Everything To Know About Popular Home Styles
When you’re house hunting there are tons of different aspects to consider, location, square footage, neighborhood, and features. The other all-important factor? Aesthetics. Whether this means marble countertops or open concept living, these elements are what makes your home both beautiful and functional.
When it comes to the outward appearance, however, many people get overwhelmed by the sheer number of options. There is so much variety when it comes to home styles, from Victorian to Craftsman to Mid-Century Modern. But what exactly do these mean? Different home styles and types certainly dictate the look of a house but more importantly, they impact the layout and flow of your home.
With so many terms and house styles, it can be overwhelming or confusing to know exactly what each looks like or what its benefits are. We’re breaking down the 8 most popular home styles, how to tell the difference between them, and what unique characteristics each style can bring to your future home.
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What are Home Styles?
Home styles refer to the distinct characteristics, build, structure, and layout of a house. Some of these styles are older classics, like Victorian, Tudor, or Georgian, which encapsulate a historical time period. Others are much newer like American Craftsman or Mid-Century Modern.
Geographical location also plays a key role in the type of homes that are built in that area. Cape Cod style, for example, is (as its name implies) a classic East Coast architectural type. Ranch houses on the other hand are associated more with the Midwest. When it comes to new build houses, however, these kinds of rules about time period or location no longer apply. Now it doesn’t matter where you might live, you’re able to renovate or build a new home to fit whatever style you want.
The Most Popular Home Styles
Whether you’re looking to remodel, add a second level or expansion, give your home an updated curb appeal, or build an entirely new house, understanding home styles and types will help guide you through all these processes. While there are countless styles of house types, we’re taking a look at the most popular house styles in the United States.
Colonial: Established in the late 1700s, American Colonial-style homes are among some of the most popular in the U.S. Built by settlers to be large and rectangular, the mark of a colonial is typically a brick facade, two to three stories, and a fireplace. They are usually divided into living and sleeping areas with all living space on the main floor and bedrooms on the second floor.
During the 1800s there was a movement in which architects began experimenting with this style of architecture, now known as the Colonial Revival, which built upon the concept of a traditional Colonial but utilized columns, symmetry, and more grand or elaborate details to transform this style.
Cape Cod: One of the oldest home styles in the country, Cape Cod-style homes are thought to have originated in the late 1600s. These homes are usually one story and feature wood siding and a steep roof, in order to eliminate the accumulation of snow. These homes were typically built smaller and more intimate as they were meant as a haven from harsh weather conditions on the east coast. As a result, these homes are often very cozy and warm. Featuring open living spaces, lower ceilings, clean lines, and a symmetrical appearance, these homes are the epitome of quaint.
Farmhouse: Though originating in rural, agricultural areas as the primary residence for farmers, this style of home has skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years, thanks in large part to HGTV. Traditional farmhouses were built out of function more than anything and therefore have straightforward streamlined designs. Farmhouses usually have two stories with all the bedrooms located on the upper level. Common characteristics of this home type include large wrap-around porches, shiplap, formal front rooms, and charming details like shutters. The hallmark of a farmhouse is its large, inviting kitchen. Nowadays there are a variety of farmhouse styles, ranging from the more inform traditional to the more modern luxurious, and sophisticated
Ranch: Emerging in the 1930s and gaining popularity in the 1960s and ‘70s, this versatile home style has been one of the most loved in the country. A hallmark of suburbia, these streamlined homes are usually all on one level and feature long, open layouts. They also include attached garages and a distinct wing with the bedrooms and bathrooms. They are typically fashioned from brick or wood and feature picture windows, low roofs, and patios. Ranch-style homes continue to endure in popularity for their versatility. While deceptively simple and cookie-cutter, these types can easily be modified and designed to suit your personal need and taste.
Craftsman: American Craftsman homes, also known as Arts & Crafts style homes, grew in popularity from the early 20th century through to the 1930s, though they’ve made a huge comeback in recent years. These home types are very unique and much more ornate than ranches or farmhouses. They typically feature lots of woodwork, built-in shelving, low-roofs, overhangs, exposed or decorative beams, covered porches, and columns. Often built from stone, wood, or stucco, these homes are incredibly unique.
Contemporary: Not to be confused with modern-style homes, which are usually built with glass walls, are one story, and feature sharp horizontal lines, Contemporary homes are much more reflective of current trends. While minimalist modern homes were popularized around the 1950s, Contemporary homes capture 21st-century architecture today. Similarly, these home styles are increasingly concerned with using natural and sustainable building materials.
It can be confusing as Contemporary style homes often have modern elements to them, like large glass windows and open floor plans, but can include design elements from other styles like Craftsman or Farmhouse. It’s because of this that Contemporary homes are so popular. They can be completely customized to suit your personal taste without playing by the rule book. While specific aspects may change, there are some key design elements of a Contemporary home. These features include lots of natural light, geometric shapes, an asymmetrical façade, mixed materials like stone and wood, and eco-friendly systems.
Bungalow: Similar to shotgun-style homes, these houses are usually one story (sometimes 1.5 stories) and are characterized by their narrow, rectangular shape. Popular in the midwest and throughout the 1930s, you could order a home bungalow kit from Sears. While modest, as these homes are usually best for couples or a small family, modern additions and renovations can greatly increase a Bungalow’s flow and function.
Country Cottage: Not sure what a country cottage-style home looks like? Picture Snow White’s abode. These medieval-inspired homes look as though they’re plucked directly from the English or French countryside and dropped into a modern suburb. Always charming these homes feature arched doorways, chimneys, small window panes, gables, and steep roofs. Though on the smaller scale, these style homes are always cozy and quaint.
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