Known for its cutting edge yet relaxed style, the West Coast sets the pace when it comes to housing trends and environmentalism.
The Mid-century Home
The first ranch-style home was built in 1932 in San Diego, CA by builder Cliff May, whose low, horizontal architectural design took unique advantage of the climate. Now known as the mid-century home, the ranch-style home is typically a one-level L-shaped box with all or most load-bearing walls on the outside, making the homes easy to decorate and remodel.
Spanish Colonial Revival Homes
For design inspiration, the West Coast utilizes Spanish and Asian influences, as well as indigenous native American Eskimo and Indian cultures. Of these the best known is the Spanish Colonial Revival.
Offering a mix of Spanish Baroque, Mexican Churrigueresque and Moorish Revival, Spanish Colonial Revival homes arose from centuries-old presidios and missions from Spain’s conquest of Mexico. The style features plaster and stucco walls, clay tiles, terracotta or cast concrete ornamentation, and decorative iron trim and is popular in the West, Southwest and Florida.
Environmentalism trends such as green-building with sustainable bamboo and hemp and xeriscaping with drought-friendly native plants are not only socially responsible, but mandatory in many West Coast communities.
From the warm waters of the South Pacific to Alaskan icebergs, the blues and greens and whites of the ocean are popular color choices, as well as the terra cottas and yellows of the desert and the deep greens and browns of the forest.