Coastal Homes Styles: The Caribbean Vs. The Mediterranean

Have you ever noticed that in warmer climates, residential exterior paint colors tend to be brighter and bolder?  This also applies to places with cold winters, they tend to have more neutral colored homes overall. Now of course there are always exceptions, but let’s take a look at some of the different styles of homes you will find in different climates throughout the world.

The Caribbean

Homes in Latin American countries are known for being fun and bright.  These homes reflect the brilliant blue water from the ocean by showing off all of the boldest colors from under the sea.

“Carribean exterior paint colors are often bright and happy, just like the sun in the tropical regions,” said Greg Flanagan, who runs a Minneapolis painting company. “As a visitor, these colors are sure to keep the trip upbeat and make Carribean-style homes interesting to look at.”

As you have many different counties represented, the home structure styles vary quite dramatically along the Caribbean coastline.  From the US, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and all of the other beautiful countries that get to experience great coastal living.  As you can see from the photo, the home structures have two stories with flat roofs in Latin American countries.  The top floor doesn’t necessarily have stair access inside the walls of the home, but out on a covered deck.  These aren’t always single-family homes, but often are set up as multi-family homes with a family on each level.

The Mediterranean

In contrast with the Caribbean tropics, the Mediterranean is known for its more earthy tones.   With the temperate climate along the shores of the European Mediterranean coast, the exterior colors of homes tend to be softer and warmer.  They are commonly seen with exterior paint colors that are more muted, such as neutral reds, oranges, and yellows.  Also in the mix you will find beige, browns and a variety of white colored homes.  One obvious exception to this general color palate for Mediterranean homes is the Greek islands that are famous for being bright white with blue roofs.

“With the moist air from the sea, you will usually see that all of the homes have stucco exteriors and the general house style is square or rectangle,” said David Fohrenkamm, spokesperson for a carpet installation and home improvement company. “Mostly 90-degree angles create the shape and style of each home.  The stucco works great in these seaside homes because the walls won’t absorb the moisture from the air, but repel it.  If they used other materials for the exterior, the homes would need much more upkeep year after year.”

The variations in colors really make the most noticeable difference between the homes in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.  The home exterior paint colors go from bold and bright in the tropical Caribbean climate to the more calm, muted, and natural colors of the mild Mediterranean weather.  The house structure styles vary  but, in both places you will see homes with either stucco or concrete structures to keep the sea air from sticking to the house.   The part that makes this all so fascinating to the traveler is that no matter where you go, you get a taste of the country and it’s people even if it’s just through the observations of their homes.

About Mary Abe