This or That?: Home Elevations

this or that

I often like to play a little game with my husband or even on my own, where you are faced with two options and must choose the one that appeals to you the most. For example: Paris or Barcelona? Chanel or Dior? The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? You get the drift. I thought it would be fun to do “This or That?” features on La Dolce Vita from time to time because I love hearing your opinions and learning more about my readers.

Today’s “This or That?” is a toughie. It presented itself to me when I was driving through one of Houston’s most exclusive neighborhoods, Tanglewood last week. I turned onto this particular street and didn’t know whether to look to my left or my right! On the right, there was a gorgeous Spanish Mediterranean house and on the left another beauty in more of a Coastal style. I asked myself, “Paloma, if you could have either of these houses, which one would you choose?”. It really was a nearly impossible decision because they are both so gorgeous, but as you can see, they are completely different.this or that home1

April 2010 005I have long admired this home and even included it in my post on Tanglewood a couple of years ago. There are many “Mediterranean-Inspired” homes in Houston, but a lot of them are a bit on the tacky side. This has so many gorgeous details and is reminiscent of a 1920’s California Spanish-style home. Isn’t a beauty?

 April 2010 007 {The Lovely Entrance}


April 2010 006

{More Details}

this or that home

April 2010 002

{I have to say that pictures do not do this house justice. While it is undoubtedly an attractive house, it is even more stunning in person. Notice all of the French doors. They are on the backside of the house as well. Just imagine all of the gorgeous light that must flood in. Outside, in front of each set of doors, hang the most beautiful turquoise lanterns.}

April 2010 004

{Another Lantern in the Port Cochere}

April 2010 001

{This house reminds me so much of Erika of Urban Grace. If you are familiar with her work, then you know that is a very good thing!}

this or that2

So, it’s definitely a tough choice. Both homes are gorgeous, but are obviously very different in style. I wish I could see the interiors! Did you have a visceral response to either one or did you go back and forth like I did? Which would you choose?

Shop The Post
You May Also Like...
The Chicest Pop-Up of the Season: Spring on Bleecker
My chic friend, Annabelle Moehlmann launched her beautifully–curated online shopping destination, Land of Belle...
At Home with my Collection for Williams Sonoma Home
This has been such an exciting time between being in New York to participate...
2019 LDV Mother’s Day Gift Guide
Mother’s Day is just over two weeks away, but don’t fret! Whether you are...
An American Creative’s Parisian Pied-a-Terre
David Jimenez is an arbiter of style who first came onto my radar in...
A Designer’s Pattern-Filled Apartment
Lilse McKenna is a talented, young interior designer who first came onto my radar...
Dissecting the Details: Paloma Contreras
Hi everyone! Nancy visiting you from Marcus Design blog for another Dissecting the Details...

Tell Me What You Think! leave a comment...

  1. this is a hard choice, you are right!! I think I would have to choose, number 2. It is more my taste. I am fairly traditional and love a Coastal look in parts of my home so this house would fit that aesthetic for me. Plus all the French doors would give me the light that I require in a room, love that.Fun post and great idea, Kathysue

  2. I love option 2, which is perfect since I love sweet Erika! This is a fabulous idea for a new series on LDV. Can’t wait to read all the other comments once people weigh in.

  3. You are SO right! Such a difficult choice. Both are stunning! Living in Florida I have come to love an appreciate the true beauty of mediterranean style homes, but those french doors on the coastal style are just asking for the doors to be opened and let the spring breeze through! Absolutely lovely places!

  4. I must say, I am much more drawn two number 2! I love the french doors and the way they let the light in, and the way they are on both sides of the house! The pergola makes this house more warm and inviting than house 1. Don’t get me wrong, one is beautiful, but it lacks the warm,home-y feeling that number 2 has!

  5. I’m going with #1, though I could be very very very happy with both!!

    I’m a sucker for Spanish Mediterranean, done right. It’s really easy to go wrong (and I see it wrong a LOT here in CA)…..

  6. No2 No 2 No2!
    No 1 is a bit to Disney for us Brits I think, kinda looks like it’s made from marzipan 😉
    But, let’s face it, who would say no to either of them…..

  7. No question – Home #2 for me. I love the French doors and that it gave me a home-y lived in feel. House #1 is just too formal looking for me and my three crazy boys!

  8. I choose #2. I love all the windows, I have a thing for windows I would be happy if the backside of our house was glass. I love playing the would you rather game.

  9. with only looking on the outisde of the homes, I would choose number 1. This may change though to see the inside.. you never know what your can do in there!

  10. Paloma, this is really tough! I like both for so many different reasons! The architecture styles are so different but each equally lovely….I think I’d have to see the insides to really choose, I’ve spent 5 minutes staring at the photos and if I HAD to choose, it would be number one…no wait, number two..OH I just can’t decide!! 🙂 Fun post though!! xoxo

  11. I so love your Houston posts! A perfect little taste of home…I would have to go House 2, mostly because I grew up in a Spanish Style house that I LOVE but for some reason in my (semi) adulthood I always want to try other styles

  12. #2 is more my taste, but I think I’d go for #1 — absolutely love the large oaks on the lot and that entrance is completely divine. (And you’re so right: most Mediterranean inspired homes in Houston are a bit tacky…especially in SL!)

  13. Absolutely No. 1 for exterior appeal. Could change my mind after seeing the interior. I like No. 2 but it reminds me of an old farm house that someone has tried to give a coastal appeal to. It is pretty but not georgous.

  14. There’s absolutely no question! Number one for sure. The California Mediterranean style has such an easy elegance. Guests feel at home and comfortable, but the style of the house still allows you to mix formal and casual elements!

  15. This would be an extremely easy choice for me…Option Number 1. Even though Option 2 has the clean lines and symmetry throughout which is defined in the fact that this house is a great example of Colonial Architecture, I am innately drawn to the romaticism of Spanish-Mediterranean Architecture. So, Option 1 is what fills my fancy. I so admire the arch primary entrance with its hint of ionic columns. And, the detail of gothic inspired arches over the lower windows also drawns my attention, which are reminiscent of gothic churces whose flying butresses supported the center arches. Love this game!

  16. Home number one has it all. It was conceived in totality whereas home number two is a remodeled farm house. Skinny brick pillars do not an architectural statement make. The windows vary in style from the first floor to the second. The brick chimney and details by the parking area are “underlining” not intrinsic to the integrity of design shown by the first house. The second house is a wannabe, that’s all. Ann

  17. 9 times out of 10 I’d choose a coastal house – shingled and reminiscent of Nantucket. But this one just doesn’t do it for me. I think that almost looks more like the back of the house. I think it’s missing shudders or something… So I’ve got to say the mediterranean style!

    Which did you end up choosing?! Did I miss where you said that…?


  18. Hi Paloma –

    I love doing this and always imagine what I would do to it if it were mine, like flowers, mailbox, lights – all the curb appeal to give the house a bit of my personality. House # 2 would be my choice – love the french doors. It just looks like an easy living, but modern home.

  19. I love your blog, but I’m disappointed to see a couple of McMansions featured in this post. There are countless streets in both Houston and Dallas filled with houses that look just like these.

  20. Love you all, . . . and I know you mean well. But, as an architectural historian with extensive background in historic preservation, the answer is clear and definite. The proportions of #2 leave a lot to be desired — not to mention the mixed design styles. Nice house? Sure! But, the clear winner, for just too many obvious reasons having to do with comprehensive design considerations and detailed embellishments, is #1!

  21. I absolutely love number ONE!! I can actually imagine (or dream) what the interior looks like! Beautiful tile, wood beams and warm details. Only one question…when can I move in ?!!