Spanish influence in Los Angeles architecture

Buying real estate in Los Angeles is an exciting process, but it can also be a difficult one. Unlike some other areas of the country, Los Angeles' architectural history and style is extremely diverse, resulting in neighboring homes with completely different backgrounds. Instead of colonial homes or brownstones - which you'll find in Southern California, but sparingly - Los Angeles' landscape is dotted with Craftsman houses, log cabins, split-level homes, Tudor style properties and traditional architecture, often all side by side.

That said, if there's one style that's especially Californian, it's the Spanish Colonial Revival home. With its soft earth tones, plenty of stucco and a ceramic red tile roof, a home in this cozy style could be just the right option for a potential home buyer seeking a truly SoCal abode.

While you can spot examples of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture across the country - especially in the southwest and Florida - the movement's most spectacular designs dot the California coast from San Diego all the way up to San Francisco. Many prestigious West Coast universities, like Stanford, the University of San Diego and some parts of UCLA, feature prominent examples of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and influence. The famous Hotel Green, located in Pasadena, is another prime example.

A home built in the Spanish Colonial Revival style features a smooth plaster exterior, usually in a light beige or white, with a low-pitched roof made of red or brown clay tiles. Inside, these homes are cozy and intimate, with low ceilings, white walls and exposed woodwork. Windows and arches are generally rounded. In many ways, the design of Spanish Colonial Revival homes harkens back to California's most beautiful and historic missions, like San Juan Capistrano. Although the style was most popular in the early 20th century, its roots stretch far back into California's history.

A notable Spanish Colonial Revival home located in Southern California is Diane Keaton's Beverly Hills mansion, which was put on the market in 2009 for a cool $11 million, according to HookedonHouses.net. The gorgeous home was featured in Architectural Digest, where a series of beautiful photographs showcased its intricate ironwork, dark wood accents, brick fireplaces, built-in cabinetry and open walkways with rustic furniture and accessories.

Built in 1927 by architect Ralph Flewelling, the home was originally constructed during the height of the Spanish Colonial Revival movement's popularity. Keaton added many modern touches, allowing her to sell the home for nearly $3 million more than what she purchased it for, according to the source.