What Were Houses Like in Ancient Greece?

In ancient Greece, houses were not just a place to live but also a symbol of one’s wealth and social status. The architecture of the Greek houses was influenced by the geography and climate of the region.

The Structure of Ancient Greek Houses

The typical Greek house was built around a courtyard called an ‘atrium.’ This central courtyard was surrounded by rooms used for various purposes such as cooking, dining, and sleeping. The walls of these rooms were made of stone or mud bricks and were often painted with bright colors.

The Interior Design

The interior design of the Greek houses was simple yet elegant. The floors were made of mosaic tiles or polished stones, while the walls were decorated with frescoes depicting scenes from mythology or everyday life.

The furniture in ancient Greek houses was also minimalistic. People sat on benches or mats placed on the floor. Tables were low and used for serving food.

The Kitchen

The kitchen in ancient Greek houses was known as the ‘clibanus.’ It was usually located near the atrium to keep smoke away from other rooms. The kitchen had a fireplace for cooking and a clay oven for baking bread.

The Bathrooms

The ancient Greeks valued cleanliness and hygiene. Therefore, they had separate rooms for bathing and using the toilet. The bathroom was called a ‘latrine,’ which had a hole in the ground with running water to wash away waste.

The Courtyard

The central courtyard of ancient Greek houses served as an open-air space for socializing, relaxation, and entertainment. It often had a fountain or pool in its center to provide water for drinking and washing.


In conclusion, ancient Greek houses were designed keeping in mind their climate, geography, culture, and social status. They were simple yet elegant with minimalistic furniture and colorful decorations.

The central atrium provided an open-air space for socializing and relaxation. The Greek houses were a reflection of the values and traditions of their time.