Buildings in the Mission or Spanish Colonial Revival style derive their inspiration from churches and "haciendas" of the American Southwest. Building materials are typically brick, stone, stucco and tile. Roofs are often made of tile, reflecting the traditional building practices of early Spanish settlers.
Wall surfaces are richly varied. Arched windows, often in pairs, are set in recessed arches. Arched doorways with rounded top doors are also seen. In the window frames, and around doorways, details of carved stonework, especially small columns called "colonettes", are often found. Along roof lines, rows of brickwork projections called "corbeling" add interest to the building's surface.