A Simple Ancient Greek House on Tinos
Traditional Greek building style has remained the same over the ages. Here is a vacation house on the Island of Tinos, updated to accommodate yet another century of loved and lived-in use by its owner, Greek interior designer Marilyn Katsaris.
The house has been lovingly hand built in traditional Greek style, with the same techniques as are used for adobe construction in the Americas, with the earth then covered in the traditional Greek way with whitewash.
The result is softened edges, even on hard construction details like stairs, and the most minimal nod to storage possible. This forces you to keep life simple and free of clutter, reinforcing a green lifestyle of less stuff.
The quirky chandelier and worn table provide a rustic contrast to rustic rafters and whitewashed plaster.
A little color is introduced to the overwhelming whiteness of the interior. The ceiling is washed in a color reminiscent of the sky and the sea seen out the window.
Only in the bathrooms are the plaster walls themselves tinted, and only in the aquamarines and turquoises of the views from the island.
The kitchen uses softly curved 1950s appliances to soften the shock of electric appliances in such an ancient setting.
The bedrooms harken back to a time when night time reading was done by gas light. But electric wiring is inserted in the walls and supplies a cooling fan.
But the minimal interiors are enhanced by the lack of the overwhelming amount of stuff that we have become used to. The lesson of this house is that life can still be civilized while being a lot simpler than we think necessary. For centuries, people have lived in simple houses like this.