Southwest house plans are a New World derivation of the Spanish structures that first arrived in North America in the 1600s, then surged into popularity during the 1920s.
Low-pitched tile roofs and stucco wall surfaces are trademark features. Doors and windows are topped with arches. Plans typically call for ornamental flat frames with highly decorative carved doors and stonework, patterned tilework, spiral columns, courtyard fountains, and graceful wrought iron. The typical Southwest house plan is low to the ground and asymmetrical. The home may open to a courtyard or informal entertaining area in the rear.