These Are the Most Popular Home Styles Across America
If you're on a getting ready to purchase your first home, starting to prepare for your next move, or are simply daydreaming about your the house you hope to one day buy, it helps to understand exactly what you're looking for. While porches, tall ceilings, hardwood floors, big windows, and two-car garages may seem like details that are no-brainers, design features aren't the only thing you need to be well-versed in. Knowing the difference between an antebellum home and a Dutch colonial will help you shop smarter.
If you're looking for a new home, it's worth first setting aside a few minutes to brush up on all the different styles the market has to offer. Who knows, you might think you know what you like, but after learning a thing or two about architecture, you might decide to change direction altogether. While you may have originally thought you wanted a home with gables, you might realize that dormers are more your style; that hipped roof you thought you wanted might be replaced by a steeply-pitched roof instead. And after seeing what a home done entirely in stucco looks like, you may not want to look at the clapboard houses that were originally on your list. In short, knowing what you like will not only help you search the right styles, but it will ensure you know what to ask for when working with a real estate agent or builder.
Since time is of the essence when shopping for a new home and you might not have the flexibility to research what sets each architectural style apart, we're here to lend a hand. To help you think beyond the basics and better understand the difference between bungalows and Spanish revivals, we've complied a guide to common architecture styles. Ahead, you'll discover the most popular structural designs seen across the United States.
Also known as Arts and Crafts, this architectural style highlights hand-built goods over the mass-produced. Key design features include low-pitched gable roofs with overhangs that make for spacious porches, exposed beams and natural materials. The inside of the home, often airy and light-filled, features tons of woodwork such as built-in bookshelves, beams, and window seats.
This 19th century style is a staple in the South and most were built before the Civil War. According to Jade Joyner of Metal + Petal, Antebellum homes feature a symmetrical design with large, evenly spaced windows and a grand entryway, often set between elegant Greek columns. Other characteristics include charming wrap around porches, ballrooms, and elegant foyers.
First built in California in the 1890s, these homes were inspired by the small, efficient houses constructed in India in the mid-nineteenth century by the British. Similar to American craftsman architecture, bungalows feature roofs with overhangs, oftentimes extending across the entire front of the house, which create spacious covered porches. Inside, you can find an open floor plan across one to two stories with beamed ceilings and built-in cabinetry.
Also known as American cottage, Cape Cod homes are renowned for their steep roofs and shingled exterior (most in the weathered gray color). The simple, unadorned faces typically feature a centered doorway with two windows on each side, and, if it's a two-story home, you can expect five windows up top. Many consider this charming Massachusetts-born design to be the quintessential American style.
Rectangular in design, these homes can be anywhere from one to two stories. On the exterior you'll find a stately front door in the center often surrounded by columns featuring pilasters for added decoration. Like the Cape Cod, windows are placed symmetrically on both sides of the door. These windows, however, have traditional multi-pane sashes and classic shutters. Once upon a time these homes were only seen with white clapboard paneling; nowadays the design is available in brick, too.
This style of architecture is renowned for its barn-like gambrel roof (a double-pitched roof which is flat on top and then features a steep drop). You'll often find a tiny dormer window close to the top integrated into the design. Original Dutch Colonial homes were constructed in brick or stone and feature doors split in half to allow the top half to be open.
"The classic 'Americana' farmhouse is one of the oldest home styles in our country; the farmhouse has been around since the early 1700s," says Ashley Moore of Moore House Interiors. These simple, straightforward homes are best known for their large porches, gabled roofs, and large eat-in kitchens. "We love farmhouse style for its simplicity, it's functional design, and the coziness it offers," Moore says. "There's nothing pretentious about the farmhouse; even today it should exude a simple, casual feeling just as it did 400 years ago."
Drawing inspiration from ancient Greece, this architectural style features columns, white exterior, and plenty of cornices.
Loosely inspired by villas in Italy, Italianate designs emanate intricate flamboyance, showcasing ornate brackets and cornices. These homes feature flat or low-pitched roofs. The interiors, however, boast high ceilings.
This beloved flat-roof architectural style often features big glass windows, open, airy floor plans, and clean lines. It's typically seen in one-story and split level homes.
Envision the cheery red tile roof homes of Miami and the Hollywood Hills, and you're head is in the right place. These homes are characterized by elaborate tile work, arched walkways, low-pitched roofs, a stucco exterior and are often L-shaped with a courtyard in the center.
Inspired by medieval European architecture, Tudor homes (sometimes called English Cottages) are defined by their steeply-pitched gable roofs, brick façade, tall windows, and, most notably, their half-timbered structure (exposed wood frames with stucco or masonry filled in between) which creates the signature striped exterior.