Spanifornia: the trend that combines Spanish style with SoCal cool

This escapist movement merges the best of the Med with the Golden State – and experts love its rustic aesthetic

Spanifornia
(Image credit: House of Rio Design Co)

Once in a while, a collaboration comes around that is so perfect, we have to ask ourselves, 'why did this not exist before?' This is the case with Spanifornia – a new interior design trend that combines Spain's je ne sais quoi with California cool. 

Spanifornia allows you to indulge in rustic terracotta, rough-hewn textiles, and tropical houseplants that bring Mojave to Madrid. 

This modern decorating idea will reset our scheme for the sunny seasons ahead – and we have to ask – what took you so long, Spanifornia? Now we have this look in our lives; we never want to let it go. 

What is Spanifornia?  

Spanifornia

(Image credit: House of Rio Design Co)

'The best way to describe Spanifornia is the perfect balance between new and old. Warm wood tones mixed with milky whites and gently patterned textiles,' says Rio Barrett, a Ventura-based designer and Founder of House of Rio Design Co (opens in new tab).

According to the Californian native, Spanifornia is having a moment because people crave a 'soulful design; that breaks away from mass-produced conventions. 'It pushes us back into the antique shops and out of the big box stores,' she says. 

'When you fall in love with a piece, that love is forever with it. It really does transfer. After all, Spanifornia is based on the idea of romance. Our love for timeless design and the California coast makes Spanifornia one of our favorites.' 

Spanifornia

(Image credit: House of Rio Design Co)

This celebration of sunshine is transportive. It's a movement that will elevate your scheme – come rain or shine – and bring the allure of a faraway shore to your home. What's not to love? 

'There is a real holiday glamour to this look, offering the kind of excitement you get walking into a wonderfully polished hotel lobby somewhere hot,' says Livingetc's Editor in Chief, Pip Rich. 

'Gleaming floors, interesting art, and ornate yet comfortable furniture you feel you could sit back in with a bellini. Who wouldn't want that look all year round?'

How to bring Spanifornia into your home

Spanifornia

(Image credit: House of Rio Design Co)

To best incorporate the look, Rio recommends pairing classic Spanish pots with perfectly placed greenery. For a bohemian feel, you can also invest in a hand-woven rug that will elevate your modern living room ideas  – and stand the test of time. 

Alternatively, to make a lasting first impression, Pip recommends introducing a chaise longue or daybed to your entryway. 'A piece that feels wonderful to sit on and kick off your shoes the moment you come home.'  

Spanifornia

(Image credit: House of Rio Design Co)

No airplane ticket? No problem. Long live Spanifornia.

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc’s homes titles, including Livingetc and Homes & Gardens. As a News Writer, she often focuses on micro-trends, wellbeing, celebrity-focused pieces, and everything IKEA. 


Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and expansive collection of houseplants.