Comfortable places to sit outside enhance and encourage living in the fresh air, and enhance the connection with nature. (Photo: Manolo Langis)

Courtyard planning is an important aspect of the Mediterranean house. It provides privacy and security, while encouraging an outdoor lifestyle. (Photo: Erhard Pfeiffer)

In the Mediterranean landscape, natural materials abound. Limestone rubble walls and decomposed granite walkways are featured in this European-style garden. (Photo: KAA)

In the Mediterranean home, the center of family life is often a gracious veranda space. This vaulted loggia features a sheltering antique terra-cotta ceiling, and a large fireplace to warm the space for evening dining. (Photo: Karyn R. Millet)

Direct, fluid connection to the landscape is a hallmark of the Mediterranean lifestyle. A view across the lawn terrace toward a glassy pool pavilion. (Photo: Karyn R Millet)

The Mediterranean vernacular, fine-tuned for the beach. Thin, elegant steel framed windows maximize the view, and a natural, driftwood-inspired palette connects the architecture to the sea. (Photo: Karyn R Millet)