Design ideas for spanish colonial kitchens

Written by michaelyn erickson
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Design ideas for spanish colonial kitchens
Southwestern accents and art fit right in with a Spanish Colonial-style kitchen. (southwest ladder ii image by Mitchell Knapton from

Spanish Colonial decor is a mixture of styles influenced by not only Spanish colonists but those of the southwest Native Americans as well. Sometimes this style is known as "mission" style because of it's resemblance to churches built in the southwestern states. Traditional Spanish design is Mediterranean influenced with colours of aqua blue and warm sunset hues. This--combined with the rich landscape of the southwest, the red rock, and vast expanses of terracotta-coloured land--infuses Spanish Colonial decor.


Brick or tile flooring is most popular in Spanish decor. Often times the bricks are laid at skewed angles to make them look hand done. Terra cotta tiles add a bright red or yellow base colour to build from. According to Home Tips, Sautillo tile is traditional and it comes in many shapes and sizes. Often times designers of a Spanish Colonial kitchen will use broad planks of wood or a mixture of the tile and wood. Brightly coloured Navajo rugs are a perfect accent to a Spanish tile floor.


Smooth stucco or plaster walls are one of the backbones to Spanish Colonial style because of their resemblance to adobe made from clay. Arched doorways give warmth to the space and can offer a type of "framing" from one room to another. Stucco is painted in creamy hues, or for a more dramatic look, you might consider yellow, orange or even Mediterranean blue for a colonial kitchen. Accent the walls with dark stained wood that looks worn with time.


A Spanish Colonial kitchen can be as elegant or as casual as one desires. A hanging arrangement of copper pots over a tiled island full of blues, reds and yellows can make a kitchen casual and inviting. Or, if you prefer an air of elegance, you can tone the colours down and go for creamy tiles, warm textures and dark woods. Neutral-coloured curtains with elaborate plumes can to the elegance of a space and are traditional of the colonial style. Bright hand-painted tiles in a traditional Native American design are the perfect accent for a kitchen backsplash.


Oak and Ponderosa pine are two popular woods used in Spanish Colonial decor. In New Mexico many ceilings feature vigas, or logs stripped of bark and laid into the ceiling with plaster between them. Support beams left worn add to the look and feel of the colonial period and dark stained wood trim. A combination of dark wood and iron looks wonderful with the colours of the Spanish Colonial style.


Use free standing cabinets in a Spanish Colonial kitchen; simple utilitarian shapes are best. Metal accents such as copper or iron light fixtures look hand wrought. Pottery is huge with Spanish Colonial decorators. Terra cotta dishes, left natural or brightly painted are great for sitting atop kitchen cabinets.

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