Realtor.com House Styles Guide (24 Styles)

“Stars weren’t just seen at night; in true photo-op fashion, they were often captured lounging by their over-sized pools in back of their Spanish Colonial mansions, dripping with water by day, and diamonds by night. “

CLIENT: Realtor.com

PRODUCT:  24 Architectural Styles – Researched and written for a House Styles Guide Feature Section – It remained on web site for five years until recently taken down.

PROJECT:

My assignment was straightforward … and quite fun: Hire a photographer, wander the streets of one unique neighborhood in Orange County, CA known to look like a Hollywood lot (for the simple reason it “houses” a microcosm of most American architectural styles) & profile those styles on what was then known as the Homestore.com web site.

The project was actually my idea, one the then-Managing Editor at Realtor.com took a shine to—especially the idea of hiring an architect to write a regular Q & A column for all the existing,  wannabe and about-to-be- homeowners who didn’t know a turret from a transom, a cupola from a cup of tea.

And so, the happy-to-have-a-paid-gig photographer and I went to town—well one rather surreal part of town anyway … point and clicking away and knocking down any pink flamingos that got in the way.

Posted below is just one out of 24 of the Realtor.com House Styles that I wrote about. More will be posted soon.

 

Spanish Eclectic Style

Spanish Eclectic: California’s Romantic Style

“Stars weren’t just seen at night; in true photo-op fashion, they were often captured lounging by their over-sized pools in back of their Spanish Colonial mansions, dripping with water by day, and diamonds by night.”

Spanish Eclectic (1915-1940)

Identifying features:

  • Asymmetrical façade
  • Stucco wall surfaces
  • Low-pitched roof, usually with little or no eave overhang
  • Arches above doors, and principal windows or beneath porch roofs
  • Ornamental effects which include patches of molded decoration, stained or otherwise darkened wood, and wrought-iron grill work

Sometimes called the Spanish Colonial Revival style, the Spanish Eclectic is a mixing of many styles derived from the Mediterranean world. Architects of this style were inspired by many sources: the adobe and Spanish Colonial buildings of Southern California, late Moorish architecture, medieval Spanish church architecture, the Baroque architecture of colonial Spain, and Portugal, and the Pueblo Mission styles. This broad base of sources made it relatively easy to create a believable harmony among the exterior image, interior space, decorative elements, and the building’s function.

The American movie industry of the early 1900’s helped to glamorize the Spanish Eclectic style. Stars weren’t just seen at night; in true photo-op fashion, they were often captured lounging by their over-sized pools in back of their Spanish Colonial mansions, dripping with water by day, and diamonds by night. It was also through the influence of the movies that the Spanish Colonial mansions came to be built in areas of the country like Minnesota, where the largely Nordic-rooted culture was far removed from Spanish heritage.

The most lasting legacy of the Spanish Colonial Revival as a national type was the one-story house that we know as the ranch house. Its characteristic U-shaped floor plan with a protected patio in the courtyard derives from the California ranchos of the late 1830s.

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More styles to be posted soon…

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About seekandfind

I'm a strategic storyteller/copywriter who is divinely wired to be idea-driven, strategic minded & cause motivated.

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