California, and Los Angeles, in particular, has always attracted people from every walk of life and from all over the globe. This universal appeal is evident in everything from the amazing variety of cuisines to the architectural styles common to LA homes. Whether you’re moving here for the first time or looking for a new home in the area that speaks to your soul, you’re sure to find it in one of these six types of houses for sale in LA.
This gorgeous style of home is a joyful mixture of influences from all the sunny countries surrounding the Mediterranean sea. While the main influences are Greek and Italian, there are also elements borrowed from Morocco, Spain, and Crete. Mediterranean has been a trend in Southern California for nearly a century now, so there’s plenty to choose from, including homes that have a more modern style but add a Mediterranean accent like terracotta flooring and arched entryways.
When you look for Mediterranean houses for sale in LA, look for the key features of this signature style. These include a rectangular floor plan, grand facades, large entry rooms, curvy windows, keystones and columns, and low-pitched roofs.
Most houses of this style are white or another soft color, and that works well in Southern California. Stucco is the preferred finishing material, and that protects the home from bad weather as well as keeping things cool throughout the year. Roofing is usually done in red tile, and you’ll also note plenty of limestone and terracotta floorings, wooden brackets, and wrought-iron railings.
2. Spanish Villa
The Spanish Villa style has much in common with the Mediterranean, and many homes combine the best of both. While Spanish villas also feature stucco, they can also be made of adobe or stone facade. They usually feature a sheltered interior courtyard with a water feature, colorful tile accents, and lots of niches.
The doorways of Spanish villa houses for sale in LA will tend to be heavier than Mediterranean style buildings, featuring carved wood with metalwork. Roofs can be made of tile, but they may also be made from stone. Look for some to incorporate vigas, or exposed wooden beams, and usually in conjunction with round-edged walls and flat roofs.
The heyday of modern architectural styles was right after World War II, and it has been popular ever since. The focus of modern architecture is the celebration of new technology and modern movements in the arts. Modern style is also a reaction against the Victorian era’s lavishness, which was considered too ostentatious and gaudy, and other styles that were seen as too heavily detailed.
These homes have a strong horizontal look, large, open floor plans, expanses of glass, and are intentionally asymmetrical. Many homes of this style are made to blur the line between the indoor and outdoor environments, so the lines of the house are often a deliberate continuation of lines you find in the landscaping around it.
In this style, look for square homes, flat roofs, low-key, minimalist interiors, large glass walls or windows, and a fairly monochromatic palette of colors. Again, the purpose isn’t to be boring: it’s to draw focus on nature and blend with it rather than stealing the limelight.
4. Art Deco
Another architectural style it’s easy to find in houses for sale in LA is Art Deco. This style was popular from about the mid-1920s to just before World War II, and it was developed to be a deliberate contrast to previous styles. These homes were designed to look sophisticated and often have elements of Cubism. You’ll often see smooth surfaces to these homes along with bold colors and strong color contrasts.
Most Art Deco homes are very striking with a strong vertical emphasis. Windows often have decorative elements in geometric shapes, and linear forms are stretched throughout the structure. Look for rectangular, geometric forms, but broken up with curved ornamental elements. Usually, these homes have flat roofs with some kind of spire or tower construct and are made of stucco, concrete, terracotta, and stone. You’ll also notice steel and aluminum as well as glass blocks.
The windows of Art Deco homes are meant to look a bit like punctures and can be either round or square. Sometimes they are filled with decorative glass or large glass blocks that still let in daylight but offer a contrast between solid and empty elements in the room. Most of the doorways are embellished with some type of motif.
The Craftsman style is a modern popular favorite, though its roots are in 19th-century Britain. At the height of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, certain architects rejected the mass-produced look and started building homes that were all about handcrafted materials. This dedication to handcrafted features and rejection of anything mass-produced means the style is actually a little hard to define. Each home is deliberately unique.
There are some common features to look for, however, and most of these are a legacy of the American who popularized the style, Gustav Stickley, founder of The Craftsman magazine from which the architectural style gets its name. Stickley was a fan of the simple bungalows he saw while traveling in India and admired their functional simplicity. Thus the bungalow style remains an important feature in Craftsman style home architecture, though the primary concern is always functionality.
In general, these homes will feature exposed rafters, a covered front porch, double hanging windows, wide, overhanging eaves, and low-pitched roofs. On the inside, you’ll often find window seats, lots of built-in storage, fireplaces, and liberal use of natural materials like wood.
6. Mid-Century Modern
Mid-Century Modern was particularly popular from the 1930s to the 1960s, but it has a timeless quality that makes it popular today. In many ways, mid-century modern came into its own after World War II, when a booming economy and increasing urbanization made it possible for more people to build homes they loved rather than just places to hang their hat. You can see this in the use of textures, materials, and effects that were uncommon at the time, like plastic, Lucite, metal, and vinyl.
At the same time, a key feature of Mid-Century Modern houses for sale in LA will always be functionality and an understated look. The lines are sleek and never cluttered, with organic forms that seem to somehow just fit. Form follows function, and there is minimal ornamentation, though you will see contrasting materials juxtaposed against one another for effect.
Look for these houses to have simple, natural shapes, open floor plans, lots of windows, and post and beam designs that get rid of bulky supporting walls to allow for more room and more windows. Structures are angular and often feature monochromatic brickwork with a few pops of color. This style is so popular in California that it’s sometimes actually known as California Modern Style.
Find Houses for Sale in LA in Every Style
Whatever type of home you’re looking for, you’re liable to find something that suits you in Los Angeles. There’s as much variety in home styles as there is in cuisines and people, and that’s the way we like it here. Whether you have a particular style in mind or you just want to talk about your options, contact Teresa Mack today and get the help of LA’s leading real estate expert.