History of the Spanish-Style Home

History of the Spanish-Style Home


Although Spanish-Style homes are not very common in the Nashville area, I have always been an admirer of these particular designs. Spanish-style homes are mainly popular in the western region of the country, most prevalent in California, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico. They are also revered in Florida and Texas. The architectural design originated in the elaborate buildings of 17th and 18th century Spain. 


When people refer to Spanish-Style homes they usually correlate them with several characteristics:


·        Flat or gently sloped red or deep brown tiled roofs

·        Eaves that don’t overhang

·        Stucco walls

·        Arches over doors, windows and porches

·         Asymmetrical external construction (e.g. doors that are built of center)

·        Beamed ceilings

·        Wood/terracotta tile floors

·        Courtyards and lush gardens

·        Wrought iron detailing

·        French windows

·        Intricate hand painted tile work


Spanish architecture is a fusion of the many influences that shaped the history of Spain which include the Moroccans, Moors, Romans, Christians and Jews. The prominent design elements were adopted from houses of worship – which in themselves, were intended to move beyond the practical and instead lionize God with its complex and intricate beauty. What transpired was a unique Spanish design that came to the New World by way of missionaries with missions that later penetrated the span of California and Mexico.


In the late 1800’s California was still a mere collection of small towns and miniature cities. Spanish missions existed, however, there wasn’t a movement towards the design of Spanish homes until 1917 when architect George Washington Smith unveiled his Casa Dracaena in Santa Barbara. His inspiration had come from his visit to Spain  in 1914. The style exploded throughout the region and until his death he was the most sought after architect in California. He went on to design over 80 homes in Santa Barbara. Many followed his design which inevitably spread throughout California. 

Reference: soulfulabode.com; ehow.com 


If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling

a Nashville Home please contact:


Emily Lowe 

The Lipman Group | Sotheby’s International Realty 

Office: (615) 463-3333 / Cell: (615) 509-1753