Each of These 7 Spanish-Style Home Exteriors Feels Like an Escape
Including Bobby Berk’s Palm Desert retreat.
Published Oct 14, 2023 1:10 AM
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Sure, a log cabin is cozy, but have you been inside a Spanish-style house? The earthy palette, natural materials, and organic forms immediately envelop you in a warm nestlike space. However, what’s even more unusual about Spanish-style homes versus other architectural styles is that the exteriors are just as comforting. Think: terracotta tile-clad roofs, siding swathed in creamy white stucco (which doubles as a sunlight-reflector in warmer climates), and dark wood support beams that often hold up storybook-worthy balconies. While many of the spaces ahead aren’t anywhere near as old as the Colonial versions that inspired them (most Spanish-style homes in the U.S. were built in the last 150 years in places like California, Florida, and the Southwest), these seven exteriors still exude old-world charm from the inside out.
The Minimalist Spanish-Style Home Exterior
Before Joelle Kutner and Jesse Rudolph, cofounders of design studio Ome Dezin, entered the picture, the back patio of this Los Angeles home was an uninspiring slab of concrete, the banisters were a rusty brown color, and the facade was practically yellow. Their fresh facelift included smoothing out the stucco siding and painting it white, replacing the upper railings with squiggly iron balusters, and laying down brick.
The Indoor-Outdoor Spanish-Style Home Exterior
When designer Lindye Galloway began work on her dream ground-up build, she knew exactly how she wanted to lay out her Spanish Colonial: in a U shape that made way for a central courtyard with a pool. To take advantage of the arrangement, she carved out a sitting room on one end and a dining area on the other, both of which are partially covered and have curtains that can be left open or closed depending on the weather.
The Double Spanish-Style Home Exterior
The power of such a strong architectural language is that it can easily tie together two buildings that might otherwise feel disjointed. Such was the case for Ashley Clark’s Newport Beach, California–based client, who had purchased two houses next to each other and wanted them to feel effortlessly connected—and not just with pathways.
The Desert Spanish-Style Home Exterior
The greater Palm Springs area is known for its mid-century modern architecture, but when Queer Eye cohost and designer Bobby Berk embarked on his house hunt, he landed on this Spanish-inspired gem overlooking the Coachella Valley. Because the home doubles as an Airbnb, Berk decided to give the exterior a hotel-worthy upgrade with up-lit palm trees, whimsical plantings, two outdoor bars, a bocce ball court, and a firepit.
The Single-Story Spanish-Style Home Exterior
Writer-director Meredith Chin’s three-bedroom home might not be grand, but the way she uses her outdoor space is. Many evenings she sets up a projector screen in the courtyard and transforms the terracotta-tiled area into an open-air theater, often debuting her own work.
The Actually Spanish Spanish-Style Home Exterior
It’s no wonder that the owner of this Ibiza house saw it once—only for a few minutes—before she decided to buy it. The rustic home was practically designed for doing absolutely nothing (if nothing means swimming in the pool and reading a book under the Mediterranean sun). The natural stone patio features a hammered finish that’s characteristic of homes found in the island’s historic district.
The Green Thumb’s Spanish-Style Home Exterior
Singer Drew Cohen guesses that whoever had painted his home’s facade before he and his wife moved in must have lost track of what the original color was. “It was like eight different shades of salmon,” he recalls. While painting everything one cohesive color came with major sticker shock, now the couple feels like they have their own “personal version of the Chateau Marmont,” with its many sun-loving plants, string lights, and striped seating.