Get the Look: Spanish Colonial Design

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Let’s show you how to get the Spanish colonial design look. When we talk about Spanish colonial design, we’re referring to the influence of Spanish colonies on architecture. Particularly, we refer to the stylized properties found throughout California and Florida.

The features of Spanish colonial design

This style of architecture and decor has its origins with Spanish influence. It has started when parts of America including California, Florida, and the South West were inhabited by the Spaniards. As such a strong Spanish influence can be seen in architecture in these parts which have a continued design style that is popular up to this day. Some of the main Spanish colonial design features include rounded arches and doorways. And also it includes white or sandy exteriors, terracotta roof and floor tiles, columns. Decorative metalwork features with carved woodwork are also part of this era.

The Spanish colonial style isn’t dissimilar to properties found in rural Italy. So you may spot some similarities when exploring potential materials and finishes for your project.

 The importance of landscaping

spanish colonial style

In Spanish colonial design, the exterior of a property is just as important as the interior. After all, Spaniards are used to al-fresco dining.

With this love of the outdoors in mind, when designing your property’s exterior ensure you consider which plants and trees you’ll use around the property.

The grounds of Spanish or Spanish-inspired properties often have olive trees. Orange trees are also incredibly popular in these properties, especially in Florida for obvious reasons. Palms are also admired yet less popular in traditional Spanish properties. You may even want to consider plant crawlers which, again, are more Italian in style but is one of the similarities the two cultures share.

spanish style architecture

When creating your outdoor space be sure to include a terracotta patio area for those summer evenings and consider tiered planting areas to add both authenticity and privacy.

 Using tiles in Spanish colonial design

As mentioned, terracotta tiles are a very crucial element to this architecture style, whether it’s roof tiles, floor and wall tiles, or decorative surrounds. This is exactly why at Marble Systems we developed our Cotto Med terracotta tile collection.

Cotto Med Natural Hexagon Terracotta Tile 6x6

Cotto Med Natural Hexagon Terracotta Tile

Cotto Med Natural Fan Shape Terracotta Tile 6 3/4x6 1/2

Cotto Med Natural Fan Shape Terracotta Tile

Cotto Med Natural Picket Terracotta Tile 5x10

Cotto Med Natural Picket Terracotta Tile


These terracotta tiles are artisan-made to give the appearance of an antique tile. They will transport you back to those historic Spanish villas from centuries ago. With a choice of five patterns ready to go into your Spanish colonial interior or exterior, they feature richly textured earthy hues that are enriched by time.

As our terracotta tiles are handmade each one has a slightly different variation adding to that artisan look and old-world charm. The wonderful texture and earthy colors of these tiles owe their appearance to being baked in the sun or kiln.

Terracotta tiles are loved for their rustic finish as well as their hard-wearing nature. Terracotta is incredibly durable and it’s easy to maintain; all you need to do is treat the tiles once a year using linseed oil. You can also purchase cleaners that are specifically designed for terracotta.

 Types of terracotta tile

The most popular type of terracotta tile is the traditional square tile, which is incredibly versatile. You can use these tiles on the floor and walls.  And they are ideal for a rustic country kitchen or use running throughout the ground floor areas which can be extended to the exterior.

Likewise, our rectangle terracotta tiles in 6 x 12 inches add a real scope of possibilities when it comes to how they are laid, with a variety of patterns that can be created with patterns including herringbone, double herringbone, brick bond, and step ladder to name a few possibilities with this shape tile.

To create a patterned look then our chevron and hexagon terracotta tiles are increasingly popular styles that add a more decorative slant to a property. These tiles work especially well for floors both inside and outside the property.

The more decorative terracotta tiles are also a popular choice for feature walls and floors to create a floor or wall which oozes character, like our fan shape terracotta tile.

A note from our design team

Remember that if you want to stay true to Spanish colonial design it doesn’t stop at the tiles you choose. You must pair these authentic materials with traditional painting methods as well as furniture that’s of the period. There are many fantastic finds to be had in antique shops. Lookout for carved wooden furniture, including cabinets and chairs, which are especially sought after. Take your property a step further with traditional Spanish glass, which is often patterned.

Delve into Spanish colonial design further with our full range of terracotta tiles.

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