Mediterranean, or Spanish, style homes emerged and grew in popularity in the US in the 20’s and 30’s. Movies would feature sprawling properties that invoked tropical, beachside getaways and were associated strongly with the wealthy. Mediterranean homes embody the characteristics of homes built in that area of the world with Italian, Greek, and Spanish influences on the home’s style and structure, and are designed to let breezes pass easily through.
Mediterranean Style Siding
Mediterranean homes work best in warmer, southern climates and typically feature stucco instead of brick or vinyl siding. Depending on the color of the clay, colors range from white or beige to rich oranges and browns. The use of stucco is due to the ease of building in warmer climates.
Mediterranean Style Roofing
It’s commonly accepted that a Mediterranean home isn’t a Mediterranean style if it doesn’t have a tiled roof. This is an extremely important feature in this style home as most buildings in the Mediterranean utilize terracotta roof shingles. This is because they last for centuries. While tile roofs are delicate and subject to damage from focused pressure, the risk of inclement weather is low in these areas. The drier climates mean less rainfall and lowered risk of damage to the tile shingles.
Mediterranean Windows and Doors
Another identifying feature of Mediterranean homes are the large arched doors. The use of arches for doors and windows dates all the way back to Roman architecture. Using arches was revolutionary in that time due to the arch’s ability to self-support with the majority of pressure placed on a single, central point in the arch.
Mediterranean Style Accents
It’s not uncommon to see wood and wrought iron accents on Mediterranean homes. Heavy, wooden doors may feature wrought iron door knobs, knockers, or decorative accents. Windows will use iron window grills. These iron accents can also be used on terraces, porticoes, or other Mediterranean-influenced home features.
Another feature of Mediterranean homes is colored tiles and motifs. These are used both indoors and outdoors on floors or walls. They are bold and colorful, often illustrated with floral or geometric designs. The purpose of heavy use of tiling in the home is to keep feet cool in hotter climates where this style of home flourishes. Be sure to use the proper cleaning materials for different types of stone or tiled floors as some chemicals can break down the material.
Due to the use of tile or terracotta shingles, these homes are best suited for warm, dry climates. This is because wet, cold weather conditions can coat the tile in moisture and cause complications. Another consideration is coating kitchen walls with lime. This is done to let the walls breathe and prevent the growth of mold or mildew. This will need to be redone every year with a new coat.
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