Spanish design is all about highlighting great architectural elements. Common to California, Texas and the Southwest, Spanish-style houses are typically made of stucco with heavy wood trim and red clay tile roofs, have large porches and open windows and favor arches over square designs. The front door is often more of a portico into a small courtyard, as opposed to opening up right into the home.
A critical element of Spanish home design is the seamless integration between the inside and outside spaces. Floor plans typically open towards spacious outdoor areas with French doors and archways designed to let in an abundance of natural light. These outdoor spaces are intended to be lived-in extensions of the house. Many designs will be centered on a main courtyard, originally meant to offer Spanish nobility a private garden protected from the prying eyes of the public. These sheltered, intimate spaces are perfect for relaxing and entertaining on a warm summer night.
Distressed wood is essential to Spanish style. The most traditional flooring choice in a Spanish-style home is hardwood and fully carpeted rooms are uncommon. Terracotta tile is another popular flooring material choice, especially if it has a slightly rough texture or distressed surface. Sometimes bright tile accents in the corners or centerpiece of engraved tile is added for more drama and color. Adding hand painted tiles to a kitchen countertop or backsplash is another great way to incorporate color and Spanish design.
Interior walls are generally finished with a stucco texture in warm earth tones such as taupe, burnt orange, chocolate brown, and mustard yellow. Warm poppy red, cobalt blue, olive green and golden sunflower yellow are popular accent colors that bring that Mediterranean feel to your home. Design elements like earthenware vases, urns and bowls in unique shapes can make a powerful statement as their dark, rich colors provide distinct contrast to warmer colored walls.
Ornamental iron work is also quintessentially Spanish and is a great choice for railings, wall-affixed candleholders, mirrors and more. Much iron work can be custom designed to match the unique needs of your home. Meanwhile, wall hangings give focus to the room and are the ideal textural contrast to the stone and metal elements that make up much of Spanish design. Table runners and throw pillows in ochre, cinnamon, olive and bronze complete the picture.
Many traditional Spanish-style interiors also have wood-framed windows, carved panels and ceilings accented with wood beams and decorative tin tiles.
When it comes to building and designing a Spanish-style luxury home, the devil really is in the details. The right elements, like earthenware pots and tile accents, in the wrong color or design style won’t evoke the Mediterranean feel a Spanish home is supposed to reflect.