hacienda style decor for today


Long admired for their distinctive architecture and vibrant interiors, Latin American haciendas have been – for centuries – a source of wonder and inspiration to travelers the world over. The trouble is that unless you live in a REAL hacienda, copying the hacienda-style can seem a bit Disneyland. So I found an excellent source of authentic tile, Cantera and paving stones I want to share today. Rustico Tile and Stone in Texas has fantastic and original products, which are key in doing the hacienda style correctly.



While I too can appreciate a Spanish-colonial home, I tend to gravitate to more modern architecture. But fear not, if you’re like me, you can also use some of these hacienda “traditional” materials to warm up cold modernist spaces.

I have 4 ways to incorporate hacienda style decor into your home, casa or cottage:



1- Architectural Elements

Authentic hacienda-style architecture is the backbone of any beautiful Spanish-Colonial inspired home. Incorporating unique and authentic features like Saltillo tile flooring, hand-carved Cantera stone columns, or a decorative cement tile back splash is important in “getting” the hacienda style decor. How gorgeous is the pool area above. This is today’s version of the hacienda-style without it being hokey. And imagine how chic it would be to use the same floor shown above in a space with simple white walls and nothing else! Axel Vervoordt would die and go to heaven!


hacienda-style-decor-cement-tiles-blue2- Cement and Talavera Tiles

High-quality, hand-crafted Talavera and cement tiles are striking, long lasting and versatile. For a truly stunning and modern space that whispers hacienda-style I would use bi-tonal tiles. Too much color for me screams Arriba, Arriba, so stick to colors that make an elegant statement. Color contrast is a key to hacienda style decor.


hacienda-style-decor-modern-kitchen3- Light Fixtures

Light fixtures are no longer just sources of light. They are the crown jewels in the hacienda style decor, shedding beauty on every surface to create the perfect contrast between antique and contemporary design. There are many different types of fixtures – from rugged iron to glitzy glass – and each has its own distinct character. Add copper wall sconces to a bedroom or living room. Shed light on a kitchen counter with cement pendants or ceramic lights: the possibilities are endless.


hacienda-style-decor-cement-tiles-black-floor4- Metallic Details

Metallic accessories are a must in hacienda style decor.  These provide a beautiful contrast to Old World design elements. Copper sinks and tiled back splashes add warmth and depth to a kitchen, while a stainless steel refrigerator and cabinet knobs can bring contemporary flair to an otherwise stodgy Old-World ambiance.

Take for example this little restaurant nook that can easily be someone’s breakfast room. The stylish black/gray cement tile on the floor paired with stainless steel appliances and a nickel-plated pendant can make it super chic. And if you want to go more traditional, get a larger crystal chandelier, center it over the table and have built-in kitchen cabinets the same color as the far wall, resurface/sandblast the wood beams and table and voila!



The above are four easy tips for incorporating hacienda style decor into any space. As you can see, you don’t have to use “festive colors” to make it original. Bi-tonal cement tiles can work wonders, as can Cantera stone, Talavera and Saltillo tile – you just have to be selective and creative!

Richard Rabel is a New York Interior Designer and Principal at Richard Rabel: Interiors+ Art, a studio offering residential design, decorating and art advising.

image credits: hacienda style decor: Rustico Tile and Stone, Leander, Texas