Your Home: Architectural Styles in North Scottsdale

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Posted on July 12, 2019 by Laura Lucky


The defining architectural aesthetic of North Scottsdale tends to favor the common styles of Southwest, Mediterranean and Tuscan; however, we’re seeing a surge in Contemporary and Transitional-style homes with remodels and new builds. We thought we’d give a little primer on each style’s defining characteristics.

Southwestern – These homes are a mix of Spanish Colonial and Native American (or Pueblo) architecture. Finished in smooth stucco, residences usually are one-level with flat or terra cotta roofs. Inside, you’ll find open living areas dotted with alcoves, distressed wood, Saltillo tile, bancos (built-in seating), kiva fireplaces and vigas (round-log ceiling beams). Homes of this style are usually painted in neutral colors that blend into the desert and interiors may be accented by yellows, oranges, reds, greens or turquoise.

Tuscan – Characterized by a multi-level roof with barrel tiles, narrow windows with cast-iron hardware, arched doorways, courtyards, and an abundance of stone masonry; Tuscan homes are in earth-toned hues such as warm umber, muted browns or reds. Interiors generally have a large kitchen, high tiled-barrel ceilings, cantera stone and large timbers. You’ll find accents of cast iron, solid wood, candle sconces and scrollwork.

Mediterranean – With an influence from homes found in Italy, Greece, France and Spain, this architectural style features stucco exteriors, low-pitched roofs (often in red tile), a front courtyard, and balconies and verandas on the upper levels. Floor plans tend to be open with large spaces for entertaining. Mimicking the color palette of authentic homes from the region, interior hues such as yellow, blue or lavender are typical.

Contemporary – Homes in this style are defined by an asymmetrical façade, large windows, a strong emphasis on geometric shapes and the use of recycled, natural and mixed building materials. Often confused with Modern homes (which narrowly defines the sparse and minimalist style popular in the 1940s and 1950s), Contemporary homes tend to be warmer and more inviting. Interiors are sleek, with a limited use of accessories and ornamentation.

Transitional – Some consider a Transitional style to be a perfect blending of the elegance of Traditional style with the edginess of Contemporary design. Think classic with a modern twist – clean lines, warm neutral colors, textural elements and lots of natural light.

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