Mediterranean-style residences, which have the appearance of Mediterranean villas, first appeared in the 1920s. Mediterranean houses, which are a combination of Spanish and Italian architecture, are prevalent in warm-weather areas such as California and Florida, which also have Spanish influences. Although most commonly found in the United States, Mediterranean-style houses can be found around the world.
In Europe, Spain's Mediterranean coast has been described as the "motherland" of the Mediterranean style. The term "Spanish Mediterranean style" has also been used to describe similar houses built outside of Spain, especially in southern France and along the Italian peninsula. In fact, Italy is the country that best preserves this type of housing with many towns and villages consisting mainly of old buildings designed in a traditional Mediterranean style.
The typical Mediterranean house has large windows, white walls, and blue or green shutters. It usually has only one floor and an interior courtyard. There are several types of mediterranean houses including: casa de la vista (house of view), casa del pueblo (townhouse), casa de jardín (garden house), casa de alquiler (rental house), casa de forma irregular (shaped house).
During the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) many people were forced to leave their homes.
The design combines traditional Mediterranean elements with a contemporary touch. These homes include an emphasis on indoor-outdoor living, big, open floor designs, and Spanish and Italian elements. The look was popular in the United States from 2000 to 2010.
Features of the Modern Mediterranean style include: easy-to-clean materials, such as glass, wood, and stone; simple decor; and a focus on natural light. Homes in this style are typically 2,300 square feet or larger. Smaller homes can be built with modular building systems that use the same materials but are shipped unassembled to save on shipping costs.
Homes in the modern Mediterranean style are usually located on large plots of land. They tend to be two stories with a garage attached, although some have three floors. The roof is usually made of tile or metal panels. There may be only one bathroom on the first floor, but more rooms could be added if needed. The master bedroom usually has its own private balcony or patio area.
Other common features of the modern Mediterranean style house include: large windows; exposed-beam ceilings; and white walls with red accents. Furnishings in these houses tend to be simple and neutral colors including black, white, and gray. Wood is commonly used for interior design elements including doors, cabinets, and furniture.
However, Mediterranean houses began to regain prominence in the 1960s. While they may be found throughout the United States, the majority are located in California, Florida, and southern states, which all have Mediterranean-like conditions. The climate is generally warm and dry with an average of four seasons. Houses tend to be single story, with an enclosed patio or balcony. They are usually made of wood, with stucco or other similar materials used for exterior walls. Floors are typically wooden, though some newer homes are being built with concrete slabs.
Mediterranean houses differ from traditional Southern houses in several ways. Most notably, they do not have a basement or crawlspace. Instead, the house is built on grade-level ground, with no lower level except for small utility rooms. This is done so that water does not seep into the house when it rains. Also, Mediterranean-style roofs are flat, while Southern roofs are hipped or half-hip.
House plans featuring a Mediterranean design are often called "Casa" designs. The word comes from the Spanish meaning "house," though these days it also refers to any attractive, modestly-sized home.
These days, you will most likely find Casa designs in new home communities where space is limited and cost is important.