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Welcome to Spanish Mission Design: Embrace the Warmth of the Southwest

Introduction Are you captivated by the charm and allure of Spanish Mission design? From the historical Alamo in Texas to the picturesque bungalows along the Southern California Coast, the Spanish Mission style has left an...


Are you captivated by the charm and allure of Spanish Mission design? From the historical Alamo in Texas to the picturesque bungalows along the Southern California Coast, the Spanish Mission style has left an indelible mark on the American Southwest. But did you know that you can bring the vibrant and earthy Southwestern style into your own home, no matter where you live? In this Spanish Mission Design 101, we will explore the essence of this style, discover its origins, and provide you with 10 exciting ways to incorporate Spanish Mission elements into your living space. So sit back, relax, and let's embark on this inspiring journey!

What is Spanish Mission Style?

The Spanish Mission design style traces its roots back to the original mission settlements in the American Southwest. One of the most iconic examples is the legendary Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, which was constructed over 300 years ago in 1718. Simple lines, stone or adobe bricks, and bell-shaped or arched facades define Mission architecture, heavily influenced by Spanish Colonial and Moorish design. While the original missions may have been established centuries ago, the Mission Revival movement in the 1920s brought this style back into the limelight. As architectural preferences shifted from ornate Victorian designs to simpler styles like Craftsman, Mission Revival design spread across the Southwest, earning the nickname "Western Craftsman." With its white stucco walls, red terracotta roofs, iron accents, terracotta tile floors, and exposed wood, the Mission style continues to captivate homeowners today, offering simplicity and a warm ambiance, regardless of their location.

Take a Trip: Where to Find Mission Style Inspiration

The allure of Spanish Mission style can be found across the American Southwest, from Texas to New Mexico, Arizona to Southern California. The style adapts to its surroundings, offering variations based on the unique landscapes of each region. In Texas, Mission-style homes often boast local limestone facades, while California Mission homes blend a bungalow aesthetic with white stucco walls and terracotta roofs. To truly immerse yourself in the warm desert-inspired designs, consider embarking on a road trip or even a railroad adventure. Explore the captivating aesthetics that resonate with you and infuse your home with a touch of Southwestern charm.

10 Ways to Add Spanish Mission Style to Your Home

Now that you have a deeper understanding of Mission design, let's dive into 10 exciting ways you can incorporate Spanish Mission style into your own home:

1. Embrace Simple Lines

Whether you envision your Spanish Mission dream home as a small bungalow or a grand estate with a charming courtyard, remember that simplicity is key. Mission homes feature clean lines with impactful accents, such as arches, columns, or a striking turret at the main entrance.

Embrace Simple Lines Embrace Simple Lines

2. Keep the Color Palette Neutral

Draw inspiration from the desert landscape by choosing a neutral color palette. Opt for plaster whites complemented by warm terracotta and brown accents. When in doubt, let the earthy tones of the Southwest guide your color choices.

Keep the Color Palette Neutral Keep the Color Palette Neutral

3. Transform the Space with Terracotta

No Spanish Mission home is complete without classic terracotta tiles. These tiles offer a rustic and timeless look, bringing the warm, earthy tones of the Southwestern desert into your living space. At LiLi Tile, we honor age-old processes by handcrafting our Terra Collection tiles from natural clay, then baking them in traditional wood ovens. This method ensures that each tile is one-of-a-kind, bringing an authentic Mission character to any area. Our Terra Collection features white, red, and charcoal clay variations in various shapes and sizes. For the quintessential Mission look, consider installing these tiles with a large, traditional grout line.

Transform the Space with Terracotta Transform the Space with Terracotta

4. Incorporate Painted Ironwork

Decorative ironwork is a hallmark of Spanish Mission architecture, adorning stair and balcony railings, courtyard fences, and window grids. Opt for ironwork with a black or rusted finish. Extend the iron details to lighting fixtures, cabinet hardware, and accessories. Consider adding a touch of metallic brilliance through accent tiles. Our Metal Insert Collection offers classic cement tiles with brass or copper accents, bringing an extra touch of sparkle to your space.

Incorporate Painted Ironwork Incorporate Painted Ironwork

5. Accent with Arches, Columns, and Quatrefoils

Arches, columns, and quatrefoil details are prominent in Mission architecture. If your home doesn't feature these architectural elements, fear not! You can incorporate these design elements through finishing touches like furnishings, art, and even your choice of tile patterns. Our Sabine and Nora cement tiles boast exquisite quatrefoil-inspired designs suitable for floors, backsplashes, and showers.

Accent with Arches, Columns, and Quatrefoils Accent with Arches, Columns, and Quatrefoils

6. Decorate with Desert-inspired Motifs

Mission design draws inspiration from the desert landscape, from its adobe brick construction to cool clay terracotta tiles. Bring the spirit of the desert into your home, regardless of your location, by decorating with desert-inspired motifs. Honor the landscape through artwork, succulents, and textiles. Our Tucson cement tiles, part of our Milano Collection, feature classic Southwestern textile patterns in warm neutral tones, making them the perfect statement piece for kitchen backsplashes and fireplace features.

Decorate with Desert-inspired Motifs Decorate with Desert-inspired Motifs

7. Frame a Patterned Tile Focal Point

While terracotta tiles are synonymous with the Mission style, patterned tiles also play a crucial role in creating focal points and framing architectural features. Consider using 6x6 cement tiles to highlight archways or draw attention to a fireplace surround. Our Marok tile offers a vibrant pop of color amidst a neutral Mission palette, creating a bold accent for any room.

Frame a Patterned Tile Focal Point Frame a Patterned Tile Focal Point

8. Welcome Warm Wood Tones

Similar to the Craftsman style, Mission homes rely on warm wood tones to create a cozy atmosphere. Incorporate wood elements through exposed beams, wood slat ceilings, or substantial rustic furniture pieces. Remember to consider how your selected wood stains interact with other design elements, such as your terracotta and cement tile accents.

Welcome Warm Wood Tones Welcome Warm Wood Tones

9. Add an Adobe Courtyard

Make the most of your outdoor space by creating a walled adobe courtyard, combining style and privacy. Enhance your courtyard with planters filled with cacti, comfortable lounge chairs, and sunshades. Consider extending your terracotta tile floors from indoors to outdoors, achieving a seamless indoor-outdoor flow.

Add an Adobe Courtyard Add an Adobe Courtyard

10. Cool Off with a Plunge Pool

If you're creating a courtyard, why not enhance the space with a refreshing plunge pool? Our Glaze Collection tiles feature a range of cool blue hues and even rustic reds, adding both style and durability to your plunge pool area. Dive in and embrace the desert sun in comfort and style.

Cool Off with a Plunge Pool Cool Off with a Plunge Pool

On a Mission for Beautiful Design

Congratulations! You now have all the design details you need to embark on your mission for beautiful design. Whether you're captivated by the simplicity of Mission homes or drawn to the warm earthy tones of the Southwest, you can infuse your living space with the captivating charm of Spanish Mission style. So go ahead, embrace the warmth, and create the design of your dreams.

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