SoCal Style Inspiration: Spanish Colonial

Many homes were built in the Spanish colonial style from the late 1500s until Mexico became independent from Spain in 1891. These homes were characterized by the abundant use of adobe and other building materials from the local area. The Spanish colonial style works particularly well in the American Southwest because it’s a common architectural style of the nearby neighbor, Mexico. Spanish Colonial style, although distinctive, doesn’t take a great amount of time or money if you’re looking to incorporate it into your own home. You just have to know where to pack the most punch.

Creating a Spanish Colonial ThresholdArched doorway

Redoing the exterior walls of your house with stucco may be a bit extreme, Luckily, there are many other ways to bring this style to the exterior of your home. Spanish style doors are arched at the top and handmade of heavy-duty wood for a rustic look. This style’s wood entry doors are often carved or decorated with wrought iron. These accents are often repeated throughout the interior and exterior of the home to create a cohesiveness. Every Spanish colonial doorway is arched at the top, even the ones between interior rooms where there may not be an actual door to physically separate the spaces. Arched doorways are one of the most recognized elements of the Spanish colonial style.

Decorative light fixtures made of wrought iron can be hung near the exterior doors to add to the style and bring out its visibility. Wrought iron door knockers and doorbells are also a handy addition. You can use hand-painted tiles or terra-cotta pots to decorate the entry area, or incorporate a wrought iron banister if there are steps leading to the doorway.

Spanish Colonial Style and Southern California

The distinguishing features of Spanish colonial style are both beautiful and natural, fitting effortlessly into the natural beauty of SoCal. But they also serve another purpose. Rooftops made of stucco and clay are designed specifically to absorb the sun’s rays. This keeps the house cooler during the day and the heat that has been trapped in the roof heats the home at night. This makes the temperature more comfortable and decreases the need to spend extra dollars on home heating and air conditioning.

The Spanish colonial courtyards are essential to incorporating this style, and living outdoors as much as indoors is easy in a warm, dry climate. You can mimic this feature by including outdoor fireplaces, fountains, statues and outdoor seating into your yard, to bring the summer sun and afternoon breeze into your gatherings. Set out an outdoor path made of adobe, tile or terra-cotta as accents.

A Spanish colonial touch is as simple as rounding out your doorways and bringing the indoors out. Wrought iron features, terra-cotta paths and stunning doorways can bring you a lot of Spanish colonial style with little cost.

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