Spanish Homes Exterior Ideas
Spanish Home Plans Revival
The Spanish revival – or Spanish eclectic – style of architecture was popular between the World Wars. Like the Mission revival style, Spanish home plans derived from the Spanish colonial architectural design and motifs of earlier centuries. But unlike the Mission style, Spanish tended to be more ornate in its stylistic detail in both small and large features, such as tile work with intricate patterning and wrought iron hardware. Typical features of Spanish houses are: asymmetrical layout; a low-pitched flat, hip, or gable tile roof, usually without an overhang; half-round windows, doors, and arches; stucco over adobe brick construction (or simply adobe brick exteriors) with plastered interior walls; ornate tile, wood, and wrought iron work.
The Spanish revival style was heralded by the Panama California Exposition of 1915 and the growth of California’s film industry in the next two decades helped to disseminate the Spanish style. Although it is a prominent style for housing in the Southwestern United States and also a popular Florida southern living house plan, Spanish revival architecture is not seen much in the North.
Spanish revival is also called “eclectic” since it combines many Mediterranean touches into an exotic but harmonious appearance. Among its sources are Spanish Baroque, Gothic, and Moorish elements. The stucco exteriors and roofs are characteristic, with half-rounded windows and doors. Elaborately decorated tile work, wrought iron grill work, and applied relief decoration is used to frame windows and doorways, as well as to provide ornamental accents throughout the home. Columns and towers are often seen, as are cantilevered balconies, balustrades, arcaded walkways, and covered porches. Front entrances are highly ornamented, and many entrances feature commanding triple-arched focal windows.
The Monterrey style is a later two-story adaptation, popular from the mid-1920’s to mid 1950’s, which combined features of the Spanish revival and Colonial home plan revival styles. Its principle distinguishing feature is a prominent cantilevered balcony on the second story which usually runs the length of the front of the home. Spanish revival architecture is regaining popularity since the small windows and stucco siding make these homes very energy efficient – keeping warmth inside in the winter months, and keeping cool in summer.
The thick walls are well-suited to the hot climates of the South and Southwest, absorbing heat from the day and radiating it gently back through the house in the cool evenings. The small windows (originally sealed with wrought iron grates instead of glass panes) are placed on the home to capture the breezes while avoiding the sun’s direct rays. Sometimes windows have wooden shutters, but these are mounted inside the home.
The Spanish style is very organic, consisting of earthen materials such as adobe, stucco, and tile roofs. Spanish revival homes are built from indigenous materials, whether adobe in the Southwest or coquina rock in Florida. Best of all, Spanish homes are family homes. The enclosed courtyards extend living space into the outdoors. Historically these courtyards provided cooking areas; today they serve as gathering and recreation spots for the family.
Spanish home plans are regaining popularity because of their earthy, organic feel. The traditional Spanish colonial home plan has been modified over the centuries to provide a perfect family southern living house plan in warm climates.
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