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What is Adobe Design?

Warm, rustic and natural, adobe design has its roots in the southwest and continues to be an integral part of the region.

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Defining Adobe Design

We’ll start at the beginning, shall we? The word “adobe” is the heavy clay used in making bricks of sun-dried earth and straw. Used for thousands of years and found throughout the world, the building material is ideal for dry, desert-like climates like the southwestern United States.

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Photo: Santa Fe Properties, a member of Luxury Portfolio International. From: Santa Fe Properties and Luxury Portfolio International®.

Bring in the Warmth With Wood

Since adobe style pulls inspiration from the earth and natural surroundings, wood plays an integral part to the overall design. Large timbers frame the covered porches of this private backyard, bringing a rustic aesthetic, as well as flowing effortlessly with the adobe exterior.

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Photo: P.V. Realty, S.A. de C.V., a member of Luxury Portfolio International. From: P.V. Realty, S.A. de C.V..

Pulling From the Past

Traditionally, adobe designs were built from sun-dried mud bricks, but today’s homes mix in cement, stucco and mortar for stronger structures. This stunning home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with its welcoming outdoor space is a modern interpretation of the ancient style. Smooth pebbles outline the patio for a chic geometric design, and a simple water feature adds ambience to the space.

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Opt for Functionality + Style

With a complete nod to the past, this home may be outfitted for a modern family but its exterior is full of history. The architecture features easy-to-source, local materials: clay, straw or grass, and water. Not only were the thick walls durable, but they also absorbed heat during the day that would release at night to keep families warm during cool desert night.

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