. They usually have a smooth stucco or stone exterior, a barrel tile or stone roof, and arched doors or windows.

Old World Spanish architecture apartment building with ironwork on the balconies.

Classic apartment building with wrought iron balconies and moveable shutters in Barcelona.

Spanish-style homes also tend to have heavy, carved wood doors and ornate metalwork. 

The single-family homes can be one- or two-story and often feature sturdy wood support beams.

Classic Greek architecture near the caldera in Santorini.

View of the caldera with blue domes in Santorini overlooking the Aegean Sea.

Greek-style homes

Another common Mediterranean style of architecture comes from Greece. Greek homes are often finished with stucco and then painted white with brilliant blue accents for doors or domes. They look absolutely brilliant with bright magenta flowers nearby and the blue Mediterranean or Aegean Sea in the background.

Inside of a Greek-Style Mediterranean home with archways and white-painted stucco and blue trim.

Beautiful interior of a Greek beach house with white stucco walls and arched ceilings and blue arched doors and windows.

Greek architecture is often very symmetrical with columns, pediments, arches, and other features balanced and aligned in careful harmonious proportion. Buildings often have Doric, Ionic, or Corinthian columns. And homes built in a Greek style also tend to use marble and geometric shapes.

This architectural style still inspires architects and interior designers today and is utilized in many luxury home designs and commercial designs, as well.

Dramatic Kitchen With Black Custom Floor To Ceiling Cabinets Vaulted Wood Paneled Ceiling Oversized Cylindrical Chandeliers Large Format Rectangular Floor Tile And Waterfall Kitchen Island

A Modern Italian Renaissance kitchen with a vaulted ceiling covered with wood paneling, a waterfall kitchen island, and dramatic black cabinets.

Modern Italian Renaissance Architecture Inspiration

Modern Italian architecture also uses natural materials like wood, stone, and glass. And bold symmetrical shapes still delight visitors today in Italian-style homes like the one above. Minimalism is a big feature in modern Italian design with clean lines and simple shapes, generally using a limited color palette.

Today’s luxury home design merges well with Italian-style home decor and architecture as Old World meets modern technology and modern building techniques to create timeless, unforgettable spaces for living, entertaining, and relaxing.

Luxurious Breakfast Nook With Custom U Shaped Bench And Large Wall Of Windows

Custom breakfast nook with built-in benches with storage and large window.

Ready to build your own luxurious Modern Mediterranean home in the Columbia, SC area?

At Blythe Building Company, we build the finest luxury homes in Columbia, SC. Lee Blythe is a Certified Master Builder with many award-winning designs.

Check out the portfolio of our work (the latest and greatest is toward the bottom).

And please contact us today if you’re ready to build your luxury dream home.

Our homes generally start at $700k and up.

We build on Lake Murray and in Lexington, Lake Carolina, West Columbia, Chapin, downtown Columbia, and more.