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How to enjoy a holiday lifestyle without leaving home comforts.

Byline: By Andrew Durham

For many people this summer, holidays to sunnier shores are just around the corner. However, the annual break somehow never seems long enough and most people could quite happily stay another two weeks, especially when most days consist of nothing more than basking in the sun, relaxing and unwinding from the stresses of everyday life.

Although most of us can't afford to live in this luxury all the time, you can create your own Mediterranean retreat on your doorstep. So even if this Mediterranean weather decides to leave our shores, make the most of clever styling, pretty accessories and beautiful colours (and perhaps a patio heater.)

When achieving this look, turn your thoughts to the cultures of France, Italy and Spain for inspiration. Patchwork villages high up in the hills, made up of white-washed buildings with splashes of terracotta. The rich and diverse colours surrounding natural materials. A more relaxed, easier way of life, mirrored in the surroundings, with longer days, hot sunshine and leisurely lunches.

This outdoor space in a Mediterranean home is important and provides another living area focusing around eating, socialising and relaxing.

Form the same effect in your own garden space to create somewhere to entertain friends on a long summer night. Place tables and chairs in materials such as cane, wood and wicker in the garden for a relaxed dining area. Add colour such as blues, greens, pinks and yellows to accessorise to achieve this look. Choose checked tablecloths, colourful cushions and simple tableware.

Look at creating a covered area such as a pergola for those cooler nights.

Turn it into another room with smaller tables and comfy chairs for a calm corner of the garden. Light up the space with hanging lanterns and candles.

This Mediterranean look often focuses around a courtyard in a village or garden. Create a courtyard effect in your garden by painting any walls in terracotta and paving an area in brick or stone. Arrange terracotta planters to show colourful displays of flowers such as geraniums and petunias. Elsewhere introduce lots of vibrant colour to reflect the colourful Mediterranean culture.

Keep house walls vibrant in white and be bold with any garden gates and back doors in colours such as blue, green and turquoise.

Make a focal point in your garden with a water feature in true Mediterranean style. A small fountain, maybe centred in a paved area or a stone font placed against a wall creating a delicate sound of water.
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Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 26, 2003
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