Spanish decorating actually encompasses a variety of design styles. While many of these have overlapping features, each of them has their own distinct flavor that makes them unique and gives them their own personality and feel.
Colonial Spanish decorating:
This style is marked by having bold wooden furnishings that are large and prevalent throughout the space. Decorative accessories are usually made from thick pieces of glass or metal, and are usually heavy and oversized. Doors are large and are often ornamented with carvings or designs. These grand features are often complimented with linens, pillows, and blankets that are decorated with wild colorful designs that add pop to the space. Window seats are also a common design element in colonial Spanish designs.
This style is marked by softer, more romantic overtones. Ambient lighting is emphasized, with spaces being bathed in cool intimate illumination. Vessel sinks are commonly found in bathrooms, where simplicity is married to an idea of youthful romance. Bedrooms are marked by tall arched mirrors, and draped fabric hung loosely around the bedding area.
Rustic Spanish Decorating:
The rustic style makes a lot of use of the beauty of nature, with earthenware utensils and handmade products being a prevalent part of the space. These spaces are much more relaxed than other styles, with decorative products being made up of mismatched vintages, all flung together to create a loosely coordinated space. Textures should generally be rough, with interesting features built right into the walls themselves. The base colors of such a space are usually simple white hues, matched with earth tones, and complimented by vibrant patterns in pillows and cloth.
Mediterranean Spanish Decorating:
This style uses many of the elements described above; however it marries them to aquatic symbols and colors which are reminiscent of the great Mediterranean Sea itself. While crisp white is often the backdrop to such a space, this is complimented by warm features and an inviting palette, with earth tones spread throughout. All of this is then enhanced through the use of ocean blues and hints of green to bring the natural world into the home.
In general, Spanish decorating incorporates earth tones with natural blue and green tones to create a space which is warm, inviting, and comfortable. Often you will find old world elements integrated into more basic, rustic designs, which serves to create a dichotomy between classic and contemporary styles. Heavy glass furnishings are a fixture in these styles, as are wrought iron decorations around windows, doors, and hung on walls.
While a completely Spanish style often involves complicated architectural restructuring, the elements of these various styles can be easily integrated into many other decorative schemes including Rustic Mexican, Tuscan, or French Country décor. This allows you to add a hint of Spanish sensibility to a wide variety of existing home layouts.