What makes a Spanish style home stand out? What are the key features of such a space, and why are they significant?
What Is a Spanish Style Home?
A Spanish style home generally features stucco walls, a red terracotta roof, decorative wrought iron elements, and tiled designs. These homes often are accompanied by detailed landscaping and feature courtyards or outdoor entertaining areas.
To give you an inside look at Spanish style homes and their main elements, we spoke with designers who weighed in on common characteristics of such spaces and why they're so special.
Meet the Expert
- Laura Roberts is the founder of her eponymous design firm, Laura Roberts Interiors, in Los Angeles.
- Raymond Jimenez is the founder and creative director at Raymond Nicolas, in Miami.
- Allison Knizek the founder of her eponymous design firm, Allison Knizek Design, in Los Angeles.
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Thoughtful Architectural Details
Spanish style homes often feature stucco walls, terracotta roof tiles, and inner courtyards—"which were all designed originally to keep homes naturally cool," designer Laura Roberts explains. "Other details like wooden [support beams on] ceilings, doors, and windows, as well as ornamental iron work are found in Spanish style homes," she adds.
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Bring on the colorful touches when designing a Spanish style home, designer Raymond Jimenez notes. "Adapting a Spanish style to the exterior of your home boils down to a few very simple principles: You’re looking to embody a rich, timeless aesthetic, and you’re not afraid to experiment with color. These colors like terracottas, blues, yellows, white, black, and of course green are usually not synonymous with ‘timeless’ but when done in such a way, they evoke a very luxe and classic look."
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Laid Back Features
This Spanish style home truly blends indoors and out, encouraging maximum relaxation. As a whole, "This style of architecture is very much laid-back and creates the feeling of always being on vacation," Jimenez notes. "It inherently warms you up and calms you down."
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Even if you aren't constructing a home from scratch, there are plenty of ways to incorporate Spanish style influences to the front of a house, Roberts notes. "Neutral white or beige stucco on the exterior walls, highlighted with terracotta and/or patterned tiles around a window frame, on stair risers, or on the walkway will bring a Spanish flair to any exterior," she explains.
Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Iron detailing, as showcased above, is also commonplace when it comes to Spanish style exteriors. "It. can be used for gates, stair railings, or in Spanish style exterior light fixtures," Roberts notes. Designer Allison Knizek agrees, sharing a modern take on this feature. "Touches of wrought iron such as a handrail or a Juliet balcony instantly evoke an old world Spanish mood," she comments. "Typically painted black, an updated take is to paint them a color. Same goes for wrought iron furniture—glossy color is an instant update."
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Spanish style influences can extend to a home's interior, too. Not sure where to get started? Roberts offers a few tips. "Subtleties like smooth plaster walls, arched cutouts between rooms, vibrant accents, and the use of linen in furniture and window treatments all contribute to a true Spanish look," she explains.
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You'll notice that many Spanish style homes boast impressive landscaping and outdoor surroundings, something that Jimenez notes is ultra key. "Spanish style homes must be surrounded by thick, lush greenery and landscapes to really make you feel like you are escaping into your own personal paradise.”
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Tons of Terracotta
If your home doesn't feature a signature red tiled roof, Knizek offers an innovative solution. "A collection of terracotta pots against a bright white stucco wall does the trick," she says. "Add some vibrant pink bougainvillea and you instantly achieve that blinding, sun kissed, Spanish hacienda look."Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Beautiful tile lines this outdoor bench, and similar designs can be incorporated indoors, too. "Tile is the best way to infuse a little Spanish mood and decorative tiles are plentiful at the moment at every price point," Knizek says.
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All the Arches
Curves and arches, like the ones seen here, are a common characteristic that Knizek incorporates into her spaces. "I introduce arches or semi circles into every home I’m working on," she says. "A softly arched doorway can stand on its own especially if the door is painted an accent color to complement the room and surroundings."