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Capturing the European Summer Aesthetic, Indoors


Capturing the European Summer Aesthetic, Indoors
Clara Carlino de Paz
January 25, 2024

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Log on to social media, any time from March to September, and you'll find a slew of videos and images detailing American and Australian tourists' foray into the stylish world of Europe. Now, for anyone living in this part of the world, this obsession can feel ludicrous and easy to dismantle; especially if you know Europe beyond the typical coastal attractions. However, I'd like to defend influencers and tourists for a second.

Have we really forgotten the beauty of where we live? How incredible it is that we step into ancestral buildings regularly? That some of our meeting spots are older than the invention of the compass?

With that said, I'd like to dive into the "European Summer Aesthetic", and how we can apply some of the real (and idealised) components into our interior designs. After all, isn't European design a dream come true? To discover the best European interior design brands, join our free, curated directory. If you'd like to receive content like this in your inbox, check out our weekly newsletter.

What is the "European Summer Aesthetic"?

This style refers to the romanticised aesthetic of taking an extended period of time off work or school to visit Europe. Normally, this entails white dresses, sandals, many an aperol spritz, and tourism galore. Not included, but dreamed of: a foreign romance.

This design style or aesthetic prioritises leisure, comfort and fun, and is focused around building cinematographic moments that will serve as mementos later on.

european summer aesthetic
Collage by Portaire

Summer destinations may (only) include Barcelona, Paris, Rome, Copenhagen, St Tropez...

Despite the name, the "European Summer Aesthetic" doesn't apply to all of Europe. It normally refers to specific locations, such as: Provence, Rome, Barcelona, Seville, Santorini, Lisbon, Dubrovnik, Tuscany, and many more. It does not seek to capture the essence of equally beautiful but not summer-centric places such as: Bruges, Edinborough, London, Berlin or Prague.

TikTok and its style obsession; or the Pinterest wardrobe apocalypse

The subject of dress and style in regards to Europe is full of controversy online. On one side, Americans and other non-Europeans focus on the "old money", classy and sexy aspect of summer clothing here. On the other, are Europeans, who say there is no particular "European sensibility" (all while condemning the American style of dressing). But, we're here to talk about something else...

european summer aesthetic
Collage by Portaire

Interior design: Where the true inspiration should lie

One thing, is true. European design is as varied as it is beautiful. So, get inspired with a small collection of interior design elements to adopt into your designs.

Interior design in coastal Italy

Natural materials

Natural materials are a cornerstone of coastal Italian interior design, creating a sense of warmth, authenticity, and connection to the surrounding landscape. Stone, terracotta, and wicker are prevalent, reflecting the natural beauty of the region. Stone floors and countertops exude a sense of permanence and rustic charm, while terracotta tiles add a touch of warmth and Mediterranean flair.

european summer aesthetic
Ludovica+Roberto Palomba and GS Collection via Interior Design

Vibrant colors

Coastal Italian homes are awash with vibrant colors that evoke the spirit of the Mediterranean coast. Shades of blue, green, and yellow dominate, mirroring the colors of the sea, sky, and olive groves. Azure blue and turquoise capture the essence of the ocean, while olive green and sage green reflect the lush vegetation. Yellow and orange accents add pops of warmth and vibrancy, reminiscent of Mediterranean sunsets.

european summer aesthetic
Interior Design | Apartment, Milan, Italy, 2020 via Nicolo Castellini Baldisera

Soft, diffused lighting

Coastal Italian interior design emphasizes soft, diffused lighting to create a calming and relaxing atmosphere. Sheer curtains, natural fabrics, and lampshades with soft-toned bulbs are used to diffuse sunlight, mimicking the dappled light filtering through olive trees and patios. This gentle illumination promotes a sense of tranquility and encourages relaxation.

european summer aesthetic
Toscana project by LA Studio

Embracing comfort and hospitality

Coastal Italian homes are designed to prioritize comfort and hospitality, inviting guests to unwind and feel at ease. Plush sofas, armchairs, exterior terrace tables and chairs provide ample seating for relaxation and social gatherings. Linen and cotton fabrics, with their breathable and comfortable qualities, add to the inviting ambiance.

european summer aesthetic
Via The Spaces

Interior design in the South of France

Embracing natural light and airiness

South of France interiors are designed to maximize natural light and create an airy and spacious feel. Large windows and doors open up to patios and gardens, allowing the outdoors to flow seamlessly into the living spaces. White walls and light-colored furnishings further enhance the sense of brightness and openness.

european summer aesthetic
Via Conde Nast Traveler

Infusing Provençal charm

The South of France is renowned for its rustic charm and vibrant colors, and these elements are reflected in the interior design style. Terracotta tiles, stone floors, and exposed beams add a touch of rustic elegance to the spaces. Colorful tiles, hand-painted ceramics, and woven baskets bring in pops of Provençal flair.

european summer aesthetic
Via Tigmi Trading

Blending rustic and modern elements

South of France interiors often feature a harmonious blend of rustic and modern elements. Antique furniture, such as carved armoires and wrought-iron beds, coexist with contemporary pieces like sleek sofas and minimalist lighting fixtures. This eclectic mix creates a unique and stylish atmosphere.

european summer aesthetic
Via Sight Unseen

Embracing natural textures and patterns

Natural textures and patterns are prevalent in South of France interiors, adding warmth and visual interest to the spaces. Linen curtains, cotton throw pillows, and woven rugs provide a sense of comfort and texture. Provençal-inspired fabrics often feature bold floral patterns or rustic stripes, adding a touch of character to the décor.

european summer aesthetic
Via The Nordroom

Interior design in southern Spain

Embracing the beauty of nature

Southern Spanish interiors are deeply rooted in the region's natural beauty, incorporating natural elements and earthy tones to create a harmonious and inviting atmosphere. Stone walls, terracotta tiles, and wooden beams lend a sense of rustic charm and connection to the land. Earthy hues of beige, terracotta, and olive green dominate the color palette, evoking the warmth and serenity of the Mediterranean landscape.

european summer aesthetic
Via Casa Trés Chic

Living up the spirit of Andalusia

The vibrant and colorful spirit of Andalusian culture is reflected in Southern Spanish interior design. Bold patterns and vibrant hues, inspired by traditional flamenco costumes and Moorish architecture, add a touch of drama and personality. Tiles with intricate designs, hand-painted ceramics, and colorful textiles bring life to the spaces.

european summer aesthetic
Via Good Trips Travel

Creating a sense of comfort and relaxation

Southern Spanish homes prioritize comfort and relaxation, inviting residents and guests to unwind and embrace the laid-back lifestyle of the region. Plush sofas, armchairs, and chaise lounges provide ample space for siestas and social gatherings. Natural fibers like linen and cotton, known for their breathable and comfortable qualities, are prevalent in the furnishings and curtains.

european summer aesthetic
Via Conde Nast Traveller

Honoring tradition and craftsmanship

Southern Spanish interior design showcases the region's rich cultural heritage and artisanal traditions. Hand-crafted furniture, such as wrought-iron pieces, ceramic tiles, hand-painted pottery, woven baskets and intricately carved wooden accents, add a touch of rustic elegance.

european summer aesthetic
Via Architectural Digest France