Maybe it’s these bitter freezing temperatures in Charlotte that have me contemplating California living, but as of late Spanish Revival homes have been heavy on my mind. Although Spanish Revival homes are among my favorite types of architecture, you do not see them in these parts of town. Because of the materials used on them and their layout, Spanish Revival homes are found mostly in California and Florida.
Derived from the Mediterranean, Spanish Revival homes were first introduced to the United States via the Panama California Exposition in 1915. These gorgeous homes have a very distinct look; you will quickly notice their red barrel terracotta roofs, white stucco facade, Moorish windows, and more often than not, courtyards. We have all seen them and we have all oohed and aahed in their presence. You have oohed and aahed right or is it just me?
Unfortunately, you either have a Spanish revival home (which I do not boo) or you don’t. There isn’t much we can do to mimic the Spanish revival style on the outside, but for our purposes I am far more interested in what’s going on inside a Spanish revival home than outside.
As a designer, I cannot actually recommend that you introduce Spanish Revival elements into a home that already has its own relevant décor such as a Queen Anne home, a Mid-Century home or an Arts and Crafts home. My designer buddies (especially preservationists) would have my head for that. But for anyone who has a home that doesn’t have any distinct architecture (like my cookie cutter home), you can certainly borrow elements from the Spanish revival style. In fact many of us already do.
You may remember that a month ago, I wrote a blog (hyperlink included in case you didn’t haha) specifically about our American obsession with cement tiles. Given the fact that cement tiles originate from Catalonia, Spain, it makes total sense that these tiles would be rampant in Spanish Revival homes. Whether as a backsplash behind a range or on stair risers, cement tiles can be found in almost any authentic Spanish Revival home.
Arcades are an incredible feature in Spanish revival homes that would not only be difficult to duplicate but that would also be inefficient in cold places. Still, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get in on the action. If you just happen to be building a custom home (you lucky dog you), get your Spanish Revival on by considering arched openings or doorways instead of linear ones. I personally have several arched entryways in my home and I absolutely love them.
Dark Wood Everything
To brighten things up in a home, designers often resort to painting all the molding and trim white, but that is not the case with the Spanish Revival style. These homes tend to be characterized by dark stained wooden doors, trusses and beams. I lived in a home that had this type of stained wood molding and trim everywhere and my family opted to leave it intact. It almost felt like a cardinal sin to even consider painting over intricately stained wood molding. Unlike in the photo above, Spanish Revival stucco walls are usually painted in all white; it keeps things from getting too dark in there.
All of the materials used in Spanish Revival homes are stunning, but wrought iron is one of those features that most of us would sign up for immediately. Wrought iron stair railings are a common find in these homes and for good reason – it looks beautiful!
Spanish Revival homes are not only beautiful on the outside, but they are just as beautiful on the inside. The good thing is that you do not have to own a Spanish Revival home to enjoy the incredible attributes that this type of architecture has to offer.