The History And Architecture of Hacienda Style Homes

There are hundreds of different home styles across the world, most of them implemented in the United States. Hacienda-style homes are just one of these amazing architectural styles. You see, you may have heard this term before. 

However, you probably can’t pinpoint exactly what hacienda style homes are or where you can find them. You can see hacienda homes most often in California and the Southwest. For example, many celebrities have hacienda-style homes in Hollywood. 

What Are Hacienda Style Homes?Via Linda Sansone And Associates

Historically, a hacienda is a large Spanish estate on privately-owned land. Haciendas originated during the Spanish colonization of America. The original haciendas were used as plantations to farm and produce goods.

Today, the term hacienda is often used to describe the type of architecture generally used in such estates. In Latin America, the owner of a hacienda is called a hacendado or patrón. Which makes sense considering the general size of hacienda style homes. 

Spotting Hacienda Style Homes

There are a few things that make hacienda style homes stick out. You can likely recognize them without any prompting, but it’s hard to put your finger on how you know what a hacienda home is. This is what hacienda architecture includes. 

Clay Roof TilesVia Roof Tile And Slate Company

Clay roof tiles, usually in red, are necessary for hacienda style homes. These tiles are used as roofing with a base laid underneath to insulate and protect the home from the elements. Clay itself is a wonderful insulator and is used often in hot climates. 

However, more often than not, the reason for this insulation isn’t to keep the family warm. The clay insulation absorbs the heat of the daytime and releases it at night, giving the family a cooler house during the day and warmer house at night.

Stucco Walls

Stucco or adobe walls are a must in hacienda-style homes. While indigenous South Americans and North Americans used clay in their homes long before the Spanish arrived, the Spanish popularized the use of stucco. 

Today, stucco is still used in both new and old hacienda homes. This is generally to keep the integrity of the culture. However, it also pays for itself as it’s one of the most durable and long-lasting siding options available.

Stucco walls are most often built with plaster. Plaster is a simple form of stucco that is used to describe many different types of walls that use the same methods. Find out more about plaster walls here.

Round Doorways

While windows can be square or round, doorways and archways are almost always round in hacienda style homes. Archways in hacienda homes are often held up by Greek pillars or stucco walls, depending on whether the home has Mediterranean influences or not. 

CourtyardsVia Champion Stone Company

Courtyards are common in most estates, and hacienda style homes are no exception. There is usually some sort of center in the courtyard to house a fountain or similar attraction. There is also usually a BBQ pit and eating area.

Most courtyards are surrounded by at least two walls belonging to the home. However, your outdoor area can still be considered a courtyard if it only has one wall. What makes it a courtyard is the view of the open sky.

Exposed Beams

You will usually find exposed beams in hacienda homes. These extend out to beneath awnings and often through the end of the house. Exposed beams are always in hacienda interiors. But they are also located on exteriors at times. 

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When beams extend beyond a wall, they create pegs. The pegs you see in hacienda homes are very common in Mexico and other Hispanic countries. These pegs are called vigas and are often round whereas other rafters are square.

Small Windows

Historically, windows in stucco homes were small to keep the heat out. Today, they are kept because they are a part of what makes a hacienda home a hacienda home. Remodels will often tear out walls and add large windows.

However, most designers that wish to keep the integrity of the home will leave most of the windows in their original form. This is true for any style of home as, artistically, character means more than modern amenities. 

Hacienda Style Homes By Top Designers

Hacienda homes are popular in the United States, but not all of them have been remodeled by expert designers. These designers have put their hearts into their hacienda designs to keep the personality of the home while adding their own flair.

Casa Allende By Becker Studios

This spacious 3600 sqft home resides in Montecito, California. Becker Studios of Santa Barbara, California is responsible for this remodel from 2013. The final project left the owners with stunning results. 

The yard in this home features a large swimming pool and beautiful landscaping. It isn’t easy to create outdoor spaces like this in Southern California. Nature seems to work against anything green and full of life in the Southwest.

This Montecito home is much older than it looks, but the natural integrity of the home was kept throughout the remodel. Notice the exposed beams and white stucco walls, both very common in hacienda style homes

The designers brought clean lights and an open concept to the home, both modern traits. They also opened up some of the walls going outside to add large windows which will bring more light into the home.

A gorgeous courtyard and barbeque pit make the outdoor space both usable and inviting. There is even an outdoor bathtub with its own private half-walls. The area was inspired by the original hacienda style architecture. 

The picnic table and benches are handmade and feature impeccable woodworking skills. The cozy fireplace is painted white to offset the warm colors of the tiles. Tiles like these are common in hacienda style homes.

Carmel Valley Estate By Tucker And Marks
Photo By Mathew Millman

Located in Carmel Valley, California, this home is heavily influenced by the 1920s Mediterranean countries. The backdrop for the home is strictly hacienda while the furnishings give us a marriage of cultures and eras.

The designs on the door are original and bring out the history of the home, which is why they are such a focus for this home. 

The home was designed by Tucker And Marks who believe that a house should be a lifelong romance and that we should be falling in love with it over and over again. You can see that motto brought to life in every house they design.

The outdoor area in this Carmel Valley home is just perfect. The hacienda-style fountain looks like it has been around for hundreds of years, but the original owners have taken good care of it. Because of this, it looks just as nice as the newer surrounding structures. 

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Santa Lucia Preserve Hacienda By Scavullo DesignPhoto By Matthew Millman

This vacation home in Santa Lucia Preserve in Carmel, California was designed by the marvelous Scavullo Design. The home is multi-cultural with Moroccan, Mediterranean, and Mexican influences. 

The Santa Lucia Preserve home is used by a multi-generational family from Connecticut. They fell in love with the warm, western feel of the house that is so different than their own homes back in the Northeast.

The high ceilings in the home make it look even more spacious than it is, the large island complementing the already spunky kitchen. Hardwood floors up the value of this home as does the unique, intricate backsplash.

Although every room in the house has hacienda-style architecture, perhaps the star in this home is the stairway. It features a uniquely Hispanic design that you can’t find anywhere else authentically.

The outdoor area at this Santa Lucia estate is breathtaking. The natural, petrified wood end tables work as both western stools and coffee tables. They gather around an outdoor fireplace complete with a hacienda-style hearth. 

Spanish Oaks Hacienda By John SiemeringPhoto By John Siemering Homes

Another Mediterranean hacienda we can’t get enough of is located in Austin, Texas. It was designed by John Siemering Homes and may be the most historical hacienda on our list. Notice it contains everything that makes a hacienda a hacienda.

You have the stucco walls, the red rile roof, the small windows, and the arched doorways. This is a textbook hacienda style home and a great one to reference when designing your own.

One interesting thing about this home is that it mixes hacienda stucco with old-world stonework. Some of the windows in the home are from the 1700s, ensuring the home retains its original integrity and style.

Step inside and you’ll find an open concept home with elegant and rustic furniture. The original owners have taken very good care of the stone walls and the original stucco walls that are even older than the stone ones. 

Ojai Hacienda By Tom MeaneyPhoto By Tom Meaney Architect

Another incredible design, this one by Tom Meaney Architects. This cozy 6000 sqft home is located in the mountains of Ojai in Ventura County, California. It is overlooking a hilltop, nestled snuggling on top.

The scene here is picturesque and lets us step back in time. There are no modern distractions surrounding the home so we get the fully immersive experience of what life may have been like when the home was first built. 

Every single inch of this home is as inspiring as can be. From the intricate tiles and stained-glass to the amazing use of authentic outdoor space, this home is an inspiration to any home owner or designer.

As gorgeous as the hacienda-style part of the home is with antique architecture, the open concept area is just as pretty. Tom Meaney’s team gives a modern twist to the living room and kitchen area, yet they leave certain parts of the home undisturbed. 

This is just one more example of how perfect hacienda-style homes can be when remodeled by an expert designer. Each and every one of these Southwestern designers gave their projects their all and it shows in the immaculate designs of their hacienda-style homes. 



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