Albuquerque Real Estate and Relocation Information


Southwestern Terms & Glossary


The Spanish and adobe influences in local design have brought several
Southwestern words into homeowners' vocabularies. Here are the
names for some southwestern home features:

VIGA: Traditional peeled log beam. They may been seen inside as well as
protruding through the outside walls.

LATILLA: Small (1-2 inch) peeled poles used for the ceiling. Straight,
uniform latillas are usually made of aspen, although some homeowners prefer
the more rustic look of Saguaro ribs.

CANALE: Rain trough that protrudes through a parapet wall, normally to
drain water that collects on a flat roof.

SALTILLO TILE: Red clay floor tile, commonly 12 inches square but sometimes
octagonal. Named after the city in northern Mexico.

TERRAZZO: A flooring material of marble or stone chips set in mortar and polished when dry

LINTEL: Crossbeam above a window. In southwestern homes, the lintel often is
a massive wood beam painted blue or brown.

CORBEL: A short, supporting timber under a beam or arch. The end of the
corbel may be cut square for a stepped appearance or carved for a beaked

NICHO: Recess carved into a wall. Originally, these nichos served as shrines
where "Santos" (carved religious objects) were placed.

BANCO: Built-in seating, often with an upholstered cushion.

RISTA: Dried and strung red chilies, now mostly used as decorative ornaments.

KIVA: A style of fireplace typically a rounded front in the corner of a room.

EXPOSED ADOBE WALLS: Adobe is a sun-dried, unburned brick of clay and straw. A structure can be built with this type of brick. Sometimes the bricks are left unplastered so they can be seen.





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Michelle Selby GRI CRS
Associate Broker
Coldwell Banker Legacy Realtors
10400 Academy NE Suite 100
Albuquerque, NM 87111
Mobile 505-321-5521
Home office 505-858-0021
Home office fax 505-858-1221
Office 505-293-3700

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