Santa Fe Style – Flat Roofs, Blue Doors, Soft Lines, Stepped Building

Welcome to another look at the Santa Fe Style which makes Santa Fe, New Mexico, the most unique and enchanting city in the United States. This is part of an ongoing series of articles that take a closer look at the Santa Fe Style.

In this article, we will examine four more Santa Fe Style elements. Our focus will be:

  • Flat Roofs
  • Turquoise or Blue Doors
  • Soft Lines
  • Stepped Building

Santa Fe Style – Flat Roofs

Most homes in the United States have angled roofs which allow them to better stand up against weathered elements like rain, ice, and snow. But one of the things that make the Santa Fe Style unique is that the adobe homes have flat roofs. The flat roofs have a slight pitch to stop water from accumulating on the rooftop. One of the great things about a flat roof is the ability to use the space. Some people in Santa Fe like to turn their roof into a “patio” to watch the beautiful Santa Fe sunsets or clear night-time skies.
Flat roofs add to the aesthetics of Santa Fe while helping to maintain beautiful panoramic views. And in dry climates like New Mexico, they are energy efficient too. Flat roofs also are most cost-effective while making it easier to install HVAC or solar systems.

Santa Fe Style – Blue Doors

One thing you’ll instantly notice when looking at homes, gates, or businesses in Santa Fe is that many of the doors are painted in a beautiful blue color. From Taos News:

“Here in New Mexico, blue indicates one of the four sacred directions of Pueblo life, the direction of the Southwest. The most popular notion is that blue doors are thought to keep evil spirits away. This has either been good advice for generations or an age-old wives’ tale told over and over again. Painting your front door blue has traditionally been one of the most popular ways to keep evil spirits from your home.”
Many people today also see blue doors as a message of welcoming and inspiration.
As an artistic expression, people choose their own shade of blue which is why the “blue” colors can look anywhere from a royal blue to a turquoise color.

Santa Fe Style – Soft Lines

Adobe structures in Santa Fe avoid harshness, which adds to the beauty of each home and business. You won’t find any “hard lines” in the style of the adobe buildings. The lines are soft and the corners are round. The style is very pleasing to the eye.

Santa Fe Style – Stepped Building

Most homes in Santa Fe are single-story homes with flats roofs. But some of the more luxury homes or businesses have more than one story. As part of the Santa Fe Style, most of these homes used a “Stepped Building” method for adding floors to homes. This is most prevalent with the often-photographed Inn and Spa at Loretto, a very iconic Santa Fe style building. The stepped massing goes back hundreds of years when Pueblo community living spaces were formed with stacked living structures. You’ll generally notice that as the levels go higher, they become narrower.

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