27 July 2010

Spanish Farmhouse – Then and Now

 

 

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I love Spanish architecture.  It’s all so romantic and mysterious with the courtyards hidden behind wooden doors, the arches, the tiled roofs, the iron light fixtures.    This farmhouse in Spain was recently published in a Spanish magazine and it caught my eye.   It was built in the 18th century and only one family has ever inhabited it.   The owners have spent considerable time in the United States and recently decided to return home and fix up the property.   Who can blame them?    Here, at the entrance, the heavy wood doors are open onto the central courtyard which most rooms look out onto.   The family dog stands guard.   I kept looking at this picture and it reminded me of something.   It started to drive me a little crazy - it took me an entire day to figure it all out…….

 

image Inside the central courtyard of the farmhouse.    

 

 

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There is a porch that runs parallel to the house.

 

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Outdoor dining on the porch.   

 

 

 image A brick path under a rose covered pergola.

 

 

 

 

 image Into the house from the porch:  through curtains and a wood door, then French styled doors.

 

 

imageThe living room is bright – showing signs of its recent updating.  The modern art work is a surprise. 

 

 

 

image The dining room overlooks the porch through the iron gated window.   The green door on the right leads to the porch through the curtained doorway.   Native terracotta floor tiles run throughout the farmhouse.

 

 

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The kitchen is all white tiles and terracotta floors.

 

 

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The master bedroom overlooks the central courtyard.    Here the floor is seagrass with scattered rugs over it.   The decor is so different than French and English.   Its more masculine than French, more colorful than English.   Even though recently updated, the interiors leave a lot to be desired.   But still, looking at this story reminded me of something which I finally remember what...

 

 

 

 

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Is this Texas or Spain?     The 18th century Spanish farmhouse reminded me of a ranch house that was built in south Texas by Michael Imber, a distinguished and highly honored architect living in San Antonio, Texas.     The image of the Spanish farmhouse’s white stucco colonial architecture facade brought this Texas ranch to mind.    Here, the courtyard is located to the front of the facade. 

 

 

 

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The ranch is located between San Antonia and Laredo – on the south Texas range.    Named Rancho dos Vidas, Michael Imber has received many awards for this particular property.   He says that he drew inspiration for his design from “Spanish Colonial archetypes of South Texas and Northern Mexico.”   No wonder the 18th century farmhouse in Spain reminded me of this ranch!    To reach the ranch house, you enter through protective walls which keep the harsh environment from encroaching on the property.     The plans are beautifully illustrated here, where you can see the house is U-shaped around the front courtyard.    

 

 

 

 

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A view at dusk of the entry into the house through an arched doorway. 

 

 

 

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A view of the front overlooking the wild Texas scrub landscape.   The Spanish styled facade can be seen in the middle of the compound.

 

 

 

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A view of the lush courtyard.  Notice the interesting shaped shutters and the ledge on which the windows are sited.  

 

 

image An arroyo is found at the back of the property.   Here you can just barely see the arched facade.  

 

 

 

 

image A close up of the beautiful barrel tiled roof.  No expense was spared to make this ranch house look as authentic as possible. 

 

 

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A pergola topped walkway off the swimming pool area.    I love the lantern hanging down from the vines – so romantic!

 

 

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Inside the ranch, strictly Texan decor.  The ranch is used as a hunting property – the deer were probably shot here.   This interior looks more fitting for a ranch than the original 18th century Spanish farm!    This ranch was published in several magazines and books.  

 

 

image The beautiful kitchen with French chairs and table.   Notice the island is made out of Spanish tiles, and also notice how the stove is placed inside a towering mantel.   Beautiful.    The windows overlook the front courtyard. 

 

 

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The master bedroom reminds me of a Ralph Lauren advertisement!     The doors are so beautiful.   Notice the shape of the fireplace, so graceful. 

 

 

 

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Another beautiful bedroom with a leather bed and French nightstands.   All of the beamed ceilings throughout are so wonderful.

 

 

 

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A closeup of the front entrance with its massive door and arched window.  

 

 

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The back of the house overlooks the swimming pool and the river.  The main living area is to the right. 

 

It’s interesting that the new ranch in Texas, modeled after Spanish architecture found in Mexico, looks as old and as authentic as the original 18th century Spanish farm which serves as the inspiration.   Which is better, the new or the old?   I think I might like the new myself!!!

To see Michael Imber’s beautiful portfolio, go HERE.

45 comments:

  1. Is it permitted to like them both, Joni? Because I do. I adore the architecture. I love the exterior shots of the first house, particularly the porch area, pergola, and the French doors. And I like the interior shots of the second one... love the shapes of the fireplaces you pointed out and the master bedroom. I agree, it does look like a Ralph Lauren ad. The architecture and the furnishings have a definite masculine sensibility, and I like that.

    We lived in a Mediterranean Revival house circa 1924 for many years, and it was the most solid construction imaginable. We had to replace all the windows up and down because someone had "remuddled" it and taken the original wood casements out. We put them all back.

    Thanks for showcasing these. I enjoyed it!

    XO,

    Sheila :-)

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  2. I thought you were going to say the Alamo... but the Texas Ranch is much more inviting! ~Terri

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  3. They are both wonderful, but I'd love to have the architecture along with modern conveniences. laurie

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  4. I love the new too!
    Growing up in San Antonio we would take yearly elementary school fieldtrips to all of the local missions. I remember even as a child being memmerized by the architecture. Still am!

    joan

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  5. I love Spanish architecture as well. My sister and I are going to Cabo in late August and I hope to get lots of pictures.

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  6. I wanted to let you know your post was
    so beautiful that it is featured on
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    http://creativecountrymom.blogspot.com/
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  7. I usually alway pick the old and authentic over the new. But in this case, in the hands of the master, Imber, the new is a redemptive interpretation of the style. This house has been etched on my retinas (and on my heart) since I first saw it in Veranda. This house is Texas Heritage Architecture at its finest.

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  8. Joni,
    Both are so fabulous. I love the citrus and vegetation surrounding the white washed stucco home in Spain. I would adore Mr.Imbers place in about 10 years after it has settled in & weathered a bit.
    I can just smell the mesquite burning in those beautiful fireplaces.
    Thank you Joni for both a taste of Spain & a taste of Texas!
    Lisa

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  9. For me Joni, hands down the new one! Love not only the architecture but also the furnishings, simply stunning! Thanks so much for sharing.
    Hope you and your family are well.
    Take care
    Janine
    XXOO
    Tasmania, Australia

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  10. Joni,

    Love the images of the newer home with the golden glows especially at dusk.

    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  11. Wow, SO beautiful Then AND Now!!! Love all the colors and the way each room is has furniture set up!

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  12. I love them both but prefer the first. The second looks like an (admittedly) beautiful attempt at being a Spanish Hacienda whereas the first one is a real Spanish Hacienda, with less bells and whistles. It doesn't need to convince.

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  13. They're both gorgeous. I do love how bright and light the authentic ranch is... so unexpected!

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  14. OMG, I love all the photos on this post. I also love everything Hispanic--whether traditional, colonial or modern. And although everything around me here is Modern Asian or Tropical Modern, there's something in my soul that is Spanish. Thanks for a wonderful post!

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  15. Love the updated home, especially the bedrooms. It does look like something Ralph lauren would create.
    Teresa (Splendid Sass)

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  16. ... you know me ... for the love of old!
    they are both stunning ... but I'll take the old any day ...


    let's catch up ... I'm absolutely sure you must peek at my latest post ... b'cause I know you .... hehe

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  17. "They just own a little hunting house in south Texas"......Don't you just love the uniqueness of where we live? What an amazing home sitting in the middle of almost nowhere! I love the Spanish architecture, and it looks like there were no details left out on this abode. I'm going back to view it again and dream some big dreams!

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  18. I think we have all got so used to glossy magazines and design books/blogs that the real thing just doesn't seem to quite measure up to the perfectly styled world of houses where every last thing has been chosen and scrutinized and placed just so. The architecture of both homes is amazing, of course, but I appreciate the simplicity and "realness" of the first house decor more, but of course would take the 2nd in a heartbeat.

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  19. I like them both but love the second one with that massive front door and window, talk about letting the light inside! Funny but the newer one almost looks older, love those thick walls. Can you imagine sitting at the new pool having a cocktail watching at dusk watching a lone boat sail by on the river? Heaven!

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  20. They are both beautiful to me, there's just something about spanish style that I love -probably bc I'm from San Antonio! LOL. If I had to pick though, I'd pick the newer one. :0)

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  21. I am not a fan of Spanish architecture. I do like the color of House No. 1 and adore the kitchen. House No. 2, however, strikes me as the more authentic of the two and naturally so because of its age. The architect in San Antonio did a fine job in his interpretation. The Kitchen in House No. 1 is charming and reflects the simplicity of most European kitchens compared to what we have in the states. Wonderful cuisine cam be created in the most humble settings. It always amazes me.

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  22. Oops, it pays to "preview" comments. I prefer color of House No. 2, and love its kitchen, but prefer the authenticity of House No. 1.

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  23. Hi Joni, Super post!! Being raised in Central Mexico and then living 7+ years in Spain, this post struck a huge part of me. I love the old Spanish Estancia--yes, it has been updated, but just enough to keep it authentic. The Spanish taste has always been much more sparse than the French, probably due to the harsher environment. I love the simplicity of the space and the mix of American, English, French and Spanish antiques. Modern art--just think of Picasso and Miro. I love the beautiful hand woven mohair throw on the sofa--I think it was created on antique looms that date to the 18th c. The choice of colors is also very Spanish (but with the currency of deep aqua/turquoise--love that rich green.
    Thanks for making think happy thoughts.
    Mary

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  24. Even though i am a Texan, this makes me just a little homesick for a Texas I have never really known. Truly inspiring.

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  25. I just love all the outdoor pictures, the porches, the courtyards, the pergolas, the arches all over... perfect for warm climates!

    Have a nice summer
    Helle

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  26. These would all be beautiful ideas for a Texas hacienda!

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  27. It makes me want to visit Texas and see the Spanish architecture. I enjoyed this post. Thank you.

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  28. Michael Imber - on my list of favorite architects. Love his work.

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  29. JONI...Spanish architecture is the best. Nothing beats it for romance and character. I have posted two great examples on my blog. I do hope you will take a peak! You won't be disappointed! :)Shiree'

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  30. JONI...Spanish architecture is the best. Nothing beats it for romance and character. I have posted two great examples on my blog. I do hope you will take a peak! You won't be disappointed! :)Shiree'

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  31. These were both beautiful examples of Spanish style.... I liked the comparison of the difference in interior design in both of them. I personally liked the first one it looked more European, the quaintness of the kitchen and the rope detail on the beams.....Maryanne xo

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  32. I am loving both. What a romantic retreat.

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  33. We love the new property. It is beautiful.

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  34. Wow, love. love. love. I have always dreamed of living in Spanish architecture.

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  35. A beautiful post. Just can't get past the dog chained.

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  36. I always look forward to your posts, as they are very stimulating and exciting. These are 2 very beautiful homes. However, I had to snicker at the one major difference between the two homes (Iron Bars Over The Windows On The First Home). It certainly depicts the social fragmentation of society in that country. It reminded me of visiting the inner city of Detroit where all gas stations and convenient stores are barred. I guess it is somewhat similar to our bubble communities here in the United States where you have to have a specific code to enter the development and a guard stands at the entrance to insure that just the right individuals enter into these gated domains and every house has an ADT alarm system proudly displayed along their landscape. We certainly have developed into a starkly fear ridden society, haven’t we?

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  37. Imber's work is fabulous. I love all the colors and patterns, but I would rather be a guest in the old house. There is just a feeling you get when you live amongst possessions that have been in a family for generations, especially when they are not particularly grand. Its about family and not the house so much.

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  38. Being from Houston, I can't remember the Mexican influence
    growing up there, except for the Alamo. It is sweeping the entire So. West and even Florida. I like the look. Beautiful post. Thanks

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  39. Loved this post Jon and you probably know why!

    kelley

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  40. Both are stunning! I like the airiness of the first one and its exteriors...gorgeous! but I would not be sorry to inhabit the second one either, such a glamorous take on the Mexican/Spanish colonial..

    Kit

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  41. I really love you blog. But, dArn it, those yummy pictures take forever to load :-)
    Here's a tip: a computer screen can only display 72 dpi, so, those high res photos don't do a thing but slow down the load time. Sorry if I seem like a naysayer on your blog, I could not find an address to write you privately.

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  42. They are both so beautiful. Thanks for this post.

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