Forget Crockett and Tubbs… Miami’s vice is architecture. The city has always had a love affair with trophy buildings. Miami Beach’s Art Deco District features 800 historic structures – a kaleidoscope of pastel buildings with fanciful porthole windows, ship-like railings, sleek curves and shiny terrazzo floors. Built between 1920 and 1943, these tropical drink-colored hotels and apartment buildings are the eye-candy equivalent of Epcot Center’s “Spaceship Earth.”
Miami isn’t alone in its love of architecture. The Sunshine State features several unique architectural periods and home designs, from the simple, Conch style bungalows in Key West to the New Urbanist developments in Orlando. But Florida may be best known for its Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. Spanish Revival homes are as commonplace as sun, surf, oranges, and golf.
Characteristics of Spanish Colonial Revival Homes
Spanish Colonial Revival is based on the architecture found during the Spanish colonization of the Americas, combining characteristics of baroque, Mediterranean, and Moorish architecture. The movement was popular in Florida and California between 1915 and 1931, partially because of the Spanish heritage in those states, and partially because they have the perfect climate for Mediterranean-inspired homes: warm and sunny.
Spanish Colonial Revival is an eclectic design. It mixes architectural details to capture the character of the Mediterranean without imitating one tradition. Spanish Revival homes are built to withstand the elements – bright sun, strong wind, and erosion caused by salt water, all while keeping the interior cool.
What are the architectural hallmarks of a Spanish Colonial Revival home? The distinct and classic look features white stucco walls, curves and archways, painted ceramic tiles (often on stair risers), terra cotta roof tiles, balconies, outdoor courtyards and patios, and ornamental ironwork such as stair railings, window grilles and lanterns. It’s an elegant yet subtly ornate style.
Spanish Colonial Revival Flooring
Many Spanish Revival homes feature tile or stone flooring. Stone’s natural ability to stay cool is why it’s a popular building material in warmer climates. Dark hardwoods are also trendy in this style of home. Still, so much hard floor can make an interior look bare and utilitarian.
Old Word surfaces like tile, stone, and hardwood are best accented with large area rugs and throw carpets. For a traditional Spanish design, try a knotted weave carpet with staggered rows. Or, give a nod to the nearby coast and opt for a natural fiber such as sisal or seagrass. Carpets should feature rustic and earthy colors; these shades will compliment the home’s white stucco walls, red clay rooftop, and ornamental ironwork.
While Spanish Colonial Revival left a lasting contribution to Florida’s public buildings and commercial structures (particularly in the city of St. Augustine), the Mediterranean-influenced design continues to flourish in private residences. To learn more about the best flooring options for Spanish Revival, or any other type of colorful Florida architecture, contact the experts and Floor Coverings International Boca Raton.
Photo by herjua