Mexican Style Homes: Explore the Timeless Charm

Mexican houses have had a lasting impact on the US residential landscape. Architects and designers from Mexico have greatly influenced many home styles. Even today, the influence of Mexico remains strong.

Héctor Esrawe, a Mexican designer, emphasizes the incredible heritage, narrative, and skills of our culture. Our design philosophy embraces transformation while drawing pride from our past. We reject the notion of design being limited to black and white and find solace in the shades of grey. If you’re unfamiliar with Mexican home styles and their distinctive features, this is the perfect spot to discover the latest examples of Mexican home architecture and design.

How Do Mexicans Decorate Their Homes?

The use of wood and clay in Mexican homes is prevalent, serving as the foundation for floors, walls, and even some furniture. This pattern is omnipresent throughout the country. Additionally, rough materials are more frequently used than smooth or light materials, such as wool being preferred over sheer fabrics. Mexican homes strike an excellent balance between practicality and enjoyment, leaving a lasting impression.

What decor piece is commonly found in Mexican home architecture?

The baul, also known as a storage trunk, is the most common decor item you’ll come across in various Mexican homes. Usually crafted from Spanish cedar wood, these trunks have round tops and fancy locks.

What Is Mexican-Style Decor?

Mexican decor is characterized by the traditional designs and elements that are typically found in Mexican homes. On the other hand, Mexican-style decor refers to the decor that takes inspiration from Mexico and is used in other countries as well.

When it comes to Mexican furniture, it is usually made of wood with metal accents, and wood tones are commonly used. Bright colors are also utilized to either accent or cover the furniture.

Another characteristic of Mexican-style decor is the inclusion of handcrafted artwork and ceramics. From colorful pottery to vibrant paintings, Mexican homes are adorned with pieces that reflect the country’s artistic and cultural traditions. Showcase these pieces on your walls, shelves, or as focal points on your tables to add a unique and personal touch to your space.

One defining characteristic of Mexican style homes is Rajueleado. This technique involves using a wooden paddle to create a textured effect on the exterior walls of the home. It gives the walls a rustic and earthy appearance, adding depth and visual interest. Rajueleado is not only aesthetically pleasing but also serves a practical purpose by providing insulation and protection from the elements. It is a traditional technique that has been passed down through generations and continues to be used in modern Mexican homes.

What Are Traditional Mexican Colors?

People often get confused between the colors of Mexican design and the colors of the Mexican flag. While the flag is green, white, and red and can be great for decorating, there are actually many other colors to consider. Mexican decor offers two contrasting color palettes, including earth tones that give a natural and neutral look, as well as vibrant colors like blue, orange, yellow, and red.

Hacienda-style homes

Hacienda-style homes are widely loved and sought-after in both Mexico and the US. These beautiful ranch houses boast a rich historical background, featuring spacious houses and picturesque courtyards. It’s worth noting that most of these remarkable hacienda-style homes have managed to preserve their original integrity throughout the years.

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What’s In a Hacienda-Style Home?

  • Clay roof tiles are usually used in most Mexican homes. These tiles are usually red and can last for centuries if properly maintained.
  • Stucco walls are also common in Mexican homes, coming in various shapes and sizes due to the versatility of stucco. It is important to note that stucco is different from plaster.
  • Hacienda-style homes commonly feature round doorways and arches, as they add warmth and softness to the overall design. The use of stucco makes it easy to mold these arches.
  • Exposed beams are a common interior feature in Mexican homes, often extending outward to the exterior of the house as well.
  • In hot climates, it is typical to have small windows in order to minimize the amount of light and heat entering the home.
  • A courtyard is an essential component of a true Hacienda-style home.

Spanish Colonial

During the Spanish colonial period, a unique style of home emerged in Mexico and the Southwest US. These houses, known as Spanish colonial houses, bear resemblance to Dutch colonial homes. The Spanish colonial period refers to the time when Spain colonized Mexico. These distinctive houses share similarities with hacienda style homes, but the main distinction lies in the greater European influences seen in Spanish colonial houses compared to Mexican homes.

What Does A Spanish Colonial Home Consist Of?

  • In Spanish colonial homes, the choice between rock or adobe construction depended on the location of the home.
  • Single-story homes in the Spanish colonial style were popular because they avoided tax penalties and provided cooler indoor environments.
  • Thick walls in Spanish colonial homes acted as insulation and helped maintain cooler temperatures indoors.
  • Tile work was a skill that the Spanish excelled at and they incorporated it into their home building in Mexico.
  • Spanish colonial homes have a resemblance to traditional Spanish homes and also show European influences.

Solo Adobe

Adobe homes are often referred to as a generic term for various types of Mexican houses. However, an adobe-only house represents a traditional Mexican style without modern architectural features.

The process of making adobe involves combining clay, sand, and silt, and adding water to achieve the desired texture. This ancient building material can be found in various forms.

  • Pure adobe homes in Mexico stand out from other types of Mexican homes because they feature flat adobe roofs instead of clay tiles.
  • The majority of adobe homes, around 90 percent, are constructed completely from adobe, with the possibility of some wood support.
  • These homes showcase simple yet distinctive designs, resembling cob homes in their unique shapes.

Mission Revival style

The Alamo is a building in the Mission Revival style, which was typically used for clergy and cathedrals.

Mexican cathedrals compared to other buildings in Mexico

  • Mission-style houses in Mexico are known for their intricate designs both inside and outside of the home. These houses feature carved out designs throughout, adding an extra level of detail.
  • Additionally, mission-style homes often have round areas on their rooftops, similar to those seen in cathedrals.
  • Dormer windows, which protrude from the house in a convex shape, are also a common feature.
  • Unlike traditional Mexican homes, mission-style homes typically have window frames, which are unique and extravagant.
  • In terms of color, while Mexican homes tend to have earth tones, mission homes often incorporate colorful accents in their window frames, doors, and designs.

Spanish villa homes

Spanish villa homes differ from traditional Mexican homes as they were constructed to foster a sense of community. Due to the high number of residents in Spanish villas, they tend to be more spacious than average, while their yards are typically smaller. The architecture of Spanish villas emphasizes the house itself and its landscaping, resulting in stunning, opulent, and captivating structures.

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  • Balconies are not commonly found in Mexican homes, but Spanish villa homes feature balconies that allow residents to enjoy their property and socialize with neighbors.
  • Tile floors are a popular choice in Spanish villa homes, providing a fresh and modern look.
  • Unlike most other Mexican homes with red roofs, Spanish villa homes typically have brown roofs, either due to fading or intentional design choices.
  • Spanish villas often have small yards that are shared among residents, similar to condominiums, resulting in smaller personal yards.
  • Wooden accents are frequently used in Spanish villa homes in Mexico, including doors, window frames, and posts, adding warmth and charm to the original building materials.
  • Spanish villas are typically two stories, setting them apart from the single-story design of other Mexican homes and giving them a more upscale appearance.

Vecindad style

When discussing Mexican style homes, it is impossible to overlook the Vecindad style. The Vecindad style originated in Mexico City and is characterized by communal living spaces and shared courtyards. These homes are typically multistory buildings with multiple apartments or units, creating a sense of community and togetherness. The architecture often incorporates bright colors, balconies, and decorative elements, such as wrought iron railings and wooden shutters. The Vecindad style reflects the rich cultural heritage and close-knit social fabric of Mexican neighborhoods.

How can I give my house a Mexican aesthetic?

If you are looking to give your house a more Mexican aesthetic, there are several steps you can take. While it may initially seem like a daunting task to recreate the ambiance of Mexican homes, it can be easily achieved by breaking it down, which is exactly what we have done.

Use Tiles

In Mexican homes, tile is usually the best choice for flooring. While you may occasionally come across wood floors, carpet is rarely used and should be avoided if you want to achieve a Mexican look for your house.

Cacti for Plants

It is interesting to note that while plants are present in various cultures and countries, Mexico is known for its scarcity of lush vegetation. This explains the prevalence of palm trees and cacti in Mexican yards and homes. Moreover, the variety of options available makes it even more exciting.

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Adobe and terra cotta

Adobe and terra cotta are old-school techniques that have been used in many cultures, including the vibrant Mexican culture. You’ll spot adobe and terra cotta everywhere, from beautiful vases and furniture to the sturdy walls and foundations of Mexican homes.

Vibrant colors

Having vibrant colors is essential to achieve the Mexican look for your house. While it is true that not all Mexican homes have bright colors, vibrancy is deeply rooted in the tradition.

Beams and Curves

Mexican-style homes often feature curved or arched doorways and windows, as well as square doorways. These architectural choices are not necessarily rooted in Mexican culture. Beams, both inside and outside the home, are also commonly seen.

Dia De Los Muertos 

To get some Mexican cultural vibes, you can jazz up your space with Mexican holiday decorations or pictures of famous celebs and festivities. Think Dia De Los Muertos, Selena, and Frida Kahlo!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Casa Bohemia Style?

This new term for Spanish Revivalism is pretty much the same but with some upgraded architectural details like rich designs, wrought-iron patterns, wooden balconies, colorful tiles, smooth arches, and diverse textiles.

Why Turquoise Front Doors Common in New Mexico?

Another intriguing feature commonly found in Mexican style homes is the turquoise front door. New Mexico, in particular, is known for its vibrant turquoise-colored doors. These doors serve as a symbol of good luck and protection, as turquoise is believed to have spiritual significance in Mexican culture. The bright color also adds a cheerful and welcoming element to the overall design of the home. It is not uncommon to see turquoise front doors adorned with handcrafted decorations, such as ironwork or talavera tiles, further enhancing their charm and uniqueness.

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