October 3, 2022

Get to Know History and Architecture of Hacienda Style Homes

For decades, hacienda-style homes have been very popular in the United States, because of their white stucco walls, red clay roof tiles, and extensive use of heavy, rugged wood accents.

Hacienda architecture has a long history in Spain and Mexico, but it did not arrive in the United States until the 1600s and the mid-1800s.

Many of the original features hacienda architecture still survived today even hacienda-style homes have been popular in the United States nearly 400 years.

Let’s get to know more about Hacienda architecture.


Hacienda Architecture History

Hacienda building is a traditional architectural form with conventional construction methods from Spain and Mexico.

If looking back from history, hacienda-style homes have a long story in the United States that maybe happen nearly four hundred years ago. Spanish settlers began establishing their homesteads in region like Arizona, California and Florida because of the dryer climates and warm temperatures of this zone similar to their homelands.

With choosing areas that have similar climates to Spain and Mexico, Spanish settlers were able to carry out their native ways of housebuilding, using many resources that were accessible in Spain, Mexico, and warmer areas in the United States.

For example, common resources like adobe that made from straw and clay, and red clay for roof tiles are well know as hacienda architecture trademark.

Hacienda-style homes remained popular among homebuilders even after the Spanish Colonial period ended in the 1800s.

Throughout the 1900s, many homebuilders chose to use conventional materials like adobe and clay instead of relying on them due to necessity. The Colonial Revival made hacienda dwellings more popular.

Regional styles arose in hacienda residences during this period, although they still share key characteristics.

The Key of Hacienda Style Homes

As previously stated, hacienda-style homes across the country vary in terms of geography, although many have kept the original features. Here some original features that always include in hacienda architecture even across the country :

Red Clay Roof Tiles

The low-pitched roof with hand-made, red clay roof tiles is one of the most identifying features of a hacienda-style home.

The tiles may take in chilly air and release it into the house, red clay roof have form like a half-tube.

Clay roofs are best suited for the warm, dry climates where hacienda architecture thrives because they are prone to leakage.

Hacienda house in seashore
Hacienda house in seashore | Photo by Homida

White Stucco Walls

Hacienda homes always had thick walls that finished with white stucco. With this kind thick and bright white walls, hacienda architecture is suitable for hot and sunny climate.

Another benefit adobe walls from hacienda homes is during sunny day it can retain cool air, when the night come it will release warmth that absorbed from the sun into the house.

Clean and sturdy stucco walls Hacienda homes
Clean and sturdy stucco walls Hacienda homes | Photo by New Home Source

Rustic Wood Accents

Hacienda-style houses frequently implement heavy wooden doors and exposed wooden beams. The reason is because stucco walls of hacienda aren’t often finished with wooden trim, so exposed beams used to support wall and ceiling.

Not just that, rustic wood accents add warmth and texture to all over hacienda element.

Rustic wood accent from above fill over all living room
Rustic wood accent from above fill over all living room | Photo by thejoshuatreehouse on The Spruce

Small Windows With Spindles

The majority of hacienda-style homes have limited and tiny windows. It’s because to make house not overheated from direct sunlight but still let a cool breeze can enter the house.

The original architecture of hacienda homes actually doesn’t have glass panes, even now you will not also find it easily. With spindles decorated to the window give hacienda homes more strong character.

Modern hacienda home design
Modern hacienda home design | Photo by Decoist


Whether it’s interior or exterior, a courtyard is a key element to hacienda architecture.

Another focal point hacienda architecture is a courtyard, it’s element that hacienda houses should have whether it’s interior or exterior.

The courtyard is located in the heart of traditional hacienda homes, allowing owners to cook indoors and outdoors while releasing some of the heat produced by cooking.

Right now, the courtyards are often found on the opposite or rear side of the house.

Courtyards is another focal point element that hacienda house should have
Courtyards is another focal point element that hacienda house should have | Photo by Decor Report


Hacienda style homes famous with simple exterior look and it’s almost without decoration. But there’s archways that give stylish and architectural touch to hacienda style exterior.

In hacienda houses, archways can be discovered in outdoor hallways or courtyards.

Archways add stylish architectural element to hacienda exterior
Archways add stylish architectural element to hacienda exterior | Photo by PxHere


Hacienda architecture have element that are best suited for warm and drier climates. You’ll frequently find hacienda-style homes across the American southwest, particularly in Arizona and New Mexico, as well as California and Florida.

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