Spanish Mission architecture follows the look and construction of Spanish mission churches in the New World. This style became popular for homes in the southwest United States in the early twentieth century and continues to remain a favorite into the twenty-first century. The most recognizable elements of Spanish Mission buildings are stuccoed walls and red barrel-tiled roofs. Other common stylistic elements include porticoes or completely enclosed courtyards, wood-cased windows, arched doorways, and rounded parapets. Exterior decoration may include a bell arch to resemble church architecture, as well as a round window, wrought iron grilles on windows or doors, and pillars or columns.
Native plants and hardscape complement this simple but elegant look. For example, you will generally not see grass lawns surrounding Mission-style homes (although you may see grass surrounding Mission-style public buildings). The interiors of Mission-style buildings tend to be dark, a consequence of design and materials that help maintain cool temperatures in hot climates.