Mexican houses have long held a presence in the US residential landscape. Many home styles were influenced by Mexican architects and designers. Today, Mexico’s influence remains just as active.
Mexican designer Héctor Esrawe said, “We deeply believe our culture has an amazing heritage, narrative, and skills. Our core and essence are: looking back with pride but being focused on transformation, we don’t believe in design being white or black, it is between that greyscale where we feel more comfortable.”
If you’re not familiar with Mexican home styles and their features, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll show the latest examples of Mexican home architecture and design.
How Do Mexicans Decorate Their Homes?
Wood and clay are common in Mexican homes and are usually the base for floors, walls, and even some furniture. You’ll see this pattern everywhere.
Rough materials are also more common than smooth or light materials. You’ll see wool more often than sheer fabrics, for example. There is a very good balance of practical and fun in Mexican homes that is hard to miss.
What Is Mexican-Style Decor?
Mexican decor is decor that Mexican homes feature while Mexican-style decor is decor that is inspired by Mexico and used in other countries.
Mexican furniture is wood with metal accents. Wood tones are common. Bright colors are used to accent or cover furniture.
What Are Traditional Mexican Colors?
The thing about Mexican colors is that people often confuse Mexican design colors with Mexican flag colors. The Mexican flag is green, white, and red. Which are great to use for decorating, but they aren’t the only colors.
Mexican decor has two opposing color palettes. Earth tones that look natural and neutral, along with vibrant colors like blue, orange, yellow, and red.
Hacienda Style Homes
Hacienda-style homes are popular in Mexico and the US. The hacienda home is a type of ranch house. They are historical estates with large houses and courtyards. Most hacienda-style homes maintain the original integrity.
What’s In A Hacienda-Style Home?
- Clay Roof Tiles – clay roof tiles are traditionally used in most Mexican homes. These tiles are usually red and they can last centuries if taken care of.
- Stucco Walls – another thing that is quite common in Mexican homes is stucco walls. They come in all shapes and sizes because stucco is so versatile. And though it’s very similar, stucco isn’t the same as plaster.
- Round Doorways – round doorways and arches are common in hacienda-style homes. Without them, the houses would see cold and sharp. Since they are built with stucco, the arches are easy to mold.
- Exposed Beams – exposed beams are common on the inside but often poke out the exterior of the house.
- Small Windows – small windows are common in hot climates. Large windows allow more light and heat to enter the home.
- Courtyard – a courtyard is necessary for a true Hacienda style home.
A Spanish colonial house is like a Dutch colonial home. The Spanish colonial period gave rise to this home style in Mexico and the Southwest US. It was during Spanish colonial times, a period when Spain colonized Mexico.
The distinct houses share similarities with hacienda style homes. The biggest difference is that Spanish colonial houses have more European influences than Mexican homes.
What Does A Spanish Colonial Home Consist Of?
- Rock or Adobe – adobe and rock were used in Spanish colonial homes. It depended on where the home was built.
- Single Story – homes that were low to the ground avoided tax penalties as two-story homes and kept indoor environments cooler.
- Thick Walls – thick walls maintain cooler indoor temperatures because they serve as a form of insulation.
- Tile – tile work was something the Spanish did well. They applied their tile skills to home building in Mexico.
- Spanish Influence -Spanish colonial homes look like traditional Spanish homes. They also have European influences.
Adobe home is a common term that can be used to describe a lot of different types of Mexican homes. But an adobe-only house is a traditional type of Mexican house that doesn’t have the modern architecture.
Adobe is made of clay, sand, and silt. Water is added to achieve the right texture. It is one of the oldest building materials, and can be found in different forms.
- Flat Roof – pure adobe homes are different than other Mexican homes. They don’t have clay roof tiles, but instead, they have flat adobe roofs.
- Solid Adobe – There could be wood supports, but 90 percent of adobe homes are made out of adobe.
- Simple Designs – the homes have unique shapes and are similar to the cob home.
The Alamo is a Mission Revival-style building. This type of home was usually reserved for clergy and cathedrals.
Mexican cathedrals are extravagant compared to other Mexican buildings.
- Intricate Designs – Mission-style houses are much more intricate than other types of Mexican houses. These houses will have carved out designs throughout them, but inside and outside of the home.
- Round Rooftops – although there are flat, straight, and curved rooftops on mission-style homes, there are often round areas like you’d see in most cathedrals throughout the world.
- Dormers – dormers are windows or areas that come out of the house in a convex way. There are many types of dormers and dormer windows.
- Framed Windows – while most Mexican homes have no window frame traditionally, mission-style homes almost always have window frames. And these window frames are unique and extravagant.
- Color Accents – Mexican homes have earth tones. Mission homes have colorful window frames, doors, and designs.
Spanish villa homes are different from traditional Mexican homes because they were built to incorporate community life. Many people live in Spanish villas so they are larger than most and in modern times, and the yards are smaller.
Spanish villas have courtyards but the focus is on the house and landscaping. Both of which are gorgeous, extravagant, and awe-inspiring.
- Balconies – balconies aren’t common in Mexican homes. But Spanish villa homes have balconies so one can look out at their property and visit with neighbors who are on their balconies.
- Tile – tile floors are popular in Spanish villa homes and offer a fresh look.
- Brown Roofs – most other Mexican homes had red roofs, but Spanish villa homes have brown roofs. Sometimes, this is because the red has faded, but most of the time it is because they were built that way.
- Small Yards – the Spanish villa will have a shared yard, much like a condominium would, so the personal yards aren’t large.
- Wood Accents – accents and additions to Spanish villa homes in Mexico are wooden. From doors to window frames to posts, there is often a lot of wood in Spanish villa homes along with the original building materials.
- Multiple Stories – Spanish villas have two stories. Since other types of Mexican homes are one story this makes the villas more upscale.
How Do I Make My House Look Mexican?
If you are trying to make your house look more Mexican, there are quite a few things you can do. While it may seem overwhelming at first to try to replicate Mexican homes, all you need is to break it down and that’s what we’ve just done.
Tile is almost always preferable to other flooring options in Mexican homes. While wood floors can be found, carpet is quite rare and shouldn’t be used if you are trying to make your house look Mexican.
Adobe And Terra Cotta
Adobe and terra cotta are ancient techniques used in many cultures, especially Mexican culture. You can find adobe and terra cotta on everything from vases to furniture to the very walls and foundation of Mexican homes.
Cacti For Plants
Plants can be found in every culture and every country, but in Mexico, lush vegetation is rare. So that’s why you often see palm trees and cacti in Mexican yards and in Mexican homes. There are so many great ones to choose from too.
Curves And Beams
Curved or arched doorways and windows are quite common in Mexican-style homes. Square doorways can be found often too but not because they’re part of the culture. Beams are the same way, both inside and outside the home.
Vibrancy Is Key
If you don’t have vibrant colors then your house won’t look Mexican. It’s true that not all Mexican homes have bright colors, but vibrancy is a tradition.
Add textiles, preferably bright ones that are handmade. Check Etsy for inspiration.
Dia De Los Muertos
Finally, to draw inspiration from Mexican culture, add decor from Mexican holidays, or images of celebrities, and celebrations. For example, Dia De Los Muertos, Selena, and Frida Kahlo.
Best Types Of Mexican Homes
If you want a traditional and old home, choose a solo adobe dwelling.
If you want something extravagant, a Mission-style home would be your best choice. Mission revival style houses offer a unique blend of history, color, and design.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
Why Are Turquoise Front Doors Common In New Mexico?
There is an old superstition that believes a turquoise-colored door will protect a home from evil spirits. The belief serves as an example of native Latin American influences.
In 1967, New Mexico’s state legislature made turquoise the state gem. Sherwin Williams Mexican colors include Nifty Turquoise (SW 6941) and Holiday Turquoise (SW 0075).
What Is Rajueleado?
A traditional stone-chinking technique that’s used to reinforce stucco surfaces. The method is applied to increase wall-depth and dimension. Each design is characterized by ornate stucco and stone details surrounding windows and doors. It’s not uncommon for a traditional Mexican home to feature gorgeous architecture, and this would be one example.
What Is The Most Common Decor Piece In Mexican Home Architecture?
The baul, otherwise known as a storage trunk, is the most predominant decor item found in different kinds of Mexican homes. Often made from Spanish cedar wood, the trunks feature round tops and ornate locks.
What Is The Casa Bohemia Style?
It’s an updated term for Spanish Revivalism. The architecture details are the same, featuring rich details, wrought-iron designs, wood balconies, bright-colored tiles, smooth arches, and various textiles.
What Is The Vecindad Style?
A building tenement designed with individual apartments that circle a central patio. Inside the building, are community kitchens and bathrooms. “Vecindad” is the neutral Spanish word for “neighborhood.”
Mexican Houses Conclusion
Mexican architecture is popular in the southern United States. It’s known for its colorful characteristics. Among home design, signature touches like red tile roofs and natural materials are features of the hacienda home, for example.
On the Pacific Coast and stretching south along the Baja peninsula, Spanish villas showcase the latest designs in Mexican architecture. Many Mexican homes feature flat roofs, which are found in New Mexico and Arizona.
If you want to find Mexican houses, but you don’t know where to look, ask your local real estate agents.
Mexican architecture evolves just like other architectural styles. If you want to keep up with the latest trends, search online and look at the new buildings and homes in Mexico City.
The city remains the leader in Mexican architecture trends.