The History And Architecture of Hacienda Style Homes

There are hundreds of home styles worldwide, and many began in the US. The history and architecture of the hacienda-style homes is rich and engaging. The hacienda-style home is an amazing architectural style. 

hacienda style homes

You can’t see what hacienda-style homes are or where to find them. There are many in California and the southwestern US. For example, Hollywood celebrities enjoy living in traditional hacienda homes.

What Are Hacienda Style Homes?

What Are Hacienda Style Homes?View in gallery
Linda Sansone And Associates

A hacienda is a large Spanish estate. Haciendas originated during the Spanish colonization in the US. The homes for farming and producing goods. 

Today, hacienda describes an architectural style. In Latin America, the owner of a hacienda is a hacendado or patrón

Spotting Hacienda Style Homes

There are a few things that make traditional Mexican hacienda-style homes stand out. You can recognize them with ease.

Hacienda architecture styles include:

Clay Roof Tiles

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Roof Tile And Slate Company

Clay roof tiles are a feature of hacienda-style homes. The tiles are for roofs that have a base which insulates and protects the home.

Clay is a good insulator which is why you see it in hot climates. The reason isn’t that clay keeps a house warm, but absorbs daytime heat and releases it at night. Homes with clay tiles stay cool during the day and warm at night.

Stucco Walls

Stucco and adobe walls are hacienda staples. Before the arrival of the Spanish, indigenous people used clay for their homes.  It was the Spanish who would later use stucco. 

Old and new hacienda homes will have stucco. The material keeps the integrity of the culture. It also pays for itself and is one of the most durable home siding options.

The stucco walls are plaster. Plaster is a form of stucco that features the same methods. Find out more about plaster walls here.

Round Doorways

While windows are square or round, but doorways and archways are always round. The archways are supported by Greek pillars or stucco walls, depending if the home has Mediterranean influences. 


courtyard at Hacienda-style homesView in gallery
Champion Stone Company

Courtyards are another hacienda home feature. In the center of the courtyard you’ll find a fountain or similar attraction. There is also a BBQ pit and eating area.

Most courtyards have two walls. Even with only one wall the outdoor area is still a courtyard. What makes it a courtyard is the view of the open sky.

Exposed Beams

Exposed beams are another traditional Spanish hacienda style feature. The beans extend under the awnings and through the end of the home. Exposed beams are also a hacienda interior feature. 

When beams extend beyond a wall, they create pegs. The pegs are common in Mexico. 

Small Windows

Windows in stucco homes are small because they keep the heat out.  Remodels will often tear out walls and add large windows.

Designers who keep the integrity of a home will leave the windows in their original form. 

Hacienda Style Homes By Top Designers

Hacienda homes are popular in the US, but not all of them have been remodeled by experts. The designers have put their hearts into the hacienda style to keep the home’s personality while adding flair.

Casa Allende By Becker Studios

Casa Allende By Becker StudiosView in gallery

This 3,600 square foot home is in Montecito, California. Becker Studios of Santa Barbara, California created the remodel version in 2013.

The backyard features a swimming pool and lawn. Creating outdoor spaces like this in southern California isn’t easy. 

Notice the exposed beams and white stucco walls, both very common in hacienda style homes

The home is older than it looks. Its natural integrity was preserved. Notice the exposed beams and white stucco walls, both common in hacienda style homes.

The designers brought clean lights and an open concept to the home, two modern traits. They used the walls going outside to add large windows and to bring more light.

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A courtyard and BBQ pit makes the outdoor space both usable and inviting. There’s an outdoor bathtub with private half-walls. 

The picnic table and benches are handmade. A white fireplace offsets the warm tile colors. 

Carmel Valley Estate By Tucker And Marks

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Photo by Mathew Millman

Located in Carmel Valley, California, this home is influenced by Mediterranean styles from the 20s. The backdrop is hacienda while the furnishings give us blend of two cultures and eras.

The doors are original and bring out the home’s history.

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The home was designed by Tucker And Marks. They believe a home is a lifelong romance and something to fall in love with.  You can see that idea in the homes they design.

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The outdoor area in this Carmel Valley home is ideal. The fountain looks older than a century. It looks inviting with the surrounding structures.

Santa Lucia Preserve Hacienda By Scavullo Design

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Photo By Matthew Millman

This vacation home in Santa Lucia Preserve in Carmel, California was designed by the marvelous Scavullo Design. The home is multi-cultural with Moroccan, Mediterranean, and Mexican influences. 

It’s home to a multi-generational family from Connecticut. They fell in love with the warm, western feel of the house which was unlike their home in the northeast.

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High ceilings make the home look bigger. The island complements the kitchen. Hardwood floors add value along with the intricate backsplash.

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Although every room has a hacienda style, the real star is the stairway. It features a traditional design that’s hard to find anywhere else.

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The outdoor area is breathtaking. The petrified wood end tables work as both western stools and coffee tables. The outdoor furniture surrounds a fireplace with a hearth. 

Spanish Oaks Hacienda By John Siemering

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Photo By John Siemering Homes

This Mediterranean style hacienda is in Austin, Texas. It was designed by John Siemering Homes and may be the most historical hacienda on our list. It features everything that makes a hacienda special.

Stucco walls, a red tile roof, small windows, and arched doorways, all the features of a traditional hacienda home. This is a textbook hacienda style home and a great one to reference when designing your home.

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One interesting thing about this home is that it mixes hacienda stucco with old-world stonework. Some of the windows are from the 1700s, ensuring the home retains its integrity and style.

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Step inside to an open concept home with elegant and rustic furniture. The owners have taken very good care of the stone walls and the original stucco walls that are even older than the stone ones. 

Ojai Hacienda By Tom Meaney

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Photo By Tom Meaney Architect

This design is by Tom Meaney Architects. This cozy 6,000 square foot home is in the mountains of Ojai in Ventura County, California. It overlooks a hilltop.

The scene is classic and a step back in time. There are no modern distractions surrounding the home. You can feel what the area was like before the home was built. 

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Every inch of this home is inspiring. From the intricate tiles and stained-glass to its authentic outdoor space, this home is an original design to admire.

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As gorgeous as the hacienda-style part of the home is, the open concept area is just as pretty. Tom Meaney’s team gave a modern twist to the living room and kitchen, yet left certain parts untouched. 

This is an example of how hacienda homes look when remodeled by an expert designer. Each of the southwestern designers put their hearts and soul into the projects. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

How Do You Choose A Roof For A Traditional Hacienda Style Home?

When searching for a roof for your traditional hacienda style home, you should first consider the neighborhood where it’s located. Next, the architectural style of your home will be another factor. You want the roof to be a good match. 

What Are Some Cons Of Hacienda Style Homes?

Hacienda style homes are not suited for cold climates. If stucco is exposed to climates that change drastically during the year, it will shrink and crack. Tile roofs are not ideal in snowy conditions.

Also, stucco also doesn’t handle moisture well and requires sealing every few years. 

Do Hacienda Style Homes Have Bug Problems?

Because of their open spaces and warm climate locations, bugs and insects can be a problem. If you take the right precautions and keep your home clean, then you should be fine.

You’ll need to contact a local fumigation service. They will understand your needs better than anyone. 

Hacienda Style Homes Conclusion

Hacienda style homes are beautiful. If you’re the type who enjoys open living environments, then this style is for you. Hacienda homes offer a home lifestyle balance.

Keep in mind that location is crucial. If your home is not in a warm climate, the challenges wouldn’t be worth it.