Home Design Glossary
Adobe: The traditional building material of southwest-style houses, adobes are large rectangular bricks made of mud and straw. Once a cheap material, adobes are now expensive because of the labor involved – most “adobe” style homes are no longer made with adobe.
Alacena: A cupboard dug into an interior adobe wall. See nicho.
A plastered adobe bench built
into the base of a wall. Many
traditional-style homes have bancos,
either built near the kiva fireplace,
in a sitting room or outside on
a verandah or a portal.
Canale: A drain spout leading from the flat-roofs of adobe homes to allow rain water to flow off the roof and protect walls from falling water.
Casita: Literally “small house,” a casita is generally used to refer to a guest house behind the main dwelling.
A wood support
weight of roof
Coyote Fence: A fence formed by wiring the large branches or saplings together, generally made with aspen or cedar.
Entrada: An entryway between rooms.
Hacienda: Traditional Spanish house built in a half-circle design around a central Plaza.
used for cooking
A rounded, plastered adobe
fireplace with a narrow
opening built in the corner
of a room. Logs are stacked
Latillas: Juniper sapling branches arranged above Vigas to form the ceiling in an adobe home. (See Vigas.)
Lintel: An exposed beam above a window or a door – often carved with decorative designs.
A sculpted indentation
in an adobe wall, used as
a shelf, and often housing
Northern New Mexico-style: Pueblo-style house with a pitched tin roof.
Placita: An inner courtyard in the back of a house.
Plaza: A city center, square, or public market.
A porch or covered
patio with a roof
supported by vigas
Pueblo: A village or small town. In northern New Mexico, pueblo is used to refer to the villages of the Native Americans.
Pueblo-style: The classic Santa Fe home, Pueblo-style houses feature flat-roofs with protruding vigas and canales, along with earth-tone colored walls formed by adobe bricks. Today, many Pueblo-style homes are wood-frame rather than adobe, and can be two or three story while the originals were almost all single story houses.
Territorial-style: A Pueblo-style home modified with sharp-cornered walls, brick coping around the roofline, and milled woodwork details such as pedimented
lintels on windows frames.
Large exposed wooden
ceiling beams that hold
up the roof in an
This information is courtesy of City Different Realty.