Discover the most popular architectural styles in the pristine and glamorous city of Beverly Hills
From Spanish Colonial to Art Nouveau, architecture in Beverly Hills comes in all shapes and sizes, but one thing they have in common is their dedication to excellence. Life behind the gilded gates of the affluent Beverly Hills neighborhood doesn’t come cheap since residents pride themselves on their world-class amenities and flair for nouveau-riche decadence.
As if living in the sophisticated upper echelon of society isn’t enough, you can rest assured that your options for home design will be vast and varied. Every residential house deserves a flair of individuality. In Beverly Hills, your home will make a statement. As part of the Platinum Triangle, Beverly Hills is one of the most desirable places to live in the country.
Houses vary from modern ranch-style homes to classic gothic-inspired architecture and everything in-between. With a variety of options to choose from, you and your family are sure to find your dream home in the city.
Spanish Colonial architecture first became popular during the founding of Spanish colonies in North and South America. Its influence first became noticeable in New World cities, where it was often used to plan cities and businesses before becoming increasingly common in residential areas.
It makes sense that this architectural style is prevalent in California, as it was one of the first areas settled by Spaniards in the 1600s through the 1800s. The warm climate lends itself well to the open layouts and airy, cavernous hallways leading from indoors to cozy alcoves outdoors, such as in a garden area.
The Mediterranean Revival is similar in design, drawing heavily on Venetian Gothic architecture and can often be found in seaside villas and towns.
Composed of stucco walls and charming tiling, Spanish Colonial architecture has remained a staple in Beverly Hills luxury real estate for years. It provides a connection to old-world sensibilities that many residents covet.
Not only are the designs handsome, but the wide arched doorways and windows open up your home and make it feel more spacious. As well, this style often includes enclosed courtyards that extend into your yard. Those who appreciate a Spanish Colonial-style home enjoy having a house that feels at one with its natural surroundings.
Typically, this architectural style has limited decorum on the exterior, instead drawing the eye to the exquisite composition, wooden support beams, and the use of indigenous components such as red clay, adobe, and coquina rock.
Spanish-style architecture is trendy in California, particularly in Beverly Hills, where you can find some of the most exquisite examples in the country. It’s common for residents to remodel older structures while preserving their historical attributes.
Geometric patterns, soft color palettes, and modernist furniture pieces help create a composition of historical and modern influences within the home’s interior.
Another reason homeowners are drawn to this unique style is the rich culture behind its creation. Many Beverly Hills homes are modeled after 18th century California missions. It can make your home feel like a piece of history well-preserved in the present.
Art Nouveau first became popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. This style is also known by other names, like Stile Floreale and Sezessionstil, but they’re all essentially the same. Architects like Hector Guimard and Antoni Gaudí were pioneers in the movement.
Beverly Hills prides itself on its individualism. Despite its suburban sprawl, Beverly Hills is not the type of place where you’ll find rows of identical cookie-cutter homes aligned side-by-side.
Residents enjoy artistic flair. Even those who own modest-sized estates spend hours curating a look that makes their home stand out from the others. This is one reason why the Art Nouveau-style is so prevalent in Beverly Hills. Its entire purpose is built on striking out against its cultural and historical influences to craft something new, colorful, and sometimes even a little bit strange.
For example, one of the most famous homes in Beverly Hills is an Art Nouveau-styled manor, commonly referred to as the O’Neill’s House. Characterized by a swirling roof, blue mosaic tiles, rounded windows, and curved walls, it is an excellent example of wish fulfillment. The famous architect Antoni Gaudí inspired its creation.
A mixture of ornamental, whimsical, and organic elements, Art Nouveau architecture is all the rage in Beverly Hills real estate. The use of hand-painted art, meticulously-crafted stained glass windows, and the integration of romanticism make this style one of the most fanciful and extravagant on this list.
Given the popularity of Italianate architecture, it’s no surprise that Beverly Hills residents also enjoy Neoclassical architecture, which takes inspiration from the Neoclassical movement from 18th-century Italy and France. Created in response to the Baroque architectural style, Neoclassical was the answer to more lavish and flamboyant styles, such as Rococo.
Anyone familiar with classic art will recognize the grandeur of this style, which often mimics components found in the artistic movement. Blank walls and dignified columns characterize most neoclassical homes. It has thrived in continents like North America and Europe for centuries now.
French innovator Claude-Nicolas Ledoux played a pivotal role in the evolution of Neoclassical architecture, which flourished in the 19th century despite its 18th century origins. It has even spread to places like Latin America.
Houses designed in the Neoclassical architectural style tend to be vast and demand reverence. They eschew an air of old money and aristocracy that isn’t found in many other structures, and smaller single-level houses are less likely to use Neoclassical stylings due to the inherent grandiosity that radiates from the construction. The lawns are often sparse and far-reaching, favoring tall, trimmed hedges that demand privacy from passersby.
Sometimes, the older French manors will be nestled behind a thick grove of trees to help manifest intrigue and mystery, swallowing up a long-reaching driveway.
While some Beverly Hills homes delight in showcasing their modernity, those with Neoclassical estates are more prone to keep historical attributes firmly rooted, rather than tearing them down or hiding them away. Ivy adds character, rather than make the house look rundown.
Neoclassical homes, particularly historical manors, are rarely sold for less than several million dollars. Notable aspects include formal gardens, stunning leaf details, intricate molding, multiple stories, sizable inground swimming pools, patios, and sometimes even a library or theater.
Contemporary architecture is the most popular style in the 21st century, encompassing several sub-styles such as postmodern, expressive, and high-tech architecture. The main thing they have in common is their use of modern materials and technological interfaces.
Most homes in Beverly Hills lean toward reviving historical subsets of construction and art. However, contemporary architecture is all about being sleek, highly-functional, and utilizing components like glass, crystal, concrete, and steel. It’s not uncommon for this style to have massive windows and a sharp, symmetrical foundation.
Business offices and skyscrapers tend to be designed in a contemporary fashion, but this style has become increasingly prevalent in residential areas, especially in high-end neighborhoods such as Beverly Hills.
Polished modernist homes with contemporary characteristics strongly favor geometric shapes, paneling, and oak frames. It’s common for them to have wooden floors instead of carpeting, and feng shui is a particularly popular practice in these chic and avant-garde homes. State-of-the-art, filled with cutting-edge technological accommodations, and sparsely decorated, these houses often sit atop sloping hills with sunlit vistas that allow natural light to fill their interiors.
Beverly Hills is home to many Art Deco Italian homes inspired by the Renaissance. It’s customary to see many Renaissance art pieces in the museums and cultural centers in the city. Italian influences are common, particularly within the Platinum Triangle. Bel-Air was founded by a notable Italian man named Alphonzo Bell—the neighborhood was named in his honor.
It is common to see Beverly Hills estates modeled after Italian villas with ornate balconies and lots of ornamentation. Despite the sense of grandeur found in Italianate Architecture, the homes can be modest or sprawling palatial estates. However, what they have in common is their embellished décor, which often revolves around doorways, windows, and porches.
Trademark assets include strict symmetry and rectangular shapes. They tend to have overhanging eaves and sloping roofs. Typically, the homes are made with brick or stucco. Decadent columns are often used to protect the entrance halls.
Similar to Italianate Architecture, period revival styles of architecture such as Tuscan Revival and Greek Revival are also notable Beverly Hills staples.
Beverly Hills is an Eden in California, immortalized by pop culture and prides itself on a sterling reputation for innovation and luxury. It’s a pillar in the Los Angeles community. If you have an idea of what you’re looking for in a home (or even if you don’t!), Joyce Rey can assist you. As an experienced Beverly Hills realtor, she knows everything there is to know about finding the right Beverly Hills luxury homes best-suited for you. Reach out to her today.