It began in California, Texas and Florida during the early part of the twentieth century, between 1915 to the late 1930’s when a movement known as the Spanish Revival came into popularity. This architectural phenomenon led to a new style of homes built within that era, which were influenced by several romance novels and movies that depicted Spanish-style homes. Also known as the Spanish Colonial Revival, these charming homes featured ornate details within the tilework and wrought iron hardware along the exterior. Windows and shutters, roofing, fencing and even the shape of the houses were made to resemble authentic Colonial Spanish buildings of native Mexico, Spain, Portugal, Brazil and other influential Spanish-speaking countries.
Many of these homes built with the Spanish Revival period are still standing and have been renovated to reflect their original craftsmanship and design. Famous architects and those who simply followed suit made waves in building design for bringing these eclectic and nostalgic styles to the limelight within the architectural industry. Some of the intricate details they chose to decorate the homes included authentic Spanish tile and reclaimed tile that were imported from Europe. These graceful characteristics brought about a feeling of nostalgia, particularly after the Panama-California Exposition of 1915.
Once the Spanish Revival got its foothold within the U.S., of course many Hollywood icons embraced the new designer looks. The style of homes built within the Spanish Revival has many similar characteristics and are known for their earthen building materials, such as stucco, cement or brick. The homes use colorful handcrafted tiles in reds, browns and silver shades of original terracotta or reclaimed materials. Rounded door frames and half arches around windows, instead of square or rectangular, are also character traits of homes built during the Spanish Revival. You might see an asymmetrical design with a hip, gable or low-pitched flat roof in one of these Spanish Revival homes.
Although some of the modern-day designers often try to replicate the homes built within the Spanish Revival time period, there is a distinctive look that can be distinguished between the Colonial versions and buildings that are designed by today’s standards. However, many people still enjoy the Spanish style décor by adding terracotta tiles or Spanish tile to their interior or exterior; adding a warm look and Old World element to the personality of their homes.