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Spanish-style Homes

An Austin-area Spanish-style home
An Austin-area Spanish-style home

Spanish-style, Spanish Revival, and Spanish Colonial Revival homes draw their design inspiration from the times of Spanish Conquistadores, ultimately evolving in the United States to designs that also can include the influence of Mediterranean architecture. The states of California and Florida had heavy influence from this style over time, while the popularity of the style also spread to Texas, historically familiar with the style due to its many missions and early Spanish settlements. The Spanish Colonial-Mexican period of architecture in Texas is considered to be from 1682–1835, according to the Texas State Historical Association. Of course, its influence extends to modern day.

Homes with Spanish design typically feature a thick stucco exterior, a clay-tile roof, large carved wood front doors, and arches along entryways and porches. They also can feature wrought iron detailing, exposed interior and exterior beams, colorful patterned tiles, and enclosed courtyards that help with an overall cooling effect. Spanish-style homes are most common in warm climates because their exterior materials function well in the heat and because they excel at maintaining interior coolness.

Spanish-style homes usually are simple in terms of ornamentation aside from these attributes and historically are one story, although buyer preferences often push them to two stories in modern construction. Spanish-style homes can convey a rustic and casual feeling even with upscale and luxury construction, and due to their typical one-story layout, can have a rambling, expansive footprint that harkens back to days of wide open frontiers and ample land.

In Austin, most Spanish-style homes are found in luxury home neighborhoods, such as in Spanish Oaks along Highway 71 in Southwest Austin, a custom home neighborhood encircling a private golf course. They also can be found in numerous lakefront communities on Lake Austin and Lake Travis, as well as sprinkled throughout the custom construction homes in Westlake. Of course, homes with mild to moderate Spanish influences can be found throughout neighborhoods across town.

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