Architecture 101- Spotlight on Mediterranean

Published September 6, 2012 by Julie Provenzano


Grand arches, tiled roofs, smooth stucco finishes, ambient porticoes- defining characteristics of the elegant Mediterranean style home. 

The American architectural love affair with Mediterranean style architecture began in the early 20th century in California and Florida, where the seascapes echo those found along the Mediterranean coast of Europe.  The style gradually spread west to the more affluent areas of cities like Dallas, Phoenix and Las Vegas.  The balmy temperatures of North Texas, Dallas’ flair for Spanish inspired design and residents’ refined tastes in home building created a peak in Mediterranean style in throughout the 1990s.  During that time many of the area’s finest homebuilders created unique masterpieces that continue to appeal to homeowners who appreciate the international appeal of the style.

Evolving from Italian Renaissance architecture, the Mediterranean style is grand in scale and impressive in form.  Dramatic courtyards bathed in sunlight and greenery, carefully placed water features such as fountains and ponds and covered exterior spaces defined by arches and stonework lend a sense of style of style and grandeur to the exterior spaces of the Mediterranean home.   Romantic porticoes and low pitched tiled roofs draw the eye upward, while smooth natural stone and rich stucco texture present a pleasing palette at ground level. 

Interior spaces remain devoted to comfortable elegance through the use of ample natural light, rustic wood accents, wrought iron detailing and stone tiling reminiscent of Europe’s finest seaside villas.  Mediterranean style homes reflect excellence in craftsmanship and commitment to using natural materials in aesthetically pleasing combinations.

While a select few Mediterranean style homes in Dallas were constructed in the 1920s and 1930s, the same period of time when the style became popular in California and Florida, many homes currently offered in the Metroplex are in the Neo-Mediterranean style.  That is, they are built to modern standards while remaining dedicated to the traditional defining characteristics of the style.  They are either new builds or were constructed during the last decade of the 20th century when the style became popular with a wide range of demographically diverse homeowners-  many of whom wished to build in the 3000-4000 square foot range, rather than the 6000-8000 range under which many traditional Mediterranean style homes fall.  Because of this trend, several neighborhoods within the city of Dallas as well as its surrounding communities offer several Mediterranean styled homes at multiple price points. 

The romance and allure of a Mediterranean home appeals to all the senses.  To live in or visit a Mediterranean or Neo-Mediterranean home is to be transported to the sweeping windswept banks of the Mediterranean sea, where warm coastal breezes carry the scent of fresh greenery and sea air.  A place where generous views and grand exteriors give way to romantic and refined interiors that speak of comfortable relaxation in the midst of warm and natural living spaces.  The timeless nature of the grand Mediterranean is sure to remain one of the most sought after architectural styles well into the 21st century.

The classic and beautiful Mediterranean