Over the weekend we were lucky enough to visit a Mediterranean styled house on the shores of Lake Rotorua. Superb views over a misty lake made us realise (yet again) what a gorgeous place New Zealand really is. Could have actually been Lake Como in Italy which I guess is where the Mediterranean styled house came from. Inside was luxurious and comfortable, styled with antiques, original fittings from a 1920’s house. All good so far, but then the elephants started popping up, then the tigers on the cushions, then the leopards in the pictures, more elephants peeking around the corner of the terrace outside our room and the African animal themed sheer curtains. Somehow that didn’t work…..how does African relate to Mediterranean to New Zealand? Short answer, It doesn’t.
What had happened here is that they had added too many themes/styles into the mix. Mediterranean styled on the exterior is very common here, and again that is all good, but inside it didn’t really relate with the African animal thing. 1920’s antiques and decoration does, as that relates to the original and hints at our past. More appropriate would’ve been to continue the Mediterranean style and add more antiques-Mediterranean style so the place had a cohesive whole. Something like this would have been ideal:
Edgy, with rustic furniture, but styling relates to the Mediterranean thing and the pictures can be of NZ Native plants. Alternatively you can add your vintage pieces in fab colours and mix it back with more rustic elements as shown here:
Adding an edge and creating friction is truly important in an interior, but not when it is way off centre. You need to find the middle ground somewhere, have the style relate to the original house, or keep the theme going from the gorgeous box balls at the front door and rough stucco exterior. So, find a style or two and stick to it, mixing old with new, adding layers of texture. Every space is as different as the person who inhabits it, so make sure you add your own personality and heritage to it too. Just don’t go to three continents in one house.