Spanish-style homes have characteristic features that lend them old-world charm. Highlight classic Spanish architecture by incorporating finishes, colours, plantings and accessories that evoke a colonial hacienda. For a quick Spanish-style update, integrate Mediterranean plants and flowers in your landscaping or container garden and window boxes.
Paint and finish your Spanish-style exterior with rustic elements. Emphasise features such as a stone wall, exposed brick and red tile by using a clear or lightly tinted varnish rather than covering them with paint. A stucco facade is the ideal element in Spanish design, but you can create the look more simply by adding a low stucco wall in the front garden. White or cream paint colours typify the style.
Tile accents give Spanish exteriors an artisan look. A tile mural may feature a classic scene such as architecture, fountains, gardens or fruit trees, or it may consist of nothing more than an abstract series of tile in Mediterranean hues of cobalt blue, bottle green and sunny yellow. On garden paths or patio floors, terra-cotta tiles have an earthy look. Use finishes that have some grain to them to avoid slippery surfaces. For an elaborate accent, invest in hand-painted talavera tile, a traditional form of Spanish tile that features intricate raised designs. Most talavera now comes from Puebla, in Mexico, where the process to make them is less costly, but the aesthetic originated in Spain.
Landscaping forms an integral part of Spanish-style home design, due to the Mediterranean tradition of blurring boundaries between the home exterior and interior. Frame a Spanish porch, patio or simple stoop with a container garden. Terra-cotta and talavera-style containers may hold small lemon trees, rosemary bushes or bougainvillea. For larger, more dramatic plantings, consider leafy green vines climbing a trellis or column or a line of palm trees or leafy palm plants. In dry climates, a cactus garden or arrangement of succulents complement a Spanish home well.
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