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Reviving the Spanish style in Monterey

11 Oct 2012 8:28 AM
High-end coastal homes helping Monterey's housing market

California is often praised for its Mediterranean weather, but the region shares more than just its climate with the countries that line that famous sea. Popular edibles like olives, citrus fruits and wine are also common to both areas, as well as a penchant for a more laid-back lifestyle. Even that, though, is not the end to the similarities.

Architecture and home design in California also owe much of their current form to the influences of Mediterranean nations, especially Spain. The Spanish legacy is still strong in California, particularly in coastal regions like Monterey. Many of the luxury homes here are designed and accoutered like classic Spanish homes. This is especially true for houses built in the 1920s, a period which is often considered a renaissance of the Spanish Revival style.

Although this style was soon joined - and then supplanted - by newer trends, its influence is still strong. In fact, many homeowners have recently begun to revert to this period and re-outfit their homes in keeping with the Spanish Revival's principles. Homes of this style - which are often characterized by terra cotta roofs, stucco walls and decorative flourishes - have begun to attract buyers across the country who crave something unique, according to the Monterey County Herald.

"It's a different place. It's not a McMansion - 10,000 square feet of nothing," Lewis Baer, an art and antiques dealer, told the source. Baer and his wife decided that they wanted a home that was different from the others they had seen. "I think it really shows an old-world style of living, more of a European style of living. I think that's really what attracted my wife. It's that old-world charm."

For buyers who find one of these special homes in or around Monterey, here are a few tips to help complement the famous style.

Wrought iron
One way that owners of Spanish Revival homes bring in a classic style is by using wrought iron in light features and railings. This traditional technique helps owners give their homes a timeless quality, and is a great way to accent the simplicity of the house's structure.

Dark wood
Another famous feature of Spanish Revival homes is their use of dark wood. Varnished or not, this material can provide a home with a rustic feel that is perfectly in keeping with the classic Spanish style.

One particular way that designers use this element is on the ceiling. Long wooden ceiling beams have long been a part of Spanish Revival houses, and there are few better ways to demonstrate your knowledge of the revival than by employing dark wood beams.