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Stylish Mediterranean Exteriors
A historied vibe emanates from these beautiful Mediterranean-influenced homes
Looking at these homes, you might feel like you somehow slipped into the Old World. Architectural detailing speaks to authentic European style, but these gorgeous homes are in the good old USA.
Rustic farmhouse meets vineyard estate meets 21st century—that’s how interior designer Kathy Anderson describes the Magnolia, Texas, home of clients Natalie and Matt Mabry. “During our first meeting, the Mabrys told me they wanted their home to capture the essence of a Tuscan farmhouse,” Anderson says.
Although the 7,000-square-foot home was completed in 2010, the project was 10 years in the making. During that time, Anderson and her clients researched Italian design and developed a wish list of authentic architectural elements they wanted to employ, such as barrel- and groin-vaulted ceilings, wrought-iron railings, plastered walls, and dramatic archways. The team painstakingly handpicked materials and finishes that would give the new home a gently aged aesthetic. Reclaimed Chicago brick, centuries-old beams recovered from churches and warehouses, rough quarried limestone, and industrial concrete deliver rustic charm in a way that’s capable of standing up to the young family’s active lifestyle.
Limestone and stucco topped with overgrouted terra-cotta roof tiles lends the home’s exterior an authentic Italian look.
Rolling hills, sprawling groves, and a sense of serenity inhabit the inviting area surrounding the 3-acre estate of Rachael and Lee Lewis. The views bring to mind the Italian countryside’s pastoral beauty, but the Lewises’ property sits just a few hours west of the bustling metropolis of Dallas.
“The stunning landscape is what drew the Lewises to this lot, so it was important that the structure honor it,” Seal says. “True Tuscan design implements outdoor views and spaces in as many areas as possible, so the style was a natural fit. I showed the Lewises a magazine photo of a breathtaking Mediterranean villa, and the design process evolved from there.”
The exterior is crafted from painstakingly handpicked Lueder stone from Texas and Oklahoma and crowned by a low-pitched roof of Roman red clay tiles. French doors lining the back of the house provide easy access to a saltwater pool surrounded by limestone pavers.
Practice makes perfect. This truism certainly applies to a Texas couple who oversaw the design and construction of three homes before tackling their fourth—and, perhaps, “forever”—home in Austin. Considering what worked and what didn’t in their previous abodes, Amanda Raab Hibner and her husband, Scott Hibner, devised a Tuscan-inspired residence that references Italian coastal homes Amanda saw on a long-ago visit to the Amalfi Coast.
Reclaimed clay roof tiles and limestone-trimmed exterior windows and doors remain faithful to the home’s European inspiration. Gas-powered lanterns, simple iron railings, and arched French doors imbue the exterior with Tuscan flavor.
A window-wrapped sailor’s watch—a small space with two chairs for taking in sunsets and sea views—tops the main house at this coastal retreat. The earthy hue of the stucco exterior and the bold blue shutters nod to traditional contrasts seen in Tuscany.
A scent, a color, a snapshot from a trip, the feel of a worn paint finish—these elements guided interior designer Barbara Vessels and architect Robbie Fusch as they worked on this Tuscan-inspired home in Dallas.
Clay roof tiles, grand arches, and a mix of stone and stucco give the exterior a classic Italian appearance.
Armed with years’ worth of pages clipped from magazines, vacation memories, and sketches of Gothic arches, Danielle and Bart Yancey inundated architect Byron Smith with ideas for a home that not only would live well, but that they and their three dogs could live well in. The couple initially thought they wanted to renovate their boxy 1950s Birmingham, Alabama, home, but Smith advised that their goal was best met with a clean slate. Building new meant they could fulfill their wishes for an Italian-inspired home filled with natural light, with an open floor plan and airy rooms.
The Mediterranean-style home recalls its genesis with a whitewashed stucco-over-brick exterior and simple wooden shutters.
It’s not unusual for visitors to this quiet desert hideaway to feel as if they’ve arrived in Tuscany. Set on more than 2 acres in Arizona’s Oro Valley, overlooking Tucson, the charming compound spills over with old-world patinas and assembled-through-time character. Two historically correct structures designed by architect Allen Tafoya sit on the property. Each connects beautifully with its surroundings while evoking images of Italian farmsteads.
An overhanging tile roof and a stone-framed entry to the garage add dimension to the main house. The parking area connects via an antique gate to the home’s front door.
Tuscan-Inspired in Arkansas
The alluring patina that radiates from the regal villas dotting the Italian countryside might best be attributed to the centuries of love and laughter that have prevailed inside their storied walls. Achieving the same degree of authenticity doesn’t happen overnight when building a home from the ground up. It’s a painstaking process—a labor of love. Just ask Donna and Jim Bottin. It took the Arkansas couple and their design team roughly two years to build their 5,000-square-foot home in Little Rock.
The couple enlisted builder Bill Parkinson and interior designers Mona Thompson and Talena Ray to conceptualize a floor plan that would fit all of their practical needs into a single pretty package. The team drew on old-world influences both inside and out to draft an architectural backdrop with soul. The exterior’s Texas limestone walls and cast-stone accents, antique double doors, louvered shutters, zinc dormers, and hand-forged ironwork lend a sense of history.
The new zinc dormers and chimney cap were treated with acid to hasten the aging process. Mature trees and shrubs were planted to foster an established aesthetic.
Finely orchestrated by builder John Schultz, architect Mark Candelaria, interior designer Kimberly Colletti, and landscape architect Jeff Berghoff, this new Arizona residence reflects a Mediterranean aesthetic from the outset.
The home’s dramatically sited but steeply pitched lot was graded to achieve a single-level floor plan. A red clay tile roof and stucco exterior are classic hallmarks of formal Mediterranean style. Carved limestone and stately iron gates herald arrival at the front entry, and the grandeur of the interiors is announced just over the threshold in a light-filled gallery with a cross-axis at its center.
Perfect on the Pacific
Perched on the edge of the azure Pacific Ocean in Pebble Beach, California, this sun-washed house occupies an enviable roost. The stone-and-stucco-clad hacienda nestles into rocky cliff-top terrain, mature cypress trees and Spanish oaks arc over the terra-cotta tile roof, and bougainvillea vines scramble over archways framing an expansive loggia. Inside, French doors and tall casement windows allow rooms to take in vistas of sparkling waves and amber sunsets.
Unscripted, highly personal, and resonating with sentimental connections, David and Morgan Shin’s 7,500-square-foot Houston home showcases the couple’s singular and shared style preferences and heritages. Morgan, a Persian from Iran, has a fondness for opulence. David, who was born in South Korea and grew up in Hawaii, has a clean-lined aesthetic. They both enjoy old-world profiles and patinas, like those found in their recently constructed home.
“We were attracted by the home’s stunning Tuscan-style architecture—the arches, the vaulted ceilings,” Morgan says. “We loved the spacious floor plan, the light and airy feel, the Tuscan warmth. We have traveled to Italy and appreciate the Mediterranean culture’s love for large family gatherings, which is how we also like to entertain.”
To complement its Mediterranean architectural inspiration, this Houston home features clipped boxwood, pots of rosemary, and towering cypress trees.
This desert home in Indian Wells, California, marries sensual earth tones and rustic materials with cleverly conceived courtyards that embrace the outdoors and natural light while effortlessly evoking a distinctly Tuscan vibe.
The home fulfills its Tuscan aspirations by pulling the outdoors inside—and vice versa. Architect Tim Chappelle designed the house around two courtyards, using broad expanses of windows to maximize natural light and provide views of the courtyards from a host of interior vantage points. Moreover, every room includes doors that open into a courtyard so all rooms feel gently kissed by the sun-drenched aesthetic for which Tuscany is famous.
The rear of the low-slung, H-shape house wraps around a courtyard that features a pizza kitchen and fire pit. A lap pool provides a sense of serenity—and pleasant relief from the home’s arid surroundings.
Perched on a rocky rise surrounded by undulating vineyards, Montevigna—as this California home was dubbed upon completion—captures stunning views of the countryside. The sun rises and sets over the house, bathing it in golden splendor throughout the day while providing sustenance for centuries-old oaks, Manzanillo olive trees, stately Italian cypress, and, recently, the owner’s raised vegetable gardens.
Interior designer Lindsay Brier, who helped her aunt and uncle furnish their wine-country getaway, worked with builders Jon and Susan Reiter and landscape designer David Fazzio to create the captivating retreat.
Despite its age-old appearance, the home is sheathed in a recycled-polystyrene exterior and capped with solar panels. The panels are hidden on the rear plane of the roof, which is made from French terra-cotta tiles crafted the ancient way. “They’re the real thing,” Jon Reiter says. “Each one was formed as it was bent over someone’s thigh.” A carved-wood door, which dates to Napoleon’s days in Paris, was handpicked by builder Jon Reiter to lend the facade of this new home a sense of history.
The owners of this home in Silverleaf, a golf-course community in North Scottsdale, Arizona, spent nearly a year building their vacation residence. The retired couple worked with architect Jeff Berkus to stay within the community’s Mediterranean architectural requirements, but they also wanted to make certain it incorporated an old-world medley of stone surfaces and reclaimed finishes, an open layout that suited the region’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle, and plenty of gathering spots to accommodate friends and family.
The couple partnered with interior designers Caroline Tyler DeCesare and Kelsey Webb Hunzeker to select authentic details—from tiled roofs and wood ceiling beams to carved stone mantels and integral plaster walls—that would underscore the home’s Tuscan aesthetic as well as its desert setting.
Native plantings rise from raised planting beds and stand tall in statuesque pots to soften the home’s linear geometry and firmly fuse the home with the desert floor.
Color—or rather the lack of it—is a fundamental component of Tuscan style. And for the most elegant interpretations Stateside, it takes effort to achieve a rich palette that evokes the creamy patina rendered by centuries of living under the harsh Tuscan sun. Which is why interior designers Caroline Tyler DeCesare and Kelsey Webb Hunzeker worked tirelessly with architect Matt Thomas, builder Nancy Brunkhorst, and a host of craftspeople to get the complex palette just right during the renovation of this Phoenix home.
Both inside and out, where the living continues beneath the trees and in open pavilions, a play of light and texture is key to the old-world ambience the homeowners desired.
Landscape designer Jeff Berghoff softened the stone-rich facade with a romantic palette of white and purple plantings that’s punctuated with just a few yellow blooms in a nod to the home’s desert location.