Santa Fe Style – Carved Wooden Doors, Exposed Natural Wood Vigas, Corbel, and Earth Tones

Welcome to our third article about Santa Fe Style, which is mostly based on the Pueblo Revival Style.
This month the elements of Santa Fe Style we are exploring include:
  • Carved Wooden Doors
  • Exposed Natural Wood Vigas
  • Corbels
  • Earth Tones

Santa Fe Style – Carved Wooden Doors

When wandering through Santa Fe, one thing you’ll see on many homes, gates, or businesses are carved wooden doors. The carved and artistic designs are many times geometric forms and a call-back to their Spanish origin.
Carved doors are an artsy, sometimes rustic, and unique stylistic expression. As Santa Fe is full of artists, it’s no wonder that some of the best-carved doors can be found throughout the city, both present, and past.

Santa Fe Style – Exposed Natural Wood Vigas

Large Vigas are a popular look in Santa Fe. Most homes and businesses you see have large wooden beams expanding past the roofline. These are Vigas, which have been referred to as “projecting roof rafters” or “exposed wood ceiling beams.” You will find vigas to be either round or square.
Merriam-Webster describes a viga as “one of the heavy rafters and especially a log supporting the roof in American Indian and Spanish architecture of the Southwest.”
Vigas are an important aspect of the Santa Fe Style. You will see them as part of the majority of homes and businesses in Santa Fe (see the video at the end of this article).
Vigas usually serve one of two purposes:
  • As the main structural pieces that carry the weight of the roof to the exterior walls which bear the weight.
  • Purely as a decorative/ornamental feature versus as support for the structure.

In some cases, a building or home will use vigas for structural support and others purely ornamental reasons.
Follow our Santa Fe Style board on Pinterest for more insight into the elements that make Santa Fe the city different.

Santa Fe Style – Corbels

Corbels are hand-carved wood pieces usually used as a bracket (weight-bearing) but also used for decorative purposes. They usually protrude from a wall and, by design, can bear some weight load.
While corbels are popular as stone or brick brackets, in the Santa Fe Style you will see most corbels designed from wood.

Santa Fe Style – Earth Tones

Earth tones are a large part of the Santa Fe style. It’s usually the first thing that strikes tourists when they visit Santa Fe.
When visiting Santa Fe, one might surmise that “Earth Tones” means “any color containing some brown” and they wouldn’t be far off.
Earth tones made up of a very warm, nature-friendly palette. These are natural colors (i.e. brown soil, green leaves, warm sky) that produce welcoming feelings of warmth, durability, sturdiness, and safety.

Santa Fe Style Videos:

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA In HD
This video wasn’t created to highlight Vigas. It was created to show views of Santa Fe, New Mexico. However, notice how you can see the beautiful Vigas on nearly all of the buildings. Click here to watch video.
How To Make Custom Corbels
Click here to watch video.


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