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Simple Interiors

Visiting a Greek home you will be surprised at how "spartan" the inside can be, with simple interiors. So if you are captivated with the idea of buying that bijou property on your favourite Greek Island? There may be startling white exteriors, a full sun-drenched patio and a relaxed village vibe - but consider what you are likely to want to create a beautiful Greek home interior. 

Keeping your interior simple is the main key to getting the right feel in your Greek Island home. That is not to say, the home should be uncomfortable with hard chairs and benches but the basic simple style of Greek interiors should be used as a basis for what we expect in our modern lifestyle.

Before getting to the interior, it's worth a few words about the property itself. Jeff and Kate both in their forties from Lincolnshire told us they wished they had thought about their property on Corfu more carefully. Although happy with the house itself, which has beautiful panoramic views, the 200 steps to their home are proving to be a real downside. Kate says, "It's crazy, we never thought about it as we stood on the patio looking out over the town and the sea. It never crossed our minds whether we'd be able to park or not. We love it because we are away from the masses in town but it can be a hell of a haul with shopping!".

They are not the only Greek Islands' property buyers to have been caught out by the sunbeams and blue skies. Those who have purchased 'cave houses' have found that there is little light and said that cirulating air through the property can be very difficult.

It is worth remembering that summers in the Greek Islands are hot and dry, so one of the first steps for inside is to ensure that your home is a place away from the bright sun and searing heat. Air conditioning is critical inside and make sure there is a covered area outside where you can relax and enjoy some shade. One of the best ways to get some shade on that sun soaked terrace is to put up a pergola with leafy plants growing up and along to offer shade during the hottest part of the day. Using large plants in local earthenware pots is common to frame doorways going into the home.

Next - comfort! We've all spent time in Greek cafes and restaurants on those awfully uncomfortable hard chairs, so avoid them in your home. Many Greek homes have banquettes, which certainly reflect the simple Greek style. However, they can be very hard and unyielding, particularly as they generally back a hard stone wall. Piles of cushions are needed here and to give a further flavour of authenticity ethnic embroideries look great.

This brings to mind the materials which are used. Generally the Greeks like bold textures and you will find that whilst walls are often simply painted, they are often garnered with embroidered wall hangings and hand painted tiles.

Keep the decor simple and clutter put away. Whilst many of us are used to having all sorts of bits and pieces dotted around, Greek interiors lean more towards a minimal look, rather than country style. Preferred flooring is terracotta and the most decoration you'll find are earthenware pottery pieces standing in a corner. Kitchens seem to remain predominantly the famous Mediterranean blue and indeed this is a lovely cool colour in the height of summer. The blue is favoured against bright white for contrast.

Another favourite colour is a lovely deep gold yellow, which is often used not only for a walls but can be seen on furniture and shelving. Very dark burnt orange is then used as a dash of highlight in wall hangings or rugs.

Furniture leans to the bold, with large pieces in natural woods, often with a rustic feel. The same is true for ceramics, bowls and vases - usually large made of natural materials.

The theme is simplicity but not basic or spartan. The Greek-inspired home remains homey and one of the easiest looks to achieve.

For more detail on Greek interior style and decor read Recreating A Greek Island Interior