Types Of Traditional Mexican Homes

Every country has its own style of home, but in most cases, there are multiple styles within that country that are native to that country. There are many different kinds of Mexican homes that are still alive in Mexico today.

Traditional Mexican Homes

Some are older than others and some are simply historically inspired yet built in recent years. All are created equal, but you probably want to know the different aspects of each home and what makes them special. 

How Do Mexicans Decorate Their Homes?

Image from Wikipedia

Let’s start off with a little bit about how Mexicans decorate their homes. Wood and clay are very common in Mexican homes and are usually the base for floors, walls, and even some furniture. You’ll see this pattern everywhere.

Rough materials are also more common than smooth or light materials. You’ll see wool more often than sheer fabrics, for example. There is a very good balance of practical and fun in Mexican homes that is hard to miss. 

What Is Mexican-Style Decor?

Mexican-style decor is quite different than actual Mexican decor. Because Mexican decor is decor that Mexican homes feature while Mexican-style decor is decor that is inspired by Mexico and used in other countries.

Mexican furniture is almost always wood with metal accents. Solely wood tones are common but so are bright colors to accent or completely cover the furniture that has been trending for centuries in Mexico. 

What Are Traditional Mexican Colors?

The thing about Mexican colors is that people often confuse Mexican design colors with Mexican flag colors. The Mexican flag is green, white, and red. Which are great to use for decorating, but they aren’t the only colors.

Mexican decor usually has two opposing color palettes. There are earth tones that look natural and neutral then there are vibrant colors that are usually blue, orange, yellow, and red. This contrast is important.

Hacienda Style Homes

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Hacienda-style homes are still popular in Mexico. The hacienda home is a type of ranch house found in Mexico. They are very historical estates with large houses and courtyards. Most hacienda-style homes maintain the original integrity. 

These homes are very impressive and originally only owned by the wealthy. Today, a middle-class family could easily own a hacienda-style home despite them being nicer than most other Mexican homes. 

What’s In A Hacienda-Style Home?

  • Clay Roof Tiles – clay roof tiles are traditionally used on most Mexican homes. These tiles are usually red and they can last centuries if taken care of. They are quite expensive to buy these days but were common back in the day. 
  • Stucco Walls – another thing that is quite common in Mexican homes is stucco walls. They come in all shapes and sizes because stucco is so versatile. And though it’s very similar, stucco isn’t the same as plaster
  • Round Doorways – round doorways and arches are common in hacienda-style homes. Without them, the houses would see cold and sharp. Since they are built with stucco, it’s easy to mold the arches.
  • Exposed Beams – exposed beams are common on the inside but often poke out the exterior of the house. You know, the kind you imagine jumping across as a child. Those are very hacienda-style. 
  • Small Windows – small windows are common in many different types of homes in hot climates. Large windows let more light and more heat in, so traditionally, small windows were built in Mexico. 
  • Courtyard – a courtyard is necessary for a true hacienda-style home. This was a ranch house so of course there was a courtyard that people could gather in while still maintaining a good amount of privacy. 

Spanish Colonial 

Source image here.

A Spanish colonial home is similar to a Dutch colonial home. Unlike other Mexican homes, Spanish colonial refers to an era of homes in Mexico and the Southern United States. It refers to the Spanish colonization of Mexico.

You may notice a lot of similarities in Spanish colonial homes and hacienda-style homes. The biggest difference is that Spanish colonial homes have more European influence than other types of Mexican homes. 

What’s In A Spanish Colonial Home?

  • Rock Or Adobe – both adobe and rock were used in Spanish colonial homes. It simply depended on where the home was built. In modern-day Florida, stone was more common but in Mexico, adobe was more common. 
  • Single Story – these homes were single-story in most cases. Keeping them low to the ground got around tax laws on two-story homes and kept things cooler as hot air rises to higher levels in homes. 
  • Thick Walls – thick walls actually kept the home cooler because they insulated better than thin walls. This is something people in Spanish colonial times did well. So thick walls are a must for a traditional home like this.
  • Tile Work – tile work was something the Spanish did very well. So they brought that talent over to the New World so that they could make money and have distinct houses that reminded them of home. 
  • Spanish Influence – in truth, Spanish colonial homes will look a lot like traditional Spanish homes. They will also have other European influences that had already influenced Spanish homes in Spain. 

Solo Adobe

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Adobe home is a common term that can be used to describe a lot of different types of Mexican homes. But an adobe-only house is a traditional type of Mexican house that doesn’t have any of the modern architecture. 

Adobe itself is made of clay, sand, and silt, with water added to get the right texture. It is one of the oldest building materials and can be found in different forms all over the world and throughout history. 

  • Flat Roof – pure adobe homes are different than other Mexican homes. They don’t have clay roof tiles, but instead, they have adobe roofs that are completely flat. This can be a problem in water control but offer a fresh look. 
  • Solid Adobe – yes, the roofs are made of adobe and so is everything else. There could possibly be wood supports, but 90% of adobe homes are made out of adobe. This is the primary material used. 
  • Simple Designs – this doesn’t mean that the homes are geometric. It actually means that they have unique shapes a lot of the time but the shapes are simple and done by hand. This is similar to a cob home
  • Native Influences – adobe homes are some of the oldest types of homes in Mexico. Especially these adobe-only homes. Because of this, they will have Aztec, Mayan, and other Native Latin American influences. 
  • Ancient Roots – most of the oldest standing homes in Mexico are adobe homes. They have stood the test of time over and over again. If you want a historical home at a great price, you can’t go wrong with an adobe home.

Mission Style

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The Mission Revival-style houses are quite different than other Mexican-style houses. The Alamo is a Mission Revival-style building. This type of home was usually reserved for clergy and cathedrals.

While Mexican cathedrals aren’t traditionally as extravagant as French, English, or other cathedrals, they are extravagant compared to other Mexican buildings. This is some of Mexico’s most gorgeous architecture. 

  • Intricate Designs – mission-style houses are much more intricate than other types of Mexican houses. These houses will have carved out designs throughout them, but inside and outside of the home. 
  • Round Rooftops – although there are flat, straight, and curved rooftops on mission-style homes, there are often round areas like you’d see in most cathedrals throughout the world. This is a staple for many mission homes. 
  • Dormers – dormers are windows or areas that come out of the house in a convex way. There are many types of dormers and dormer windows. They aren’t common in Mexican homes but they are common in mission-style homes.
  • Framed Windows – while most Mexican homes have no window frame traditionally, mission-style homes almost always have window frames. And these window frames are unique and extravagant. 
  • Color Accents – a lot of time, Mexican homes have earth tones throughout history. But mission homes often have colorful window frames, doors, and designs. This is a spiritual way to honor what is to be honored. 

Spanish Villa

Spanish villa homes are different than other Mexican homes because they were built to incorporate community life. Many people usually live in Spanish villas so they are larger than most and in modern times, the personal yards are smaller.

A lot of Spanish villas do have courtyards but the focus is primarily on the house and immediate landscaping. Both of which are gorgeous, extravagant, and awe-inspiring. You can’t go wrong with a Spanish villa. 

  • Balconies – balconies aren’t common in many Mexican homes. But Spanish villa homes have balconies so one can look out at their property and visit with neighbors who are on their balconies.
  • Tile – tile floors started becoming quite popular in Spanish villa homes when they were rare before. Today, tile is common in Mexican homes and this was primarily thanks to the Spanish villa-style home. 
  • Brown Roofs – most other Mexican homes had red roofs, but Spanish villa homes have brown roofs. Sometimes, this is because the red has faded, but most of the time it is because they were built that way.
  • Small Yards – because the Spanish villa will have a shared yard, much like a condominium would, so the personal yards aren’t large. Today, things are different, and yards can be just about any size.
  • Wood Accents – the accents and additions to Spanish villa homes in Mexico are wooden. From doors to window frames to posts, there is often a lot of wood in Spanish villa homes along with the original building materials. 
  • Multiple Stories – Spanish villa homes are usually two stories at least. Since most other types of Mexican homes are one story, this really sets them apart from the rest. A good reason to choose to buy one. 

How Do I Make My House Look Mexican?

If you are trying to make your house look more Mexican, there are quite a few things you can do. While it may seem overwhelming at first to try to replicate Mexican homes, all you need is to break it down and that’s what we’ve just done. 

How Do I Make My House Look Mexican

Using Tile

Tile is almost always preferable to other flooring options in Mexican homes. While wood floors can be found, carpet is quite rare and shouldn’t be used if you are trying to make your house look Mexican.

Adobe And Terra Cotta

Adobe and terra cotta are ancient techniques used in many cultures, especially Mexican culture. You can find adobe and terra cotta on everything from vases to furniture to the very walls and foundation of Mexican homes. 

Cacti For Plants

Plants can be found in every culture and every country, but in Mexico, lush vegetation is rare. So that’s why you often see palm trees and cacti in Mexican yards and in Mexican homes. There are so many great ones to choose from too.

Curves And Beams

Curved or arched doorways and windows are quite common in Mexican-style homes. Square doorways can be found often too but not because they’re part of the culture. Beams are the same way, both inside and outside the home. 

Vibrancy Is Key

If you don’t have vibrant colors then your house won’t look Mexican. It’s true that not all Mexican homes are full of bright colors but that is the tradition so to be safe, add some vibrancy if you want to look traditional. 

Remember Textiles

Textiles are an important part of Mexican culture. So it’s a great addition to any Mexican-style home to add some textiles, preferably bright ones that are handmade. Check Etsy for some inspiration.

Dia De Los Muertos And More

Finally, to really draw inspiration from Mexican culture, you can add some inspirational pieces from Mexican holidays, celebrities, and celebrations. For example, Dia De Los Muyertos, Selena, and Frida Kahlo. 

Best Type Of Mexican Home

Now it comes down to the nitty-gritty. Which type of Mexican home is best? The truth is that there is no best. It all depends on your personal preference. If you want something very traditional and old, choose a solo adobe home.

But if you want the most extravagant type of Mexican home that isn’t modern, then choose a mission-style home. All types of Mexican homes are functioning and offer a history that lives within the home. 

So find out which one is best for you and live your best life, knowing you’re living in a part of history. Whether you build it or buy it is up to you, because even building a “historical” home is keeping the culture alive. 

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