9 Spanish Colonial Homes and Their Key Characteristics

Classic Spanish Colonial home with cream exterior

Erika Frank Interior Design

When you think of Spanish-inspired architecture in the U.S., nothing is quite as iconic as Spanish Colonial. Homes like these were first built in Spain roughly 400 years ago. In the early 1900s, during the Colonial Revival movement for residential architecture, the classic style went mainstream in state, and it is easy to understand why. Spanish Colonial houses are known for their speculator curb appeal thanks to striking white stucco walls, red tile roofs, and gorgeous landscaping. Learn more about the shape, frame, and structure of these magnificent abodes.

  • 01 of 09

    White Brick Spanish Colonial Home

    Classic Colonial Spanish Home with exterior arches
    Catherine Nguyen Photography

    When we talk about Spanish Colonial architecture, it is essential to point out that there are two distinctive types. The original style that originated in Spain in the 1500s, and the revival style houses that started popping up in North America during the early 20th century. Here is a gorgeous example of the latter. It belongs to Carole Marcotte, the interior designer behind the firm Form and Function. Here white bricks were used instead of the traditional white stucco. Simple red shutters lend an old-world feel. Note the arch entrances and windows. Both are hallmarks of the aesthetic. Marcotte spent 17 years renovating the home both inside and out. Take a peek at the interior next.

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  • 02 of 09

    This Loggia Makes the Most of the Home's Garden

    Loggia in a Spanish Colonial Home
    Catherine Nguyen Photography

    During the renovation, Marcotte expanded the home's Spanish motif. Homes like hers typically have one or more partially enclosed rooms, called loggias, that open to a garden or yard. This one is a new addition. Architectural features include a fireplace and several arches that connect the outdoor room to the gorgeous backyard. Note the exposed wood beams on the ceiling—this is another common feature spotted in Spanish Colonial Revival architecture.

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  • 03 of 09

    Spanish Colonial Home With a Private Courtyard

    exterior shot Stucco Spanish colonial house
    Lesly Hall Photography for FormLA Landscaping

    Private courtyards and gardens are staples of the classic Spanish Colonial house. Here FormLA Landscaping designed a lush, leafy native garden to compliment this revival home’s distinctive architecture. The tree canopy softens the asymmetrical structure while providing a nice contrast to the red roof tiles. Additional greenery including coffeeberry shrubs and California lilacs add a layer of privacy directly behind the wrought-iron fence.

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  • 04 of 09

    Colorful Outdoor Tile in a Spanish Revival Home

    Entryway detail on Spanish Colonial house
    Lesly Hall Photography for FormLA Landscaping

    Both terra-cotta and colorful tile flooring are usually standard features in Spanish Revival homes both indoors and outdoors. FormLA Landscaping planted delicate blue ceanothus shrubs to match the vibrant tile on the stairs leading to a side entrance.

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  • 05 of 09

    Newly Built Spanish Colonial Home

    Classic Spanish Colonial home with cream exterior
    Erika Frank Interior Design

    Spanish Colonial architecture is widespread in California. Why? Maybe it is because of the style's relaxed vibe. This example is a relatively new construction owned by interior designer Erika Frank. Her father, an architect, built it. The home has the classic style's thick walls and arches throughout. The stucco covering the exterior is a shade called Santa Barbara—a slightly grayish-white. On the roof is a prominent feature for many Spanish Colonial homes, red barrel tile. They are usually made of a ceramic or concrete, making them a better fit for warm weather climates. The landscaping is also suited for the California weather. All of the plants are also drought-resistant.

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  • 06 of 09

    Spanish-Inspired Juliet Balconies

    Juliette balcony rear view spanish home
    Stonehurst Construction

    Juliette balconies add drama and old-world flair to this Spanish Colonial mansion renovated by Justin Krzyston, the founder of Stonehurst Construction based out of Los Angeles. They also boost home enjoyment by merging the interior spaces with the gorgeous backyard.

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  • 07 of 09

    Driveway Paving Stones Brimming With Mediterranean Flair

    bungalow in Spanish Colonial Style
    Stonehurst Construction

    Spanish Colonial homes come in all sizes. Here is a modestly-sized example remodeled by Stonehurst Construction. The exterior includes a paver-style brick driveway that lends a Mediterranean flavor to the compact abode. Note the wood slat partitions, as they enhance privacy while hiding unattractive features like the AC compressor.

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  • 08 of 09

    Mid-Century Ranch House Inspired by Spanish Colonial Architecture

    spanish colonial ranch house
    Tracy Lynn Studio

    What was the top objective for Tracy Lynn Studio when remodeling this midcentury ranch home? They had to merge the client's love of contemporary style with the structure's original Spanish influence. Regional vegetation set the stage for the long loggia, a front porch that runs the length of the home and functions as an outdoor room for year-round enjoyment. Note the red mulch, which matches the red barrel roof tiles. Another trick that further modernized the home's exterior is the paint color. Instead of sticking to a creamy white shade of stucco, the designer selected a warm pale gray tone for the home.

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  • 09 of 09

    Spanish Colonial-Inspired Fireplace

    fireplace in Spanish Colonial home
    Tracy Lynn Studio

    Tracy Lynn Studio solved another stylish problem for a different homeowner also living in a Spanish Colonial-inspired house. Rebuilding this fireplace to suit this home's exterior style was a huge splurge that paid off big. Spanish tiles and a concrete mantel (made to look like wood) completed the look.