I’m all about taking your travel experiences and incorporating your favorite aspects into your everyday life. I recently had the opportunity to travel to Greece with my family, specifically Athens and the island of Tinos. It did not disappoint! Yes, it’s as beautiful as you imagine. Yes, the food is incredible. Yes, the history is out of this world. Now that I’m back home (sad), I’ve discovered ways we can incorporate the lifestyle right here at home. Sidenote – this is from the perspective of someone who doesn’t cook, so there are a lot of amazing foods/recipes not included, like baklava (yum!) that I will eat at every opportunity, but never try to make, so I didn’t include it.
I loved Greek salad before I even went there, but now I’m straight up obsessed. What I realized was that I was missing a few key ingredients (the onion, green pepper and squeeze of lemon). The best part is there’s no stinkin’ lettuce. This recipe is pretty similar to the one in Greece, except for the avocado, but hey, I’m always up for a more avocado in my life.
Fresh Squeezed OJ
This is a European phenomenon in general, there is fresh squeezed oj everywhere you turn. Love it. While I was there, I discovered an electric juicer and it was the first thing I bought when I returned. So fresh and delicious (and easy)!
Watermelon for Dessert
Watermelon is already a delicious summer treat, but in Greece it is frequently served as dessert. Healthy alternative amiright?
French Fries in Your Omelette
Several mornings I ordered the Greek omelette for breakfast and it included all the typical ingredients you would expect – olives, tomato, feta, pepper – and then an unexpected, yet delightful surprise…fries! I don’t know how to make fries at home, but I tell you what, I’m gonna order that next time I’m at brunch.
The Greeks have made significant contributions to the design world too. Here are a few key elements and some options for incorporating them into your space.
Greek Key Pattern
“The Greek Key (a type of meander pattern) was one of the most important decorative elements in ancient Greece, where it appeared on everything from pottery to buildings. It is thought to be a reference to a labyrinth, symbolizing infinity and unity. Today it can be seen on everything from doormats to the quintessential New York coffee cup.” -Design Sponge
“The Greek klismos, which appeared in the fifth century B.C., is considered one of the most graceful chairs ever conceived. It has been imitated over the ages, most recently by Michael Graves for JCPenney.” -Architectural Digest
Acanthus Leaf Motif
“Leaf borders and scroll motifs were used extensively in the art and architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. Foremost of these was the acanthus motif. Some say the acanthus, one of the oldest flowers in the Mediterranean area, represents long life. Throughout most of its long history the leaf ornament generally known as acanthus is in fact an imaginary leaf adapted to many uses.
The symbolism and meaning associated with the Acanthus is that of enduring life, and the plant is traditionally displayed at funerary celebrations.
In Christianity the thorny leaves represent pain, sin and punishment. Acanthus symbolizes immortality in Mediterranean countries.” -Buffalo Architecture and History
Blue and White
I have never seen blue like the blue of Greece. From the color of the ocean to the architecture and even the country’s flag – brilliant blue and crisp white are undoubtedly the colors of Greece.
Olives and olive oil are deliciously abundant in Greece and the tree itself offers a refreshing alternative to the trendy fiddle leaf fig. Here are a few faux options, but if you’re brave enough to take on a live plant, Apartment Therapy has some care tips for you.