The Homes Styles You Need to Know

The Homes Styles You Need to Know

  • Roger Banning
  • 01/12/23

When buying real estate in Arizona, it helps to know your preferred architectural style. Many of the best luxury homes in Greater Scottsdale incorporate regional climate, local landscape, and the latest amenities. Anyone can appreciate these homes’ architecture, and it takes an expert to land you the right one. So as you explore homes for sale in areas like Grayhawk or DC Ranch, look out for homes in the following styles.

Santa Barbara / Tuscan

Photo courtesy of Roger Banning

When you search for luxury homes in Scottsdale, you will likely find residences that borrow elements from Santa Barbara and Tuscan architecture. These houses, perceived as timeless, harmonize exterior and interior design. Inside and out, the typical Santa Barbara color palette combines deep red earth roofs with bright white walls. Meanwhile, Tuscan-influenced houses often incorporate natural (usually unfinished) stone textures, especially granite and limestone.

These styles diverge in flooring: Santa Barbara homes usually have wood floors, whereas Tuscan homes may have travertine or Carrara marble flooring. These houses have impressive interiors, often with floor-to-ceiling windows and ceilings surpassing 12 feet in height. The kitchens lend themselves to updates and remodels, where quartzite countertops and ultramodern appliances blend seamlessly.


Photo courtesy of Roger Banning

The presence of Spanish architecture in Arizona hearkens back to an era when Spain claimed much of the American West. If you’ve been to Tucson, you might have seen adobe row houses directly influenced by Spanish architecture. The rich history of “Spanish Revival” architecture can be somewhat misleading — not all these homes are old. In Scottsdale, you can find Spanish-style homes under contract for construction in 2023.

These large houses have features like courtyard entries, high ceilings, and sprawling floor plans that emphasize horizontal space. Some have distressed wood beams, modern farmhouse finishes, and sweeping views you might associate with Spain, not to mention casitas (smaller guest houses). Altogether, luxury homes in the Spanish style come off as elegant and tasteful.


Photo courtesy of Roger Banning

Another familiar home style buyers will find in areas like Grayhawk and Paradise Valley is the classic Ranch. These homes are low and long, typically featuring open floor plans, low-pitched roofs with modest eaves, and private patios off all living spaces. Sliding or Dutch doors make for an easy transition from the main house to extravagant areas like supersize garages, lap pools, or putting greens.

What these homes may lack in vertical space, they more than make up for with large bedrooms and bathrooms (typically 4+ each), wide hallways, and ample storage space. The newest ranch homes will have tall ceilings, open spaces, and lots of glass. And when you work with a connected local agent like Roger Banning, you can access properties under construction in time to choose your finishes. These homes are perfect for individuals and families looking for a simple, straightforward design that connects them to the outdoors.


Photo courtesy of Roger Banning

Territorial (sometimes known as Santa Fe) homes bring together southwestern influences, desert motifs, and open designs. The style has roots dating back to the early 18th century, when Albuquerque was founded. Territorial homes waned out of style, then waxed back in style in the 1940s, along with Pueblo Revival-style homes. Though these homes are less prevalent in Scottsdale, the few on the market are exquisitely detailed. For example, one of Roger Banning’s listings has handmade carved doors, cyprus floors, hand-painted chandeliers and sconces, dowelled cabinetry, decorative copper, leather ceilings, and hand-plastered walls. Get in while you can. 


Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Common throughout the US but most often seen in the warmer states, Mediterranean-style homes are grand and eye-catching. These beautiful two-story houses date back to the 1920s when architects wanted to bring the warm aesthetic of Mediterranean estates to American homeowners. Most commonly, Mediterranean homes feature stucco walls in crisp whites or sun-kissed earth tones beneath signature red clay roof tiles. Tall archways leading into the entrance and iron balconies extending off the upstairs bedrooms are other elements synonymous with Mediterranean design. The interiors are often open, breezy, and accented by ornate floor tiling. Look for Mediterranean houses with flexible floor plans and versatile rooms you can use as offices, gyms, or wine cellars.


Photo courtesy of Roger Banning

Contemporary homes tend to stand out from the crowd, and the Scottsdale area is filled with stunning contemporary architecture. Flowing floor plans, elegant sight lines, and abundant natural light define our generation’s contemporary homes. Compared to other kinds of homes, contemporary builds place a premium on privacy. Because there’s no shortage of open space around Scottsdale, developers have carte blanche for new projects.

If one principle unites contemporary design, it’s the open-concept kitchen-living room-dining area. When you live in a contemporary luxury home, you’re either in a communal space (as mentioned previously) or a specialized separate room (think bedrooms, offices, home theaters, gyms, or saunas).

The “style of the moment” is in constant flux, yet the best contemporary homes stand the test of time as architectural classics. That’s partly why highly regarded architects and firms are drawn to design contemporary residences. For example, the highest-profile luxury home currently on the market is the $30 million Amethyst, built at the physical high point of the exclusive Crown Canyon community.

Every inch of these homes is well-considered. Contemporary homes come in all shapes and sizes; look out for unique designs that harmonize with the stark, mountainous desert landscape surrounding Scottsdale. As of this writing, Roger’s listings included contemporary homes designed by the following noteworthy architects and firms:

Allen + Philp Architects
Bing Hu
Candelaria Design
CP Drewett
Craig Wickersham
Dale Gordon
J4 Architecture
John Rattenbury
PHX Architecture
Swaback Architects
Stratton Andrews Architecture
Victor Sidy

Find your next home in Scottsdale

Now that you better understand what homes are available, the next step is partnering with a local real estate expert. Roger Banning is one of the top agents in Arizona, specializing in luxury properties that exude the utmost in function and design. 

With the Scottsdale real estate market continuing to promote moderate competition between buyers, it’s essential to work with a professional with a proven track record of helping buyers secure the properties of their dreams. So, when you’re ready to take the first step toward home ownership in Scottsdale, reach out to Roger Banning.

*Header photo courtesy of Roger Banning


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Working with Jeff Barchi and Roger Banning means you're getting two of the top 1% of real estate agents in the Scottsdale area. If you want to find the best luxury homes for sale in Grayhawk, Paradise Valley, or DC Ranch, or you're ready to list your property and want to get the most value out of your transaction, work with Roger and Jeff today.

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