The Top 48 Spanish Style Houses – Exterior and Interior Home and Design
Spanish style homes are all at once elegant and comforting, rustic and refined. Find out why few design styles capture the warmth of a Spanish-inspired home.
The arched windows, tile roofs, and stucco walls we recognize today as Spanish style first developed in Spain during the 10th and 11th centuries. Referred to as “Romanesque” architecture, similar design elements began appearing in northern Italy during the same time frame.
Spanish style homes first appeared in the United States in the regions settled by Spaniards. From the 1600s through the 1800s, Spanish architecture spread throughout the Southwest, California, and Florida. Browse this gallery of gorgeous Spanish exteriors and interiors and discover why Spanish style homes continue to enjoy widespread popularity.
1. Luxury Spanish-style House
Luxury Spanish style homes aren’t just huge haciendas on large plots of land. In fact, countless luxury home neighborhoods feature Spanish architecture. Narrow, two or three-story Spanish style homes loom above small lots in exclusive communities in Southern California, Texas, and Florida. A Spanish colonial luxury home usually includes a balance between indoor and outdoor living spaces.
Pale exterior stucco walls on Spanish revival and Spanish colonial luxury homes highlight stunning landscaping. Palm trees, Spanish oaks, crepe myrtles, magnolias, and other flowering trees stand out against any solid white wall. In fact, the simplicity of Spanish home design makes it ideal for anyone showcasing a high-end garden.
Gorgeous landscaping greatly increases a home’s real estate value. Watch this video to see how a Spanish bungalow owner turned her home’s courtyard into a luxurious Spanish style garden:
For more landscaping ideas, check out The 70 Best Front Yard Landscaping Ideas.
2. Bungalow Spanish-style Home
Bungalows are, by definition, one-story structures with a low-pitched roof and a front porch. They may have one and a half stories or a second story set in the roof with dormer windows. Bungalows are generally smaller homes, but it is possible to find larger homes with bungalow footprints. Their low profile and roof lines marry well with Spanish style.
Instead of a wide front porch, a Spanish style bungalow may feature a wrought-iron gated front courtyard instead. Some southwestern bungalows with Spanish architectural style look box-like, with a completely flat roof. While traditional Spanish architecture has small window openings, a modern Spanish bungalow may feature large picture windows, some with arched tops.
3. Spanish-style Exterior
A Spanish style house may appear quite different from other types of architecture in the United States. Many Spanish colonial revival homes mimic the original floor plan that featured connecting rooms without internal hallways. Instead, a long porch ran along the outside the rooms, all of which had a door opening onto this porch.
Many Spanish revival and Spanish colonial homes include castle-like turrets and parapets to soften the often boxy lines of Spanish architecture. Although exterior walls are usually pale, neutral colors, a Spanish style house can carry nearly any color. This is true for a tile roof, the trim on windows and doorways, and porch coverings or awnings. Royal blue on white is a classic Mediterranean color combination that nods at both Greek and Spanish architecture.
4. Spanish-style Mansion
A mansion is a huge real estate investment. Spanish architecture is a timeless choice for creating the floor plan for the house of your dreams. With its balance between indoor and outdoor living spaces, a Spanish style mansion is the perfect home for entertaining. Rooms opening onto a generous courtyard accented with a pool, hot tub, and outdoor kitchen give it a resort-type feel.
A Spanish revival mansion may include multiple courtyards, fountains, and room-sized, multi-level turrets. Wrought iron Juliet balconies often adorn multiple second-floor bedroom windows. These impressive homes make guests feel as though they’re staying at a real Spanish castle.
Tile murals are an important design element in Spanish inspired homes. Whether you use tiles imported from Spain, Mexican tiles, or hand-paint your own, a tile mural is an elegant art form that suits Spanish architecture. Watch this video to get tips on designing a Mexican tile mural:
5. Modern Spanish-style House
A modern Spanish home combines the best of modern design with Spanish colonial revival architecture. Arches and wrought iron may not appear on the exterior, with yards of white stucco and dark-wood trim providing the Spanish flavor instead. Most owners replace the small window openings on a Spanish colonial home with modern, wide picture windows.
Inside, you may find an equally eclectic kitchen that modernizes Spanish revival architecture. Look for sleek metal cabinets, hand-painted tile and exposed rustic wood ceiling beams. Modern Spanish home design might ask you to paint exterior walls a dark shade of brown instead of the traditional white or tan. Classic red tile roofs could appear in other colors, or owners can replace them entirely with metal or another contemporary roofing material.
6. Spanish-style Exterior and Interior
Although there are no hard-and-fast home design rules, your Spanish style house should have a complementary interior and exterior. Create an impressive staircase indoors and out using terra cotta tiles, wrought iron railings, and decorative painted Spanish style tiles on the risers. You may not wish to carry a stucco wall finish indoors, but you can continue the Spanish style with warm, pale wall colors inside.
French doors make an impressive passageway between the patio and the master suite or living room. Bring your Spanish style home the feeling of Mexico by using bright colors indoors and out. Paint your courtyard walls bright yellow and use colorful sarape covers on your lounge chairs. An assortment of succulents planted in Mexican pots completes the look.
A classic Spanish style house often features unfinished adobe walls, not covered in plaster or trim. However, today’s Spanish interiors usually have smooth plaster walls and can be painted any color. A kitchen with Spanish flair may include deep maple cabinetry and a distressed painted island, with walls covered in colorfully painted tile. Black iron light fixtures on black chains add to the Spanish flavor.
Interior floors are usually rustic hardwoods or glossy clay tile in neutral shades of brown. Provide softness underfoot with a mission-style, Santa Fe, or Mediterranean-inspired area rug. A Spanish style fireplace is usually grand, the focal point of the living room, dining room, or master suite. Decorative tiles often outline arched openings, and mantels are heavy wood or stone.
7. Traditional Spanish-style
Spanish settlers gravitated toward areas with temperate climates similar to Spain. These settlers combined their native design techniques with the natural materials available in the U.S. These techniques and design elements are evident in traditional Spanish style homes today. Hewn stone and stucco exterior walls, arched windows and doors, and barrel tile roofs represent traditional Spanish style.
White stucco exteriors and thick walls made for cooler interiors in warm climates—a traditional feature that helps lower summertime electric bills today. Traditional Spanish architecture often includes a low-pitched, red-barrel tile roof. Every arched doorway and opening nods to traditional Spanish style. Monterey or Monterey Colonial homes incorporate many traditional Spanish architecture elements, but add English and French touches as well.
8. Hacienda Spanish Style Home
“Hacienda” is a Spanish word that means “estate.” Therefore, a hacienda refers to a larger Spanish style home located on a generous piece of real estate. Traditional haciendas were on farms, plantations, or mining lands and represented lucrative business enterprises. New haciendas are likely to indicate a wealthy owner with a preference for Mediterranean style.
While most Spanish colonial architecture is one-storied, many haciendas are multi-storied. Elaborate wrought-iron details adorn the hacienda home. These often intricate patterns appear as window coverings, railings, and gates. Arched window and door openings coupled with heavy wood shutters and doors also add elegance to the hacienda’s sprawling profile.
Spanish Style Home FAQs
What is Spanish interior design?
Spanish style interior design reflects the colorful vibrancy of the Mediterranean. It includes natural materials, including terra cotta, pottery, wrought iron, carved wood, stone, and ceramics. Spanish style conveys a warmth that speaks of old-fashioned values, including a sincere hospitality that makes family and friends feel welcome.
What are the differences between Mediterranean, Spanish, and Tuscan design?
Although these three design styles are similar, there are differences between the three. Mediterranean style is the most eclectic of these, as it features elements from all cultures that share Mediterranean shores. These influences include Spanish, Italian, Greek, French, Moroccan, and Turkish elements. Spanish design highlights stucco, archways, patios, and other features from Spain, while Tuscan style mirrors the elements from that region of Italy.
What are some characteristics of Spanish architecture?
Spanish Revival, Spanish Colonial, and Modern Spanish architecture share identifying design elements. These include asymmetrical facades, stucco walls, tile roofs, rounded windows and doorways, and rooms that open onto large courtyards or patios. A warm, earthy color palette is also common with Spanish style and highlights the style’s love of incorporating natural materials.