One of the advantages of living in the High Desert is that prospective homeowners do not face as many building restrictions as in other parts of Southern California. It is a lot easier to build a custom residential project in the High Desert when compared to a planned city such as Irvine, where many subdivisions feel like gated communities in terms of what you can and cannot do.
Here are a few ideas for this region:
This style has become emblematic of the Golden State; it was inspired by a stripped-down interpretation of Spanish Mission architecture, and it is both uncomplicated and refreshing. From the end of World War II to the 1970s, California ranches were synonymous with suburban comfort and prosperity. Open floor plans, large windows, multiple entrances, and lower rooflines are characteristics of this style, which for the most part is built on single-story structures without basements.
Also called Desert Modernism, this style is ideal for dry and warm climates. The overall effect is highly geometric; ceilings tend to be higher, and natural lighting is achieved with skylights. Palm Springs’s design is very stylish and tends to stand out.
There are a couple of versions of this residential style: In California, it is mostly inspired by Spanish Colonial design, but in South Florida it is closer to what you see along the Italian coast. Mediterranean revival is more ornate and elaborate; you get decorative foyers with columns plus tiled roofs. Nicer bricks are used in paver driveways. Interiors are decorated with tray ceilings and crown molding. You get French doors and fancy windows complete with decorative frames and stone sills. When you choose this attractive style, you might as well go with natural stone countertops and designer cabinets.
If you have seen photos of the historic Ernest Hemingway’s house in Key West, you know that this style is a combination of traditional Caribbean architecture with some British Colonial details. Porches are mandatory, and if you choose a split-level structure, you might as well go with wraparound balconies. The ornamentation is subtle, but you will certainly want to invest in tropical landscaping.