The Territorial style is considered to be a blend of Pueblo and Victorian styles. European settlers in the 1800s combined traditional Pueblo architectural elements with their familiar Victorian design styles to form the Territorial style. Wooden posts, or portales, add support to Territorial porches. Many of these portales are also decorative and feature wood turning techniques. Unlike the characteristically unadorned, simple windows of Pueblo style adobe homes, Territorial windows often have elaborate wooden trim. The wood trim of the doors and windows may be painted in a bold color such as a vivid cornflower blue.

A major difference between Pueblo and Territorial architecture is the shape of the lines used in these styles. Pueblo style homes have rounded walls and thickly radiused corners, while Territorial style homes have straight lines and more crisp corners. Both styles include parapets, or roof-top walls, but Territorial homes may also have brick or adobe brick trim at the top of parapet walls. Smooth stucco rather than thickly plastered outside walls is typical in Territorial style homes. Wrought iron gates and courtyards are also popular in Territorial design. Earthy colors that blend with the Southwestern United States landscape are used in Territorial interiors and exteriors. These colors include reddish browns, sandy yellows and turquoise blues.