Spanish style reflects the relaxed attitude of its people, the beautiful landscape, the hot sun warming its water and countryside, and the colorful culture.
I have always found foreign design more appealing than that of America. One reason is their furnishings. Another may be the age of the buildings. Above all, I find intriguing the starkness and imperfection of the style.
A few features stand out as Spanish.
Spanish homes thoughtfully consider their doors and not just the one in the entry. Sometimes the doors are quite colorful. Often they are decorated with clavos. They are always a beautiful feature adding substantially to the overall design.
White is used predominantly. It provides a cool contrast to the heat. Yellow and dark green are commonly used accent colors.
Tile is all over Spain from top to bottom, inside and out.
Sadly clay tile roofs are not commonly used in the states as they are quite expensive. They are more typical in Spain. One detail unique to Spain that I absolutely love is the incorporation of colored tiles into the natural clay. The blue and white stripes break up the expanse of roof, seen above. I desperately want to do this some day.
This spectacular entry is made even better with the inclusion of the religious tile plaque.
The late Jaime Parladé boldly used black and yellow tiles on the floor while patterned tiles accented the fireplace wall.
American design often strives for perfection. That is not always the case in Europe. Colors don’t overly coordinate, fabrics can be draped over furniture, pieces can be slightly askew. This relaxed attitude leads to a relaxed atmosphere. Therefore, the home feels more inviting.
I love this room. The white plaster wall is left bare except for the monumental mirror above the fireplace surround. That too is starkly beautiful. The ornate mirror contrasts with the plain barn-like stair rail. This space is casual while simultaneously detailed and orderly. A brilliant use of scale.
The paving seen above doesn’t line up evenly and there is an odd brick stripe running through the black and white stone sections. The herringbone tiles changes direction in a quirky manner. This haphazard layout makes this scene even more charming.
One would likely only see this type of casual approach in an artist’s house in the states. That crooked lampshade would drive some absolutely mad. The natural finish of the table, its droopy right panel, the simple crooked shade, and paisley casually covering the sofa identify as European. The detail of the table legs and the nicho look like Spain.
Plaster is such a beautiful material underused in the US. The cutout in the stair wall and the uneven pilaster are extremely charming.
Spanish style from a German perspective.
Recently a friend of mine told me about Marie-Caroline Willms. She is an Austrian-German designer living in Spain. She has a wonderful approach to design highlighting the best aspects of that country with a few fresh takes. See her Instagram account here.
A bit of Spanish style can add much to your house. It works especially well in Florida as the climates are similar. I would love to see a lot more brought back to Central Florida as it has gone out of favor lately in lieu of farmhouse or modern-styled homes.
Casa V can bring a touch or more of Spanish flair to your home.