How to Know Your Home’s Architecture

In our last post, I shared the importance of embracing your home’s architecture when designing and styling your interiors. If you read it, you may have wondered, “How the heck do I know what style my home is?”

Great question. Let’s talk about that.

There are about a dozen or more different home styles, but for the sake of not giving you a novel here, we’re going to talk about the ones we see most often where we work — southern California and Florida.

I’ll also share some insight into interior design elements that go well with each style — plus an example of how designers are mixing it with other genres! Should be fun. Let’s go!

1. Spanish / Mediterranean (or Santa Barbara) Style Home Characteristics

This home style is my favorite of all the ones I’m sharing with you. (I’m an eat your dessert first kind of girl!) We see a lot of these home styles in California and Florida, and we love working on them. They have undeniable character!

Traits of Spanish / Mediterranean Architecture:

    • Terracotta tile roofing
    • Arches and pillars, indoors and out
    • Stucco, usually white
    • Exposed wood beams
    • Tilework, especially in warm colors

Spanish / Mediterranean Interior Design Elements:

    • Warm colors
    • Vibrant patterns & prints
    • Hanging and mounted lanterns
    • Cozy approach to space filling
    • Sofas and plush chairs

White walls, exposed beams, and arches galore in this Spanish Revival home (source)

Terracotta roof, pillars, more beautiful beams in this Santa Barbara style home (source)

Mix It Up: The architecture reveals classic mediterranean-style arches, thick white walls, and exposed beams… but the interior design fuses warm Spanish colors, a modern farmhouse chandelier, and traditional chinoiserie. An eclectic but beautiful mix! (source)

2. Traditional Style Home Characteristics

Many types of architecture can fall under the “traditional” umbrella, but for the sake of keeping it simple for you, we’re going to lump it all into one category.

Traits of Traditional Architecture:

    • Crown molding
    • Millwork
    • Painted wood
    • Some arches, but not always
    • Ornate details

Traditional Interior Design Elements:

    • Chandeliers
    • Long, thick drapery
    • Patterns and prints (rugs, furniture, etc.)
    • Gilded gold frames
    • Luxurious textiles

Traditional living room with classic elements, like the chandelier, crown molding, draperies and overall feeling of elegant luxury (source)

Traditional dining room with updated prints and beautiful wood details

Mix It Up: This home’s architecture is a more modern take on Mediterranean style. You can tell from the arched hallway and the lack of details like crown molding.

However, the interior decor uses classic traditional details but opts for pieces with more clean modern lines — a perfect example of blending personal style with the home’s! (source)

3. Mid-Century Modern Home Characteristics

Mid-century modern homes are one of the easiest to spot. The roofs are almost always flat!

Traits of Mid-Century Modern Homes:

    • Box-like architecture
    • Exposed wood & stone
    • Slim window details
    • Very little ornamentation
    • Great natural lighting

Mid-Century Modern Interior Design Elements:

    • Clean lines and edges (not many curves)
    • Simplistic but elegant designs
    • Neutral palette with only a few saturated colors
    • Emphasis on natural materials

Thin-framed modern chairs, abstract art, and a modern brass pendant (source)

Thin lines, clean angles, modern furniture and neutral palette (source)

Mix It Up: A modern style bureau and chair get a playful update with this vibrant rug and a gallery wall of mixed genre art (source)

4. Modern Farmhouse Home Characteristics

Traits of Modern Farmhouse Homes:

    • Crisp, clean lines
    • Exposed beams
    • Shiplap & other distressed or painted wood details
    • Very little ornamentation
    • Great natural lighting
    • Barn doors

Modern Farmhouse Interior Design Elements:

    • Updated lanterns

Modern farmhouse lanterns, barn door, and a gorgeous wall of windows

Mix it up: You can see modern farmhouse style in the exposed beams, millwork, and farm table… but the interior takes inspiration from industrial (the chairs and over-sink pendant), elegantly updated lantern pendants, and traditional details of the island! What a beautiful mix of character! (source)

Now that you know what to look for, let’s put it to the test. Tell us below… what style is your home??

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