What is Your Architectural Style?

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Many of us establish a dream home in our minds based on our cultural background or it may be derived as a part of the prospect of recreating  a desired geographical location. And then there are those that peruse the architectural magazines dreaming of the home that we would like to own. There are many architectural styles that are unique and modern while others are more traditional.

The Cape Cod originated in the early 18th century as early settlers used half-timbered English houses with a hall and parlor as a model, and adapted it to New England’s stormy weather and natural resources. Cape house plans are generally one to one-and-a-half story dormered homes featuring steep roofs with side gables and a small overhang. They are typically covered in clapboard or shingles and are symmetrical in appearance with central door, multi-paned, double – hung windows, shutters, a formal, center-hall floor plan, hardwood floors and little exterior ornamentation.

Carriage houses get their name from the out buildings of large manors where owners stored their carriages. Today, carriage houses generally refer to detached garage designs with living space above them. Carriage house plans generally store two to three cars and have one bedroom and bath. These plans make an interesting alternative to a vacation home plan or a cottage house plan.

The common characteristic of the contemporary house includes simple, clean lines with large windows devoid of decorative trim. The exteriors are a mixture of siding, stucco, stone, brick and wood. The roof can be flat or shallow pitched, often with great overhangs. Many ranch house plans are made with this contemporary aesthetic.

Overall, one of the most popular styles, country houses embraces a front porch or a wrap-around porch and are topped with a gabled roof. They can be one or two stories high.

European houses usually have steep roofs, subtly flared curves at the eaves and are faced with stucco and stone. Typically, the roof comes down to the windows. The second floor often is in the roof or, as we know it, the attic.

Beach or seaside houses are often raised houses suitable for the shoreline sites. They are adaptable for use as a vacation house near water or even in mountain areas. The Tidewater house is typical and features wide porches, constructed of wood with the main living area raised one level.

Colonial revival house plans are typically two to three story home designs with symmetrical facades and gable roofs. Pillars and columns are common, often expressed in temple-like entrances with porticos topped by pediments. Multi-pane, double-hung windows with shutters, dormers, and paneled doors with sidelights topped with rectangular transoms or fanlights help dress up the exteriors which are generally wood or brick. Additional common features include center entry-hall floor plan, fireplaces, and simple, classical detailing.

Many home buyers will choose and design their home based on the architectural design that is prevalent for the area they live in.  Many will choose a style or design based strictly on personal style.  Many will simply choose an architectural style based on an innate impulse that exists in the recesses of the mind. Have your ever thought about it?  What is your architectural style?


Home Styles: A Guide to Residential Architecture.” Home Styles: What Kind of House Are YOU? : HGTV Front Door Real Estate.

Web. 27 Jan. 201



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